Tucked away in the heart of Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a vibrant mountain resort town brimming with charming attractions. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a fan of unique shopping experiences, or just looking to relax amidst stunning scenery, Gatlinburg has something special for everyone. This town, with its welcoming atmosphere and picturesque setting, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and fun activities that cater to all ages and interests. From exploring the rich, green trails of the Smoky Mountains to enjoying the local arts and crafts, Gatlinburg is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Every corner of this delightful town is infused with the warmth and charm of Southern hospitality, making visitors feel right at home. Let’s dive into the top things to do in this quaint mountain town, where each day promises new adventures and unforgettable memories.
Start Your Day With A Hearty Breakfast
There’s no better way to kick off a day of adventure than with a delicious breakfast. Gatlinburg is home to a variety of cozy breakfast spots, each offering a warm welcome and a menu full of mouth-watering options. From fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup to savory biscuits smothered in rich gravy, the choices are plentiful. Look for a place that captures the essence of Southern hospitality – you won’t be disappointed.
Explore The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
After fueling up with a hearty breakfast in Gatlinburg TN, it’s time to explore the natural beauty surrounding the town. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a haven for nature lovers, is just a stone’s throw away. The park offers a diverse range of trails, each leading to breathtaking views, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife; the park is home to a variety of animals, including black bears, deer, and numerous bird species. Remember to pack snacks and water, wear comfortable shoes, and always stick to marked trails.
Visit Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies
Ready for a change of pace? Head to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This world-class aquarium is a hit with both kids and adults, thanks to its fascinating marine life and interactive exhibits. Walk through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays glide overhead, or get hands-on at the touch tanks. The aquarium also offers unique experiences like penguin encounters and behind-the-scenes tours, providing an unforgettable glimpse into the aquatic world.
Take A Ride On The Gatlinburg SkyPark
An iconic attraction, the Gatlinburg SkyPark takes you up the side of Crockett Mountain for some of the best views in town. As you glide upwards in the comfortable chairlift, the sweeping vistas of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg unfold beneath you. Once at the top, you can walk across the SkyBridge – the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America – and capture some incredible photos. It’s an experience that’s both thrilling and relaxing, perfect for seeing Gatlinburg from a new perspective.
Enjoy Local Shopping At The Village Shops
Shopping enthusiasts, get ready! The Village Shops, a quaint European-style shopping area, is a must-visit. With over 27 unique stores and eateries, it’s a shopper’s paradise. From homemade candles and handcrafted pottery to custom leather goods, there’s something special for everyone. Don’t forget to grab a snack at one of the cozy cafes and enjoy the charming atmosphere of this little shopping haven.
Indulge In Local Cuisine For Lunch
By now, you might be feeling a bit peckish again. Gatlinburg has a fantastic array of dining options for lunch. Whether you’re in the mood for BBQ, seafood, or vegetarian dishes, you’ll find something to satisfy your appetite. Local eateries often feature dishes made with fresh, regional ingredients, giving you a true taste of Tennessee. Relax, enjoy your meal, and get ready for the afternoon’s adventures.
When it comes to local cuisine in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you’re in for a treat with a variety of Southern and Appalachian specialties. Here are some dishes and food items you must try:
- Smoked Barbecue: Gatlinburg offers some of the best-smoked barbecues in the region. From pulled pork to ribs, the slow-cooked meats are tender, flavorful, and often served with delicious sides like coleslaw and baked beans.
- Fried Catfish: A Southern staple, fried catfish is often served crispy and golden with sides like hushpuppies and green tomatoes.
- Country Ham and Biscuits: A classic Appalachian dish, country ham is salty and savory, usually served with soft, flaky biscuits.
- Cornbread: This Southern favorite is a must-try. Often made with buttermilk and served warm, it’s a perfect accompaniment to many local dishes.
- Grits: A versatile dish, grits can be found in many forms – cheesy, buttery, or even with shrimp. It’s a comforting and hearty option for lunch.
- Fried Green Tomatoes: These are a crunchy and tangy treat, often served as an appetizer or side dish.
- Chicken and Dumplings: A heartwarming dish, chicken and dumplings is a creamy stew with soft dumplings and tender chicken pieces.
Experience The Thrill Of Moonshine Mountain Coaster
For an adrenaline-pumping experience, take a ride on Moonshine Mountain Coaster. This unique attraction lets you control your own speed as you twist and turn down the mountainside, offering stunning views and an exhilarating ride. It’s a fun activity for thrill-seekers and those looking to add a bit of adventure to their day.
Relax And Unwind At A Gatlinburg Spa
After a day full of activities, there’s nothing better than relaxing at one of Gatlinburg’s luxurious spas. Treat yourself to a massage or facial. It’s the perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate, ensuring you’re refreshed and ready for more Gatlinburg adventures.
End Your Day With A Scenic Sunset Dinner
What better way to end your day than with a dinner overlooking the beautiful Smoky Mountains? Choose from restaurants offering panoramic mountain views and a variety of cuisines. Whether you prefer a casual setting or a fine dining experience, the perfect spot is waiting for you. Enjoy the local flavors as the sun sets over the mountains, creating a picturesque end to your day.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a place where every moment is an opportunity for a new adventure. From the moment you start your day with a hearty breakfast to the tranquil sunset dinner, every experience here is set against the backdrop of the stunning Smoky Mountains. The town’s blend of natural beauty, unique shopping, local cuisine, and vibrant arts scene makes it an ideal destination for travelers of all ages and interests.