Friday's MYSTERY getaway: You can bring your dog this time!

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Here’s your Friday getaway:

smoky mountain river rat

Where to go: Townsend, TN

Drive time: 3 hours 17 min


This trip is perfect for travelers:

who love adventure but hate leaving their dog at home.

Smoky Mountain River Rat is home to some of the best tubing experiences near Nashville.

Did you know you could go tubing in Townsend, TN?

If the idea of tubing is new to you, picture this. Tubing is when you float on inner tubes downriver. It’s usually a lazy day of floating with friends, jumping off rocks, and dragging a cooler of snacks and beverages behind you.

All of that is true when you float with the environmentally-friendly Smoky Mountain River Rat, EXCEPT:

“Coolers are not allowed on the river, as that often leads to extra litter. Water is permitted in non-disposable bottles only. Dry bags are allowed for people to take along personal belongings.” -Smoky Mountain River Rat

The are a variety of packages available for purchase:

  • Season Pass

  • Tubing

  • Group Tubing Excursions

  • Private Riverside Cabana Rentals

What else can you do there?

Answer: whitewater rafting adventures on the Pigeon River, near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN!

Feeling a bit intimidated at the thought of white-knuckling it through rapids? Don’t be. Known as Mother Nature’s Waterpark, the Pigeon River has different sections for every ability level. You can even bring kids on some trips! Rafting packages include:

  • Thrillcat Kayak Adventure

  • Extreme Upper Pigeon Adventure

  • Daycation Rafting Adventure

Smoky Mountain River Rat is doggie-friendly!

While pups can’t go on whitewater rapids, they can take a leisurely tube float with you. Trips are recommended for dogs under 60 lbs, as larger dogs could pop the inner tube. Tubes are provided for dogs, but life vests are not. So BYO-life vest! What else do you need to know?

One traveler’s review of tubing in the Smokies.

Great time tubing!

We took a combined family of 11 and had a blast. We did both the upper and lower routes. The upper, faster route was good, but rough for younger kids, they loved it, nervous moms had fun but spent a lot of time worrying about them. We would have gone again if we had more time. We all left with a few bumps and bruises but that goes with tubing! The staff at river rat was friendly and helpful, the facilities were clean and well kept. The shuttles were always prompt and ready for us. We loved that for one price you could tube all day long. Our kids are already asking to go again!

-Visitor review from TripAdvisor

Here’s what else you need to know.

Check water levels before you go! Water levels will not only affect your experience on the trip, it will determine if you can go AT ALL. It would be terrible to make the drive only to discover you couldn’t go out on the water that day.


Pin this for later!

Pin this for later! Best Weekend Road Trips from Nashville: Smoky Mountain River Rat via

Pin this for later! Best Weekend Road Trips from Nashville: Smoky Mountain River Rat via


If you’re planning to spend the night…

Book a room at one of these pet-friendly hotels in Pigeon Forge.

What else can you in the area?

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Those with a SERIOUS case of weekend wanderlust should check us out on Facebook.

Share insider tips and recommendations with other travelers DAILY in our Weekenders Group! You’ll always know where to go and what to do on the weekends!

Check out another cool destination idea from ! Read now or pin for later!

Check out another cool destination idea from! Read now or pin for later!