Celebrate Independence Day In The Great Smoky Mountains
By Jon Hoffman © 2015, All Rights Reserved

Fireworks at DollywoodLocated smack in the middle of summer, the Fourth of July is the perfect time for a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains. Hopefully by now you've tackled the low-hanging fruit on your summer to-do list and are ready to get down to some serious relaxing. The beginning of July is the perfect time to be in the cool mountain air. At lower elevations, beaches are baking, and 100% humidity drives vacationers to air-conditioned activities for most of the day. In the mountains, plenty of leafy trees and mountain breezes provide natural air-conditioning. Whether you're looking for fishing, hiking, reading or just napping in a rocking chair on your vacation, the cooler temperatures of the Great Smoky Mountains make it possible all day, every day.

Start Things Off In Gatlinburg With Excitement

At the beginning of vacation everybody in the family is geared up for fun. Start your week with an exciting trip to Dollywood, take an exhilarating ride down a zip line, or splash down a cool mountain stream on a raft. Staying busy and expending some energy during the first couple of days of your vacation helps kids burn off energy and lets adults start to relax. Keep the end of your week free of schedules and plans so you have plenty of time for naps, exploring nature, reading, or just taking in the views from the front porch of your cabin.

Be sure to plan your Fourth of July around fun local events, parades and fireworks shows. Did you know that Gatlinburg had the first Independence Day parade in the nation? It's true! At midnight on Friday, July 3, this year Gatlinburg will welcome nearly 100,000 spectators for their annual Fourth of July Midnight Parade. You can sleep late the next morning, but make sure you're at Christus Gardens bridge by noon for Gatlinburg's annual River Raft Regatta. In this fun event, the whole family can compete for prizes by participating in an unmanned floatable object race.

Celebrations In Pigeon Forge & Sevierville, Too

Pigeon Forge hosts the annual Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival at Patriot Park on July 4. The festival opens at noon and features live performances, including Diamond Rio and a Journey tribute band. Food, activities and fun for the whole family culminate at dark in a fireworks show over the Smoky Mountains.

Plenty of other special activities in Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge lead up to the Fourth. You might want to check out the special four-day sale at Tanger Five Oaks outlets, an exciting Tennessee Smokies baseball game complete with fireworks, or the All-American cookout at the Grand Majestic Theater in Pigeon Forge.

If you're ready to plan your Fourth of July vacation, the Great Smoky Mountains are the perfect getaway. With enough excitement and relaxation for everyone, there's no better place to celebrate Independence Day and the freedom to enjoy a long, lazy summer.



Jon Hoffman is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Smoky Mountain cabins near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Visit them today at http://www.volunteercabinrentals.com to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.