Gatlinburg is a well-known town in Tennessee, situated at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains.
It is very popular with tourists, meaning knowing how to navigate it and what to do to make the most of your time there can be a bit difficult.
Some people become so overwhelmed that they end up not having a great time.
This is a shame, because there’s a lot to experience in Gatlinburg, from amazing restaurants to fun tourist attractions, to educational museums, and relaxing spaces.
Luckily, we are here to help! In this article, we will discuss the top ten things to do in Gatlinburg.
So, if you’re interested, be sure to read on for more!
The Top 10 Things To Do In Gatlinburg
Here are our top picks for things to do in Gatlinburg!
Whether you’re looking for a date-night activity or a fun night out with friends, Hillbilly Golf is for you.
Hillbilly golf is reminiscent of mini-golf, but it is a unique experience. Hillbilly golf involves golfing into the mountains on a unique golf course.
Tourists will be able to take a tram right to the mountaintop and play a choice of two, 18-hole courses down to the bottom of the mountain.
There are many obstacles that you and your golf balls will have to traverse such as moonshine stills, tractors, rocky walls, outhouses, and more!
Once your course is over, you can take a tram back to where you started, and you will be filled with fun memories of Gatlinburg you’re not likely to forget anytime soon!
Location: 340 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37738
The Parkway, more commonly referred to as “The Strip” is a walkway filled with a vast array of stores, attractions, and restaurants.
You will never be starved of entertainment or things to do on The Strip, as you will be constantly walking in and out of stores with hands full of shopping bags, filling up on the delicious cuisine, or laughing over the many entertainment attractions and shows that are just a walking distance away from the main shopping street.
However, one of the top spots of The Strip is known as The Village.
In The Village, there is a whole new variety of restaurants and boutiques, all situated in a fantastic, little village setting reminiscent of the past.
The “ye olde town” themed place is not just the perfect place to do some luxurious shopping, it is also the perfect place to relax and bask in the peace and quiet.
The Village is surrounded by fountains with brilliant, flowing waters that allow you to do just that.
Location: 634 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37738
Gatlinburg Skybridge is situated at SkyLift Park and is the perfect place to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Tennessee.
Gatlinburg Skybridge is the longest suspension bridge in the whole of the US, which makes walking across it a one-of-a-kind experience.
It stretches around 680 feet across the valley, and while walking across it you will be able to see some truly amazing views – perfect for an Instagram pic or two!
Tourists and locals alike can walk across the bridge as quickly or as slowly as they like, but most like to take their time to truly enjoy the panoramic views that span for miles.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, this bridge offers a great hint of adventure too, as seen through the glass panels sitting in the very middle of the bridge that remind you of just how high up you are.
Of course, a trip across Gatlinburg Skybridge just isn’t complete with taking the SkyLift to the Skydeck, which has been a characteristic attraction of Gatlinburg for many years.
Here, there is a gift shop where you can buy a token to remember your adventure, as well as many refreshments, such as food or drinks at the bar.
Location: 765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 73338
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium is a wacky indoor museum where you can spend a full day!
There are many weird and wonderful things to see and do here, including exploring the interactive exhibits, each linked to a bizarre story.
Not only that, but there are many artifacts in the museum that have their own unique stories attached to them, and you could spend hours learning about each one – collecting little historical, fun tidbits to bring back to your family and friends.
There are also many optical illusions here that will confuse and delight, as well as objects you will be talking about long after your time at Gatlinburg is over, such as the giant kaleidoscope, the authentic shrunken heads, or the portrait of Jimi Hendrix that is made out of Rubix cubes.
If you want to make the most of your time at this odditorium, then it is best to arrive early to avoid crowds!
Location: 800 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37738
In Gatlinburg, you have the opportunity to jump on the only fixed-grip Chondola in the world and ride it to the top of the mountain (with some extremely beautiful scenic views) to Anakeesta.
The chondola ride is an experience in itself.
It is a 4-person chair with a safety bar that whisks you to the top of the mountain in the open air.
This is perfect for a quick romantic getaway or a fun experience with friends.
And then, just when you think the fun is over, you get to Anaskeesta. Anaskeesta is a playground for both children and adults.
Here, you can walk through the trees and across many bridges in the sky, taking in the scenic views and basking in the sense of adventure.
Then, you can soar like the birds on the Anakeesta zipline and even seek some thrills on the single-rail mountain roller coaster.
Then, once the excitement is over, you can relax and unwind at the Vista Gardens.
Here, you can see beautiful floral displays and wonderful intricate sculptures.
If you’re a photographer, or you just appreciate a great view, then you are sure to love it here!
You can also make the most of your evenings at Anakeesta by trying some amazing cocktails at its very own bar: Bar At The Top Of The World.
Location: 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37738
Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderful way to experience Gatlinburg.
There are many hiking trails to be found here and they span 850 miles in total.
The most popular trails include Abrams Falls, Ramsey Cascades, Laurel Falls, and Grotto Falls, some of which lead to amazing, scenic waterfalls where you can eat a picnic lunch as you watch the wildlife.
If you’re an experienced hiker, then you may want to venture out onto the trials of Mounte LeConte, where the journey can sometimes feel arduous but the reward is some seriously breathtaking sights.
Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
7. Enjoy A Drink Through A Moonshine Tasting Experience
On your trip to Gatlinburg, it is possible to enjoy some samples of Gatlinburg’s infamous Smoky Mountain moonshine.
There are many distilleries in tow that serve moonshine, and there you will need to pay a fee to participate in a moonshine-tasting experience.
However, you typically get this back when you purchase the moonshine.
As for the moonshine itself, there are many to choose from and each has a unique flavor profile.
Moonshine Pickles, Little Apple Pie Moonshine, and White Lightnin’ are all famous moonshine examples, and the best distilleries to go to for your moonshine-tasting experience are Sugarlands, Ole Smoky Moonshine, and Doc Collier Moonshine.
You can make a night of moonshine tasting with your friends by getting dressed up to go out and then hitting a few bars afterward!
If you want nightlife then trust us, Gatlinburg will provide!
Location: 903 Parkway Suite 128, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37738
If you’re someone who loves winter sports and activities, then Ober Gatlinburg may be the place for you!
Ober Gatlinburg can be visited by taking an iconic aerial tramway that transports people from the bottom of the mountain to the ski area and amusement park at the top.
Upon exiting the aerial tram, you will be greeted by Ober Gatlinburg Here, skiers are invited to try their hand on the slopes.
Alternatively, you can show off your moves on the huge ice-skating rink! And that’s not all!
Other winter activities at Ober Gatlinburg include snow tubing, which guests can partake in again and again by taking an outdoor escalator – no need for climbing!
However, if winter activities are not your thing, then do not worry!
There are plenty of other activities to take part in at Ober Gatlinburg, such as mini-golf, an alpine slide, a scenic chairlift, many fun rides, and more!
Location: 1001 Parkway Suite 2, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37738
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is located in the Great Smoky National Park.
It is a fun motor tour that allows visitors a real taste of the Smoky Mountains, by taking them through nature to see all of the breathtaking views it has to offer!
If you don’t like hiking, but do love nature, then this is the tourist attraction for you – you can explore all of this beautiful, natural beauty without needing to leave your vehicle!
And, if you love history, then this may be just the activity for you, too! Along this trail, you will be able to see many historic buildings.
You can spend as long or as little as you like on this beautiful trail.
The average adventure on the motor nature trail lasts for around two hours, but you can also take your time by stopping in between to enjoy a picnic (and to make the most of the amazing views, of course!)
Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Did you know that Gatlinburg is home to the best aquarium in North America?
That’s right! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has been awarded this title, and upon visiting it won’t be difficult to see why!
Ripley’s aquarium allows you to explore many wonderful exhibits and meet several of the fish.
Not only that, but you will actually be able to travel under the sea using their underwater tunnels!
So, you won’t just be able to meet the fish, but you will also be able to meet sharks, stingrays, the lot!
Additionally, Ripley’s Aquarium allows visitors the opportunity to have hands-on experiences with many of the aquatic life.
That’s right, within the safe confines of the aquarium, you can get up close and personal with horseshoe crabs, stingrays, and jellyfish!
You can also experience many fun live shows such as penguin feeding, the mermaid dive, and the stingray bay dive.
If you love sea creatures, then this is the place for you!
Location: 88 River Road, Gatlinburg Tennessee, 37738
So, there you have it! There are many things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and making the most of your experience can feel very daunting and overwhelming.
However, our top ten list of things to do in Gatlinburg ensures that you will have a balanced experience full of fun adventures, education, unique experiences, and a chance to rest and unwind.
Follow our list today to have an amazing time in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!
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