Are you in search of a beautiful destination for your upcoming trip? If yes, head to these places to explore in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The quaint town looks breathtaking in every season. From riding along in the comfort of a car to hiking a mountain trail, there will be plenty of points to gaze upon the scenic beauty of Gatlinburg.
Whether you want to see old cottages, mills, or schoolhouses, you can find it all in this town. Besides, Gatlinburg has something for everyone, from couples to groups of mates to families with children.
The charming town is also home to many museums and adventurous outdoor attractions. But that’s not all! Gatlinburg is filled with delectable restaurants and eateries. Whether you’re craving seafood, pizza, burgers, pancakes, or BBQ, Gatlinburg has it all.
Let’s look at some popular activities and places to visit in Gatlinburg on vacation with friends and family. Even if you are traveling alone, there are plenty of things you can do:
Where Should You Stay in Gatlinburg?
Before looking for the best places to visit in Gatlinburg, you must decide where you’ll stay. Remember, accommodations play a significant role in making your vacation worthwhile. Hence, make sure you look for lodgings that cater to your requirements. If you wish to wake up to scenic views of the mountains, then you can go for Gatlinburg cabin rentals for the ultimate experience. While staying in cabins, you can witness sunsets and stars at night from the mountains.
Five Places to Explore in Gatlinburg
Once you have sorted your stay in Gatlinburg, plan your trip activities. Here we have detailed some of the options you can consider to make the most of your time:
Undoubtedly, Anakeesta is one of the best attractions in Gatlinburg. From ziplining down the mountainside to enjoy the scenery of Gatlinburg, this mountain park has to offer a lot for everyone. Here’s a list of activities that you can do:
- Ride the Mountain Coaster-Rail Runner: This ride will take you on twists and turns on a track surrounded by lush green trees and curves of the mountainside. Additionally, you travel downhill at about 25 miles per hour through 1600 feet of turns and twists. The Rail Runner is the only mountain coaster in the US offering you a memorable experience.
- Discover the Treetop Skywalk: Walk on 880 feet hanging bridge and take in the scenic beauty of nature. While walking on the bridge, you can spot wildlife like bears below the Skywalk and woodpeckers and capture memorable moments. It is an experience worth doing.
- Shop around: You can find some fantastic shops at the summit. Look for memorable souvenirs to take home, including mugs, jewelry, apparel, etc.
- Visit Vista Garden: This botanical garden features a rocking chair and a swinging bench. It is a great place to relax and unwind from stress while you enjoy the sounds of waterfalls and more.
The theme park also features the world’s only fixed-grip chondola, where you will experience an aerial view of Anakeesta Mountain.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
More than 14 million visitors visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, and it’s easy to figure out why. The national park is filled with natural wonders and exciting attractions. It features miles of trails, winding scenic drives, and many educational exhibits.
Located around a 4-minute drive from Gatlinburg, the park offers the following activities for adventure seekers to indulge in:
- Walk around Cades Cove: This is an 11-mile loop in lush greenery. It was the main hunting ground for Cherokee people until Europeans cleared it. The area still has a lot of wildlife, such as black bears, and it takes around three hours to tour the entire area.
- Hike the Appalachian Trail: This trail offers first-rate hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Approximately 70 miles of this trail is located within the national park, taking visitors through the deep wilderness and some of the park’s best attractions.
- Tour Mingus Mill: You can step inside this historic mill and learn about its operations from an experienced interpreter. The historical structure of the mill also provides an excellent opportunity for fantastic pictures.
- Get wet by cascades: There are many cascade waterfalls inside the national park and many small waterfalls. Don’t forget to hike the well-worn trails to see Laurel, Grotto, or Rainbow Falls.
Hollywood Star Cars Museum
Hollywood Star Cars Museum is one of the most incredible places to visit during your trip to Gatlinburg. Whether you’re looking for something exciting to do in Gatlinburg or you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll love this museum! After all, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum showcases vehicles from iconic movies and shows.
It also displays cars that were driven by famous personalities. For instance, one of the celebrity cars in this museum is Dolly Parton’s 1997 Cadillac. The museum also features the Fast and Furious collection. They have cars from nine movies, including Chevy Corvette Stingray and Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Presenting cars from celebrities to cars you love from movies, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum has something for everybody. The museum has vintage cars on display, allowing visitors to capture great pictures standing in front of classic vehicles, guaranteeing the best time of your life. Moreover, this museum is perfect for visitors of all ages.
Visit Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains from a 500-ft chairlift. While on the three-seater chairlift, you also enjoy views of the Clingman’s Dome, downtown Gatlinburg, Mt. LeConte, and more.
The park also features SkyBridge, North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, an observation deck, and more. Open year-round with activities like zip-lining, disc golf, and mini-golf, it’s a great outing spot for everyone.
If you want to experience an exotic marine environment, head to Ripley’s Aquarium. It is home to sharks, tropical fish, rays, and many other marine animals. Apart from the regular exhibits, the aquarium organizes behind-the-scene tours and animal encounters. So, Ripley’s Aquarium is a must-visit whether you are on a vacation with friends or kids.
Best Places to Explore in Gatlinburg: Final Words
So, when planning places to explore in Gatlinburg, you can consider the above-discussed options on your to-do list. Whether you are looking forward to relaxing in the mountains or seeking adventures, Gatlinburg has everything for all types of travelers.