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5 Things You Need to Know about The Wilderness at the Smokies

And 5 Things You Probably Already Knew….

What do you do in the sweltering heat of mid-Tennessee summers?  Wilderness at the Smokies. What if it is too hot to hike or camp? Wilderness of the Smokies. What if you’ve done all those things and you need one last trip before school starts? Wi…. well you know what I’m going to say. Head on up to Tennessee’s mecca for vacations-the Sevierville, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge areas. You will not run out of things to do before you run out of money, I promise you!  

On one last hurrah, before the Fiveasaurus starts Kindergarten, we combined a business trip and vacation by visiting the Wilderness at the Smokies for one last dip in the pool, one last slip down a slide and one last float around the lazy river.  Well several more floats around the lazy river. He really really likes the lazy river.  We had a blast even for the short trip that it was and we enjoyed as much as we could of all the many things the Wilderness at the Smokies has to offer. They have so much to offer that there are often little details that I seem to overlook or get to experience for the first time, every time we go. I thought of FIVE specific things that stood out from this past weeks trip that you might find helpful.

What you probably know:  The Wilderness is a hotel-water park combo. It has everything you need to have a super-duper vacation. There is plenty of fun to be had on various slides, tubes and mats. With numerous restaurants, bars, snack bars and walk-up counters, you will not be hard pressed to find something to fill you up after a long day slipping and sliding. Arcades, a pottery studio, a golf course and gift shops will also get your attention. There is no shortage of activities. There will literally be no down time except for night time-if then.

Photo courtesy of The Wilderness at the Smokies

What you may not know: The sit-down restaurants can be a bit pricey-think almost amusement parks prices. You may want to drive off property to find cheaper alternatives.  Fortunately, for us tourists, the area has really grown since the Wilderness first opened its flood gates and there are numerous options within close driving distance.  

What you probably know: The rooms and surrounding properties are gorgeous with beautiful outdoorsy themed rooms that are very family-oriented. Some have full kitchens, all have a fridge or a mini fridge. There are rooms that sleep several, rooms that connect and even Villas if you’re willing to shell out some dollars.

Our room minus the sofa bed

What you may not know: A lot of the basic rooms will sleep up to 6 people. They have two beds and a large pull out sofa bed. It’s very much catered to families.  This is usually plenty of room for the likes of our crew but just remember, you will have to pay for the water park wristbands for everybody in the room, which could add to the final price of your room.

What you probably know: You can check in early and use the water park even if your rooms not ready. Get there by 12 for bonus time with fun in the sun! 

What you may not know: Check out time is a super early 1030 am. Not your usual 11-12. This might present a problem if you need to drag your Millenials out of bed or if your very slow-moving turtle of a toddler doesn’t want to leave. But, you still have access to the water park until closing on check out day too. 

What you probably know: Cabanas are the bomb! 

Photo courtesy of the Wilderness at the Smokies

What you may not know: The Wilderness has two types-Cabanas which are actually little cabins that provide completely indoor space out of the southern summer sun with air conditioning!  Then there are Tents, which to me, are more like a cabana that comes with misting apparatus to keep you cooled as you lay around by the lazy river. Tents also come with tables and chairs inside and a server to handle all your food requests. Try the cheese sticks. They’ll hit the spot after climbing all those stairs to the slides! There are also lounge chairs outside to take a quick nap, lie back and catch some rays or stick your nose into a good book. Need some ideas on a good book? Why I just might now where you can get one! (Insert shameless plug of the hubs books here!)

What you probably know: The lazy river is the ultimate attraction of the whole park! Who doesn’t love a relaxing trip, or 140 trips around a lazy river if you’re with the Fiveasaurus? Its a great way to see the whole outdoor park and take in the views. You are bound to make a few friends along the way as there are lots of people taking advantage of the relaxation  

These Guys love that lazy river.

What you may not know: The outdoor areas close early for a Tennessee summer. They close at 8pm. I know we could and would float way into the night if they’d let us. But all you have to do is pick up and move indoors. There’s a great indoor/outdoor hot tub! 

Make good use of your last ditch effort to give your munchkins one last splash of vacation before school starts back and visit the Wilderness at the Smokies if water parks, lazy rivers, cabanas, no sleep, a lot of sun, food and fun are your thing. You won’t regret it. Your wallet might, but you can work next week, right??? Click here if you have questions or want to know more.

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the whiny hiker

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