2700 Dollywood Parks Boulevard
Photo courtesy of Dollywood
DollywoodThose who have never visited Dollywood may be surprised that Dolly Parton’s namesake attraction is anything but a dusty tourist trap up in the hills—it’s a world-class amusement park with top-notch thrill rides for all ages. From the Tennessee Tornado roller coaster to the Drop Line tower to the Daredevil Falls log ride, Dollywood rivals the country’s most well-known theme parks for variety and adrenaline-spiking coasters. There’s plenty to entertain little tykes as well, including a carousel, playgrounds, and kiddie-size versions of the adult rides. Dollywood’s adjacent Splash Country water park means you can make several days out of a visit, especially if you stay at the on-site resort and cabins. The park also hosts holiday events, including a Smoky Mountain Christmas light display and nightly concerts and shows. Just don’t get so distracted that you forget to leave time to explore the Smoky Mountains.