1/26/11

What is the Best Family Getaway in the United States?


By on 1/26/2011 04:14:00 PM

Looking for an ideal family getaway vacation in the United States? Look no further than our annual, family Spring Break vacation destination in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The location offers seasonal temperatures, no shocking beach dramatics that the little ones shouldn’t see and a scenic, tourist environment in reasonable combination with relaxing downtime for mom and dad. The Thompson family considers this an ideal family getaway in the U.S.


Lodging. Lodging in Gatlinburg ranges from hotels on or near “the Boardwalk” to mountain cabins, Bed & Breakfasts, and more—all at surprisingly, budget friendly prices. We opt for a hotel (sorry—a MOTEL) family suite within walking distance of the main strip (A.K.A. “The Boardwalk”)—and we ask for an end room on the ground floor early during booking so that our kids can be kids without distracting other guests.

Dining. The city of Gatlinburg is incredibly kid friendly. Whether you are visiting the Smoky Mountain Brewery, The Hard Rock CafĂ© or the Trout House (all of which we would recommend), kids are welcome—and the atmosphere is family friendly. If in doubt about the suitability of a restaurant for the little ones—ask the hotel or lodging staff (they may even have some local coupons to pass along as well).

Activities. The great thing about Gatlinburg is its location. If you are looking for a quiet hike or scenic mountain drive, you are at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Sure the downtown Gatlinburg area is a bit commercialized—but, it’s worth a shot and a few bucks to experience a walk through the shops and a random visit to a Ripley’s site (the Aquarium is pretty cool, after all). The Tramway and the Ski Lift are fairly inexpensive for a great view—and Gatlinburg is minutes from the adventures in Pigeon Forge and Dollywood.

Getting there. We choose to make it a road trip and drive from Ohio—and with exception of the few miles surrounding the city, the drive in is generally fairly stress free. If you fly into a nearby airport and opt to rent a car—expect some minor drive delays as you enter the main “tourist” areas of the city—but once you arrive, it’s fairly easy to navigate and explore by car and foot.

We have explored Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, various trails and hiking destinations in the Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove, Cherokee, North Carolina—and a number of surrounding stops for over ten years. There is always something new to see—but, it’s also a little bit like “going home” every year as well. We have never felt like visitors. I guess that’s why we feel it’s the ideal family getaway vacation.

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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Founded in 1974, Alamo Rent A Car is a value-oriented, internationally recognized brand serving the rental needs of airport leisure travelers. Alamo offers low rental rates and a hassle-free customer experience at the most popular travel destinations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. In addition, Alamo customers in the U.S. are able to conveniently choose their own vehicles, based upon their advance reservation and requested car class, and then simply drive away from the airport.

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You can also check out why we at Mama's Corner of the World think Gatlinburg is the friendliest city in the U.S.!




About Angela

Angela is a freelance writer and blogger, blessed with 3 daughters, 4 cats, 1 needy dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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