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A Waterpark...Indoors?

Imagine a hotel where it is snowing outside. Inside however, people are swimming, sliding, splashing and even surfing. How is this possible? The Wilderness at the Smokies resort, which is also Tennessee’s largest indoor waterpark resort, provides it all. Even in the dead of winter you can come and pretend it’s the middle of the summer. Once inside the waterpark, guests see two twin racer slides, The Trail Twisters, Two specialty slides, the Storm Chaser and The Runaway Canyon, One large wave pool, called the Great Wave and The Surf machine, Smokies Surf Rider. After swimming guests can grab a snack at the Thirsty Miner Café or go back to their rooms to chill. With log-cabin-like furnishings and friendly guests all around, the Wilderness lodge is just like home.

In the summer, the Wilderness turns into a adjoined indoor and outdoor water park. Guests are free to move back and forth between the two. The outdoor waterpark features two main areas, Lake Wilderness and Salamander Springs. Lake Wilderness is located at the River Lodge and is the newest addition to the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort. While there you can venture down the Adventure River (lazy river), take a float in the wave pool or just work on your summer tan. Lake Wilderness is the perfect place to relax by the pool in the Smokies. Salamander Springs is the more kid-friendly option. 150 feet of slides and a 500 gallon dumping bucket for the kids or, the hot spa and lounging pool for adults.

Inside the hotel is also bustling with life. Upon first entering, you are met with a comforting atmosphere and homey furnishings. The staff at the check-in desk are extremely kind, even when the line wraps around the whole lobby. In the middle of the lobby is a huge double-sided stairwell, leading upward, spreading out to the whole hotel. In the corner of the lobby is the small lodge café. There you can get sandwiches, soda-fountain sodas or the best homemade fudge ever. In the left corner of the lobby is the gift shop. You can stay in a variety of room types. If you are staying for two nights or less, I suggest that you stay in a smaller room such as the Studio Suite or the King Suite. For a longer stay, the 1 Bedroom Deluxe or the 2 Bedroom Premier are better options. In the suites there is one room with two queen beds, a sofa bed, small kitchen, television and bathroom. In the bedrooms, there are two rooms, two bathrooms, four queen beds and a set of bunk beds along with all the things in the suites.

If you become bored inside the hotel you can drive just a few miles to see some of the town’s exciting activities. Some of the more popular activities are the Cirque de Chine (a performance of Chinese acrobats), the Wahoo Zipline, Apple Barn Cider Mill and General Store and Dollywood. Nearby the hotel are basic restaurants such as Applebee’s and Chili’s, but also some more personal ones like the local diner. There is also a nearby Hollywood Video to rent a movie to bring back to the hotel.

Overall, I do recommend the Wilderness at the Smokies as a fun vacation spot. Some tips from previous guests, suggest not staying in a room right next to the indoor waterpark (because it is extremely noisy until 11pm), going with younger children and having activities outside the hotel planned. The best parts of the hotel (as said by guests) are the indoor/outdoor hot tub and the beds. So plan to have a awesome time on your trip to Wilderness at the Smokies.




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