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Amazing Things To Do In Gatlinburg, TN

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a place for outdoor fun and lots of things to do. Enjoy mesmerizing adventures here and outdoor fun. Lying within the reaches of the Great Smoky mountains, Gatlinburg is known as the Gateway of the Smoky Mountains.

This article will bring to you the best things to do in Gatlinburg and will help you plan your trip with maximum efficiency, so that you won’t miss all the fun that this city has to offer. Keep reading below to get to know the best things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Roaring Fork Motor Trail

Lovely place to visit in Gatlinburg
Old Dodge Pickup At Roaring Fork Motor Trail | Photo Credit – Bill McMannis

This is a 5.5 mile long road loop named after the stream of the same name. This motor trail offers stunning views alongside preserved historic buildings. There is no admission fee to enter the trail, the only things you need to spend money on are your car gas and supplies for the trip. Engulfed in natural beauty, the Roaring Fork Motor Trail has a lot of natural beauty to offer you.

Find flowers, streams, and forests nestled in the mountains while you drive here and make your stop anywhere to enjoy the wonderful and breathtaking scenery. Make your way up to Rainbow falls, a waterfall that you have to hike to and while you drive to reach the trail, you will find so many things to enjoy on the way.

There are preserved log cabins, mills etc along the way and once you finally reach the trail, you will find a hike that is not only challenging but also breathtakingly beautiful at the same time. Anytime is fine to visit the Roaring Fork Motor Trail apart from the winter months, during the time it remains closed.

Aerial Tramway

Beautiful place to explore in Gatlinburg.
Aerial Tramway | Photo Credit – Chris Hagerman

This 120 passenger aerial tramway lets you take in the beauty of Tennessee from above where you can take exceedingly beautiful pictures. Reaching a height of 11000 feet, the tramway is around 2 miles and runs from Downtown Gatlinburg to the Ober Gatlinburg  Ski Area and Amusement Park. Make this a complete trip by enjoying not only the picturesque sights from the tramway but also by enjoying the ski area and park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Lovely place to explore in Gatlinburg.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Photo Credit – Michael Hicks

There are hundreds of trails to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a trekkers paradise that features beautiful and picturesque locations and is engulfed in natural beauty. Take the tour of Cades Cove, a location within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park filled with historic 19th century buildings.

There is a climb site known as the Clingmans Dome in the national park, which on reaching the top treats you with scenic views of over 100 miles of land that are known to bound seven states of the US. Other attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park include hiking, fishing, river rafting and fishing.

The Little Pigeon river flows here and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a number of animal species such as bears etc. Be sure to take care of this fact as you hike in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Pigeon Forge

This small town near Gatlinburg has been a tourist staple for a long time.
Pigeon Forge | Photo Credit – Joel

This small town near Gatlinburg has been a tourist staple for a long time. There are a number of things to do in Pigeon Forge. We have dedicated an entire article to Pigeon Forge things to do. Click here to redirect yourself to it. Things to do Pigeon Forge is a great way to spend your time when you are in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

There are hiking trails nearby, miles and miles of them as well as extremely fun things to do in the town. Dolly Parton’s famed theme park Dollywood is also here. There are mountains in the background and so much to do while you are here that coming to Pigeon Forge is a must when you find yourself looking for things to do in Gatlinburg in Tennessee. Top attractions here include the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner show and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg | Photo Credit – Patrick Chan

You can be reached Ober Gatlinburg via car or the aerial tramway. Known to provide ice skating , skiing, tubing and snowboarding in winter, Ober Gatlinburg is one of the best attractions in Gatlin Tennessee.

When you have had enough of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg Tn 37738 will offer you Ober Gatlinburg, one of the best attractions they have to offer. Visitors here can find so much to do, in all seasons. Ice skating and boarding in the winter, with tubing and the aerial tramway in the other months. There are lots of dining options in Ober Gatlinburg Tn 37738 as well as shopping ones.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

One of the top Gatlinburg attractions is the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
Gatlinburg Space Needle At Night | Photo Credit – Valerie Everett

One of the top Gatlinburg attractions is the Gatlinburg Space Needle. This attraction is one of those which defines your trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee. This glass elevator climbs over 400 feet and is one of the best ways to take in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

There is an observation deck atop the Gatlinburg Space Needle from where you can not only view the mountains but also enjoy an aerial view of the city and the parks. The Space Needle is one of the top and best attractions of Gatlinburg Tn 37738, just be sure to take wonderful pictures from the observation deck.

At the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle is the Arcadia, a huge arcade filled with games and more areas such as dining halls and theatres. This attraction is one of the top ones in Gatlinburg Tn and for good reason. Be sure to take time to visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle when you find yourself in the city of Gatlinburg.

Grotto Falls

One of the better known Gatlinburg attractions is Grotto Falls.
Grotto Falls | Photo Credit – Daniel Meacham

One of the better known Gatlinburg attractions is Grotto Falls, a family friendly location with a waterfall you can walk behind of. Great for kids, the hike to Grotto Falls is not challenging and just as scenic and wonderful as the ones in the mountains. The hike is around 2.6 miles and will cross 4 streams on your way and a number of small waterfalls as well. Get your camera ready!

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster can be the ride of your life.
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster | Photo Credit – Martin Lewison

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster can be the ride of your life. A major attraction in Gatlinburg, TN, this Mountain Coaster puts you on the front wheel of the ride and takes you through breathtaking scenery of the mountain forest green surrounding Gatlinburg Tn. You can ride the mountain coaster alone or with another person.

The mountain coaster is built as such that you always remain in control of how fast you are going, and the mountain areas it goes through can be really enjoyed by slowing down and taking in the scenery around you. Visitors can also pose for a picture and have themselves featured on Instagram before taking the mountain coaster ride.

Liquor In Gatlinburg Tn

Ole Smoky | Photo Credit – Nick Amoscato

Gatlinburg is a great place when it comes to trying out the best in liquor. There are a number of distilleries here that will let you sample some of the finest wines, beers and other liquors as well as provide you with tours. Sampling the liquors at Gatlinburg Tn is going to be one of the best things you can do while you are here.

Lets go over some of these places which are Smokey Mountain Winery, Sugarland Cellars, Gatlinburg Wine Cellar, Little Bear Winery, Smoky Mountain Brewery, Gatlinburg Brewing Company and Tennessee Homemade Wines. One of the most famous and top distilleries in Gatlinburg is the Ole Smoky, a distillery making some of the finest moonshines all around. Ole Smoky has whiskey coming in many flavors, such as Salty Watermelon and Peach etc.

Ole Smoky is also known for their signature moonshine cocktails examples of which are Blackberry Lemonade, Mountain Rita and Mountain Mule. Also known as “the holler”. Ole Smoky is one of the most visited distilleries in all of America.

White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting | Photo Credit – Razvan Orendovici

The Pigeon river flowing near Gatlinburg Tn is known to be a place of enjoyment. There are many things to do here, and one of the best things you can find here is White Water Rafting. The strong currents of the river generate a white foam, making rafting here an extremely thrilling and fun experience.

There are many agencies that offer the opportunity of rafting such as Rafting in the Smokies, Smoky Mountain Outdoors and Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions. Take advantage of this attraction while you are here in Gatlinburg Tn and take away the experience of a lifetime.

Gatlinburg Trail

Little Pigeon River | Photo Credit – Jason A G

Located nearby downtown Gatlinburg, this trail is one of the few in the smoky mountain area that allow bicycles and dogs. A 3.8 mile loop, this trail is quite easy and only requires a decent fitness level to complete. The trail has been built alongside the Little Pigeon River and you would find many crossing throughout the trail that will let you cross from one bank to the other.

Visitors can end their hiking at the Sugarlands Visitors Center. The trail is exceptionally beautiful, and this is a Gatlinburg attraction that is one of the top things to do in Gatlinburg city. There are waterfalls, scenic locales, old houses and homesteads to see here. There is even a historic old cemetery that you must see. A short and remarkable excursion, you would find yourself back in downtown Gatlinburg in no time.

Historic Ogle Log Cabin

The historic Ogle Log Cabin is one of the first buildings to be built in Gatlinburg ever. Sometime around 1802, Willian Ogle found this place which for him was so beautiful that he called it paradise. He started preparations to build a cabin here but died of malaria before he could. His wife moved here with her children and completed the cabin, making herself and her family the first settlers of Gatlinburg Tn.

Her family lived in this cabin till 1910 and ever since, the Olge Log Cabin has been a popular tourist spot commemorating the early settlers of this place. There are many places to dine and eat nearby, as well as trails and lakes for you to enjoy the natural beauty. This tourist spot encases the history of Gatlinburg and the best time to visit is in the fall months of September, October, and November.

The Salt And Pepper Shaker Museum

Amazing place to visit Car Museum Gatlinburg
Car Museum Gatlinburg | Photo Credit – Billy Bob Bain

A Texan couple started a collection of Salt and Pepper shakers which grew fast that it needed a museum of its own. There are over 20000 salt and pepper shaker sets in the Gatlinburg museum along with 1500 pepper mills. The museum is still operated by the family members.

The collection features an exhibit of history with shakers from ancient times to modern, arguing that times in history find expression in the salt and pepper shakers. Buy a souvenir shaker set from the gift store. Located at 461, Broadside village way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.

Wild Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark

One might say that a waterpark isn’t the best place to visit when it’s freezing outside but this ain’t no thing for the Wild Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark. Enjoy splashing into heated water while you are here and enjoy the best waterpark for all seasons. In the summer, the roof retracts to make it a great place no matter the time.

A top attraction in Gatlinburg, this waterpark is extremely safe and is great for adults as well as children. Lifeguards remain on duty all the time and the West Gate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa where the park is located has many luxurious options for dining and relaxation while you are here. The resort is located at 915 Westgate Resort Road, Gatlinburg Tn 37738.

Gatlinburg Walking tours

A top Gatlinburg attraction is its walking tour scene. These tours take you all over the city in a planned way and let you experience the top things in Gatlinburg while on your trip. There are two tours on offer when you visit Gatlinburg: “A Taste of Gatlinburg” and “Enchanted Elkmont: A Stroll Back in Time”.  The first tour is food tour which will take you to a number of eateries in Gatlinburg.

Visitors will get to try different foods and get the taste of Gatlinburg. Visitors can trace out Gatlinburg’s history on their food tour that lasts around two and a half hours and is offered two days per week. Check out their website to know more about timings and tour information. Another touring attraction is the Enchanted Elkmont, visitors are given the opportunity to go to the most visited locations in Gatlinburg.

The tour takes on 14 people with a head price of $39 for a tour of two and half hours. You need to take an appointment for the touring attraction so go ahead and call 865-361-5910 to book it. The tour gives you glimpse into the history of the town and its former residents.

Iris Theater

This Gatlinburg attraction is located near another Gatlinburg attraction: the Space Needle. The Iris Theater is a really fun place that features top performances and shows that range from music to magic and more.

Spice up your evening by arriving at the Iris Theater, and take in the wonderful things that will happen on stage. Visitors can make a triple trip by enjoying the Arcadia, the Space needle and the Iris Theater in one go!

Ghost And Haunt Tours Of Gatlinburg

Visitors to Gatlinburg must try the haunting tours of the city. The Ghost tour is a walking tour that ends in the cemetery which is also the location for the ghost hunt. Use ghost hunting equipment to try and locate some ghosts in the dark of the night.

Find many locals in the cemetery and listen to their haunting tales, and take walking tours of the city that give you loads of ghost stories to take home. Find this attraction at 404 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg TN 37738.

Alewine Pottery

Pottery item lovers should visit Alewine pottery,Gatlinburg
Alewine Pottery | Photo Credit – Tom Elliott

Visitors to Gatlinburg must visit Alewine Pottery, a family owned pottery business by Robert Alewine since 1983. His son mark is also involved in the family business. The Smoky Mountain range overlooks the location, making for a breathtaking scene as you watch pottery in progress.

They sell all sorts of pottery items, such as pots, mugs, vases, pitchers and more. This is one of the top things to do in Gatlinburg so be sure to take a gander at their stockpile.

Sugarlands Riding Stables

This place offers all levels of horseback riding. Enjoy riding along mountain streams and enjoy scenes to die for. The park features beautiful terrain and you will be guided by experienced riders along the many trails in the park.

You might even get to see wild animals such as bears, turkeys and deer as you ride. Come to the Sugarlands Riding Stables and enjoy an awesome and safest equestrian experience.

Gatlinburg Mysterious Mansion

Located at 424 River Road, Gatlinburg Tn 37738, the Gatlinburg Mysterious Mansion is a three story Victorian era building that offers haunting thrills. Enjoy secret passages and get scared by live actors that will make you run amuck in this building that brings the Victorian era to life.

Visitors must find their way out of the haunted house and be surprised by skeletons and haunting lights at every step. The darkness of the place makes it all the more eerie. This place has been operated by a family since 1980 and has been regularly renovated.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top things to do while in Gatlinburg. This city has been a tourist hotspot for a long time and the attractions you will find here are going to be a great addition to all the sights you have seen in your life.

The Smoky Mountain chain features so many trails and natural beauty that you will get lost in the number of things to do here. Do take care of all safety precautions such as social distancing and personal hygiene while you find yourself in Gatlinburg and enjoy safe travels.

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