family taking a selfie in gatlinburg

A Gatlinburg Vacation

The Mountains are Calling

Nestled at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg and its 4,000-plus residents are dedicated to welcoming all guests with a taste of Appalachian hospitality at its best. 

Boasting over 10 million visitors a year, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is your playground when you visit Gatlinburg. Countless adventures await those that make the most of exploring the park’s sprawling landscape, cascading falls and countless species and ecological communities at the most biodiverse national park in America. Ride to the top of the mountains on a chair lift, race around on a mountain coaster, soar through the treetops on a zipline or make a splash while whitewater rafting down the Pigeon River.

Long before the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains inspired travelers to visit Gatlinburg, the stunning scenery inspired artists and crafters to create. Today, creativity abounds in Gatlinburg as the site of two major arts and crafts institutions, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. The eight-mile motor loop around Gatlinburg boasts woodcarvers, glass blowers, leatherworkers and hundreds of other studios and shops with unique mountain creations.

Explore a world of exciting activities and venues when you take part in the great family tradition of the downtown Parkway stroll. More than ever, Gatlinburg offers variety and entertainment on every corner, with new businesses and attractions providing something for every member of the family.

Discover new and exciting views of the town from attractions like Gatlinburg Skylift Park’s Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, or Anakeesta’s one-of-a-kind observation tower, which is the tallest point in downtown Gatlinburg.

Soar in the sky on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, which takes you 2.1 miles from downtown and where you will see some of the most impressive views of the Smokies. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, just a short distance from Anakeesta, also delivers big family fun but instead of sky views it takes guests into an underwater experience of fascinating creatures from exotic fish and sea turtles to sharks and barracudas.  

If you are looking for leisure and love to shop, Gatlinburg’s got you covered! With more than 400 specialty shops, you can easily find a special collectible or unique pieces. 

Get a taste of Gatlinburg when you visit the local distilleries, microbreweries and wineries. Find beers brewed right here in Gatlinburg, legal moonshine and the oldest producer of premium wines in East Tennessee. Imbibe in a local tasting room for an afternoon or take a tour and find something new to bring home.

When you’re finished sipping, indulge in one of Gatlinburg’s world-famous pancake houses, seafood restaurants, barbecue joints or an old-fashioned Southern meal. Gatlinburg restaurants have options to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch spot for the whole family or an upscale dinner for two, you can find it right here in Gatlinburg.

When you get tired of exploring Gatlinburg on foot, jump in the car and discover a collection of historical sites on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, including the preservation of a homestead owned by the Noah “Bud” Ogle family who lived in Gatlinburg after the Civil War.

From hotels to cabins and everything in between, Gatlinburg provides a home away from home with a variety of unique and private accommodations for visitors looking for that perfect place to retreat.

Visit Gatlinburg any time of year and there will be plenty to do. Many plan their trip around one of the annual events, including an arts and crafts exhibition, fishing tournament or the history-making Independence Day parade.

It’s all here and more when you plan a vacation to one of the most celebrated gateway towns in the Smokies. 

Tennessee Smokies Visitors Guide 2022