10 Ways to Spend Summer in Gatlinburg

Cool breezes brush past and warm summer rays shine down as you stay and play in Gatlinburg, TN! With so many top-notch attractions, shopping centers, and award-winning restaurants, overwhelmed may be your first reaction to all the fun that awaits in this Great Smoky Mountain town. We totally get it! So, we’ve pooled our top 10 ways to spend summertime in Gatlinburg to make planning a little easier for you. While browsing through our list, jot down the ones that really stick out and incorporate them into your next trip to the Smokies. No need to thank us, Cabins for YOU is here to help!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Oh, yes! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was inevitably heading straight to the top of our list…for obvious reasons. One: it’s the most visited national park in the country. Two: there are tons of outdoor activities, from hiking, biking, and fishing to birdwatching, photographing, and horseback riding. And three: it’s the flipping Great Smoky Mountains — with majestic wildlife and stunning views galore! Need we say more?

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
On especially warm days, keep cool under the sea at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Watch as stingrays dance, piranhas stare, sharks cruise overhead, fish schools swarm, jellies float, octopi hide, and Nemo lives with many clowny cousins. Purchase a masterpiece by painting penguins, ride over Shark Lagoon in a glass-bottom boat, and watch mermaids perform (a summertime exclusive).

Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
No doubt a top choice for Gatlinburg goers, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is home to the largest group of independent artisans in the country. Along this 8-mile loop, you’ll find impeccable craftsmanship in every brush stroke, basket weave, quilted stitch, wood carve, scarf dye, and pottery glaze. Chat with the masters while they work and bring home a few special souvenirs to boot!

Gatlinburg Farmers Market
Pick locally grown and cultivated ingredients for a homemade meal at your cabin rental. Grab jars of honey and jam plus baked goods and natural wellness products. And don’t forget to take home in-season fruits, nuts, and berries! Where? At the annual Gatlinburg Farmers Market, held from 8:30am – noon at the Covered Bridge in the Glades in summer.

One of the newest attractions, and quickly becoming a local favorite, Anakeesta is an aerial adventure park like no other. Travel aboard the Chondola to the mountaintop, where Firefly Village (shops & eateries abound), a treehouse playground, dueling zipline, single-rail mountain coaster (the only 1 in the USA), the Tree Canopy Walk, Vista Gardens, and oh-so-much more await!

The Village Shops
Filled with European inspiration, The Village harbors 27 unique shops and eateries to explore. From fashion, art, and décor to spices, toys, and hiking gear, find it all (and more) here! The best part is this quaint shopping center isn’t about buying and leaving but perusing, chatting by the fountain, and creating memories with family and friends as you traverse this “Old World” together.

Landshark Bar & Grill
Who says you can’t go to the beach in the mountains? Well…pretty much everyone, but this can’t be said of Gatlinburg, not when it comes to food! Bring family and friends to chow down on shrimp po’ boy, fish tacos, Cajun salmon, Off to the Virgin Islands (non-alcoholic) daiquiri, and sea salt caramel cheesecake at Landshark Bar & Grill. Let the salivating begin!

Ober Gatlinburg
It’s the mountaintop amusement park we know and love — welcome to Ober Gatlinburg! Browse sweet shops, stop for a bite at the Seasons of Ober Restaurant, and play at attractions. Soar down water slides, climb the Rock Wall, visit the Wildlife Encounter, defeat the Amaze’N Maze, ice skate year-round, and stay cool on the Ice Bumper Cars!

Local Events

Plan your Gatlinburg stay around exciting summer events in the Smokies!

  • Harken to Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales (June 21 – July 31).
  • Attend the First Independence Day Parade in the Nation (July 4).
  • Sip around the Picnic Wine Trail (July 13).
  • Visit the Gatlinburg Summer Craftsmen’s Fair (July 12-21).
  • Support the Veterans Homecoming Parade (August 10).
  • Get revved for the Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion (August 23-24).
  • Drink up at the Tennessee Smokies Beerfest (August 25).
  • Follow your dream at the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival (August 11-18).

Pool Cabins for YOU
Summertime is pool time in the Smokies — and even better at your Gatlinburg cabin rental! Splash around with the kiddos, wade with the little ones, and relax on a floatie all day at your private indoor pool. Plus, you can opt for lemonade on deck with stunning mountain views, feature films in the home theater, nighttime soaks in the hot tub, gameplay in the fully loaded rec room, spa baths in the indoor jetted tub, and sweet dreams in a plush king-size bed when you book your cabin stay through Cabins for YOU!

Now armed with ace attractions, top shops, delectable eateries, and local events, you’re ready for a fun summer in Gatlinburg, TN!

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