Gatlinburg, a charming mountain town located just southeast of Knoxville on the Little Pigeon River, is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the most visited national park in the USA (10 million visitors annually).
Also known for its ski resort, Gatlinburg is located at the north entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country.
Brimming with shops and opportunities for outdoor fun and recreation, there's plenty to do in this popular honeymoon destination. Down Gatlinburg's main street, are shops, restaurants, art galleries, a ski resort, and attractions like Ripley's museum, the Aquarium of the Smokies, and the famous Aerial Tramway Gatlinburg's two 120-passenger cable cars which transport passengers from downtown Gatlinburg to the mountaintop amusement park/ski resort, Ober Gatlinburg and its spectacular views, is a ride worth taking.
If you enjoy shopping, Gatlinburg has unique shopping malls and villages with local arts and crafts, specialty food shops, and art galleries. Year-round, you'll find something going on in Gatlinburg.
Throughout the entire year, there are special events like Winterfest, a Christmas Parade, Spring Fest, the Heritage Festival, 4th of July Parade, and Taste of Autumn. Also, Gatlinburg boasts the only ski resort in Tennessee and during the winter months, visitors can enjoy skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing in the mountains. Gatlinburg is just minutes from historic Cade's Cove, Pigeon Forge and Dollywood.
You can also enjoy swimming, trout fishing, white water rafting, canoeing, picnicking, camping, golf or simply enjoying the stunning views from your car as you drive along the winding mountain roads.
In the Smoky Mountains National ParkThe Great Smoky Mountains are named for the blue misty haze that surrounds them. The park is 95 percent wilderness, with breathtaking views, waterfalls, streams, wildlife and forest.
Admission to the park is free and visitors can enjoy the spectacular scenery any way they’d like as the park has over 800 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, biking, and mountain climbing.
Touring the National ParkVisitors can even enjoy the breathtaking views without ever leaving their cars as there are wonderful auto trails. One excellent motor tour is the Roaring Fork Auto Tour, a six mile drive on a paved road which both begins and ends in Gatlinburg. On this driving tour, you can pull over at overlooks, see the amazing topography, streams, and waterfalls, or park and take short hikes. Visitors can find hiking trails throughout the park along its roadways. Along the park's roadways, there are both short and long hiking trails. You can park the car and stroll these trails, which are safe and well marked.
Also, be sure to include a visit to some of the park's spectacular waterfalls during your trip to the park. Visitors can drive to popular park attractions like the historic Cade's Cove area and
Clingman's Dome, Tennessee's highest point (6643 feet). However, visitors must hike the final half-mile to the top of Clingman's Dome on a paved trail leading to an observation tower overlooking the entire area.
U.S. 441 traverses the park and takes drivers across the Tennessee/North Carolina Border to the Cherokee Reservation area in about 45 minutes.
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and other AttractionsThere are endless opportunities for fun in the area. Gatlinburg and the nearby towns of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville offer something for everyone in every age group. There is outlet shopping, fine dining, many country music theatres, the Gatlinburg golf course, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Forbidden Caverns, Bass Outdoor World, Wonderworks, Dollywood Theme Park, and of course touring and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
These are just a few of the attractions this area has to offer. And just a short drive through Gatlinburg and across the National Park on Hwy 441 will take you to the Cherokee Reservation, Harrahs' Casino, and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
Local news and events in GatlinburgHere is a collection of local Gatlinburg events and newsworthy local information that I think might be interesting for you when you visit the smokies!
Links to Local Attractions and Activities
- Dolly's Splash Country Water Park
- Biltmore Estate
- Cherokee Reservation
- Smoky Mountains Winterfest
- Horseback Riding
- Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
- Wonderworks (Pigeon Forge)
- Fiddlers' Feast Supper Show
- Hiking in the Smokies
- Pigeon Forge "The Track"
- Outlet Malls-Pigeon Forge
- The "Old Mill"
- Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park
- Antique & Arts and Crafts Shopping
- Boat, Canoe & jet ski Rentals
- White Water Rafting
- Golf at Bent Creek Golf Village
- Putt-Putt courses in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge
- Great Smoky Mountain National Forest