For those who prefer to leave the learning to the classroom, this sprawling, 521,000-acre protected land offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails and roads, horseback riding and fly fishing.
Read Peter's guide to his favorite national parks
And if the great outdoors isn't really your thing, nearby towns such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, have every kitschy tourist amenity and family attraction known to man—and more. If you're in the mood for adventure, try the Zorb, a New Zealand–style thrill ride that involves being thrown down a hill in a giant rolling ball. You have to see it to believe it.