This picturesque Tennessee town bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers acres of wilderness, breathtaking scenery and lots of adventure activities.
From world-class hiking and whitewater rafting, to museums and zip-line adventures, Gatlinburg’s attractions are diverse and plentiful. Gatlinburg developed as 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 to pitch a tent and camp for a few days. Other accommodation options include the hotels, condos and lodges in central Gatlinburg. Hike from the town center straight into the national park, where you can explore some of the 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) of trails of varying lengths 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. Join one of the Rafting in the Smokies adventure trips, which range in pace from a gentle float to a thrilling whitewater ride. Jump on the Gatlinburg Ziplines and fly through a forest canopy.
Enjoy panoramic views of the town and mountains at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Alternatively, ride the Gatlinburg Sky Lift to a 1,800-foot (548-meter) lookout atop Crocket Mountain. Perched on a hilltop, the two miniature golf courses of Hillbilly Golf are ideal for family fun. Head to Fort Fun for more mini-golf or black-light golf. Then, enjoy a virtual horse ride at the 3-D Shoot ’em Up Cinema.
Don’t miss the many indoor attractions in Gatlinburg’s downtown area. Stop by the Hollywood Star Cars Museum for a look at the Batmobile, used in the 1992 film Batman Returns, and the Flintstones’ car from The Flintstones 1994 movie, among others. See unique and record-breaking exhibits at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and the Guinness World Records Museum. Get close to sea creatures at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
It’s easy to get around town using the Gatlinburg Trolleys. They’re low cost, but require exact change. There’s ample pay parking too. Gatlinburg is about an hour’s drive southeast of Knoxville, Tennessee.