Gatlinburg has been the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains national park since the dedication of the park in 1934. Although times have changed since the 1930s, the role that Gatlinburg plays as the host in welcoming visitors to the Smoky Mountain area remains ever the same. While the tourist mecca that is Gatlinburg was born out of the desire to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the city easily stands today as a vacation destination in its own right. Whether your main interest lies in the great outdoors, the air conditioned indoors, or the opening of restaurant doors, Gatlinburg serves up several combinations that can whet your appetite.
No trip to the Smokies is complete without a shopping spree! For a unique and fun experience, The Village in Gatlinburg is the place to go! Here you will find a quaint, European-themed collection of 27 boutiques, eateries, and galleries where you can purchase the perfect souvenirs and gifts. Enjoy the best sights, sounds and smells of The Village in Gatlinburg when you visit these top 5 shops.
Nothing says vacation like going out on the town for a delicious meal! Lucky for you, there are tons of great places to grab a bite. Now all that's left to do is figure out which ones to visit first! To help you make the most of your trip, here are 5 of the best chain restaurants in Gatlinburg.
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a great time in the Gatlinburg area. Here are just a few fun family activities that will hardly cost you a dime.
Love clear running water? Breathtaking scenery? Steep, dramatic waterfalls? Authentic historic sites? You'll find all these – and more – in the Roaring Fork area here in the Great Smoky Mountains.
They wait for it all spring and summer. As the warm temperatures begin to cool, the anticipation can be seen and felt. Their feet get antsy and strange cravings overtake them to put on down-filled clothing and compression wear. They are the hardcore ski enthusiasts of the world.
Any trip with family or friends to Tennessee has to include the incredible sights of the Smoky Mountains, but you need not climb every peak to get amazing views. The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a top local attraction that transports you more than 400 feet high for a truly panoramic glimpse of the mountain ranges and the towns surrounding them.
Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This 11-mile auto loop takes visitors on a tour of a once tight-knit community that existed before the creation of the national park. Today, many of the cove's homesteads, churches and other structures have been preserved to show park visitors today what life was like in rural East Tennessee in the 1800s.
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community of Gatlinburg has been a must-see site in the Smokies for decades. This historic eight-mile loop-consisting primarily of Glades Rd. and Buckhorn Rd.-is home to more than 120 working artists and craftsmen. You can visit their shops, studios and galleries, watching the artists at work and take home a unique creation or two.
What's the old saying? "So much to do, so little time to do it." That expression is usually very fitting when it comes to planning vacation activities. There are so many choices and only so much time (and money) available to squeeze them in. This week, we'll offer a few recommendations for prioritizing Gatlinburg attractions. Of course, the town is packed with great attractions, but here are a few you should consider shuffling to the top of your list.
As we head into the final week leading up to Halloween, we thought we'd pass along some ideas for celebrating the holidays in the Smokies and making sure that you have a spook-tacular time during your visit.
Area visitors have a unique chance to experience an event that showcases the culture and heritage of Appalachia. Robert Tino's annual Smoky Mountain Homecoming event runs Friday through Sunday, on the first weekend of October. Guests are given a chance to see, hear, and taste some of the things that give this region of the country its own special character.
If you plan to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee this summer, there's one name you may want to keep an eye out for. It won't be hard to find, because you'll see it pop up almost everywhere you go in town. The name? Ripley. As in Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, one of the most popular aquariums in the country.
It's finally getting warm enough to really take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities of springtime. One of the popular activities around East Tennessee is enjoying the region's network of TVA lakes and waterways. If you're in Sevier County on vacation, the most convenient site is Douglas Lake, which is accessible just a few miles off of Tenn. Hwy. 66 between Interstate 40 and downtown Sevierville, Tennessee.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, first made its way onto the map as a tourist destination thanks to its proximity to the mountains. In fact, the south end of town leads directly into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It also became well known decades ago for being a wellspring of authentic arts and crafts, featuring works that were hand-made by local artisans.
Let's take a closer look together at Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which lies just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The town's proximity to the National Park rightfully helped to earn its early reputation as a source of outdoor recreation opportunities and authentic arts and crafts. Gatlinburg was the first tourism destination here, beginning in the 1930's and 40's.
One of the first decisions anyone makes when planning to visit Sevier County is picking the best travel dates. Naturally, summer is peak season since that's when the kids are on summer vacation, and October is essentially a second peak season in the Smokies, because that's when the mountain foliage makes its transition from the green of summer to the earth tones of fall.
The people of Gatlinburg are so excited about the 4th of July that they don't waste a single minute to celebrate. On July 3rd, when the clock strikes midnight, Gatlinburg kicks off its Midnight Independence Day Parade. For over 30 years the Smoky Mountains have had the first 4th of July parade in the country and this year the tradition stands firm.
One of the most famous artists in America has a gallery shop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Jim Gray is listed in Who's Who In American Art, a member of the American Society of Maine Artists, and is a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York City, just to name a few. He has been featured in many publications, including NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, SOUTHERN LIVING, AMERICAN ARTIST, SOUTHWEST ART, NORTH LIGHT, PACE, SEA HISTORY, PRINTS and OCEANS. Jim Gray's Gallery is a venue you will not want to miss while visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
One of the south's lesser-known treasures is nestled in the hills adjacent to the popular village of Gatlinburg. It is the largest collection of independent artists and craftsmen showing their skills. The Glades Arts and Crafts Community is comprised of an eight-mile country road loop where over 100 artists and craftsmen parade their trades. You'll find a wide variety of art galleries, pottery barns, active workshops, independent artist showrooms, basket-making studios, and many more authentic local artisans. This is a must on your list of Gatlinburg things to do.
While on your vacation in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, make sure you visit Country Tonite Theatre. This upbeat show has won numerous awards, including “International Country Music Show of the Year.” Visitors of all ages will be intrigued by the full-scale multi-million dollar theatre and the superbly talented cast who provides a little of something for everyone.
Up, Up, and Away! Safer than a hot air balloon, feel as if you are flying when you board the famous Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. Experience some glorious views of The Great Smoky Mountains as you travel from the base to the top of Ski Mountain: views of birds and clouds, above beautiful trees and resort chalets, and even a scenic view of Gatlinburg, TN nestled in the valley below. There are actually two tramway that operate simultaneously with a maximum capacity of 120 people on each car. The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is open year-round, carrying rides to the popular destination Ober Gatlinburg, with activities for every season. The ski offers several slopes from beginner to advanced, and generates snowfall regularly in the absence of natural precipitation.