Explore Gatlinburg, TN
Visitors know Gatlinburg, TN as the gateway to Great Smoky Mountain Park and its 520,000 acres. Gatlinburg is ideally situated within minutes of Pigeon Forge, with its most famous resident’s Dollywood Park. It is also just moments from the Smoky Mountain Parkway with its numerous hiking trails, streams, and scenic outlooks. This big “little” city of only 10.1 square miles is the ideal place to stay and enjoy attractions, fine dining, and the splendors of Appalachia.
Gatlinburg has plenty of entertainment. Walk the city sidewalks or catch the town trolley for family attractions. Enjoy eclectic browsing and shopping. You will find some of the best dining in the Smoky Mountains.
Experience the Ober Gatinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park. The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Ripley’s 85,000 square foot Aquarium of the Smokies. The Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg. Every member of the family will find something fun here!
The Nantahala Outdoor Center is rated “one of the best outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic. The center provides white water rafting adventures on the Upper and Lower Pigeon River.
Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail
Gatlinburg is the home of the historic eight-mile loop known as the Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail. Established in 1937, artisans along the trail include whittlers, silversmiths, painters, and photographers. Also, candle makers, doll makers, basket weavers and much more.
When it comes to food, Gatlinburg has a full plate. Visitors can find great dining, whatever their taste. Gatlinburg has it all: Italian at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. New Orleans’ style at Blaine’s Grill and Bar. Breakfast all the time at Pancake Pantry. A place to play and eat at Fannie Farkles, where you can enjoy a foot-long corn dog while playing in the arcade.
Great Smoky Mountain Park and Cade’s Cove:
As the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain Park, day trips to explore the majestic mountains are a must. Visitors can remain in Tennessee and ride the parkway to Cade’s Cove where the last settlers in the park lived. The cove offers a look into the past. Wander through settlers’ cabins, visit the Baptist and Methodist churches people of Cade’s Cove attended. Visitors can stroll through the graveyards where descendants of the earlier settlers are buried.
Nature comes alive in the cove! Visitors routinely see bear, deer, elk, and other wildlife while they either drive, bike, or ride horses around the eleven mile loop. Keep your eyes peeled.
Visitor centers are great locations to learn about the history of the Great Smoky Mountain Park. Sugarlands is located very close to Gatlinburg at the park entrance. Travel the parkway to the state line and stop for panoramic views at Newfound Gap, located very close to Clingman’s Dome.
The park service has strategically placed boulders along this strenuous hike. Once you get to the top, it’s all worth it! The view from the dome is worth the climb.
A short ride into North Carolina ends at the Oconaluftee Center where visitors can walk through an early farm settlement. Right up the road, visitors can experience Cherokee, North Carolina, and visit the attractions there before heading back to Gatlinburg.
Another Destination for Visitors:
Pigeon Forge is nestled between Gatlinburg and Sevierville and is home to Dolly Parton’s theme parks, Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country. Pigeon Forge is packed with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues like the Titanic Museum, the Comedy Barn Theater, and Smoky Mountain Opry.
Gatlinburg and the other cities and parks around the area have something to entice everyone.