Every year thousands upon thousands of people come to the Gatlinburg Tennessee area. People come from around the world to see the beautiful Smokies in all of their splendor. Not only is Gatlinburg popular, but the Tennessee State Park is the most visited national park in the United States! People come to Gatlinburg for many reasons. Some come for family vacations, some come for honeymoons, others come for group retreats, and others come for anniversaries.
Many people ask us what there is to do in Gatlinburg and that is a difficult question to answer. It’s not difficult because there’s nothing to do, rather it’s difficult because there’s so much to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Because of the amount of inquiries we receive, we thought it would be neat to create a top 10 things to do in Gatlinburg list. These attractions, restaurants, and landmarks are some of the most popular in the area. We think that anyone who visits Gatlinburg, Tennessee should see all of these at least once.
- Rafting in the Smokies – Rafting in the Smokies has over 30 years of rafting experience and is located in Gatlinburg, TN. Their experts will take you for a rapid experience on the upper section of Big Pigeon River. Their staff is very friendly and well trained. It’s a great company to trust with your rapid experience.
- Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre – This musical comedy theatre is the only one if it’s kind in Gatlinburg. They’ve celebrated over 32 seasons at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. They are lauded as the top show in the Smokies. Their show is family friendly and can really tickle your funny bone.
- Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community – The Arts and Crafts Trail in Gatlinburg is a community full of wonderfully talented craftsmen that showcase their work. This historic 8-mile loop is a Tennessee heritage. The Arts and Crafts Trail initially established in 1937. One can find quilts, candles, baskets, pottery, brooms, jewelry, dolls, stained glass, leather, and photography in the Arts and Crafts Community. This quaint area is a relaxing experience, and a place where you’re sure to find a few treasures.
- Gatlinburg Space Needle and Family Fun Center – The Space Needle in Gatlinburg offers an amazing view. Entrance to the Space Needle is located in the center of the Family Fun Center. Take the ride up the Space Needle and you will encounter a 360 degree view of the Smokies from 340 feet above the ground. When you’re done enjoying the view you can come back down the elevator and enjoy some arcade type games.
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum – This attraction is really UNBELIEVABLE. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum features all kinds of unbelievable artifacts. Ripley’s will truly shock you. From shrunken heads to a statue of the world’s tallest man, there are plenty of items that will cause you to question yourself and say “do I believe it or not?”
- Hollywood Wax Museum – Want to meet Angelina Jolie? How about meeting Hugh Hefner, Forest Gump, or better yet Dale Earnhardt, Jr.? Well, these people aren’t in Gatlinburg, but their wax models are. These life size wax models are available for you to pose along side of. Sitting with Forest Gump, or singing with Britney Spears are just a couple of the wax model situations you’ll get to encounter.
- Ober Gatlinburg – Ober Gatlinburg has many options for fun. Not only do they have skiing slopes, they also have snow tubing lanes. Inside, Ober Gatlinburg has an indoor amusement park that boasts arcade games, ice skating, and souvenir shops.
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – This aquarium is truly fascinating. Children can enjoy a fun hands on experience in an area designed specifically for them. Ripley’s Aquarium also features many different types of fish and has a large tank that holds sharks. This special tank has a clear glass tunnel at the bottom that guests get to walk through. This offers a 360 degree view of large rays and sharks. Sting rays can be touched in a small tank available for visitors. And, a new penguin exhibit is on it’s way to the Aquarium, so a visit is a must.
- Pancake Pantry – Pancake Pantry is a well known restaurant located in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. Pancake Pantry’s pancakes are famous! Everything that they serve is made from scratch including the real butter and the fresh whipped cream.
- Zipline – We didn’t choose one specific company for this. Rather, we just wanted to mention it as an activity that must be tried. Ziplining in the Smokies is quite fun. It works for almost the whole family (some exclusions including children under 5 do apply.) If you’ve never zip lined before this is the perfect opportunity.
There is plenty more to do in Gatlinburg but these are great activities to include on your list. Don’t forget, if you’re coming to town take a look at our Gatlinburg cabins. For information on Gatlinburg cabins please call a reservation specialist at 1.800.684.7865.