1. Peak seasons include mid-summer (June 15-August 15) and the entire month of October. If you’ve traveled to Gatlinburg in the past, your one complaint might be the heavy traffic and crowded streets. To avoid this chaos as much as possible, plan to visit Gatlinburg during its less-crowded seasons. Mid-summer and October are peak seasons, but there are plenty of things to see and do all year round!
2. Traffic can be tricky. During the peak seasons, traffic in Gatlinburg will be at its worst. You should definitely expect traffic delays, especially on the weekends. But there are plenty of ways to get around without getting stuck in traffic, like taking the back roads and walking wherever you can. Check out our blog on Gatlinburg traffic for other tips.
3. You can take the Fun Time Trolley to save on gas and parking. Another great option for avoiding the Gatlinburg traffic is to take the Fun Time Trolley. During the summer months, the trolley is FREE to all visitors and locals, so you can enjoy an open-air ride through the streets of Gatlinburg without wasting your money on gas! Popular stops along the trolley’s route include the Village Shops, the Gatlinburg Space Needle, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
4. Be careful not to overheat your engine or your brakes on steep mountain roads. Gatlinburg is located right in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, so you’re going to encounter some steep mountain roads. As you drive uphill, be sure to pay attention to your engine and stop at available pullouts if you need to allow your engine to cool down. While driving downhill, be sure to shift to a lower gear to prevent your brakes from wearing out.
5. Dozens of activities are inexpensive and even free. You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a vacation in Gatlinburg—even a vacation that involves the whole family! A visit to the Farmers Market or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park won’t cost you a dime. And you can check out affordable attractions like floating down the river for a fun day with the family that doesn’t max out your budget. For more tips on saving money in Gatlinburg with your big group, click here.
6. You will need comfortable walking shoes. If you’re wanting to see the City of Gatlinburg, the best way to do that is on foot. You can save yourself the headache of fighting traffic and enjoy the dozens of shops and attractions that line the streets of Gatlinburg. You’ll also want comfortable shoes if you’re planning on spending time in the National Park. With more than 800 miles of trails, your feet will thank you for planning ahead!
7. The weather can change quickly. Be prepared. Mountain weather is unpredictable. When you’re visiting Gatlinburg, it’s a good idea to keep extra ponchos or umbrellas in the car for unexpected rainstorms, especially in the spring and summer. And if you’re planning to spend the day exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, be sure to wear multiple layers, including a windbreaker, just in case.
8. You should check for trail and road closures before heading out. Often, inclement weather leads to temporary road and trail closures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To save yourself the headache of a wasted morning or afternoon, check the park’s website before you head out. Most of our cabins are equipped with free Wi-Fi so you can easily access this information on your cellphone or tablet.
9. You should learn bear safety. Another important tip for Gatlinburg visitors is to brush up on your bear safety skills. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas for black bears in the eastern United States. If you visit the park, especially in spring and summer, you will want to know what to do in case you encounter a bear in your car or on foot. Two tips the National Park Service recommends include not turning your back on the bear and not attempting to run away.
10. Cabins are the most cost-efficient way to enjoy your Gatlinburg vacation3226. If you’re coming to Gatlinburg to enjoy your family, a group of friends, or your significant other, our Gatlinburg cabins are the best way to do that. You’ll get more than what you pay for, including amazing amenities and private mountain views. Check out our Gatlinburg cabins today.