Gatlinburg, TN, is a charming mountain town nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains offering incredible activities for travelers of all ages. From exciting outdoor adventures to unforgettable family experiences, there’s something for everyone in Gatlinburg! Discover the city’s top must-visit attractions—from thrilling roller coasters to delicious restaurants, shopping galore, and much more. So whether it’s your first time in Gatlinburg or you visit this beloved town often, check out these can’t-miss spots on your next trip!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Visiting Gatlinburg means you have access to one of the most memorable national parks in the country. Spend a day exploring the lush nature trails, taking in the breathtaking views, or even taking a history-filled tour of the area. So whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush from white water rafting or fishing, or just want to relax and take it easy as you watch the sunset over the mountains, there’s something to offer everyone in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you want to hike, check out the iconic trails like Rainbow Falls and Chimney Tops, or explore the park’s wildflower meadows and historic sites. Animal lovers will enjoy the chance to spot elk, black bears, and white-tailed deer as they wander the park.
Stay in Luxury Cabins
When it comes to accommodations in Gatlinburg, cabins are quite popular. Whether you’re looking for an intimate cabin perfect for two or a larger one that will accommodate your family, cabin rentals in Gatlinburg are the ideal home away from home. A cabin in Gatlinburg generally offers luxurious amenities like game rooms, hot tubs, home theatre systems, and much more. You can even find cabin rentals with mountain views or log cabin-style interiors for that iconic cabin experience. Plus, many cabin rental companies provide easy access to some of Gatlinburg’s most popular attractions, like the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
It is home to an incredible 10,000+ sea creatures. In addition, the aquarium has interactive exhibits and activities that bring out your inner explorer. If you want to experience the aquatic life, check out the Touch-A-Ray Bay, which allows you to touch and feed stingrays. Another highlight is the Shark Lagoon, where you can watch as sharks and other fish swim around in their natural habitat. The aquarium also offers behind-the-scenes tours, educational programs, and more to ensure you make lifetime memories on your visit. It will be a memorable experience for kids and adults alike.
Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort
It is one of the amazing ski resorts in the South, offering plenty of fun in the snow for skiers and snowboarders of all ages. So get ready to hit the slopes on various terrain, from beginner and intermediate slopes to challenging mogul and terrain parks. The resort also features an indoor ice skating rink, mountain coaster, alpine slide, and aerial tramway that will take you to the peak of Mt. Harrison, providing spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains.
This popular theme park in downtown Gatlinburg is home to numerous attractions, including a treetop canopy walk, zip line, gorge swing, and more. Take a ride on the Chondola, a unique combination of chairlift and gondola, taking you to the summit. Once up top, explore the many shops and restaurants or journey on the Tree Canopy Walk to get a closer look at the city’s beautiful mountain views. Kids will love the interactive Treehouse Adventure Course and the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster.
Gatlinburg SkyLift and Skybridge
Skylift Park includes the Gatlinburg SkyLift, North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Take a seat on the SkyLift and let the chair lift take you directly to the top of Crockett Mountain. On a clear day, you can get unrivaled views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Then, take the SkyBridge – a 680-foot-long glass-floored bridge – for an amazing perspective of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s a truly breathtaking experience!
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Gatlinburg’s Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a great place to experience the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. The loop meanders through lush green valleys, ancient forests, and cascading mountain streams, providing stunning views. Stop by some of the area’s most picturesque waterfalls or explore historic sites like the old grist mill and log cabin. You can also visit some of the area’s iconic locations, like “Gatlinburg’s Little Log Church” and the “Cabins of the Smokies.”
Visit Arts and Crafts Community
If you love art, Gatlinburg’s Arts and Crafts Community is the perfect spot to explore. Spanning eight miles, this community of talented artisans offers visitors the chance to browse unique handmade items ranging from furniture and jewelry to pottery, woodcarvings, and more. In addition, it’s the perfect spot to pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts for friends and family.
Explore more than a dozen galleries while you’re there, or get an insider look at the workshops and studios. There’s something for everyone to enjoy in Gatlinburg’s Arts and Crafts Community.
Hollywood Star Cars Museum
You’ll be delighted to visit the Hollywood Star Cars Museum in Gatlinburg if you love cars. Here, you can get up close and personal with cars from some of your favorite movies and TV shows. See iconic cars like General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard, the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, and more. You can even take photos with the cars in your homemade movie scenes! It’s a great way to experience the magic of Hollywood.
The famous vehicle owned by Elvis Presley is also on display, allowing you to glimpse the King’s legendary style. Michael Jackson’s Thriller car is also a museum highlight, making it a must-visit for music fans.
Wild Plum Tea Room
If you’re seeking a unique dining experience in Gatlinburg, the Wild Plum Tea Room is the place to be. This charming tearoom offers a delightful selection of homemade sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Plus, the stunning mountain views from the tearoom’s outdoor patio make it even more special. The tea room also offers a variety of teas, coffees, and other drinks to enjoy with your meal. For an unforgettable experience, book a private Tea Party and have tea with friends in the charming tearoom.
Whether you visit Gatlinburg in the sun-kissed summer months or during the festive winter holidays, there is always something captivating waiting for you. Adults and kids alike will find plenty to explore and experience in Gatlinburg. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to the Great Smoky Mountains for a fun-filled adventure in Gatlinburg!
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