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Gatlinburg is sometimes referred to as the 'gateway' to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Tennessee. The resort town with its various theme parks and showbiz attractions forms a dramatic contrast with the wilderness feel of the Great Smoky Mountains, however. Still, this kind of contrast makes Gatlinburg an incredibly family friendly destination - with both the bright lights of Gatlinburg and the relaxing peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, you should be able to accommodate everyone's preferences.
Gatlinburg itself is full of things to do. Wild Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark is the fifth largest Waterpark in the country, and then once you've dried off you can go and see some wild bears up in Ober Gatlinburg, which combines a ski resort with bear habitat and aerial tramway. If sports do no appeal but you are keen on the great outdoors, in the Great Smoky Mountains themselves, you can go hiking along the Appalachian Trail. This is probably the main reason people go to Gatlinburg. The town itself also has a number of attractions such as the Space Needle (an observation platform with an arcade), a Sky Lift which will take people too lazy to climb up Crockett Mountain to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views, and even a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum. If you're a gambler, you might also want to visit Cherokee not too far away, where there is a Native American village and casino, although this is probably not a great example to set for the younger members of your family.
With 3 bedroom cabins available in Gatlinburg from just £500 a week, a family of four or more can easily save a lot of money on accommodation compared to hotels. The cabins are generally remote enough that your children can run around and make as much noise as they want without disturbing neighbours, and with pools and DVD players virtually standard, there are a good amount of entertainment options if you feel the need to spend a day or two in your accommodation rather than exploring - this is never really an option with hotel rooms. Gatlinburg is a holiday destination where you are caught between the bright lights and the natural world, you will have a packed holiday and it is good to have your own space where you can feel completely at home at the end of each long day's relaxation.