14 Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg, TN

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Gatlinburg, TN, is a beautiful town nestled in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It is a perfect destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and families looking for a fun-filled vacation. With so many exciting things to do in Gatlinburg, TN, you’ll want to start planning your trip today. In this article, we’ll explore the 14 best things to do in Gatlinburg, TN.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular attraction in Gatlinburg, TN. It is a vast wilderness area with over 500,000 acres of forest, streams, and rivers. The park offers numerous hiking trails, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing opportunities. You can also visit the park’s visitor centers and museums to learn about the history and ecology of the area.

Take a Scenic Drive on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a scenic drive that winds through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 5.5-mile drive takes visitors past rushing mountain streams, historic log cabins, and beautiful waterfalls. It is a perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Explore the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community

The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is an eight-mile loop of shops and studios featuring local artisans and craftsmen. Visitors can watch artisans create pottery, jewelry, paintings, and other crafts. The community also has several restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a meal or snack.

Take a Stroll Through the Gatlinburg SkyBridge

The Gatlinburg SkyBridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge that spans 680 feet across a deep valley in the Smoky Mountains. It is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and offers breathtaking views of the mountains and forests below. Visitors can also take a glass-bottomed SkyDeck at the midpoint of the bridge for an even more thrilling experience.

Have Fun at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area

Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area is a year-round attraction that offers skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and a variety of other outdoor activities. In the summer, visitors can enjoy water rides, a wildlife encounter, and an alpine slide. The amusement park also has several restaurants and shops.

Experience the Thrill of Ziplining at CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains

CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains is an adventure park that offers ziplining tours through the Smoky Mountains. The tours include several ziplines, sky bridges, and platforms that offer breathtaking views of the mountains and forests. The park also offers mountain biking and ATV tours.

Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit attraction in Gatlinburg, TN, for families and marine life enthusiasts. The aquarium houses over 10,000 exotic sea creatures, including sharks, penguins, and sea turtles. Visitors can watch divers feed the marine animals, walk through underwater tunnels, and touch stingrays and jellyfish.

Check Out the Hollywood Star Cars Museum

The Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a unique museum that showcases some of the most famous cars from Hollywood movies and TV shows. Visitors can see the Batmobile, the DeLorean from “Back to the Future,” the General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and many other iconic vehicles.

Take a Ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a thrilling ride that takes visitors on a rollercoaster-style track through the Smoky Mountains. The coaster allows riders to control their speed, making it a fun ride for all ages. The track is open year-round, and the coaster is equipped with lights for nighttime rides.

Enjoy a Moonshine Tasting at Ole Smoky Distillery

Ole Smoky Distillery is a famous moonshine distillery located in Gatlinburg, TN. Visitors can take a free tour of the distillery and see how moonshine is made. After the tour, visitors can sample different flavors of moonshine and enjoy live music at the distillery’s outdoor stage.

Take a Walk Through the Gatlinburg Trail

The Gatlinburg Trail is a two-mile trail that starts at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and ends in the heart of Gatlinburg. The trail offers beautiful views of the Little Pigeon River and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can see historic cabins and buildings along the trail and enjoy a picnic at one of the trail’s many picnic areas.

Shop at The Village Shops

The Village Shops is a charming shopping complex located in the heart of Gatlinburg. The complex features over 30 unique shops and boutiques, including specialty candy stores, art galleries, and gift shops. The complex also has several restaurants and cafes where visitors can grab a bite to eat.

Visit Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a 407-foot observation tower located in the heart of Gatlinburg. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and the town of Gatlinburg. The tower also has an arcade and a restaurant.

Take a Scenic Chairlift Ride at Anakeesta

Anakeesta is an outdoor adventure park located in the Smoky Mountains. Visitors can take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area. The park also features ziplining, a treetop skywalk, and a mountain coaster.


Gatlinburg, TN, is a charming town with a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages. From hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to riding a rollercoaster through the mountains, there’s something for everyone in Gatlinburg. We hope this guide has helped you plan your next trip to Gatlinburg and experience the best this town has to offer.


  1. What is the best time of year to visit Gatlinburg?
  • The best time to visit Gatlinburg is in the fall when the leaves are changing colors.
  1. Are there any free things to do in Gatlinburg?
  • Yes, there are several free attractions in Gatlinburg, including the Gatlinburg Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  1. Can you swim in the rivers in Gatlinburg?
  • Yes, you can swim in the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg, but visitors should exercise caution and follow safety guidelines.
  1. What is there to do in Gatlinburg for families with children?
  • Gatlinburg has several family-friendly attractions, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, and Anakeesta.
  1. Is Gatlinburg a good destination for outdoor activities?
  • Yes, Gatlinburg is a great destination for outdoor activities, with opportunities for hiking, fishing, rafting, and more in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.
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