This picturesque town bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers miles of wilderness, breathtaking scenery and lots of options for adventurers.
From world-class hiking, white water rafting and trout streams to an aerial tramway, space needle and a Hollywood Star Cars museum, Gatlinburg’s attractions are diverse and plentiful. Gatlinburg stands at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so outdoor adventures feature highly on any visit.
Stay at one of the campsites, cabins or chalets near town or head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, pitch a tent and camp for a few days. Other accommodation options include the hotels, condos, bed-and-breakfast places, and lodges in in central Gatlinburg. You can start a hike straight from town into the national park where there’s 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) of trails. Routes vary in length and difficulty.
Drop a line or cast a fly in the hundreds of miles of streams in the Smokies where fishing is permitted year-round with a permit. Try one of the rafting adventures, which range in pace from a gentle float to a thrilling white-water ride. If you like your adventure high above the ground, jump on the zip line in downtown Gatlinburg. You’ll fly under the forest canopy, traveling at up to 50 miles an hour (80 kilometers per hour).
After exploring the outdoors, enjoy the many indoor attractions in the downtown area. Car lovers will want to stop by the Hollywood Star Cars Museum for a look at the Batmobile, used in the 1992 film Batman Returns, the Flinstones’ car from The Flintsones movie (1994), and many others.
Play mini golf at Fort Fun or go for a wild ride at the Shoot ’em Up Cinema. See a show at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in the evening or dine at one of many places around town. At the top of the Space Needle, you’ll get a great view of the the town from a height of 400 feet (122 meters). Get up-close to sea creatures at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
It’s easy to get around town using the Gatlinburg Trolleys. There’s ample parking too, most of which you will have to pay to use.