From tubing and skiing to scenic drives and hiking, there is plenty of outdoor fun to be had in Gatlinburg. Besides the winter wonderland that is created by the snow, ice, and holiday lights, there are lots of activities to keep people from 1 – 100 happy.
Lesser-known attractions offer tons of fun
Did you know that Golden Headed Lion Tamarins are some of the smallest and rarest monkeys on earth? Native to the Atlantic forests of eastern Brazil, these amazing little creatures are just one of more than 130 different species you will find at the RainForest Adventures Zoo in the Smoky Mountains!
The RainForest Zoo is one of many lesser-known attractions in and around Gatlinburg that we think you should check out on your next trip to the Smokies. You can always return to Dollywood and enjoy an annual trip up the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. But there are many attractions that don’t get as much press although they’re equally as fun! Some of the best-kept secrets of Gatlinburg are the attractions just off the map. Check out these fun places you may have never explored before.
Whether you’re coming to the Smokies with a groups of girlfriends, your family, or friends from your local community, nothing unites a group quite like shopping! Gatlinburg is just the place to begin your shopping adventure with unique shops from start to finish on the Parkway. Enjoy an afternoon at The Village Shops, or check out any number of the variety of stores we have listed in the Gatlinburg Shopping Directory.
Shopping has long been a favorite activity in the Smokies. Why? Because the Smokies have shops you won’t find anywhere else in the USA! Below, we’ve listed our top 20 specialty shops, but these are nowhere close to all the fun and unique boutiques you will find during your stay in the Smoky Mountains. Continue reading
A visit to Gatlinburg in the fall means great weather, gorgeous fall foliage, and loads of fun events and attractions. To take advantage of everything fall, we recommend driving or hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, riding the Aerial Tramway at Ober Gatlinburg, and paying a visit to the Apple Barn and Cider Mill for a delicious cup of apple cider.
Finding the perfect cup of coffee in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is filled with exciting events and attractions. You can view amazing art at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. You can dip your feet into the rolling LeConte Creek. You can learn about the early settlers of the community at William Ogle’s cabin, built in 1802. But to really appreciate all the adventures Gatlinburg has in store for your day, you need to start the morning right—with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee!
In Gatlinburg, you’ll find all kinds of places to feed your caffeine craving. Of course, you can stop at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts while you’re visiting. But we recommend you try some of the local flavor when it comes to your cup of brew. Below, we’ve listed some of the best coffee shops in the area. Why not try them all while you’re away? Coffee never tasted so good!
Candy shops along the Parkway
One of my favorite things to do in Gatlinburg is to check out the best places for candy and desserts. I have a major sweet tooth, and the shops along the Parkway in Gatlinburg allow me to satisfy that craving. They boast the small-town, good ole days charm of the Smoky Mountains and offer a variety of fantastic flavors.
Golfing in the Great Smoky Mountains
It’s the perfect time to head outside and enjoy the incredible scenery and gorgeous weather that the Great Smoky Mountains has to offer. Soaring mountaintops, dipping valleys, lush trees, vivid wildflowers, and bright blue skies create a beautiful backdrop as you take in the fresh mountain air and stretch your legs a bit. There are many opportunities for outdoor fun in the area, from fishing, horseback riding, and biking to hiking, picnicking, and rafting. But one of the best ways to enjoy summertime in the Smokies is by spending a day at one of the beautiful golf courses in the area.
Scenic drives in the Smokies
With gas prices lower than we have seen in years, it’s the perfect time to pack the car and enjoy a beautiful scenic drive through the Smokies! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a wide variety of these drives—from long, leisurely trails to narrow, winding mountain passes—so every day of your vacation can be an exciting new adventure! Although you are welcome to get out and explore the park’s motorways for yourself, we especially invite you to make time for these three favorites: Continue reading
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! Continue reading