Nature lovers can explore the area’s beautiful scenery while tackling some of the hiking trails that cover a combined total of 800 miles. Shoppers can fill their bags with one-of-a-kind items from the 450+ shops that line the villages of Gatlinburg. Skiers can tackle the runs in the beautiful mountain tops during the winter months. There’s something for everyone in Gatlinburg, whether you’re traveling with your significant other or embarking on a family vacation. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Gatlinburg attractions, plus info about a highly rated resort in the area, to help you make the most of your trip.
Things to do in Gatlinburg Tennessee
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains as you bike or hike through the park’s many trails, or inhale the pleasant aroma of 1,660 different types of plants and wildflowers. Foliage blooms year round, so you can expect stunning scenery no matter when you visit.
Dollywood Theme Park is a country-western version of Six Flags. There are rollercoasters and water rides, but you can also find live entertainment and handmade memorabilia. Tickets range from $52 to $65 for a one-day visit, and kids under 4 visit the theme park for free with a paying adult.
Take a seat and enjoy an unforgettable view of the Gatlinburg area. The Gatlinburg Sky Lift slowly transports you across the city in a secure cable seat, providing you with a glimpse of Little Pigeon River, Crockett Mountain, and the Smoky Mountains.
Ober Mountain in Gatlinburg offers a variety of runs for all ages and skill levels. The ski resort normally opens mid December and closes late March. Make sure to book your rooms now though because it can fill up quickly in the winter months.
Gaze at the entire city of Gatlinburg after making your way to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, an observation tower that stands more than 400 feet tall. The Space Needle is open 365 days a year, and tickets are just $9.50 for adults and $5 for children aged 4 to 11.
Have you ever touched a stingray or held a horseshoe crab? You can do both of these things at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, as well as view jellyfish, penguins, and sharks. A child’s ticket is around $16, and adult tickets cost around $30.
Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about salt and pepper shakers when you visit this unique museum, which offers more than 20,000 different shakers from mills around the globe. Admission is $3 for anybody over the age of 12, and that fee is credited toward a salt and pepper purchase from the gift shop.
Kids – and adults – of all ages enjoy seeing the adorable creatures at RainForest Adventures Zoo. Learn about rainforest animals as you walk around the zoo at your own pace, and don’t forget to stop by the kid-friendly petting zoo to see the pygmy goats and small bunnies. Children age 3 to 12 get in for $7.99, and adults over the age of 12 pay $12.99.
Where’s the best place to stay in Gatlinburg?
People who visit Gatlinburg often choose the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort over other vacation rentals. This popular resort provides a pleasant experience for families as well as couples, which is a big reason why so many visitors love it. It’s located right next to the Smoky Mountains, so you can take advantage of stunning views from the comfort of your balcony.
For just $99, you can reserve a 4-day, 3-night stay in one of the resort’s studio rooms. Need something bigger? A 1-bedroom villa sleeps 4 people, and it’s just $139 for 4 days and 3 nights. A 2-bedroom villa can accommodate 6 people, and it’s only $299.
- Perks associated with the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort include:
- A kitchenette in studio rentals
- A full kitchen in each villa
- On-site fitness center
- Laundry facilities
- Multiple swimming pools, including a kiddie pool and indoor heated pool
- Jacuzzi and sauna
- Pet-friendly rooms
- WiFi access
- Valet parking
- On-site restaurant and bar
- Non-smoking rooms
- Cable TV
- Wake-up service
- On-site spa with a massage therapist
- Stunning balcony and porch views of the mountains
- Conveniently located near fishing spots
- Close to popular attractions, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park