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Spending time in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is something you should think about doing if you’re visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Three entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg make reaching places like the Laurel Falls Trailhead and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail easier.
There are other attractions in Gatlinburg outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg celebrates the culture of the surrounding mountain streams by hosting local farmer’s markets, festivals with live street performances, and galleries showcasing Appalachian artwork.
Also, experienced guides show you the best places and techniques for catching wild mountain trout in the Smokies at The Smoky Mountain Angler.
Gatlinburg is the ideal place to serve as your base camp when visiting the National Park because of the abundance of hotel, dining, and shopping options and the numerous possibilities to enjoy the outdoors.
We have compiled a list of the best things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, that can be customized to meet the needs of any travel enthusiast.
1. Things to Do in Gatlinburg
There is no better spot than Gatlinburg if you’re seeking family entertainment. The only ski resort and entertainment national park in Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg, offers slopes for the whole family.
You may also visit our aquarium, water park, ropes course, ziplines, museums, and other exciting Gatlinburg activities.
1.1. Explore through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Not only is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park the most popular destination for tourists in Gatlinburg, but it is also the national park that receives the most visitors overall in the United States.
The Great Smoky Mountains, which is renowned worldwide for its wide range of different plant and animal species as well as the breathtaking scenery of its mountains, never fails to satiate visitors’ expectations.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park features over 150 designated routes for hikers, including ones that meander through old-growth forests, reach the top of these bare smoky mountains, and chase waterfalls.
It also has three separate waterfalls and a few old homesteads, which can be reached by driving along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
Smoky Mountain Riding Stables has over 20 years of experience and is an authorized National Park Service concessionaire.
1.2. Visit the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community
The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, committed to preserving the Appalachian people’s culture, preserves several arts and crafts handed down through the generations.
It is the biggest independent group of artists in the country. The local area is an 8-mile (12-kilometer) loop of distinctive stores and independently operated restaurants.
More than 100 artists and craftspeople are present, effectively displaying their talents and providing opportunities for visitors to ask questions about their culture and trade background.
The craftsmen employ various techniques, such as carving, weaving baskets, manufacturing candles, silversmithing, creating pottery, creating leather goods, painting, sculpting, and more.
The neighborhood holds activities throughout the year, such as a yearly craft exhibition and classes where you may pick up some of the arts and crafts they practice.
When you go to the Arts and Crafts Community in Gatlinburg, finding a suitable keepsake to take back home to remind you of your holiday won’t be challenging.
1.3. See the View from the Gatlinburg Space Needle
A well-known tourist destination in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA, is the Gatlinburg Space Needle. It is a tower-like building with a height of 407 feet that provides a 360-degree panorama of the Smoky Mountains in the area.
Visitors can access the observation deck on the top floor of the Space Needle through a glass elevator. Beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg’s city, and the surroundings may be had from the observation deck.
The Gatlinburg Space Needle contains an arcade, a café, and a gift store in addition to the observation deck. The arcade offers traditional games and recent attractions, such as a virtual reality rollercoaster and laser tag.
The Slice Pizza Bakery is a restaurant that serves delectable pizza, sandwiches, and salads. Tourists who want to experience exciting activities, mouthwatering cuisine, and a spectacular view of the Smoky Mountains frequently travel to the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
1.4. Take a Walk Along the Riverwalk Greenway
Gatlinburg’s Riverwalk Greenway is a lovely walkway that follows the Little Pigeon River’s banks. This 6.4-kilometer (four-mile) Greenway is a little-known natural treasure. There are numerous places to stop and rest along the way, including benches, restrooms, and drinking fountains.
Additionally, walkers can rest on the river’s edge and dip their feet in the water to cool them off. As you stroll along the trail, there will be plenty of animals, picturesque river views, and greenery.
There are benches and picnic sites throughout the path where you can stop and rest or have a meal. The trail is paved, making it simple to walk or cycle along.
The Riverwalk Greenway is a fantastic place to enjoy Gatlinburg’s natural beauty while exercising. To enjoy a stroll along the riverfront, put on some comfy shoes.
Walkers can access the city’s trolley system hub and tour the famous Old Mill district, home to high-end stores and restaurants.
1.5. Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg
The Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg is a tour around the Tennessee town of Gatlinburg that focuses on the eerie and paranormal history of the region. During the tour, visitors are guided by an experienced guide who tells stories of haunted locales, ghost sightings, and other spooky occurrences that have taken place in Gatlinburg throughout its long and eventful history.
The trip usually lasts around two hours and goes to several different areas across the town, such as a cemetery and several ancient buildings.
It is recommended that visitors keep an open mind and be ready for some spooky tales and unpleasant surprises along the journey.
The Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg is a must-visit attraction for anybody interested in the unexplained or paranormal. It offers an amusing and frightening way to learn about the town’s past and stories.
1.6. Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen Gatlinburg is a well-known sweets shop that may be found in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the United States of America. The shop is well-known for its extensive selection of hand-made candies, including caramel apples, popcorn, taffy, fudge, and chocolate.
It opened shop in 1950 and has since become one of the most popular places for tourists to stop in Gatlinburg. The shop sells items like hats and T-shirts in addition to sweets. Through the store’s expansive windows, guests can observe the candy-making process in a joyful and family-friendly environment.
1.7. Visit the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster
The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a thrilling coaster found in the United States in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Due to the rider’s control over the rocky top mountain coaster and the coaster’s pace, The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster offers a distinctive roller coaster experience distinct from those offered by more conventional roller coasters.
You go down a mountain on a thrill ride while strapped into your caboose and controlling your pace with hand-held brakes.
Exploring through the Mountain Coaster is just as thrilling as it sounds, especially if you’re seeking unusual vacation activities. Although there are several alpine mountain coasters in the city, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is among the greatest.
You’ll be able to reach top speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, and the scenery will be just breathtaking as it zooms by. Additionally, you can somewhat alter how you are experiencing things.
You can ride alone or with a partner and down the mountain at your own pace. You may ride at any time of day or night because the mountain coaster tracks are lit up with several little lights when it is dark outside.
One of the best things to do in Gatlinburg while visiting this region of Tennessee is riding the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.
Get on the Mountain coaster and start flying if you’re looking for Gatlinburg attractions worth spending money on.
1.8. Visit the Mountain Mall
The Mountain Mall is not your typical shopping center due to its wooden design and assortment of shops decorated in a whimsical, country-style theme.
Instead of a regular retail establishment, a tourist attraction would be a better description. However, if you are searching for a pleasant form of entertainment while in Gatlinburg, the Mountain Mall is one of the best places to go.
It will give you a genuine “mountain” vibe that deserves its name, from the handcrafted items sold in its specialized stores to the Appalachian folk music playing while you shop there.
The Mountain Mall, right in the center of Gatlinburg’s downtown, is unquestionably among the top things to do in Gatlinburg. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, spend it on candles, quilts, spices, books, or wood sculptures at this charming retail center.
1.9. Explore through the Wild Plum Tea
It will transport you back to when tea was steeped with whatever was available, and patrons engaged in conversation without being distracted by cell phones. The eatery offers a wide selection of mouthwatering and filling food, such as sandwiches, salads, soups, quiches, and desserts.
When you see some of the beverages you can have with your tea, you might find it challenging to resist Instagramming. It’s the kind of mouthwatering food you’d anticipate from a Southern American restaurant, with hot turkey pie and chicken salad. The tea from all across Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The experiences you can only have in Gatlinburg are the most incredible things to do there. You’ll never forget them as unique, lasting memories of your time spent here. Make lifelong vacation memories by ordering chai at the Wild Plum Tea Room.
Gatlinburg is an excellent vacation destination since it caters to visitors of all ages and provides them with various activities. You may partake in many enjoyable activities, including outdoor pursuits like hiking and skiing and family-friendly attractions like aquariums and amusement parks. Stunning natural attractions surround the town, and you can enjoy live entertainment as well.
Whether traveling alone, with your significant other, or with your entire family, it’s a terrific spot to unwind and have fun. Consider visiting Gatlinburg if you’re seeking a vacation spot that offers something for everyone.