10 Unexpected Finds in Gatlinburg
Most people think of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, miniature golf courses, outlet shops, lots of restaurants, and even moonshine when they think of Gatlinburg. But Gatlinburg holds a lot of hidden gems – unique attractions and things you wouldn’t expect to find in this charming mountain town. There are fun things for the whole family, and if you look hard enough, you’ll find something new each time you visit. Although you probably can’t fit all of these things into one trip, check these out the next few times you head to the Smokies! Many people make a Gatlinburg vacation a family tradition, and they come back year after year because it’s always fun, new, inviting, and exciting!
- Sharks swimming overhead – At the #1 rated Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, explore the underwater tunnel as 12-foot sharks swim above. There are hands-on exhibits for kids (and adults), dive shows, and thousands of sea creatures you may have never seen.
- A Western shoot-out. Saddle up and get your six shooter ready at Shoot’em up Cinema – a 5D family ride in the heart of Gatlinburg.
- A shrunken head – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium is a collection of all things strange and unexpected. The multistory attraction features more than 500 exhibits and one-of-a-kind finds.
- The Chicken Dance – At the Bavarian Funmaker Show, the audience is encouraged to participate in the hilarious fun. It features yodeling, The Chicken Dance, sousa, and more.
- A haunted house – in June – Haunted houses are usually reserved for Halloween, but Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is open year-round. Live actors in Hollywood-grade makeup and costumes are ready to scare around each corner.
- Hollywood celebrities – Just down the road in Pigeon Forge, the Hollywood Wax Museum is the place to “meet” your favorite celebrities. Pose with their life-like figures in movie scenes, play trivia, and pick up some movie- and TV-themed gifts.
- The Batmobile – Located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum is home to more than 40 automobiles from your favorite TV shows, movies, and celebrities. Pose with the General Lee, Michael Jackson’s Mercedes, a 1955 T-bird autographed by The Beach Boys, and more.
- A NASCAR race – At the NASCAR Speedpark, you can test your driving skills on multiple tracks. While they aren’t actual NASCAR cars, you’ll feel like a pro drive racing along in the fast go karts!
- The circus – The “circus” is in town year-round at Circus Golf 3D in Gatlinburg. It’s part circus funhouse and part miniature golf, featuring computer animations, sound effects, animatronic characters, and more.
- A hog race – Ripley’s Moving theater 5D runs on the same Real D 3D technology that was used in The Hobbit, Wreck-It-Ralph, and Hotel Transylvania. Watch Winter Wipeout or Roadhoggers and feel like you’re in the middle of it all.
While the classic Gatlinburg stops are classic for a reason, it’s also fun to step outside the box and try new things. Check out these unique attractions and places on your next visit to the Smokies. These unexpected finds will make your Gatlinburg getaway even more special.
Need a comfortable place to stay after those busy days in town? Check out our Gatlinburg cabins that feature inviting spaces and great amenities. If you’re getting away for a romantic weekend, browse our 1-2 bedroom cabins. We also have large group cabins if you’re planning a church retreat, corporate weekend, or family reunion. Want to splurge? Rent one of our luxury properties! With amenities such as big screen TVs, private indoor pools, home theaters, mountain views, private locations, washers and dryers, fully equipped kitchens, luxurious master suites, and pet-friendly accommodations, we have something for everyone!