18 Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Gatlinburg is a small town located in the Appalachian Mountains in east Tennessee.

The town is situated along the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which offers visitors an array of outdoor activities to enjoy.

In addition to its natural scenery and mountain views, Gatlinburg is also home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Gatlinburg is a popular vacation destination for families and couples looking to enjoy the outdoors and take in the town’s unique atmosphere.

Things To Do In Gatlinburg

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States and is Gatlinburg’s most popular attraction.

The park offers a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy including hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, and wildlife watching.

You can take a visit to cades cove loop road and take a look at the animals or venture through laurel falls and see the beautiful waterfall.

For those that love hiking trails, there are over 800 miles of trails to explore within the park.

The national park is full of natural beauty and is a great place to spend a day or two while visiting Gatlinburg.

While enjoying your outdoor adventures you might even come across some wild turkeys or deer!

Address: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

2. Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg

One of the best things to do in Gatlinburg for the entire family is a visit to Ober Gatlinburg.

Ober Gatlinburg is a ski area and amusement park located in the mountains just outside of Gatlinburg.

The resort offers a variety of winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and ice skating.

In the summer months, you can enjoy the Alpine Slide, go-karts, and the wildlife Encounter.

There is a fantastic Aerial Tramway that departs from downtown Gatlinburg and whisks you directly up to the amusement park and Ski area.

Ober Gatlinburg also has a number of shops and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.

If you’re looking for a place to have some fun and take in the sights, Ober Gatlinburg is the perfect spot.

Address: 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

3. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which is conveniently located in downtown Gatlinburg, is currently one of the top rated aquariums in the United States.

The aquarium is home to over 10,000 animals, including sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles.

The aquarium has a number of interactive exhibits and displays for visitors to enjoy.

You can pet a stingray, watch a shark feedings, see some exotic sea creatures or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a great place to spend an afternoon with the whole family or friends.

Address: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

4. Anakeesta


Anakeesta is an outdoor adventure park located in the mountains above Gatlinburg.

The park offers a variety of activities such as zip lining, mountain biking, hiking, and riding the scenic rail runner mountain coaster.

Anakeesta also has a number of shops and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.

The area offers an outdoor adventure theme park for all ages in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Admission to Anakeesta includes all day park access and unlimited scenic rides on the Chondola chair lift.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping attraction, Anakeesta is the perfect place for you.

Address: 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

5. Gatlinburg Space Needle

Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg.

The Space Needle is a 407-foot tall observation tower that offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg.

The tower has an outdoor observation deck that provides a 360 degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains and the city of Gatlinburg.

You can also ride the glass elevator to the top of the Space Needle for an additional fee.

If you’re looking for a place to get a birds-eye view of Gatlinburg from the observation deck, the Space Needle is a great option.

Address: 115 Historic Nature Trl, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

6. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is another popular attraction in Gatlinburg.

The Sky Lift is a chairlift that takes visitors to the top of Crockett Mountain for stunning views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg.

When you reach the top, you’ll step off onto the Gatlinburg SkyDeck, where you can enjoy incredible views, snacks, drinks, and take a photo with the gorgeous mountains in the background.

Address: 765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

7. Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood is a theme park located in Pigeon Forge, just a short drive from Gatlinburg.

Tucked into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is much more than a theme park attraction.

With over 50 rides including 9 roller coasters and water rides, the park is also known for it’s country and bluegrass concerts and, of course, its tributes to Dolly Parton.

Dollywood theme park is also home to a number of shops and restaurants.

Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

8. Hillbilly Golf

Hillbilly Golf

Hillbilly Golf is a classic mini golf course in Gatlinburg which opened more than 50 years ago.

Located on Parkway, Gatlinburg, visitors start by riding an incline train 300 feet up the mountain with each cart holding 6 to 9 people.

At the top of the mountain, you’ll find two challenging courses of unusual mini golf.

The two 18 hole courses are played as you come down the mountain.

There are hilarious interactive elements, country props and plenty of natural plant life, making the mini golf courses great fun for the whole family.

Hillbilly Mini Golf is open from March through to November from 9 am to 10 pm, weather permitting.

Plan on spending at least an hour for one course.

Address: Hillbilly Golf, 340 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN 37738

9. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is popular distillery located in downtown Gatlinburg.

The distillery is a corn whiskey distillery and features two working copper stills.

Visitors are able to see the distilling process up close while learning about the history of moonshine production in the Smoky Mountains.

The distillery offers tours and tastings of their moonshine.

Address: 903 Parkway 128, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

10. Alum Cave Trail

Alum Cave Trail

The hike to Alum Cave Bluff begins from the Alum Cave Trailhead on Newfound Gap Road.

The name for the Alum Cave Trail comes from one of its natural landmarks, the Alum Cave Bluff.

This unique landmark is not a cave, but rather a massive concave overhang that towers nearly 80 feet high.

The round-trip to the cave bluff takes about 3 hours.

The Alum Trail is a fun trail that is great for kids with lots to see.

You don’t have to hike the whole trail all the way up Mount LeConte if your kids are young or are not experienced hikers.

Address: 12 miles south of Gatlinburg.

11. Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook

Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook

Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is a popular roadside overlook for visitors to take in the sights of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.

The Gatlinburg Overlook is located on the Gatlinburg Bypass which runs between the Gatlinburg Spur and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The overlook offers stunning views of the mountains and Gatlinburg.

Visitors can get one of the best views of the city from this spot.

Address: Gatlinburg, TN 37738

12. Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The coaster first opened in 2013 and has been a hit with visitors ever since.

The Mountain coaster is located on Ski Mountain, which is just a short drive from downtown Gatlinburg.

It takes riders on a four-minute exciting journey through the woods and reaches speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, but riders can control their speed with a brake lever.

The coaster is open year-round, weather permitting and only closes on days when the weather is too cold or wet.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket office.

The coaster provides a unique way to see the Smoky Mountains and is a lot of fun for riders of all ages.

Address: 1450 Pine Ridge Way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

13. Fowler’s Clay Works

fowler's Clay Works

Fowler’s Clay Works was founded in 1892 by John Fowler and his son George.

The company produced a variety of stoneware pottery items, including vases, pitchers, bowls, and mugs.

Fowler’s was known for its high quality products and innovative designs. In addition to pottery, Fowler’s Clay Works also produced a line of electric lamps.

The company operated out of a small shop on Main Street in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and in the early years, the Fowlers did all of the work themselves. .

The pottery studio offers unique handmade pottery, as well as pottery classes for locals and visitors.

Address: 1402 E Parkway Suite 10, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-5754

14. Wild Bear Falls Waterpark

Wild Bear Falls Waterpark

Wild Bear Falls Waterpark is a water park located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

The Waterpark boasts a state-of-the art retractable roof and a heated indoor water park for complete comfort no matter the season.

The park features a wave pool, lazy river, water slides, and more.

The wave pool is a lovely way to relax and enjoy the water, and the lazy river is a great way to float around and enjoy the scenery.

The water slides get your adrenaline pumping, and the park also features a kiddie pool and playground for the little ones.

Wild Bear Falls Waterpark is the perfect place to cool off during the summer months.

Address: 1414 Riverside Dr, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

15. Sugarland Cellars

Sugarland Cellars

Sugarland Cellars is one of the newest wineries in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Since opening their doors in November 2016, Sugarland Cellars has been crafting small-batch, handcrafted wines using only the finest ingredients.

Their wine list features a variety of red and white wines, as well as a few fruit wines and dessert wines. And with names like “Mountain Red” and “Smoky Mountain White,” you can be sure that these wines are truly unique to Gatlinburg.

In addition to their delicious wines, Sugarland Cellars also offers a variety of other products, including gourmet coffee, artisan cheese, and locally made chocolates.

They also have a small selection of Tennessee-made craft beers.

If you’re looking for a truly unique Gatlinburg wine tasting experience, be sure to check out Sugarland Cellars!

Address: 903 Park Ave, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

16. The Village Shops

the village shops gatlinburg

The Village Shops is a unique shopping destination in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The Village Shops is made up of a cluster of small shops and boutiques, each with its own unique offerings.

It is the perfect place to find gifts for friends and family, as well as souvenirs to remember your trip to Gatlinburg.

The Village Shops is located in the heart of Gatlinburg, just a short walk from the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

Parking is available on site.

Address: 130 Woodland Dr, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

17. Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Located in downtown Gatlinburg next to the Convention Center, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum first opened in 1996.

Every single vehicle in the museum was actually used in a movie or TV show.

You will see two Batmobiles from the 1966 and 1992 shows, as well as multiple cars from the Fast and Furious franchise.

This a great museum for people who enjoy movies and cars.

Address: Hollywood Star Cars Museum, 914 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

18. Gatlinburg Pinball Museum

Gatlinburg Pinball Museum

The Gatlinburg Pinball Museum is an interactive museum where you can play over 100 pinball machines and retro arcade games.

Despite being a museum, the location essentially serves as an arcade, where you are welcome to study and play with the machines at your leisure.

It has a wide variety of limited-edition pinball machines.

How long you visit for will depend on how much you enjoy pinball and arcade games.

The Pinball Hall of Fame Museum is a relaxing, entertaining, and memorable experience for pinball enthusiasts that involves some of the world’s most beloved and distinctive arcade games.

Address: Gatlinburg Pinball Museum, 205 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738


What should you not miss in Gatlinburg TN?

You should not miss the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and Ober Gatlinburg.

Other popular things to do include visiting the Sugarland Cellars winery, taking a ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, or exploring The Village Shops.

Does Gatlinburg have skiing?

Ober Gatlinburg is the popular ski resort in Gatlinburg, TN that opened in 1961.

The ski resort and amusement park features year-round activities for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, alpine slide, chair lifts, aerial trams, snow tubing, water slides and a kiddie land.

Can you do whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg?

With several regional rivers just minutes away, Gatlinburg is a great place for whitewater rafting.

Whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River is conveniently located near Gatlinburg, in Pigeon Forge.

Why is Gatlinburg so popular?

Gatlinburg is a popular destination for tourists because it is located in the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the most visited national parks in the United States.

The city also offers a variety of attractions, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ober Gatlinburg, and the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.

What is the best month to visit Gatlinburg Tennessee?

The best time to visit Gatlinburg is in the months of June, July, and August when the weather is warm and the days are long.

However, the city is also popular during the fall months of September and October when the leaves are changing color.

December is another popular month to visit as Gatlinburg hosts a variety of holiday events.

Are the Smoky Mountains worth visiting?

The Smoky Mountains are definitely worth visiting!

The national park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, black bears, and white-tailed deer.

There are also over 800 miles of hiking trails to explore. And, of course, the views from the top of the mountains are simply breath-taking.

Where are black bears in Gatlinburg?

Black bears can be found throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

However, they are most commonly seen in the areas around Cades Cove and Cataloochee Valley.

Bears have also been known to wander into Gatlinburg from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled!

What food is Gatlinburg Tennessee known for?

Gatlinburg is known for a variety of food, including Appalachian comfort food, Southern barbecue, and freshly caught wild mountaintrout.

There are also a number of restaurants that offer views of the Great Smoky Mountains. And, of course, no trip to Gatlinburg would be complete without a stop at one of the city’s many ice cream shops!


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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