One thing that makes Gatlinburg the ideal vacation spot is its numerous outdoor activities. It is the best place for enthusiasts seeking mountain adventure amid nature. Other than that, the city offers Ripley’s attractions, zip line courses, trekking, scenic rides, river rafting, and fishing expedition, among much more. Not every place offers such vast activities, making Gatlinburg a unique place.
Last year, TripAdvisor named Gatlinburg as the number one trending destination in the US owing to its outdoor activities and family adventures. Another reason for this was that Gatlinburg offers year-round activities for people of all ages. It has pet-friendly cabin rentals, hiking trails, theme parks, and restaurants. Kids also find most places like the Ripley’s Aquarium, Science Museum, Entertainment Center, Moving Theatre, Haunted Adventure, etc., full of fun. The city has something to offer everyone.
Moreover, its proximity to the Southern states makes it easy to travel by road. You can travel to Gatlinburg for a one-day visit, have a weekend getaway, or enjoy your vacation. It offers flexibility to visitors while making travel arrangements.
Let us look at other vital reasons that make Gatlinburg the best tourist destination in the US.
- Home-Like Accommodations
When in Gatlinburg, you will feel more at home than in your own home. Besides, cabins are a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The Gatlinburg Tennessee cabin rentals undoubtedly provide the highest level of comfort and convenience. You will appreciate having a fully furnished kitchen with appliances, utensils, cookware, and dishes, as well as cable TV and wireless internet service in each cabin. Some cabins also offer a fireplace or spa tub to make your stay more enjoyable.
With home-like comforts, you will feel more rested, safe, and secure, ready for numerous outdoor adventures. Renting a cabin is incredibly beneficial and cost-effective for large families and those who find adjusting to a different environment than home hard. Moreover, if you are not a frequent traveler, seeking a home-like accommodation will put you in a better vacation mood.
- Outdoor Activities
You will always have things to indulge in outdoors when in Gatlinburg. Once you get settled in your cabin, explore the numerous hiking trails ranging from difficulty level to the time it takes to cover them. You can even hop in a jeep, bring your bicycle, or ride horseback while trailing. During your hike, you will also come across dog-friendly parks, waterfalls, streams, and fishing spots. Tourists stop at each of these places for a wholesome experience.
Ober Gatlinburg is an amusement park and a ski resort. Take a tramcar from Downtown Gatlinburg up the mountain, about 1,471 feet to the top. The Aerial Tramway runs for 2.1 miles, carrying 120 passengers to the Amusement Park and Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort.
Once tourists reach the top, they can take the Ski Mountain Coaster and the Alpine Slide, hop in the Scenic Chairlift or enjoy summer or snow tubing. You can also see the panoramic views of the mountains during the rides. You will also find skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating here during winter since it is the only ski resort in Tennessee. Tourists from all over the US and outside visit the resort every year.
Anakeesta is another famous mountain in Gatlinburg at 600 feet high summit, on either side of which you will find the Ridge Rambler Adventure Truck and the red Chondola. At the top of the mountain, you can shop, dine, enjoy the Treeventure challenge course, and walk on hanging bridges or lush green gardens while enjoying the views.
You can also participate in zip lining, mountain coaster, or gem mining.
White Water Rafting
Rafting is one of the best adventures for those who love water. The two best facilities in Gatlinburg that offer white water rafting are Rafting in the Smokys and Smoky Mountain Outdoor Rafting. Rafting in the Smokys offers ropes challenge course, a rock climbing wall, and zip lines in addition to the rafting expedite.
The Smoky Mountain Outdoor Rafting is the most extended rafting trip running along 6.5 miles for maximum fun. Here, you will find two zip line courses at the Climbworks Smoky Mountains.
Space Needle Gatlinburg
The Space Needle is an observation tower in Downtown Gatlinburg, as high as 407 feet, offering great views of the city and the Smoky Mountains. At the bottom of the Space Needle is a 30,000+ square feet entertainment and amusement center full of simulators, arcade games, food, and much more.
The SkyLift Park in Gatlinburg features a 700-foot long SkyBridge 1800 feet above sea level and the SkyLift chairlift that takes passengers up to the SkyTrail and hiking paths. The SkyBridge is the longest in North America, attracting more and more tourists.
- Shopping Hubs and Eating Spots
As rich as Gatlinburg is in outdoor adventures, it is equally competitive in shopping centers, malls, and eateries.
Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
At the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, you do not just get to enjoy freshwater taffy but also get a chance to observe its production. It is a delightful experience for kids who can stock up on candies.
Fudge Shoppe of the Smokys
If you are a chocolate, ganache, or fudge lover, you must stop by the famous Fudge Shoppe of the Smokys. You will find unique delectable here.
Moonshine Distillery and Wine Cellar
You can find the Old Smoky Tennessee Moonshine at the Old Smoky Distillery with various cocktails, whiskies, and flavored moonshine to enjoy on the spot or stock up to take home. You can sip the famous Cotton Candy Wine at the Gatlinburg Wine Cellar.
In Gatlinburg, food is more than just fine dining. Every eating spot offers its unique dining experience. You can enjoy group discounts and experience a variety of Southern dishes ranging from starters, main courses, desserts, and drinks. Dress up for dinner at Dick’s Last Resort or head to the Melting Pot for a twist in fondues.
Gatlinburg is undoubtedly the best tourist destination for people of all ages. You can book a cabin rental for home-like accommodation, head into the wild to fully immerse in the mountain adventure, go shopping, and experience your food. It is significantly more enjoyable with kids and pets.
You can visit Gatlinburg any time of the year for as long as possible and explore many activities with your loved ones.