Even though Gatlinburg is one of the smallest towns in Tennessee, it is among the state’s busiest tourist destinations. The city is filled with a mix of beautiful landscapes and magnificent attractions, which makes it a popular area. One of the most famous places to visit is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which has multiple places to explore. If you are interested in heading to Gatlinburg for a vacation, then you are probably wondering where to begin. Planning and deciding where to go might get tiresome, especially if you are unsure of what the city has to offer. Thankfully, you can now rest all your worries aside.

Here is a list of five fun things to do while in Gatlinburg

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

As mentioned above, this is one of the most popular places to check out when looking for places to visit in Gatlinburg. It is a forested region that has several beautiful mountains that reach over 6,500 feet tall. Travelers usually head to the mountains all year round, depending on the activity you intend to perform once there. Skiers usually head to the mountains during winter while mountain bikers and climbers opt to visit during summer, fall, or spring. You will also find that the park has visitor centers that provide guides who can take you on tours along some of the trails on the mountains.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

You will find that Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has a wide variety of marine life from different parts of the world. Examples include a submerged acrylic tunnel that allows visitors to observe marine predators such as sharks in proximity. For a once in a lifetime opportunity, you can opt to sign up for a penguin experience where you can get a chance to pet a real-life penguin. Alternatively, you can get a chance to swim with the stingrays.

Rent a Cabin

What better way to get a feel of Gatlinburg than spending time in the great outdoors? Renting a cabin is a sure way of ensuring you get the most out of your time and money, especially if you are looking to get a good feel for nature. There are several Gatlinburg cabins that offer beautiful amenities while still staying within your budget. A cabin is also a better housing choice to go with compared to a hotel as you can get more privacy and enjoy quality time alone or with your travel companions.

Anakeesta

This is among the new attractions in the city and is an adventure and nature theme park. It has several adrenaline-filled activities for individuals. The excitement starts with a cable car ride that heads to the Anakeesta Mountain from the town, which drops you in the middle of the park’s 70-acre forest. Some of the exciting activities that can be enjoyed at the park include zip lines, a tree canopy walk, a gem mining station, and a treehouse playground for the kids. 

The Sugarlands

This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Smoky Mountains. The area is named after sugar maple trees which were once quite popular in the valley. The area is especially popular with hikers during October when the leaves are changing color and shedding. A popular hiking trail is the Old Sugarlands Trail which is mostly used by hikers and horse riders. You will also find that there is a less steep trail leading from the Sugarlands Visitor Center and swirls past the John OWNBY Cabin which was built in 1860. Your kids can also get in on the hiking fun by following a trail that leads off from the visitor center to the Cataract Falls, which are approximately 25 feet tall. 

The great thing about Gatlinburg is a number of these sites are located within proximity of each other. Several shops and restaurants are also conveniently situated. It is important that you do your due diligence in research before heading to the town. Whether you are heading to the town of Gatlinburg alone, as a couple, or in a group of friends or family, you are always bound to find several activities to do.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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