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Animal Attraction

Posted by Phil Rodgers in Things to Do

If you have a soft spot for all things that walk on four legs (and sometimes six or more), then you need to plan a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. The region is known for its population of black bears, not to mention all kinds of other critters that live in the wild, including deer and elk. If you take a drive or a hike into any remote region of the national park, there's a decent chance you'll spot some sort of wildlife. (Always respect the native fauna and keep a safe distance from them.)

Feed the goats at Goats on the Roof.

However, you can't always count on a purely natural sighting of one of the Smokies' resident animals. Not to mention the fact that there are all kinds of creatures that don't make their homes in this region in the first place. That's where the many animal-themed attractions of the Great Smoky Mountains are able to step in, providing experiences that allow humans to get close to species that hail from all over the world and, in some cases, interact with them.

Here are just a few of our recommendations:

Goats On The Roof

Our Pigeon Forge attraction offers exactly what the name implies. In season, we showcase live goats that live on the roof of our Smoky Mountain shop. You can walk up to the roof level of our building and observe them up close if you like-just stay on your side of the fence-or you can be more interactive with the goats and feed them via our goat cycle. When you pedal this unique contraption, it sends a small bucket of feed from ground level up to the top of the building, where the goats always enjoy chowing down. People ask us all the time, WHY we have goats on the roof in the first place. It's an interesting story, which we share in more depth in some of our previous blog posts.

Smoky Mountain Deer Farm And Exotic Petting Zoo

This petting zoo and horseback-riding venue outside Sevierville, TN, is home to a wide range of animals, many of which guests are allowed to feed and pet. Resident animals include baby goats, camels, zebras and zonkies, emu and pot-bellied pigs. You can also pet mini-horses, draft horses and feed their collection of reindeer, exotic cattle, Watusi and more. This attraction is a great option for families traveling with younger children, although it's fun for all ages, all the way up to adult. They also offer pony rides and horseback riding for all experience levels.

Many different animals at Rainforest Adventures.

RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo

You'll find this cool attraction at the Governor's Crossing development in Sevierville. For more than 20 years, they've been introducing Smoky Mountain visitors to their diverse collection of creatures from not only the Amazon rainforest but also from all around the world. In all, there are more than 600 live animals representing 130 species on the premises. The animals are grouped by type: reptiles, mammals, birds, bugs and amphibians. Individual specimens include snakes, crocodiles, lizards, foxes, lemurs, toucans, parrots, tarantulas, cockroaches, frogs and toads, just to name a few. Staff members often bring out specific animals to interact with guests. RainForest Adventures is open year 'round.

See sharks up close at the aquarium in Gatlinburg

Ripley's Aquarium Of The Smokies

Here's another attraction that's been wowing visitors for more than two decades. Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, this world-class aquarium showcases fish and other aquatic creatures from all the world's oceans. The two-level self-guided experience includes colorful underwater species of all sizes, including stingrays, sharks, octopi and even penguins. In Touch A Ray Bay, you can pet stingrays with employee supervision, and in Shark Lagoon, several different species of sharks and eels swim freely in the aquarium's largest container. You can view the creatures from above the water or get up-close views below the surface as you travel through a transparent underwater tunnel along a 340-foot-long glidepath. It's a great experience for all ages.

 

This content posted by Goats on the Roof of the Smoky Mountains. Visit our home page, goatsontheroofofthesmokies.com for more information on the goats and their coaster.

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