Memorial Day weekend often serves as the unofficial kickoff to summer and offers many folks a three-day weekend.
If you’re planning on enjoying your Memorial Day weekend 2021 in the Great Smoky Mountains area, there will be plenty of outdoor fun, shopping and dining opportunities in store for you.
What is there to do on Memorial Day in the Smoky Mountains?
The possibilities of things to do in the Smokies for Memorial Day are nearly endless. You can go ziplining, play mini golf, explore nature and more.
Without further ado, here’s our list of top things to do this Memorial Day around Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and the Great Smoky Mountains:
8. Zipline and visit an adventure park
This pass gives you access to the adventure park that waterfalls, scenic trails and a 335-ft bridge to Prosperity Mountain.
7. Go tubing or rafting
Memorial Day is notorious for enjoying outdoor activities, and rafting or tubing is a great way to partake — as long as the weather holds up!
River Rat Tubing also offers combination packages for tubing and rafting directly on their website.
6. Visit The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the US, and it’s a great way to spend your holiday weekend.
Explore the Cades Cove Loop, pay respects at the Pearl Harbor tree and then have a picnic. Best of all, this option is completely free.
Cades Cove is a great way to soak in the nature and spot some wildlife. Remember to keep your distance and visit responsibly.
5. Enjoy some rounds of mini golf
The Smokies is full of fantastic mini golf destinations.
If you’re looking for a local treasure, Hillbilly Golf is open as weather permits. It’s a truly unique course that you play on top of a mountain. You even ride a trolley to get to the top.
Crave Golf is another one of our favorite options, and it also offers an indoor course in case of inclement weather. Be sure to check Tripster for discounts.
Last but certainly not least, consider one of the two Ripley’s mini golf courses, Old Mac Mini Golf and Davy Crockett Mini Golf.
If you wish to check out any of the other Ripley’s attractions in the area, you can bundle and save. Speaking of which …
4. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium is one of my favorite places to be in downtown Gatlinburg.
There’s so much to do and see that it can easily brighten your day with entertainment. It’s nearby some of their other Gatlinburg attractions, such as the Haunted Adventure or the Believe it or Not! Odditorium.
The more you buy, the more you save, so it’s a great excuse to check out some of the features in the town that has the most Ripley’s attractions than anywhere else in the world!
3. Visit Soaky Mountain Waterpark
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of regular hours for the brand-new attraction in Sevierville, TN: Soaky Mountain Waterpark.
This mountain modern, 50-acre waterpark offers something for all ages.
Here, you can eat tacos from a former-London transit food truck, hang out by a still-water pool, ride thrilling first-of-its-kind water coasters and entertain the littlest ones in your family in the kiddie areas.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark opened its doors for the first time in 2020, and at only $44.99 for adults ($39.99 for the little ones), it’s an affordable way to enjoy a summer day in the Smokies.
2. Visit Anakeesta with discounted admission for military
Anakeesta will be honoring fallen members of our country’s military on Saturday, May 29 with a 45-minute patriotic tribute at Anakeesta’s Black Bear Village.
The ceremony begins at 11 am and will include The Honor Guard, who will perform full military honors, including a 21-gun salute.
The ceremony will conclude with Taps and a moment of silence.
As an additional thank you, Anakeesta will be offering 25% off admission to service members and their immediate family members from Saturday, May 29 through Memorial Day on Monday, May 31.
To receive the discount, military personnel will be asked to present their government issued ID at the ticket booth (the discount cannot be used online) .
Non-military can sometimes save a couple of bucks off admission when booking through Anakeesta’s Tripster page.
1. Go shopping at The Island or Tanger Outlets
The Island is a great spot to relax in a rocking chair by the water feature, ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel or take part in some delicious dining opportunities.
If shopping is your thing, be sure to check out Tanger Outlets, which is best known for its outlet stores and discounts.
Here are some of the Tanger Outlet deals for Memorial Day 2021:
- Columbia Factory Store: Spend $100, get a $20 coupon (May 20-31)
- Gap Outlet: Up to 75% off select styles (May 19-25)
- Michael Kors: Up to 70% off select styles (May 20-26)
- Old Navy: Up to 60% off store wide (May 21-31)
- Perfumania: BOGO 50% off, select perfumes (May 11-26)
- Vera Bradley: 60% off the entire store, exclusions may apply (May 20-25)
- Tory Burch: Up to 40% off select styles (May 18-24)
We humbly thank our veterans, and we wish you a happy Memorial Day.
Do you have plans this year? Let us know in the comments.