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fun things to do in gatlinburg tn tennessee

6 Fun Things To Do In Gatlinburg Tennessee

One of the top reasons to visit Gatlinburg is that you will find something for every member of your party.

From kids to adults, there are plenty of fun things to do in Gatlinburg each day you are there.

Take a look at some options here.

Fannie Farkle’s

“Come for the food and stay for the fun” is their motto for a reason.

With 40 years in the Smoky Mountain area, Fannie Farkle’s consistently tops the list of fun things to do in Gatlinburg.

Known for their legendary Ogle Dogs, Sausage Subs, and cheesesteaks, the scent of their delicious menu hits you before you even enter.

After indulging in a hearty meal, play the latest games at the best arcade in the Smoky Mountains.

The location utilizes an electronic game-card system to track your winning points that you can turn in for prizes before you leave.

Mini Golf

fun things to do in gatlinburg mini golf

Image provided by Gatlin’s Mini Golf

There are a few spots in the area if mini golf is your game.

Gatlin’s Mini Golf offers two 18-hole outdoor courses that also feature a glimpse into the history of the area at every hole.

The establishment also provides an Indoor Black Light Nine Hole course as well as value packages with other fun things to do in Gatlinburg like Laser Tag and Escape Rooms.

Another option is Treasure Quest Golf, a championship 18-hole indoor course with unique scenes throughout the game.

They too offer a Black Light experience for all ages.

SkyLift, the Gatlinburg SkyBridgeskylift in gatlinburg tn things to do










What better way to take in the unmatched beauty of the Smoky Mountains than from one of the Skylift chairs.

While there, test out the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, which is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the country, stretching 680 feet and with a height of 140 feet at its midpoint.

There are also 30 feet of glass-floor panels at the center for a memorable view of the landscape.

For hikers, add in the new SkyTrail or take a moment on the SkyDeck.

When you need a break, grab a snack at the SkyCenter.

Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park

Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park

Looking for thrills and chills? Head over to Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park, the home of the World’s First Single Railed Mountain Glider.

You will feel like you’re flying through the treetops when you ride.

Another top-notch experience at the park is the Alpine Coaster.

Since the location offers a one-hour unlimited wristband you can ride over and over again, controlling your own speed as you wind down the mountain.

Try the exciting night rides or head to their second location at Pigeon Forge called Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park.

Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg

Does your party like spooky things to do in Gatlinburg? Tour the Mysterious Mansion, the area’s scariest attraction.

Open daily from 10 AM to 11 PM, the “turn of the century” haunted mansion consists of secret passageways, winding staircases to the unknown, and dark hallways and chambers to get your blood pumping.

The mansion is the perfect experience if you visit during the Halloween season.

Tennessee Homemade Wines

For things to do in Gatlinburg for adults, try Tennessee Homemade Wines.

Situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the winery’s blends are made with local fruit.

Their specialty is sweet wine, and the location provides a free tasting of their Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, and Muscadine Wine.

Gatlinburg Overview Medium.

6 Free and Cheap Things To Do In Gatlinburg TN That Aren’t Boring

If you are planning a visit to Gatlinburg, TN, you will find plenty to do to keep you busy while you stay.

Not every adventure has to break the bank either.

Check out a few low cost or completely free and cheap things to do in Gatlinburg TN.

1-Roaring Fork

Completely free, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is five and a half miles of wildlife, forests, waterfalls, preserved log cabins, and more.

Named after one of the faster mountain streams in the area, Roaring Fork is also one of the largest in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The narrow one-way motor trail makes it easy to navigate if you choose to drive through, or you can take one of the several walking trails nearby.

There are also historical sites such as the Ogle Mountain Farmstead to transport you to another time.

2-Hiking Trails

Head to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and choose from nearly 100 free hiking trails.

The park itself covers more than 500,000 acres and actually extends to two states.

Everyone in your party can find a trail perfect for their age and physical ability, making it a convenient excursion for the whole family.

3-Arts and Crafts

The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is a popular choice for visitors to the area.

Extending just south of downtown, look for workshops run by more than 100 local craftspeople and watch them as they work on their paintings and carvings.

To visit them is free and even if you decide to purchase a unique handmade item, the costs are typically reasonable.

4-Fort Fun

Bringing kids to Gatlinburg, TN? Head to Fort Fun.

The low-cost activities you will find there include mini golf, bumper cars, laser tag, and more.

Let your youngest members live like they did in the mining days by hopping on the Gem Mining experience.

Fort Fun offers discount passes for multiple rides, which saves even more money.

5-Ghost Tours

What historical site doesn’t have a few hauntings?

Gatlinburg offers fans of the supernatural haunted sites filled with a plethora of historical facts from knowledgeable tour guides.

If you are looking for low admission costs, book with Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg.

6-Gatlinburg Trolley

The Gatlinburg Trolley is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around the city.

Regular rates are low and during certain times of the year, riding is actually free.

There are lines on the trolley system that head to specific visitor areas, like the Arts and Crafts Community or Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

There’s an abundance of free and cheap things to do in Gatlinburg TN. We will continue to share them with you here on our blog.


If you have questions or need help booking a Gatlinburg Cabin, contact us, we’re here to help you!




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What to do in Gatlinburg for Christmas

What to Do in Gatlinburg for Christmas

The holiday season is upon on us, bringing with it dazzling decorations, chilly temperatures, and a feeling of family, friendship, and excitement for people of all ages.

If you are planning to spend the holidays in Tennessee, there are plenty of things to do in Gatlinburg for Christmas.

Festival of Lights

Whatever you celebrate, sparkling lights are probably part of your festivities.

Gatlinburg offers visitors a variety of ways to illuminate their holiday experience.

Start with the Trolley Ride of Lights aboard the Gatlinburg Trolley.

The guided tour takes you through the Winter Magic Light displays throughout the area where you can gaze at some of the most awe-inspiring décor of the season.

There is also the Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in the downtown section of the city.

gatlinburg festival christmas parade fantasy of lights

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The parade stars marching bands from Tennessee and neighboring states as well as floats, character balloons, and the big man himself—Santa Claus.


Christmas Shows

If you’re wondering what to do in Gatlinburg for Christmas… taking in the holiday shows is a must.

Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Gatlinburg tn show

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Try family-friendly options like the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas or the Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry, where you and your party will see a massive nativity, sugar plum fairies, and Santa and his team of dancing elves.

Head over to Dollywood for Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede or Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival.

The theme park’s holiday spectacular features millions of lights, entertainment, music, floats, and Christmas’ top celebrities like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.


Winter Fun

Winter sports are a top choice if you are pondering what to do in Gatlinburg for Christmas and the holidays.

Once the snow falls, head outside your cozy cabin to make your own Frosty the Snowman.

gatlinburg tn snow tubing christmas

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There is also snow tubing and ice skating at Ober or visiting the Wilson Glyn Christmas Tree Farm to pick out your very own tree to decorate.

Head over to the Smoky Mountains National Park to view the frozen waterfalls.

Even though some of the parks may be closed during the winter, there are plenty of gorgeous landscapes to see with your family during the holidays.

Now that you know what to do during Christmas, consider the best places to stay in Gatlinburg.

Have questions? We’re happy to help, simply contact us!

gatlinburg attractions things to do tn

5 Unusual Attractions in Gatlinburg, Some Fun, Others Scary (Videos)

One of the best things about visiting the area is the plethora of Gatlinburg attractions.

There is something for everyone, from adventure excursions and thrill rides to exciting museums and shopping districts.

Whether you are traveling alone or with family, every day you stay will bring something new and different to your itinerary.

The Great Smoky Mountain region provides a gorgeous backdrop for some of the best outdoor attractions in Gatlinburg.

Ziplining is popular in the area—even professional athletes and celebrities like Ludacris have raved about the zipline courses available.

Fly over Smoky Mountains National Park or soar above Downtown Gatlinburg, no experience needed.

There are even night courses and different challenge levels so amateur and experts can get their thrills.

Another course to traverse is Gatlin’s Rugged Rope Adventure Course.

The new location is the first of its kind in the area, with participants securely harnessed three stories in the air to face 38 obstacles and challenges.

Suspended ropes, balance testers, and rickety bridges create an unmatched experience to test your mettle and agility.

Kids and adults can get in on the action at this Gatlinburg attraction. Participants enjoy unlimited time on the course, but make sure to follow the instructions before you go.

Closed, laced footwear is required, and anyone between 42” and 48” must be accompanied by an adult.

When you need a break from adventure, head over to the Marvelous Mirror Maze.

The amusement location offers rotating mirrors, exciting sound and light effects, and 2,000 square feet of mirrored pathways leading to dead ends, circles, and corners as you try to beat the maze.

Once you find your way out, head to the Candy Factory for a sweet treat. The menu includes old fashioned favorites and new tasty delights.

Thrill rides get the blood pumping as the adrenaline rushes in, which is exactly what you can expect from the Earthquake live-action ride.

Board the subway train for the simulation experience that features high-tech 3D special effects and sensory imagery to put you at the epicenter of an earthquake.

Ceilings and sidewalks buckle and collapse as the track you are on sinks to the ground.

There is a King Kong-Esque guest star to keep your heart pounding.

The novelty ride is located in the downtown area near other Gatlinburg attractions.

Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg are a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.

At Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, visitors move through the frightening mansion, where live actors lurk in the darkest corners, ready to scare the pants off anyone who dares cross their path.

The mansion is the former location of the Grimsby & Streaper Casket Company, a mysterious property that closed permanently in 1926 because the company owners strangely disappeared.

Could the property really be haunted? You’ll have to see for yourself…

All of our Gatlinburg Cabins are near these attractions. Need help planning your Gatlinburg vacation? Contact us, we’re happy to answer your questions!

best places to stay in gatlinburg tn

Best Places To Stay In Gatlinburg TN Near Downtown and Pigeon Forge

The Best Places to Stay In Gatlinburg! Top Rated Cabins Near It ALL!

The right lodgings can make a difference in how you feel while on vacation.

While hotels and B&Bs are great, the best places to stay in Gatlinburg are in one of the six luxury cabins offered by Rental Cabins in Gatlinburg.

Whatever your pleasure or purpose in the area, be it shopping or hiking, each option is located within 15 minutes of the downtown area.

With a rustic vibe and spacious accommodations for your whole party, the cabins provide a peaceful retreat with access to the Smoky Mountains as well as other attractions such as Ripley’s Aquarium.

Bella Vista and Roaring Fork Lodge are in the downtown area minutes from the main strip near Anakeesta, the Aquarium, and an assortment of the best Gatlinburg restaurants to suit your palate.

If you are looking for a more serene setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, opt for one of the other places to stay in Gatlinburg, such as the rental company’s other available lodges: Star Dancer, Cloud Dancer, Laurel Creek Hideaway, and Smoky Mountain Sunrise.

The cabins are situated in the middle of some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country and offer some of the best amenities to ensure your visit is as comfortable and convenient as possible, from swimming pools to top-notch kitchen appliances.

Enjoy a meal on your private wraparound porch or snuggle up by the fire after the sun sets.

What sets cabins such as these apart from other places to stay in Gatlinburg is the atmosphere.

You will feel as if you are in your own private hideaway deep in the Smoky Mountains.

large private cabins in gatlinburg tn

Choose to make your trip a quiet getaway disconnected from the rest of the world or tap into the exciting city life just minutes away.

Better yet, combine the two and create a most personalized experience every time you book.

In your next search for the best places to stay in Gatlinburg TN, make sure to explore each cabin option so you have exactly what you need for your stay.

And maybe next time, try one of the other choices for a completely different, but incredibly relaxing, holiday.

If you’re looking for the best places to stay in Gatlinburg TN, contact us today to secure your spot in our highly desirable cabin rentals!

Gatlinburg Cabins

5 Reasons Travelers Rent Gatlinburg Cabins Over Hotels

Why Travelers Prefer To Rent Gatlinburg Cabins Over Other Accommodations.

Why rent Gatlinburg cabins? If you are planning a getaway to Gatlinburg, TN, travelers say the best way to experience the beauty of the area is to stay in a cabin.

Gatlinburg cabins offer a rustic vibe and luxurious amenities that are hard to find anywhere else. Here are five reasons to rent one for your next trip.

1. Take in NatureTake in Nature

From unmatched views to incredible wildlife, cabins in Gatlinburg provide an opportunity to commune with the serene natural landscape surrounding your rental.

The awe-inspiring Great Smokey Mountains are picture-perfect as you sit on the porch with a cup of coffee as the sun comes up or as you hike on a trail nearby.

2. Indulge in Luxury

Luxury Gatlinburg Cabins

Even though Gatlinburg cabin rentals are rustic, you are by no means roughing it.

They feature top-notch amenities such as a Jacuzzi, wifi, televisions, kitchen appliances, cozy beds, and even a fireplace for snuggling up when the temperatures are cool.

It’s a home-away-from-home with all of the comforts you’d expect while on vacation.

3. Enjoy Privacy

Private Gatlinburg Vacation Rental Cabin

If you were to stay in a hotel, you would be surrounded by other travelers, but staying in cabins in Gatlinburg means it is just and your party with plenty of space surrounding you.

You even have enough rooms for your family and friends to spread out when you need some quiet time inside the cabin.

Come together for a delicious dinner in the kitchen or dining room, but feel free to relax alone in your bedroom.

4. Head to the Action Nearby

Gatlinburg Cabins Near Attractions

As secluded and soothing as your cabin is, it is not far from the action of the town.

Whether that means adventure sports like white water rafting or ziplining, or heading to a restaurant or shopping area, you are close enough to exciting sights and sounds when you are ready to escape the solitude.

5. Bring the Whole Family

Things To Do For Families In Gatlinburg

Because there are so many types of cabins from which to choose, you can accommodate your family, even the furry members.

Large, small, and pet-friendly locations are available, making your booking a cost-effective way to stay in the area while keeping the family together in one comfortable space.


Click here to see why travelers love to rent Gatlinburg cabins from us –

Best Gatlinburg Tennessee Mountain Coaster (Watch This Video)

Featuring single or double rider cars, prepare to sail down the mountain at more than 30 mph on the coaster’s specially-designed silent track.

If you want to take it slow, you are in control, making the ride safe for children as young as three or anyone else in your party who may not want to speed.

best gatlinburg mountain coaster tnAs the fastest ride in the Smoky Mountains, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is an exciting yet safe experience that relies on gravity instead of chains, pulleys, or other machinery.

The coaster’s attendants ensure that every rider is walked through all security procedures, including how to use the hand brake if you need to slow down or stop.


In addition, they will always make sure no one rides without fully understanding the rules. Once your ride begins, don’t forget to take in the gorgeous sights around you.

The mountain coaster in Gatlinburg, Tennessee features a panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains and city below.

Take the time to snap a few pictures. You may even capture some of the wildlife in the area.

In winter, the Smoky Mountains offer snow-capped views and crisp winter air, adding to the adventure and beauty of the coaster.

Guests are brought to the top of the mountainside by way of an uphill lift system, which also provides an opportunity to view the unparalleled landscape.

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster team offers a ton of perks and discounts, including money off your second ride on the same day.

There are also unlimited one-hour passes for those who just can’t stop racing down the mountain as well as all-day passes.

This is particularly fun because you can then try the coaster at night, which makes for a totally different experience.

The ride is decorated with bright fairy lights, letting you move from illumination to near darkness in the tunnels to get your heart pumping even more.

For the bravest of the brave, attempt the “No Brakes Night Ride.”

After your thrilling trip is complete, head over to the store to grab your merchandise and flaunt how brave you were on the best mountain coaster in Gatlinburg.

You can also view and purchase a professional photo of you and your party soaring down the mountain.

Our Gatlinburg cabins rentals are conveniently located near the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster and other attractions and activities. Contact us for more information!

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Gatlinburg TN White Water Rafting

What To Know About Gatlinburg TN White Water Rafting

Gatlinburg TN White Water Rafting Information

Beginners and experienced guests are welcome to join Gatlinburg  TN white water rafting adventures.

This area of Tennessee boasts several regions perfect for rafting over both Class 3 and Class 4 conditions. In Class 3, expect small waves and minimal dropping points.

While the whole family can join in, it is helpful to have a few participants who can handle a little paddling and maneuvering.

If you like it a bit rougher, Class 4 means medium waves, some rocks, and a few dramatic drops to get your adrenaline going.

Some rafting locations do have minimum age requirements, so be sure to ask when you are booking.

Big Pigeon River is the location to choose for the best white water rafting in Gatlinburg, whether you’ve coasted on the rapids before or you have never tried but always wanted to.

Featuring twelve Class 3 and Class 4 rapids that are dam-controlled and released on a regular schedule throughout the week, the water way winds near Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Cherokee National Forest.

As you traverse rapids with names like Too Late and Razor Blade, take in the gorgeous mountain views unlike any other.

Between trips down Big Pigeon River, make your way to other nearby excursions, such as ziplining, a challenge course and ropes, rock-climbing, hiking, and horseback riding.

Gatlinburg TN white water rafting companies also offer amenities such as handicap access, group rates, friendly staff, AAA and military discounts, and even the chance to earn Boy and Girl Scout badges.

If your family has younger children, there are Gatlinburg water rafting expeditions on calmer waters that offer safe, scenic floating, even for kids as young as three years old.

All precautions are met throughout the adventure, letting you relax as you wind down the river and experience some of the most beautiful sights nature has to offer.

Don’t forget to snap a few photos to commemorate your time in the Smoky Mountain region and your Gatlinburg white water rafting experience.

Want to know more about white water rafting in Gatlinburg Tennessee? We think you’ll enjoy our recent article. Click Here for more info -> Gatlinburg White Water Rafting

Gatlinburg Tennessee Aquarium

Ripley’s Gatlinburg Aquarium – A Tennessee Must See

Ripley’s Gatlinburg Aquarium in Tennessee

If you and your family love exploring the exciting creatures and mysteries of the seas, head over to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Open daily from 9am to 9pm, the location features underwater adventures, including everything from moving glided paths to interactive exhibits for an immersive experience perfect for the whole family.

The Gatlinburg Aquarium also offers guests a team of experts who provide education and entertainment throughout, whether you are marveling at the sharks or gazing at the colorful exotic fish.

Have you ever wanted to pet an adorable penguin or take a dip with a stingray? Ripley’s Gatlinburg Aquarium is known for their Penguin Encounter, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor habitat where guests ages four and up can pet a penguin and take a photo with one.

For those who want a more close-up encounter, put on your bathing suit and check out the Splash with the Stingrays area at Touch-A-Ray Bay. If turtles are more your speed, Feed Sally the Sea Turtle every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Ripleys Aquarium Gatlinburg Glass Bottom Boat
What separates you from 12-foot sharks in the Shark Lagoon? Only about three inches of glass. Besides the mesmerizing predators, the daily trips on the indoor Glass Bottom Boat Adventure put you right in the middle of more than 8,500 aquatic inhabitants, including colorful fish and gorgeous coral reefs, while the Adventure Crew shares their knowledge about each species.

Shark Encounter Gatlinburg Ripleys Aquarium

Sometimes the best way to learn about sea animals and their habitats is to view them from the experts’ perspective. That is why the aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee offers behind-the-scenes tours for guests to experience everything as the staff does.

This includes how the team monitors water quality and cares for the aquatic creatures as well as where each animal’s food is prepared.

Conservation is important for our planet and its inhabitants on both land and in the sea. Educators, scientists, and animal experts ensure that the aquarium is a reliable, educational resource that provides a safe place for every creature in their care.

They also promote research for ensuring each species thrives and are a Green Power participant, supporting locally generated renewable resources.

The Ripley’s aquariums are fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, guaranteeing they meet the standards for animal management and care.

The location is also a successful breeding program for seahorses, cuttlefish, jellies, white-spotted bamboo sharks, corals, and a long list of others. They are staffed for animal husbandry, where marine biologists and aquarists culture live foods such as single-cell algae and brine shrimp.

The husbandry team is also responsible for managing new species gathered from the ocean to make sure careful handling happens during the transition from their natural habitat to their new home.

When you are in the area, the aquarium is conveniently situated near cozy accommodations such as the Cabin Bella Vista. About a mile away, the three-minute drive makes a day trip to the sea animal experience easy.

If someone in your party is having a birthday while you are staying, the aquarium offers special events to celebrate.

For more information on the Gatlinburg Aquarium, head over to Ripley’s website Call (865) 430-8808 or (888) 240-1358 for more on Gatlinburg Aquarium coupons, or drop them an email at

10 Reasons Why Gatlinburg Is the Ultimate Family Vacation Destination

If you are looking for a great family vacation destination, look no further than Gatlinburg, TN. This Southeast destination is located at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If you love nature and want an endless offering of kid friendly activities, entertainment, and dining options keep reading and get ready to be amazed!

1. National Park

Tucked away in a charming valley, Gatlinburg is the gateway to the nearly 520,000 acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is America’s most visited national park, with over 11.42 million visitors in 2018.

There is no cost to enter the park as is not the case with many other national parks. If nature and hiking is your thing then you will want to check out the 800+ miles of hiking trails throughout. You will have your choice of easy, all the way to strenuous hiking, depending on your fitness level. The park is filled with glistening waterfalls, spectacular mountain overlooks, and abundant wildlife. It also boasts the largest concentration of wild black bears anywhere in the United States.

Be sure to bring your picnic basket! There are numerous spots you can get off of the beaten path to relax and have a wonderful picnic lunch.

2. Gatlinburg Sky Lift

Opened in 1954, the Gatlinburg Skylift is an icon of the city. You can catch a lift from the bottom located on the Parkway downtown. You will then be lifted approximately 500 vertical feet to the top where you will then have the option to walk across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. The bridge is 680 feet long and spans the valley 140 feet below your feet! And just when you think that is as extreme as it gets, you will then come to find the center sections of the bridge are made of clear glass which will surely play mind games with you!

3. Anakeesta

If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, take a trip up to Anakeesta. You could spend the better part your day at this great family vacation destination, and there is plenty to keep the entire family entertained. With places to eat, shopping,  special events, and activities there is no shortage on fun up this mountain. Anakeesta is located 600 feet above the Gatlinburg strip on a small mountain. You will need to purchase a wrist band for entry and ride the chair lift to the top. If riding the chair lift not your thing, they also have 45 person trucks called Ridge Ramblers to get you to the there.

Once you are at the summit you have to check out the Treetop Skywalk!  With over 800 feet of sky-bridges, it is the longest tree-based bridge in North America. As you walk from treetop to treetop keep your eyes open for wildlife, or even a bear on the forest floor below.

4. Lodging

The area around Gatlinburg has no shortage of lodging to fit your needs. From hotels to rental cabins there is something for everyone! Many groups choose to come to the area and stay in a cabin. There are over 10,000 cabins in the area to choose from that sleep from 2 people to 50 people. A rental cabin will give you the space you need at an affordable price. Everyone can have their own private bedroom and spread out a bit more. Most of the cabins in the area have games, hot tubs, and spectacular mountain views which make them a great family vacation destination.

If you love to hike you must plan a visit to LeConte Lodge. The lodge is situated just below the summit of Mt LeConte. It is the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States. The lodge is only accessible by hiking and space is EXTREMELY limited. You will likely need to make your reservations up to a year in advance. Guests are housed in hand built rough hewn log cabins with kerosene lanterns, propane heat, clean linens and warm blankets. Warm meals are served family style in the dining room.

5. Ripley’s Aquarium

If you have time, you should check out Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The aquarium is located on the main strip in downtown Gatlinburg. It is home to hundreds of species of fish and other sea life. There is also a shark lagoon, stingray exhibit, tropical rain forest, and an adorable live penguin habitat. Be sure to book one of the penguin encounters where you can meet the penguins in person face-to-beak!

You can also book special experience packages! Some of those include camps, sleepovers, and other educational sessions. There is also a glass bottom boat ride that will take you over a shark infested lagoon. Three inches of glass will be the only thing separating you from the sharks below your feet.

If you need some lodging we have two properties for rent that are less than a mile from Ripley’s Aquarium and the downtown strip. Those properties are Bella Vista Lodge and Roaring Fork Lodge.

6. Ziplining Adventures

There are many zip-lining companies to choose from in the area. One of the largest and best known is Climbworks, which is located about 15 minutes east of downtown Gatlinburg.

There are two different zip-line tours available at Climbworks. The Mountaintop Zipline Tour is an epic adventure with 5 dual zip-lines and 360˚ panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains.  The Treetop Canopy Tour boasts 9 exciting zip-lines. You will participate in a fun ATV adventure ride to the top and then an exhilarating flight through the treetops on the world class zip lines.

We also own 2 luxury cabins extremely close to Climbworks if you need a place to stay. Our Star Dancer Cabin is up the mountain from Climbworks, and you can watch the adventurers glide along the treetops from our rear decks. Our other property,  Smoky Mountain Sunrise is within a 5 minute drive as well.

7. Ober Gatlinburg

If you are planning your visit during the winter months be sure to head up to Ober Gatlinburg. You can ride the tram up to Ober or drive up Ski Mountain Road. The tram ride is my favorite, but it can get crowded during busy season. You can do some skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing at Ober. If you do not know how to ski don’t worry! Lessons are available too!

During warm weather months when snow is not around, Ober Gatliburg has a ton of other fun stuff to offer as well. Some of the activities open are summer tubing, ice skating, an alpine slide, mountain coaster, wildlife encounters, and a whole lot more.  Ober is not just a Winter destination anymore. There are plenty of exciting activities for the whole family to do year-round at this great family vacation destination!

8. Pancake Pancakes Pancakes

If you are like me and you love to eat, you will have no shortage of options in Gatlinburg. Some people say the area has the highest concentration of pancake houses in the world. That may be correct! One of my favorites is The Little House of Pancakes on East Parkway. This is not a flashy restaurant, but the food is excellent and this is where the locals eat!  Personally, I think they have The Pancake Pantry  easily beaten in pancake department. The staff is always friendly and you will feel like a local eating here. Be sure to ask for the all-you-can-eat pancakes. You will be treated to a pizza sized pancake, and if you can manage to stuff it away you are welcome to have another one!

9. Walk the Gatlinburg Strip

A trip to Gatlinburg is not complete until you take a stroll along the downtown strip. There are hundreds of small shops and restaurants along the way. Be sure to grab some of the famous Smoky Mountain taffy or fudge while you are out. You will have endless options for dining along the strip as well. You can easily spend a whole day downtown and never come close to doing everything you want to do.

10. Moonshine Distilleries

This is for the adults in your family. Moonshine has a long history in Tennessee. Since the legalization of moonshine, distilleries are popping up everywhere.  A couple of the more famous ones are Ole Smoky and Sugarlands. Both offer free tastings and a wide ranging assortment of moonshine flavors to choose from.

Ole Smoky, which claims it is America’s most visited distillery, offers tours at The Holler. Go behind the scenes and see how moonshine is made. You will see it, smell it, and taste it if you desire.


Much More to Do In Gatlinburg

There you have it! I have provided you 10 of the most popular things to do in the Gatlinburg area, and why it is such a great family vacation destination. There is so much more available to do in the that you will never be able to see it all in one trip. New attractions are popping up every year, so there is always something new to see and do. These are just some of my most recommended things to do if you are visiting the Gatlinburg area. I hope this list will help you with your decision making when planning your trip to the mountains!


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