On the east side of Tennessee at the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the resort city of Gatlinburg. With right around 4,000 residents this is the kind of gateway city that gets a lot of traffic passing through. Those who stop and take in the city know what this great little place has to offer. Here’s a look at some great things to do and see in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Straddling the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a little something for everyone. If you just want to be out in nature doing things like hiking, fishing, backpacking, or horseback riding, you’ve come to the right place.
You’ll also find a long stretch of the Appalachian Trail running through this great national treasure. This historic trail runs from Maine to Georgia for nearly 2,200 miles, with 71 of them running just below the summit of Clingmans Dome.
Did you know you can ski in Tennessee? I’m not referring to water skiing, which you can do, or cross-country skiing, which you can also do, but downhill snow skiing. Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s only ski resort, complete with nine runs and three lifts. It’s a great little mountain resort that can be reached by car, or if you want a story to tell you can ride the gondola from the center of town.
There is also an amusement park in Ober Gatlinburg, offering great outdoor treats like an alpine slide, an aerial tram, miniature golf, a bear habitat, and a host of other amusement park features.
Officially Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, it features many attractions sure to please everyone. Enjoy features like a Titanic exhibit, unexpected information about pirates, and their latest exhibit, the planet Mars.
Just minutes from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is the birthplace of Dolly Parton, and there’s no shortage of Dolly-related activities and locales to enjoy in this small mountain hamlet.
Dollywood is a theme park with all the traditional excitement you’ve come to expect in top-rated amusement parks. Adjacent to Dollywood is Dollywood’s Splash Country, a water park based on the experience Dolly had as a child on the rivers of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Plan accordingly; the park is open from the end of May through the middle of September.
Planning a big family reunion or maybe an important corporate retreat? The Gatlinburg Chalets & Cabins offer everything that’s excellent about Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Excellent views of some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, quick access to picnic areas, local walking trails, or even something more involved like a fishing expedition.
If you prefer spending time in the city, get ready for some of the best restaurants, shopping, and local flavor second to none. Whether it’s a thick juicy steak you’re after, or maybe some of the finest microbrews to be found anywhere, or traditional BBQ from that region of the country, Gatlinburg has it. Plan an extra day; you’ll be happy you did.
While in Gatlinburg, park your car and get to where you’re going on the Gatlinburg Trolley. Four different lines—the Red, Blue, Purple, and Yellow—will quickly get you to every part of the city. There’s plenty of parking around town within easy walking distance to each trolley line. Best of all, it’s only $2 for an all-day pass.
There’s plenty to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Enjoy the town on your own, with your honey on a romantic getaway, or bring the entire family and bask in the splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains.