No Way Joe's Cantina
No Way Jose's combines delicious authentic Mexican cuisine with a lively atmosphere to create an experience your family will love.
Pigeon Forge Location
(865) 429-7779
104 Walden’s Main Street
Pigeon Forge, 37863
Gatlinburg Location
(865) 430-JOSE (5673)
555 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (at stoplight no. 5)
dining room at No Way Jose's Cantina
cades cove tn

6 Things to Do in Cades Cove TN for Families

Whether you dine at our Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge location, you’re only a short drive away from all of the fun activities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re looking for a place to explore with your family, Cades Cove is a great place to start- it’s one of the most popular areas for a reason! Read on to discover family-friendly things to do in Cades Cove TN! 

1. Drive or bike the scenic loop. 

The Cades Cove Scenic Loop is an 11-mile loop road through a gorgeous valley full of wildlife, mountain views, gentle streams, and old-growth forests. Many families choose to simply drive through, taking their time to enjoy the scenery and watch for signs of bears. Biking the loop is another fun option ideally during Vehicle Free Wednesdays from May through September. 

2. Visit historic sites. 

a church in cades coveBest of all, Cades Cove provides a glimpse into what life was like in the Smoky Mountains, thanks to the many structures that have been preserved and maintained. From churches and homesteads to the last working grist mill in the area, these are just a few of the historic sites you can see along the loop road:

  • Elijah & John Oliver Cabins
  • Primitive Baptist Church
  • Cantilever Barn
  • Henry Whitehead Cabin
  • Tipton Place
  • John Cable Mill

3. Learn about Cades Cove’s history.

You can find a lot of information regarding the early settlers of Cades Cove, as well as interesting facts about Appalachian history and culture at the visitor center, historic structures, and cemeteries. We recommend checking out the first mill next to the Cable House; sometimes, a volunteer is working in the mill who can demonstrate how the corn grinding process works and answer your questions about life in the 1800s!

4. Hike to Abrams Falls. 

abrams falls in cades cove tnYou have many choices when it comes to hiking trails in Cades Cove, and the hike to Abrams Falls is by far a top favorite. It’s a moderate 5.2-mile hike with gorgeous scenery and wildflowers along the way to an impressive 20-foot waterfall. Shorter and easier hikes include the Cades Cove Nature Trail and the Pine Oak Nature Trail. You won’t regret adding Abrams Falls or any of these trails to your list of things to do in Cades Cove TN!

5. Fish in Abrams Creek. 

Abrams Creek is one of the best spots for fishing in the national park. You’ll need a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license, and remember to take note of any daily possession limits. Kids will love splashing around and looking for salamanders, and it’s a great place to cool off on those hot summer days!

6. Go horseback riding. 

horseback riding - things to do in cades cove tnWant to experience the Smoky Mountains in a unique way and create lasting memories with your family? Go on a guided horseback tour! The Cades Cove Riding Stables offers trail rides, carriage rides, and even hay rides, so there’s an activity for everyone, whether you’re an expert rider or a first-timer.

As you can see, there are many things to do in Cades Cove TN that the whole family can enjoy. Learn about other fun outdoor things to do in the Smoky Mountains and make plans to visit No Way Jose’s for a satisfying meal before heading out to explore! 

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