Gatlinburg isn’t just the gateway to the Smokies, it’s also a gateway to the perfect getaway for small or large families and groups. Whether you’re an adventurer, foodie, thrill seeker or shopper, Gatlinburg offers plenty of fun to make your visit an unforgettable one. Peruse the selections below to see how many things to do in Gatlinburg there are!
Gatlinburg isn’t just an amazing destination for kids, adults can also find plenty of exciting activities here, too! Here are some great things to do in Gatlinburg for the young at heart.
Take some special time for yourself at Fox Place Salon and Spa. With numerous services available, you can schedule a rejuvenating massage, facial treatment, or a body wrap or scrub to relax and regroup. Compliment your spa treatments with hair and nail services in the salon by the talented and friendly staff. You will leave looking and feeling your best and will be ready for all of the wonderful things the Smoky Mountains have to offer you!
Over 100 artists and craftsmen occupy this 8-mile loop in Gatlinburg. Enjoy endless works of art made of a variety of mediums, including pottery, stained glass, jewelry, and more! This incredible art community has been developing for over eighty years and continues to grow. If you’re looking for more hands-on experiences, there are many classes and workshops scheduled for your favorite crafts throughout the year. Take home a piece of local art from the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains.
A challenging and fun activity for adults, the Captured Live Escape Experience is a Gatlinburg activity that’s unique and rewarding. You’re invited to dinner, and you’re the main course in this twisted cannibalistic tale of the historical Craft family and how they came to crave human flesh. You only have 60 minutes to complete puzzles and riddles and discover the clues that will lead to freedom. Good luck!
Experience the creativity of the first legal moonshine distillery in Tennessee at Ole Smoky Moonshine and Distillery. With so many unique flavors to taste and enjoy, it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular spots for adults in the Smokies. Taste this historic southern treat and bring some home to share with friends. It’s been said the most remarkable conversations are had over a jar of Smoky Mountain moonshine.
Looking to take in the best panoramic views of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains? Then you definitely want to put Gatlinburg SkyLift Park on your list of things to do in Gatlinburg. Hop on the scenic chairlift to the summit of Crockett Mountain, where you’ll be greeted with spectacular mountain vistas. Once you reach the top, relax and enjoy a snack or craft beer atop the newly renovated SkyDeck. For even more magnificent views, take a nice stroll across America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, the brand new SkyBridge. The SkyBridge crosses the sky as it stretches 680 feet across a deep valley. With a height of 140 feet at its midpoint, the SkyBridge is an experience you’ll never forget.
Once called a “moonshiners’ paradise,” Gatlinburg is home to the Sugarlands Distilling Company. American Peach, Silver Cloud, and Dynamic Cinnamon are just a few of the many moonshine flavors you’ll be dying to try at Sugarlands Distilling Company. From what used to stand as a dilapidated barn, has now been repurposed to a beautiful and finely aged building. Witness the handcrafted process of a truly one-of a-kind moonshine. Learn about the company’s rich history in the industry. Just don’t forget to take a jar or two home with you after your tour! If you’re a fan of the TV series “Moonshiners” you’ll recognize the people behind the Legends series. They feature the recipes of Mark and Digger, Jim Tom Hedrick, Mark Rogers, and Steven Tickle. Sugarlands started their “Whiskey Project,” with three different batches in 2016.
The Great Smoky Mountain’s rich history is showcased on the labels from Sugarland Cellars Winery, located at the Gatlinburg entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sugarland Cellars offers daily tours and complimentary wine tasting, great for small to large groups! The gift shop is filled with plenty of wine-related gifts and Smoky Mountain memories. Visitors enjoy carefully selected fine wines crafted on site from pure passion and a rich mountain history. They are a part of the Rocky Top Wine Trail, so if you want to start a Passport, this is a good place to start. They offer dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and specialty wines. If you want to see how wines are made, they offer free tours Monday through Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1:00-5:00 PM every half hour. If you have a group, just call ahead. Tastings are always free.
An inviting, relaxing atmosphere is what this tasty southern pub and grill is all about. Of course, their menu includes heaps of flavorful nachos, juicy burgers, and everything a good hometown grill should have. Give Earl’s Favorite a try–a thick 8oz. beef burger on a toasted bun topped with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, tomato, and stone ground mustard. It’s simply the perfect end to your adventurous day in the Great Smoky Mountains. Southern comfort food has never sounded so good!
This local and family-owned pizza joint offers the freshest ingredients and is commonly referred to as one of the best pizzas in town! A staple in the community, Geno’s has been serving locals and visitors of the area since 1984. There’s no better way to end your day of sight-seeing and exploring than with a big, cheesy pizza covered in fresh veggies, homemade sauce, and whatever your pizza dreams are made of!
Dick is your fiery, politically incorrect uncle, and he also happens to serve up delicious grub in the Smoky Mountains! The servers at Dick’s toss up plenty of sarcasm and entertainment with your meal and people have been known to leave in stitches. This is a family-friendly joint, so bring everyone along for the laughs. They do warn you, you’ll have a good time whether you want to or not!
A wonderful, casual dining spot serving up yummy entrees, appetizers and signature desserts—no one ever leaves hungry from Fridays! There is also a full bar for the adults to let loose and relax after a long day playing at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or The Gatlinburg Skylift Park. There are plenty of kid-friendly options available, as well, and it is a great place to catch live sporting events on the big screen.
Delicious steaks cooked over an open oak fire. Seasoned, hand-cut, and aged to perfection! Many different mouth-watering spice and sauce options. Plenty of other options to choose from, including: seafood, chicken, and pork. Kid-friendly options and also plenty of dessert options!
If you want homemade, fluffy buttermilk pancakes with cascading pools of warm syrup, Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin should be your go-to location. They started out as a backwoods, cabin restaurant for hungry hikers and mountain visitors and the feel was recreated to welcome guests in Gatlinburg and other locations. They have happily served breakfast to over 5 million visitors.
For Thrill Seekers
Get a birds-eye view of Gatlinburg and have the ride of your life on board a helicopter. You can get a tour of Gatlinburg only, or with their “See It All Tour” you will also enjoy views of Douglas Lake, English Mountain, and the foothill mountains of the Great Smokies. Great for young and old, this is perfect for those who want to do something a little different and height-defying.
CLIMB Works is the inventor of the revolutionary automatic breaking system called the ZipKea (short for Zipline Kinetic Energy Absorber). This means the rider’s speed is absorbed as they zip, controlling the rate when they approach the platform and as a rider, you have one thing less to focus on so you can enjoy the scenery! Enjoy 9 world-class zipline adventures from the canopy of the trees. They’re open all winter so no season will stop you from having a great ziplining experience. You can increase the thrill by taking a sunset zipline, which will leave you in darkness about halfway into the zipline tour.
For offbeat and curious visitors, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium is 500 exhibits and artifacts divided into 16 themed galleries showcasing the most fantastic oddities and weirdest stuff Gatlinburg—no, the world!—has to offer. From shrunken heads to visual illusions and unique creatures, you’ll find the perfect place for delightfully weird and seemingly out-of-this world educational entertainment. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is open 365 days a year.
Ober Gatlinburg has more than just skiing…it’s a year-round destination! Enjoy the new Ski Mountain Coaster that covers about 3,750 feet over five and half minutes. Kids aged three to nine can ride with a driver over age 18. The alpine slide is already a great summer activity as you descent on one of two 1,800 foot tracks. There are also plenty of other outdoor attractions at Ober Gatlinburg like the chair swing, mini golf, kiddie land and rides, a maze, and water raft rides.
Stop by Fannies Corner Kitchen for their famous homemade foot long Ogle Dogs. Stop by and pick from over 10 flavors of shaved ice, cheesesteak subs, and sausage subs. Kids will enjoy the corn dogs and games, and parents will enjoy the atmosphere and joy. Stay a while to play games in the Amusement Center, where you’ll find a huge selection of games for all age groups. Fannie Farkle’s has all of the biggest, best, and newest arcade games with the feeling of an old-time country fair. Create memories you’ll have for a lifetime and keep coming back because game points on the new card system don’t expire.
Take the historic 8-mile loop and sink your eyes into the original works of the community members. From painting and pottery to candles and ceramics, this is a spot you won’t want to miss if you want to bring an original and homemade collectible back with you after your trip. There are over 100 different artisans and craftsmen to visit. If you want to get more hands-on and learn some of these skills yourself, don’t miss the “Hands-On Gatlinburg” event in April where you make (and keep) a piece of art or craft from one of the resident artists. Parking is free at all the shops, studios, galleries, and cafes.
Enjoy 18,000 square feet of an outdoor-enthusiast’s shopping dream. From gear for excursions to clothing and apparel for casual living and running, NOC Gatlinburg has it all. They feature items from manufacturers like Columbia, Patagonia, Keen Footwear, Mountain Hardware, Osprey, Chaco, MSR, Black Diamond Equipment, and The North Face.