Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a well-known destination because it’s home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But it is its blend of family-friendly attractions, gorgeous mountain cabins, great restaurants, unique shops, full calendar of community events, and fantastic weather – along with the park – that has made it one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. Its many offerings make it ideal for a wide range of trips and vacations, including family vacations, reunions, church retreats, anniversaries, honeymoons, weddings, school field trips, and corporate weekends.
Attractions and entertainment
Gatlinburg offers attractions and entertainment for every age, from little kids to seniors. The Parkway is lined with dozens of attractions, both indoor and outdoor, so there are plenty of things to do regardless of the weather.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, housing 10,000 exotic sea creatures that span more than 350 different species, is a favorite for all ages. It features interactive, hands-on experiences for children and stunning displays for everyone. It’s been voted America’s #1 Aquarium by TripAdvisor, boasting top-of-the-line facilities and a location in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is also home to a number of other attractions that are a part of the Ripley’s empire, including Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, and Ripley’s Moving Theater, just to name a few.
Another favorite Gatlinburg attraction, boasting a little bit of everything – dining, shopping, skiing, games, and events – Ober Gatlinburg offers skiing, tubing, and snowboarding in winter, as well as fun for the whole family year-round. The ever-popular Aerial Tramway offers a scenic 2.1-mile ride up to the resort, and the Alpine Slide is a fast-paced ride from the top of the mountain down to the resort. Guests also love the indoor skating rink (open year-round), carousel, Wildlife Encounter, arcade, Kiddie Land, and shopping. There are also several restaurants and cafes to choose from, keeping guests full and happy during a busy day at the resort.
If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll probably try some miniature golf or pop into an arcade. If you’re in Gatlinburg for a romantic escape or you’re traveling with your friends, there are many adult-centric activities you’ll enjoy. There are bars with live music at night, lots of shops to browse, and local wineries and distilleries. In fact, the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler is a popular place for tourists to gather outside, listen to live music, and sample moonshine flavors in the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery.
Events throughout the year offer even more entertainment. Each holiday boasts its own fun, and the calendar dates in between holidays are almost always full of something. The city hosts car shows, arts and crafts shows, food and music festivals, and more.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The most visited park in the national park system, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park brings in millions of visitors a year. It is home to a variety of wildlife – bears, deer, turkeys, and more – along with more than 1,400 flowering and 4,000 non-flowering plant species. The changing seasons bring stunning and varying views, and the weather throughout the year is typically mild. Enjoy sunny days, rushing waterfalls, and lush trees in summer, blooming wildflowers and stirring wildlife in spring, vividly-colored leaves and crisp air in fall, and a wonderland of snow and ice in winter.
Shops run the gamut in Gatlinburg, from quaint, local art galleries to the expansive Nantahala Outdoor Center. As you stroll the Parkway, stop into the many shops selling handmade jewelry, furniture, hand-carved home goods, Christmas décor, toys, cigars, local jams and jellies, pottery, candles, luggage, olive oil, clothing, and much, much more. The Village Shops are a collection of more than 25 shops and eateries in the heart of Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is a collection of artisans showcasing and selling their unique, handmade goods all year long. It’s an important part of the community and a great place to shop in Gatlinburg.
There’s no shortage of delicious options when it comes to dining in Gatlinburg. Sit down for a steak dinner, splurge on seafood, stop by a burger joint for a quick bite to eat, or fill up on dessert between meals. You can choose from many cuisines, including Mexican, Italian, Japanese, American, Chinese, and German. Gatlinburg is also known for its many candy stores selling homemade fudge, hand-pulled taffy, old-fashioned candy, and unique and tasty treats.
Smoky Mountain cabins
Our Gatlinburg cabins offer something for everyone, so you’ll find a great place to call home as you visit this exciting and scenic mountain town. Our large-group cabins are great for retreats, reunions, and large group getaways, while our 1-2 bedroom cabins are ideal for honeymoons, anniversaries, and romantic escapes. We also offer 3-5 bedroom cabins that are perfectly suited for family vacations and weekends with friends, or we have budget-friendly and pet-friendly cabins to meet your other needs. If you want to splurge, check out our gorgeous luxury cabins, boasting some truly amazing amenities.
All of our cabins offer the comforts of home, along with extra amenities you’ll appreciate in a Smoky Mountain vacation rental. Browse our cabins to find home theaters, private indoor pools, outdoor hot tubs, indoor jetted tubs, saunas, fully-equipped kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, TVs in the bedrooms, fantastic mountain views, game tables, high speed Internet, and locations just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.