Photo Credit: Jen via Flickr

As Florida and California are to Disney, Tennessee is to Dolly Parton. Owned by country music's sweetheart, Dolly Parton, the kooky theme park sees an average of 3 million park guests from President's Day to Christmas. If you're in the Smoky Mountain region, you must simply must seek out this time-tested treasure in Pigeon Forge.

Southern Charm

Besides being a hub for family entertainment, Dollywood is an informative and interactive experience. The theme park is organized to emulate the history and culture of Tennessee. You'll find exhibits and rides like the Rivertown Junction equipped with it's very own Smoky Mountain River Rampage whitewater rafting, and the Country Fair for tons of midway fun. There are old timey shows featuring bluegrass music and live theater, and of course, a trip to the park would not be complete without exploring the life and role of the lady who's named after it all in the "Chasing Rainbows" Dolly Parton museum.

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Get Wet and Wild

Beyond the rides, Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park has also been named one of America's top 10 water parks by Trip Advisor. There are nearly a dozen slides with everything from quadruple drops to corkscrew tunnels to get your adrenaline rush. When you're ready for a place to cool down, there is a 25,000-square foot wave pool along with a lagoon, geysers, secret caves, and bubblers to explore. With 35 acres filled with water attractions and lounging areas, this is one vacation your kids are going to ask to return again and again.