Best of the Smokies: Top-Ranked Attractions

Gatlinburg is a number-one travel destination for good reason. Nestled among the gorgeous Smoky Mountains, it has something for everyone, from little tikes to honeymooners to your adrenaline-junkie best friend! So if you’re looking for the perfect destination—whether you’re planning a romantic retreat, a friends’ getaway, or a much-needed family vacation—we recommend booking your stay in the charming mountain town of Gatlinburg.

After you’ve booked your favorite Gatlinburg cabin with Cabins For You, we recommend doing some research and making plans ahead of time for the activities and attractions you you want to enjoy while you’re in town. Often, you can buy tickets early or at least plan out your schedule so you don’t miss any of the fun Gatlinburg has in store. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of five of the top-ranked attractions in the area—voted for by visitors like you!

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park—Wildlife. Hiking. Waterfalls. Hay rides. Horseback Riding. Picnics. Fishing. This is just the beginning of the outdoor activities waiting for you in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park—the most visited National Park in the U.S.—is FREE to all visitors and full of fun for all ages. There’s even a Junior Ranger program for little ones who want to learn more about the ins and outs of the park’s history and wildlife. Be sure to plan for at least a day in the park during your stay in Gatlinburg.
  2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies—If you think an aquarium is just a chance to see a bunch of fish, then you’ve never been to Ripley’s! While Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies does have a TON of fish for you to see, it also has penguins, sharks, stingrays, and behind-the-scenes activities that give you the chance to interact with these amazing creatures right in the heart of the Smokies. Check out their Penguin Encounter or Splash with the Stingrays while you’re in Gatlinburg. For kids, look into the Jr. Aquarist Camp or the Kids’ Night Out (parents, you’ll love this one!). At this aquarium, education and entertainment combine for a unique Gatlinburg experience you won’t ever forget!
  3. The Village Shops—Just off the Parkway in Gatlinburg, you’ll find a small collection of shops known as The Village. With 27 unique boutiques, clothing stores, eateries, and galleries, everyone in your group will find something to taste, try, or take home in this quaint Gatlinburg locale. Enjoy shops you won’t find anywhere else, including The Day Hiker, The Honey Pot, The Silver Tree, Zi Olive, and Candle Cottage. And when you’re ready for a snack, you won’t have to walk far to find The Donut Friar or The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & Cheese Cupboard. These are one-of-a-kind flavors you’ll find only at The Village!
  4. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery—In July 2010, the first legal distillery in the state of Tennessee opened right on the streets of Gatlinburg. That’s right—we’re talking about the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. Come check out the working still, where the owners are making their moonshine right on-site. And if you’re over 21, we invite you to enjoy their unique moonshine flavors. Original Moonshine. White Lightnin’. Blue Flame. Even Strawberry Lightnin’, Big Orange, and Apple Pie are on the menu board at Ole Smoky. So bring your group and get a taste of an old Tennessee tradition in Gatlinburg.
  5. Alewine Pottery—Part of The Village Shops, this unique boutique deserves its own mention on our list. Robert Alewine opened this shop more than 30 years ago and has continued his family-owned business with local and national success. At Alewine, you can not only buy a piece of Robert’s handmade Smoky Mountain pottery, but also watch the potters in action! These hand-spun pieces are as beautiful as they are functional—from their variety of mugs to serving dishes to mixing bowls. Take home your piece of Smoky Mountain artistry today!

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