10 Reasons to Visit and Explore Gatlinburg


Imagine you are planning a vacation; everybody is on board, but you are having trouble with the destination. You want a location where your family can engage in fun activities, and kids can enjoy. Well, that is a conundrum, isn’t it? Don’t worry; we have just the place in mind – Gatlinburg is the ideal vacation spot for you. 

Gatlinburg is a town located in Tennessee, often dubbed as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. This town has something to offer everyone. Thousands of tourists visit the area each year to enjoy the year-round activities and events it has to offer.

There is a misconception that Gatlinburg is a tourist spot crowded with only gift shops. Sure, there is a great deal of those, but it offers more than that. You can find comfort in mountain getaways and attend live concerts. It is a family-friendly destination with fun-packed adventures and different festivals. 

Gatlinburg is a place where you can have an endless amount of fun. You can go for a family hike or build a campsite. You can arrange a picnic or take your kids to magic shows. It’s an all-in-one fun package. 

If you are still confused, below mentioned are reasons why you should add Gatlinburg to your destination list:

1. Plenty and Diverse Accommodations:

You will not find any shortage of places to stay that will suit your needs in the Gatlinburg area. There is something for everyone, from Gatlinburg cabin rentals to hotels and campsites. 

Families usually struggle to find places where they can stay in groups. It will not be an issue if you are visiting with your family. You can rent cabins according to your need and sizes at an affordable price. There are plenty of rental cabins that can hold anywhere around 4 to 20 bedrooms and offer various amenities like indoor swimming pools and game rooms. You can even choose from different locations, like whether you want to be near downtown or closer to the spectacular beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

2. Terrific Views of Smoky Mountains National Park:

There’s a reason why Gatlinburg is called the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Millions of visitors frequent the park. It is among America’s most visited places. 

Here’s the fun part. Unlike most national parks, this park is free to enter. There are hiking trails spanning miles and miles located throughout the park. You can go solo or arrange a family trip. It is an ideal place to witness the tall, beautiful mountains surrounding the town. Nature lovers will have a great time exploring the astonishing beauty. Not only that, but the park also houses sparkling waterfalls, spectacular mountain views, and an abundance of wildlife.

3. Anakeesta Theme Park:

If you are visiting Gatlinburg, Anakeesta theme park is worth exploring. It is a family-friendly place, located at a 600 feet mountain.

For an entrance, purchasing a wristband is necessary. Since it is located on top of a mountain, you will need to take a chair lift. If you are not a fan of chair lifts, you can also avail of the service of a Ridge Rambler truck. Once up there, you will find the luxury of restaurants, shopping, and festivals.

North America’s largest tree-based bridge, known as Treetop Skywalk, is also a part of the theme park. Suspended about 60 feet in the air, it is a perfect place that magnifies the beauty of mountains. Once you are at the bridge, you can witness the wildlife of Gatlinburg. If you are lucky, you will find wild black bears casually roaming around on the forest floor. 

4. Gatlinburg Sky Lift:

The Gatlinburg Skylift is a city landmark. Since it opened its doors in 1954, it has attracted millions of people who want to ride an open-air chairlift to the top of a 1,800-foot overlook with views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Another noticeable feature is North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Located at the staggering height of 500 feet to the top, you will have ample opportunity to walk across the historical bridge. Spanning the valley 140 feet below and with a length of 680 feet, you can testify to the beauty of mountains. 

5. Explore the Aquarium:

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit place. The aquarium houses hundreds of fish species. You can also come face-to-face with penguins by booking penguin encounters. Kids can also feed them.

The aquarium offers a variety of packages. You can sleep in camps or attend educational seminars with your kids. If you are fearless, you can watch sharks swimming around you with only a glass wall between you and these apex predators. 

6. Adventure Opportunities:

If you’re visiting Gatlinburg, there are plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities to try. Go whitewater rafting in some nearby rivers, whether it’s your first time or you’re a professional. Try a ropes course, horseback riding, or zip lining in the mountains.

Ober Gatlinburg also has many other fun activities to offer visitors, including Wildlife Encounter, Ice Skating, Ski Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, Amaze’N Maze, Aerial Tramway, Ice Bumper Cars, and more.

7. Moonshine Distilleries:

This is for your family’s adults. Tennessee has a long history with moonshine. Since the legalization of moonshine, distilleries have sprouted up all over the place. Ole Smoky and Sugarlands are two of the more well-known. Both provide free tastings as well as a diverse selection of moonshine flavors.

The Holler is open for tours by Ole Smoky, which claims to be America’s most visited distillery. See how moonshine is made behind the scenes. You can see, smell, and taste it if you want.

8. Arts & Crafts:

You can also find an abundance of handcrafted items. There is a whole community dedicated to arts and crafts in Gatlinburg. You may want to be a part of the day trail if you’re looking for a unique experience. You will find some valuable handcrafted pieces such as pottery, paintings, or some of the best leatherwork from skilled artists in this community.

9. Dine According to Your Mood:

Gatlinburg is not limited to roller coaster rides or attractions. You will find an excess of food establishments spreading all around. Pancakes are their specialty which you will see on every corner. If you aren’t in the mood for breakfast, you can satisfy your cravings with fast food items such as pizzas or burgers. There are plenty of dining options you can choose from, and you won’t be disappointed with the hospitality of the locals.

10. Walk the Gatlinburg Strip:

A trip to Gatlinburg isn’t complete unless you walk down the downtown strip. Along the way, there are hundreds of small shops and restaurants. While you’re there, try some of the famous Smoky Mountain taffy or fudge. There will also be plenty of dining options along the strip. You could easily spend an entire day and still not manage to indulge in everything downtown Gatlinburg has to offer.


That’s all there it is! If a vacation is due for you, you don’t have to search for a destination anymore. Gatlinburg is a perfect place for a family trip. There are so many things to do that a week-long vacation may not be enough. 

You can enjoy the views of the mountains and witness wildlife wandering around. You can opt for a hike on a trail packed with overwhelming beauty or visit a museum. You can attend festivals or go for thrilling rides. In short, you will not find a better place to visit than Gatlinburg this year.