By Leif Palmer
If you've had your fill of boring beach vacations, and long, slow days meandering through dusty antique stores doesn't thrill you, then your vacation plans need a shot of adrenalin. Sounds like it's time for a fast and furious adventure attraction in the Great Smoky Mountains, where speed and excitement combine to make your trip a non-stop adventure.
With the smell of scorched rubber in the air, and two wheels on the pavement as you barrel around the track, the competition is hot on your tail. For NASCAR lovers, the thrill of the chase never gets old. And at NASCAR SpeedPark in Sevierville, TN there's plenty of racing fun for the whole family.
From the Baby Bristol to the Smoky Mountains Speedway, NASCAR SpeedPark's 8 tracks serve up just the right amount of speed whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro. The Intimidator, named after legendary driver Dale Earnhardt, offers a challenge that SpeedPark veterans will love to face, while Young Champions gives greenhorns a chance to ride with mom or dad in a two-seat racer. The Competitor is a short oval track allowing side by side racing. Features Eagle go-karts with single and double seaters for smaller children to ride or race along.
For nature lovers with a need for speed, a zipline tour through the forest might be just the adventure you're looking for. No hot asphalt smells here, it's just you and the fresh mountain air. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you'll soar among the treetops and whip along at breakneck speeds, nothing between you and the wilderness but a steel cable and a harness. Fast enough to satisfy the speed demon in you, yet safe for the whole family, a zipline tour of the Smoky Mountains will leave you with fantastic memories and some truly spectacular photographs taken from high above the forest floor.
The Great Smoky Mountains are home to some of the wildest whitewater rafting in the country. Plunge down the Pigeon River in a raft with six of your closest friends, or go it alone in an inflatable kayak. Whichever you choose, you'll experience the beauty of the area in a whole new way. Hang on to your seat, because this is a thrill-ride you'll never forget.
For a one-of-a-kind experience, climb inside a clear plastic ball and roll your way down the foothills near Pigeon Forge. These water-filled balloons protect you from bumps and bruises while taking you on a ride you won't find anywhere else in the United States. Choose a smaller, one-person globe, or pile on the fun by fitting the whole family in one giant balloon. Whichever way you go, you'll be talking about your new favorite ride for years to come.
The Great Smoky Mountains might be famous for amazing scenery and quaint villages, but take a closer look and you'll find enough adventure and excitement to keep a speed junkie entertained for weeks. Whether you want to tear up the racetrack, fly like a bird, get wet and wild on the river or roll down mountain, there's fun and adventure around every turn.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in east Tennessee. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.