Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a charming mountain town nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and wide range of outdoor activities, Gatlinburg is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. From exploring scenic hiking trails to visiting world-class museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this delightful town.

One of the top attractions in Gatlinburg is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, the park offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Hike to Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, or take a leisurely stroll along one of the park’s many scenic trails. Be sure to keep an eye out for black bears, the park’s most famous inhabitants!

In addition to its natural beauty, Gatlinburg also boasts a number of family-friendly attractions. The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit for both kids and adults. Explore the fascinating underwater world as you walk through a tunnel surrounded by sharks and other marine creatures. For a thrill, visit the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and take a ride on the sky bridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Or, for a taste of local culture, visit the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, where you can watch local artisans at work and purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take home.

No visit to Gatlinburg would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. The town is home to a number of fantastic restaurants, serving up everything from authentic Southern BBQ to delicious mountain trout. After a day of exploring, relax and unwind with a glass of locally crafted moonshine or a pint of craft beer from one of the town’s many breweries. Whatever your taste buds desire, Gatlinburg has something to satisfy every craving.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, family-friendly fun, or a taste of Southern hospitality, Gatlinburg, TN has it all. With its stunning natural beauty, wide range of attractions, and warm, welcoming atmosphere, this charming mountain town is truly a must-visit destination for travelers of all ages.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most breathtaking destinations in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Spanning over 520,000 acres, this national park is known for its diverse wildlife, scenic drives, and stunning mountain views.

Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife-watching. With over 800 miles of trails, hikers of all skill levels can explore the park’s natural beauty. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and over 200 species of birds.

One of the most popular attractions in the park is Cades Cove, a scenic valley with historic homes and churches dating back to the 1800s. Visitors can explore the area by car or bicycle and take in the picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and fields.

For those who prefer a more relaxed visit, the park offers several scenic drives, including the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Newfound Gap Road. These drives provide stunning views of the mountains and allow visitors to experience the park’s natural beauty without leaving their vehicles.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply looking to enjoy the beauty of nature, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-visit destination in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is a popular destination for both locals and tourists visiting Gatlinburg, TN. Located at the top of Mount Harrison, Ober Gatlinburg is a mountain resort that offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.

One of the most popular attractions at Ober Gatlinburg is the Aerial Tramway, which takes visitors on a scenic 2.1-mile ride up the mountain. From the tram, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the surrounding area. Once you reach the top, you can explore the resort and take part in a variety of activities.

During the winter months, Ober Gatlinburg is transformed into a winter wonderland. The resort offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing for those who enjoy winter sports. There are slopes for all skill levels, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, you’ll find something for you. If you’re not into skiing, you can still have fun in the snow by building snowmen or having a snowball fight.

In addition to winter sports, Ober Gatlinburg also offers other year-round activities. You can go ice skating on their indoor ice rink, ride the mountain coaster for an adrenaline rush, or test your skills at their rock climbing wall. The resort also has a wildlife encounter where you can see and learn about native animals, such as black bears and river otters.

If you’re looking for a break from the activities, Ober Gatlinburg also has a variety of dining options where you can grab a bite to eat. From pizza and burgers to steak and seafood, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. After a delicious meal, you can relax and enjoy the stunning views from the resort’s observation deck.

Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter, Ober Gatlinburg is a must-visit destination in Gatlinburg, TN. With its stunning views, range of activities, and dining options, it’s a place where you can have fun and create lasting memories. So, don’t miss out on the chance to experience all that Ober Gatlinburg has to offer.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN is one of the most popular attractions in the area. This world-class aquarium offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

The aquarium is home to over 10,000 sea creatures, making it one of the largest underwater habitats in the United States. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits, including the Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, and Shark Lagoon.

One of the highlights of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the Penguin Playhouse. Here, visitors can get up close and personal with adorable penguins as they slide, swim, and waddle around their habitat. It’s a truly unforgettable experience.

In addition to the exhibits, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers several interactive experiences and shows. Guests can participate in a Touch-A-Ray Bay experience, where they can touch and learn about stingrays. The aquarium also hosts daily dive shows, where scuba divers interact with the sea creatures and share interesting facts about them.

For those who want to learn even more, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers behind-the-scenes tours. These guided tours take visitors on a journey through the aquarium’s inner workings, providing a fascinating look at how the facility operates.

Overall, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit attraction in Gatlinburg. Whether you’re a marine life enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and educational activity, this aquarium has something for everyone.

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

If you’re looking for breathtaking panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is a must-visit attraction. Situated in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this park offers visitors a unique and thrilling experience.

The main highlight of the park is the SkyLift, a scenic chairlift that takes you on a 2.1-mile journey to the top of Crockett Mountain. As you ride up, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding mountains. Once you reach the top, you can step off the lift and explore the SkyDeck.

The SkyDeck is an observation deck with 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains. It’s the perfect spot to snap some photos or simply take in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. There are also binoculars available for a closer look at the mountain range.

For an even more thrilling experience, you can take a ride on the SkyBridge. This is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and offers an exhilarating walk across its glass panels. From here, you’ll have an unobstructed view of the mountains beneath your feet.

In addition to the SkyLift and SkyBridge, the park also features a gift shop where you can find souvenirs and local crafts. There are also picnic areas available if you want to have a leisurely lunch while enjoying the scenery.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for an exciting adventure, the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is a must-see attraction in Tennessee. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Standing at 407 feet tall, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and the surrounding landscape.

The observation deck, located at the top of the Space Needle, is accessible by an elevator ride that takes visitors to the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg. From here, visitors can enjoy 360-degree views of the picturesque scenery, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Gatlinburg skyline, and the Little Pigeon River.

In addition to the stunning views, the Space Needle also offers other attractions and activities. The Iris Theater, located at the base of the Space Needle, showcases live entertainment, including comedy shows, magic performances, and musical acts.

For those looking for a thrill, the Space Needle also has a 342-foot long glass floor panel on the observation deck, allowing visitors to feel like they’re walking on air. This unique feature provides an exhilarating experience and an opportunity to capture amazing photos.

The Space Needle is also home to a gift shop, where visitors can purchase souvenirs, local crafts, and artwork to commemorate their visit to Gatlinburg. The gift shop offers a variety of unique and locally made items that make for perfect mementos or gifts to take home.

Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views, live entertainment, or unique shopping opportunities, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is a must-visit attraction in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It provides a memorable experience for visitors of all ages and offers a unique perspective of the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a must-visit attraction for movie lovers and car enthusiasts alike. This unique museum showcases an impressive collection of famous cars from Hollywood films and TV shows.

Step inside and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto a movie set. The museum features over 40 iconic vehicles, including the Batmobile from the 1989 Batman movie, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.

As you explore the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these famous cars. Take photos, sit inside a Batmobile, and imagine yourself as the next action hero. The museum is also interactive, with displays that allow you to press buttons and hear the sounds of the cars or watch clips from the movies.

In addition to the cars, the museum also houses an extensive collection of memorabilia, including movie props, costumes, and autographed items. You’ll find items from films like James Bond, Ghostbusters, and The Fast and the Furious.

The Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a great place for families to visit, as both kids and adults will find something to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of movie history or just appreciate classic cars, this museum offers a unique and entertaining experience.

After exploring the museum, be sure to stop by the gift shop, where you can find souvenirs and collectibles to remember your visit. Whether you’re looking for a t-shirt, a die-cast model car, or a movie poster, you’ll find it here.

So if you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg, make sure to add the Hollywood Star Cars Museum to your itinerary. It’s a destination that combines the excitement of the movies with the thrill of classic cars, creating a truly unforgettable experience.

Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Loop

The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Loop is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and anyone looking to add a touch of creativity to their vacation in Gatlinburg, TN. Located just outside the city center, this 8-mile loop is home to a diverse collection of local artisans and craftsmen.

Driving along the loop, visitors have the opportunity to explore over 100 different shops, studios, and galleries. From pottery and ceramics to woodwork and jewelry, the Arts and Crafts Loop showcases a wide range of mediums and styles. This is the perfect place to find a unique souvenir or gift.

One of the highlights of the Arts and Crafts Loop is the opportunity to watch the artists at work. Many of the studios have open doors, allowing visitors to see firsthand the process of creating these beautiful pieces. It’s a fascinating experience to see the artists in action and learn about their techniques.

In addition to shopping and admiring the artwork, the Arts and Crafts Loop also offers a chance to delve deeper into the local culture and history. There are several galleries that feature traditional Appalachian crafts, showcasing the heritage and skills that have been passed down through the generations.

After exploring the loop, visitors can take a break at one of the charming cafes or restaurants nearby. There are also picnic areas where you can enjoy a packed lunch surrounded by the natural beauty of the area.

If you’re looking to bring a unique piece of Gatlinburg home with you or just want to immerse yourself in the local arts scene, don’t miss the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Loop. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that combines creativity, history, and natural beauty.

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg, TN. This thrilling outdoor adventure offers visitors the chance to race down the mountain at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

The coaster is located in downtown Gatlinburg, just minutes away from The Strip. The ride starts with a leisurely trip to the top of the mountain, where riders can take in breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains. Once at the top, the real fun begins as the coaster descends down the mountain, twisting and turning through the trees.

The coaster features both a single-rider option and a double-rider option, making it perfect for couples, families, or groups of friends. Each sled is equipped with a hand brake, allowing riders to control their own speed and enjoy the ride at their own comfort level.

In addition to the thrilling ride, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster also offers a photo opportunity at the end of the ride. Visitors can purchase a souvenir photo of their coaster experience to remember their adrenaline-pumping adventure.

Address 306 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone Number (865) 430-5577
Website www.gatlinburgmountaincoaster.com

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for a fun activity in Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a must-visit attraction. So buckle up, hold on tight, and get ready for an exciting ride down the mountain!

Sugarlands Distilling Company

The Sugarlands Distilling Company is a popular attraction in Gatlinburg, TN for visitors who are interested in learning about the art of moonshine production. The distillery offers guided tours that take guests through the entire process of creating moonshine, from the sourcing of ingredients to the fermentation and distillation.

During the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to see the distilling equipment up close, as well as learn about the history and legal aspects of moonshine production. The knowledgeable guides provide interesting and educational commentary throughout the tour, making it a fun and informative experience for all.

One of the highlights of the Sugarlands Distilling Company is the tasting room, where visitors can sample a range of moonshine flavors. From classic corn whiskey to unique seasonal flavors, there is something to suit every palate. The friendly staff are on hand to offer recommendations and answer any questions.

For those looking to take a taste of the distillery home with them, the Sugarlands Distilling Company also has a retail store where visitors can purchase their favorite moonshine flavors, as well as other merchandise such as t-shirts and souvenirs.

Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or just curious about the moonshine-making process, a visit to the Sugarlands Distilling Company is a must-do when in Gatlinburg. The combination of informative tours and delicious tastings make it a top-rated attraction in the area.

Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook

The Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is a must-visit attraction for those seeking breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains and the town of Gatlinburg, TN. Located at the top of the Gatlinburg Bypass, this overlook offers panoramic vistas that will leave you in awe.

As you stand at the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park is known for its beautiful mountains, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. From this vantage point, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the area.

In addition to the mountains, the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook also provides a bird’s-eye view of the charming town of Gatlinburg. You’ll see the quaint shops, restaurants, and attractions that line the streets below. It’s a great way to get a sense of the town’s layout and plan out your activities.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is a prime spot to capture some stunning shots. Whether you’re shooting with a professional camera or just using your smartphone, you’ll be able to capture the beauty of the mountains and town from this elevated viewpoint.

Visiting the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is easy. Simply drive up the Gatlinburg Bypass and follow the signs to the overlook. There is a parking area available, so you can park your car and spend as much time as you like enjoying the view. The overlook is open year-round, so you can visit during any season to see the changing colors of the mountains.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique experience in Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is a must-see attraction. Don’t miss the opportunity to take in the breathtaking views and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Gatlinburg Welcome Center

The Gatlinburg Welcome Center is the perfect starting point for visitors to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Welcome Center provides all the information and resources you need to make the most of your visit.

When you first arrive at the Welcome Center, you’ll be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you may have about the area. They can provide maps, brochures, and advice on the best attractions and things to do in Gatlinburg and the surrounding region.

Inside the Welcome Center, you’ll find a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the rich history and natural beauty of the Gatlinburg area. Learn about the indigenous plants and animals that call the Smoky Mountains home, and discover the unique culture and heritage of the area through interactive exhibits and educational displays.

The Welcome Center is also a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts to commemorate your visit. The gift shop offers a wide range of locally-made products, including crafts, artwork, and food items. Whether you’re looking for a memento of your trip or a unique gift for a loved one, you’re sure to find something special here.

Before you head out to explore Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, be sure to stop by the Welcome Center to get all the information you need. Whether you’re planning a day hike, a scenic drive, or a visit to one of the many attractions in the area, the staff at the Welcome Center will help you make the most of your time in Gatlinburg.

So, make the Gatlinburg Welcome Center your first stop and start your adventure off right!

Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway

The Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is one of the iconic attractions in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This popular tramway offers visitors a breathtaking view of the Great Smoky Mountains as they climb to the top of Mount Harrison.

The tramway, which has been in operation since 1973, is a great way to experience the beauty of the area without having to hike. The ride takes approximately 10 minutes each way and provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Once you reach the top of Mount Harrison, you’ll find a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. You can explore the observation deck, which offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg below. There are also hiking trails that you can explore, allowing you to further immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.

If you’re visiting during the winter months, you can also take advantage of the tramway’s Ski Mountain facility. This area offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

The Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains from a unique perspective. Whether you’re interested in hiking, skiing, or simply taking in the view, this tramway offers something for everyone.

Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market

The Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market is a popular destination for both locals and visitors looking for fresh, locally grown produce. Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, the market offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

Open on Saturdays from 8:30am to 12:00pm, the market is a bustling hub of activity. With over 30 vendors, visitors can browse through a colorful array of produce and select the freshest ingredients for their meals. From juicy tomatoes to crisp lettuce, there is something for everyone at the Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market.

In addition to fresh produce, the market also offers a selection of baked goods, homemade jams and jellies, and locally made crafts. Visitors can sample delicious treats and take home unique, handcrafted souvenirs.

One of the highlights of the Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market is the sense of community that it fosters. Visitors have the opportunity to meet the farmers and artisans behind the products and learn about their techniques and passion for their craft. It’s a chance to connect with the people who grow and create the food and products that we enjoy.

If you’re visiting Gatlinburg, be sure to check out the Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market. It’s a great way to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the freshest and tastiest ingredients the region has to offer.

Gatlinburg Space Needle’s 360 Observation Deck

The Gatlinburg Space Needle’s 360 Observation Deck is one of the top attractions in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Standing at 407 feet tall, the Space Needle offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area.

Visitors can take an elevator ride to the observation deck, which provides 360-degree views of the stunning natural beauty of the region. On a clear day, you can see up to 100 miles, taking in the majestic mountains, lush greenery, and charming Gatlinburg cityscape.

The observation deck is designed to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all visitors. There are benches and viewing scopes available for guests to use. The viewing scopes allow you to zoom in on specific points of interest and get a closer look at the scenic landscapes.

In addition to the incredible views, the Space Needle also offers various educational exhibits. These exhibits explore the history, culture, and natural features of the region. Visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as the role of the Space Needle in the community.

For those looking for a unique experience, the Space Needle also features the Iris Theater. This theater offers a range of live entertainment options, including magic shows, comedy acts, and musical performances. It’s a great way to unwind and enjoy some entertainment after taking in the stunning views from the observation deck.

The Gatlinburg Space Needle’s 360 Observation Deck is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Gatlinburg. Whether you’re interested in the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains or looking for a fun and entertaining experience, the Space Needle has something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the unparalleled views and create lasting memories.

FAQs

What are some of the top attractions in Gatlinburg, TN?

Some of the top attractions in Gatlinburg, TN include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Gatlinburg SkyBridge.

How can I visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, TN?

You can visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, TN by taking a scenic drive through the park, hiking on one of the many trails, or by participating in a ranger-led program. There are also several visitor centers where you can learn more about the park and its wildlife.

What activities can I do at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area?

Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area offers a variety of activities for visitors. You can go skiing or snowboarding in the winter, ride the aerial tramway for spectacular views, enjoy ice skating, go tubing, or try out the mountain coaster.

Is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies worth visiting in Gatlinburg, TN?

Yes, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is definitely worth visiting in Gatlinburg, TN. It is one of the top-rated attractions in the area and offers a chance to see a wide variety of marine life up close. The aquarium features interactive exhibits, a shark tunnel, and daily shows and feedings.

What is the Gatlinburg SkyBridge and why is it popular?

The Gatlinburg SkyBridge is a pedestrian bridge that stretches 680 feet across a valley in Gatlinburg. It is popular because it offers breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area. The bridge also has glass panels in the middle where visitors can look down and experience a thrilling perspective.

What are some top-rated attractions in Gatlinburg, TN?

Some top-rated attractions in Gatlinburg, TN include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Gatlinburg SkyLift.

What are some things to do in Gatlinburg, TN?

There are plenty of things to do in Gatlinburg, TN. You can go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle for panoramic views, explore the shops and restaurants on The Strip, or take a scenic drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

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Felicity Long

Felicity Long, a seasoned travel journalist with 15+ years of experience, specializes in exploring Europe, family travel, and skiing, as evident in her book "Great Escapes: New England" (The Countryman Press). She edits the Europe eNewsletter and contributes significantly to TravelAsker's destinations sections. Felicity has received esteemed awards, including the Cacique and Yo Leonardo Awards, in recognition of her outstanding international travel writing accomplishments.

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