A Great Smoky Mountain Family Vacation Itinerary

Our Great Smoky Mountains Adventure

We are busy planning our fall vacation this year and I’m just as excited as ever to have a week off from work. I started a new job recently and I’m getting into the groove of things so it’ll be a nice break come October. We seriously considered going to Portland, ME and Boston, MA this year but after our crazy Italian wedding/vacation/honeymoon-ish trip, I’m pretty okay with taking a break from flying with the littles for a bit.

Since it’s fall, we still want to do something very fall-related. We decided to go to the TN and NC mountains with a stop in Charlotte on the way. We thought about doing the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad but I just don’t think it’ll be worth the money so we are skipping it this time. Instead, we have the following itinerary lined up:

Day 1: Leave Raleigh! We will end up in Concord area staying right near IKEA. Because, duh. No trip to CLT is complete without a trip to IKEA.

Day 2: Spend the AM at IKEA! Y’all don’t even know how excited I am for this. We will check in at Great Wolf Lodge when we are done.

Day 3: Spend the morning at GWL. In the afternoon, we will head to Sky Top Orchard. Sky Top Orchard is in Flat Rock, NC and sounds really cool. I’ve been trying hard to go apple picking with my kids. One of my regrets of living in the South is not being able to apple pick in the fall. I’m weird like that. I’m excited to pick apples (and probs have a photoshoot in the orchard because I’m extra like that). After the orchard, we will head to Gatlinburg!

Day 4 – 6: Spend time in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg. We are renting a cabin that I found on VRBO. It has a pool table, hot tub, amazing views. I’m really excited to be able to relax and unplug a bit with my little family. We also anticipate doing the touristy attractions that our kids love so much like the Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Dollywood, lots of mountain hiking (yes, even me. I’m going to hike. I’m sure there will be photographic evidence to share later – ha!), and maybe even alpine sliding. I’d love some ideas of your favorite things to do. When I told my dad where we were going he scoffed and told me that Gatlinburg was the worst trip he ever took us on as children (UHHH! WHAT?!). That is all the more reason for us to make the best of it and I really hope to give my kids some great memories.

Day 7: Drive to Asheville and stay at the Marriott in downtown Asheville. We will be close to all the action and hopefully taste a few new brews. We may end of at the Biltmore. We may just hike and explore. The world is our oyster!

Day 8: Head home.😊