After spending 10 hours in the car on the way up, our second day in the Smoky Mountains started out a little slow. We started our day at breakfast in the hotel and then at the arcade for a bit before heading a little further into Sevierville to Forbidden Caverns and to the Little River Gem Mine.
Both my husband and I had a similar memories of visiting caverns as kids and we wanted to create a similar memory for our son, .. so off we went to explore! We couldn’t wait for him to experience underwater streams, rock formations, etc. and to explore and see what we don’t have in Louisiana–underground caves!
The drive from our resort to Forbidden Caverns was only about 15 minutes and it was a beautiful, scenic one that I thoroughly enjoyed. The road was dotted with farms, hills, and valleys and lots of unique barns, grist mills and other scenery. It was very quaint and had a lot of charm! Before we knew it, we were pulling in and grabbing our sweatshirts to explore the caverns below.
Tours start on the hour and we arrived about 10 minutes before the tour was to start. This gave us time to explore the gift shop and explain to our son that it would be dark and that it could be slippery. The tour was very entertaining and our young guide was very knowledgeable about all of the formations and the history of the area! I think our favorite part was seeing the large breaks in the rocks as well as the underwater stream that flowed below. We really enjoyed our experience and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore caverns but doesn’t want a super tough workout. We were able to do this hike through the caverns without much effort or complaint from the little guy. Also, be sure to bring a sweatshirt if you get cold easily as the temperature in the caverns is around 54 degrees.
Also, while we were there, we took a drive about 10 minutes from the resort to the Little River Gem Mine, where we mined for gems and had a great time. When we pulled up, we were not sure what to expect, but the experience was really fun, especially for our ive year old son. For the price of $20, he was given a bucket and he was able to pan for gems. The experience was great for him– and the gal there was knowledgeable about all of the stones he came across. He came home with a big ole pan full of all sorts of beautiful stones that we now have on display in our home!! I can’t begin to rave about how much fun we all had panning for gems and learning about the different rocks from the lady that was helping us. Right next door to the gem mine, there is also a large antique store that I thoroughly enjoyed peeking in with the hopes of finding some Shawnee dishware for my mom, but I didn’t find any, much to my dismay.
After our adventures, we headed back to the resort for some more pool and fun time, but that was just the beginning of our adventures around the mountains!
Read More about our Smoky Mountain Vacation: