Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Activities and Experiences for the Discerning Gatlinburg Traveler

Get away to the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains

The Vacationeer
Sunrise over the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, skyline and the Smoky Mountains in fall

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is known for the magnificent Smoky Mountains and kid-friendly activities, such as the Ober Amusement Park. However, sophisticated travelers need only venture off the beaten path to find an unforgettable experience. Check out 15 tasteful and unique things to do in Gatlinburg, from shopping to outdoor adventures.

Take in the Natural Beauty of the Smokies

Wood walkway on a trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 
  • Brave the heights of the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America. Soak in the panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains at your own pace, and take plenty of pictures as souvenirs.
  • Take a guided hike through some of the Smokies’ hidden treasures, from lush cascades to fall leaf foliage. Or see the mountains at your own pace with one of these picturesque hikes.
  • See the Smokies by hoof on a horseback riding tour.
  • Play a round at the Bent Creek Golf Course outside of Gatlinburg for a stunning backdrop to a relaxed game of golf.

Noteworthy Tours and Experiences to Try

Outstanding Local Food and Shopping

  • Eat at Buckhorn Inn for a fine-dining experience with quaint, Southern charm. The inn overlooks the Smoky Mountains, and its menu offers creative regional cuisine.
  • Stop for lunch at the Wild Plum Tea Room, originally inspired by Austrian tea houses. Enjoy wild plum tea hot or iced, and leave room for the dessert of the day.
  • Shop at The Spice & Tea Exchange for handcrafted spice mixes, sample their oils and vinegar varieties, pick out some new teas to try, and find the perfect gift for the foodie in your life.
  • Cigar connoisseurs can browse the Gatlinburlier Tobacconists’ walk-in humidor and wide selection of high-quality tobacco products.

Day Trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Waterfall into a pond in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee 

Don’t feel limited to Gatlinburg during your Tennessee travels. Pigeon Forge is less than 10 miles away and offers a suite of attractions worth trying.

  • See artifacts from the original Titanic at the Titanic Museum, walk through the recreated luxury liner (including the Grand Staircase), and learn about those aboard.
  • Search for your treasure by antiquing.
  • For some high-adrenaline thrills, go on a white-water rafting adventure on the Pigeon River.
  • Relax and rejuvenate at St. Somewhere Spa. Treat yourself to a massage and feel the stress melt away.

No matter your taste, read “Add These 7 Places to Your ‘Must-See in the Smoky Mountains’ List” for Gatlinburg sites everyone will appreciate.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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