Gatlinburg Travel Guide
Thinking of taking a trip to the Smoky Mountains? Gatlinburg should be at the top of your list of places to stay. This Tennessee destination is full of fun, from outdoor adventure to art galleries to family activities. Some travelers might be looking for an action-packed adventure trip while others want to kick back and enjoy the natural scenery from the deck of a log cabin.
The Great Outdoors
Many travelers set their sights on Gatlinburg for the proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Families looking for adventure can spend their days fishing on lakes and streams, cycling along Cades Cove (bring a picnic along!), or trotting through the forest during a horseback riding excursion. To really get the adrenaline pumping, do a whitewater rafting tour on the Big Pigeon River. For a more serene experience, explore some of the 800 miles of hiking trails in the national park or take a bird watching tour.
Your Mountain Cabin
The base of a trip to Gatlinburg will often be your mountain cabin rental with multiple bedrooms and space for everyone in the family to spread out. When it’s time to come together, you will have the convenience of a kitchen and living room to plan quality activities along with outdoor areas great for rounding up your family for an afternoon barbecue or starlit marshmallow roast.
Gatlinburg is home to Ober Gatlinburg, the only ski resort in Tennessee. Other winter activities include snow tubing, ice skating, and snowmobile tours. If you’re looking to improve your ski skills, there is a ski school here as well. After a scenic day in the Smoky Mountains, return to the quiet of your cabin for a quiet night with the family. Choose a cabin with a wood-burning fireplace and stock the fridge to cook a family feast and be sure to bring along favorite DVDs or games for evening entertainment.
There is plenty to do beyond outdoor activities. If you need a break from hiking or biking, why not spend a day shopping? Gatlinburg is home to outlets such as the Mountain Mall and Smoky Mountain Outfitters. Many visitors are surprised to learn that there are 5 malls and over 400 stores in Gatlinburg. Many of these are small, local stores that are selling unique arts, crafts, clothing and accessories.
The Art Scene
Gatlinburg is also home to many art galleries. If your idea of the perfect day is browsing through art galleries while breathing fresh mountain air then Gatlinburg is for you. There are almost 100 galleries, studios, and shops that line an eight-mile loop for art enthusiasts. Take the trail along Route 321, Buckhorn Road, and Glades Road to check out the work of independent artisans in Gatlinburg. From ceramics and pottery to quilts and jewelry, you will find a wide range of artistic creations in Gatlinburg.
The Dining Scene
Just because you’re in the middle of the Smoky Mountains doesn’t mean you won’t eat well on your vacation. There’s an exciting little dining scene in Gatlinburg with over 100 restaurants serving everything from southern-inspired fare to Italian to seafood. Don’t miss one (of the many) the local Gatlinburg pancake houses. These restaurants are a Gatlinburg tradition and provide a hearty, delicious way to start the day. Evenings can be spent sampling pit barbecue or hitting a local steakhouse.
In Gatlinburg, you can fill your days with things to do or do nothing at all. Plan your trip to this truly American destination today.