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Gatlinburg for Outdoor Adventure and Family Fun

Prepare for an unforgettable mix of outdoor adventure and family fun in Gatlinburg, where thrills and memories await at every turn.



gatlinburg getaway for families

In Gatlinburg, you'll find a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. From ziplining, hiking, and horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Ober Gatlinburg's skiing, water park, and mini-golf, there's something for everyone. Thrill-seekers can brave the exciting Mountain Coaster, while nature lovers explore the diverse ecosystems of the park. Family time can be cherished at Mynatt Park, offering picnics and play areas. With guided horseback rides, whitewater rafting, and nature walks, Gatlinburg guarantees unforgettable moments for all. Embrace the adventure and joy that Gatlinburg holds for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Gatlinburg offers outdoor adventures like ziplining, whitewater rafting, hiking, and horseback riding.
  • Family-friendly activities include Ober Gatlinburg, museums, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Thrilling mountain coaster experiences available for adventurous families.
  • Enjoy picnics and play at Mynatt Park with playgrounds and walking trails.
  • Guided mountain trail rides at Cades Cove Riding Stables offer memorable outdoor experiences.

Outdoor Adventures in Gatlinburg

Looking for thrilling outdoor adventures in Gatlinburg? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a plethora of exciting activities for nature enthusiasts. From ziplining through the lush forests to whitewater rafting along exhilarating rapids, there's no shortage of adrenaline-pumping experiences to be had.

For those seeking a more leisurely exploration, hiking trails provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of the park. Additionally, biking, bird watching, and horseback riding offer unique ways to appreciate the natural beauty of Gatlinburg.

If you're looking for a more structured adventure, consider undertaking guided tours like Thundering Streams or Falls of the Smokies Guided Hiking Tour. These experiences allow you to explore further the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains while learning from knowledgeable guides.

Whether you're a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, the outdoor adventures in Gatlinburg are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Family Fun Activities in Gatlinburg

gatlinburg family vacation ideas

Discover a plethora of family-friendly attractions in Gatlinburg that cater to all ages, offering a mix of adventure and entertainment. From Ober Gatlinburg, an amusement park featuring skiing and a popular aquarium and water park, to adventurous activities like ropes courses, ziplining, and mini-golf, there's something for everyone.

Museums in Gatlinburg provide educational experiences that blend entertainment and learning opportunities, ensuring a well-rounded family outing.


In addition to these attractions, Gatlinburg is surrounded by the stunning Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering families a chance to engage in various outdoor activities such as nature walks, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting. This proximity to the park makes Gatlinburg an ideal destination for families seeking a mix of adventure and natural beauty.

With options for winter sports, skill-building classes, and unique competitions, Gatlinburg provides year-round entertainment for families. Whether you're seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or educational experiences, Gatlinburg offers a diverse range of activities to enjoy with your loved ones.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Exploration

Explore the vast beauty and natural wonders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering over 800 miles of hiking trails and abundant wildlife sightings.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With diverse ecosystems and stunning landscapes, the park provides a range of activities for visitors of all ages and abilities.

From leisurely strolls to challenging treks, the park's extensive trail system caters to various skill levels, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.


Keep your eyes peeled for the park's diverse wildlife, including black bears, elk, and over 200 bird species. Don't miss the opportunity to explore historic structures, picturesque waterfalls, and breathtaking scenic overlooks scattered throughout the park.

Spanning over 500,000 acres across Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect destination for those seeking a memorable outdoor adventure.

Thrilling Mountain Coaster Experience

sensational mountain coaster ride

For a thrilling experience in Gatlinburg, take a ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster through the mountain woods. This gravity-propelled Mountain Coaster offers an exhilarating journey where riders can choose between single or double cars.

Seeking more control? No problem! A hand brake is available for those who want to adjust their speed as they race through the scenic route. Whether you opt for a ride during the day or at night, each experience provides a unique perspective of the surroundings.

The Mountain Coaster isn't only a thrilling adventure but also a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Gatlinburg. As you zip through the woods, the wind in your hair and the stunning scenery around you, you'll understand why this coaster is a favorite among visitors looking for excitement in the mountains.

Picnic and Play at Mynatt Park

outdoor fun at park

When visiting Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg, you'll discover a range of amenities suitable for a delightful family outing.

The park boasts various picnic spots, allowing you to enjoy a meal surrounded by nature's tranquility.


Take advantage of the playground facilities for children to engage in safe and entertaining playtime.

Park Amenities Overview

Enjoying a picnic and playtime at Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg provides families with a budget-friendly outdoor experience close to downtown. This park offers a range of amenities that cater to both kids and adults, making it an ideal spot for a day out in nature. Below is an overview of the park amenities at Mynatt Park:

Park Amenities Description
Playground A fun and safe area for kids to play and enjoy outdoor activities.
Picnic Area Shaded spots with picnic tables for families to relax and have a meal together.
Walking Trails Scenic paths along the creek for leisurely walks in a peaceful natural setting.
Restrooms Convenient facilities for visitors to freshen up during their park visit.

These amenities at Mynatt Park allow families to engage in quality time together, with children entertained at the playground while parents unwind amidst the serene surroundings. The park's convenient location near downtown Gatlinburg makes it an accessible and enjoyable destination for outdoor fun.

Best Picnic Spots

Looking for the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and play at Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg? Located conveniently near downtown, Mynatt Park offers a serene atmosphere for picnics and leisurely walks by the creek. Families can relish quality outdoor time without spending money, as the park features a playground for kids to enjoy.

According to Gatlinburg CVB, this free outdoor activity provides a peaceful setting surrounded by nature, making it an ideal location for picnics and family gatherings. The park is a popular choice for families seeking to escape the city's hustle and bustle and immerse themselves in a tranquil natural environment.


With its beautiful outdoor space, Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg allows visitors to relax, bond with loved ones, and enjoy a picnic in a serene setting. So, pack your picnic basket, grab a blanket, and head to Mynatt Park for a day of outdoor fun and relaxation.

Horseback Riding at Cades Cove

scenic horseback rides available

At Cades Cove Riding Stables in Gatlinburg, you can partake in scenic trail rides that showcase the beauty of the surrounding mountain landscape.

The stables offer family-friendly horseback riding options, including guided tours suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast or looking for a unique outdoor experience, horseback riding at Cades Cove provides a memorable way to connect with the natural surroundings of Gatlinburg.

Scenic Trail Rides

Begin a memorable journey through the picturesque trails of Cades Cove Riding Stables, where guided mountain trail rides offer an immersive experience in the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. The horseback riding adventures at Cades Cove provide a unique opportunity to explore the scenic wonders of Gatlinburg while enjoying the company of these majestic animals. Families can opt to share a horse, doubling up for a shared riding experience that enhances the fun and togetherness of the journey. Cades Cove Riding Stables ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for riders of all ages, making it an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to connect with nature in a new and exciting way.

Guided Mountain Trail Rides at Cades Cove Riding Stables
– Immersive experience in the Great Smoky Mountains
– Safe and enjoyable for all ages
– Option to double up on one horse for shared experience

Family-Friendly Horseback Options

Start on family-friendly horseback adventures at Cades Cove Riding Stables, where you can explore scenic mountain trails while enjoying quality time together in the natural beauty of Gatlinburg.


Cades Cove offers a memorable outdoor experience for families seeking to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Smoky Mountains. Guided tours on horseback provide the perfect opportunity to bond with your loved ones while marveling at the breathtaking landscapes that surround you.

The stables at Cades Cove cater to all ages by allowing the option to double up on one horse, ensuring that everyone can participate in this unique adventure. Animal lovers, in particular, will find Cades Cove Riding Stables to be a top choice for experiencing the beauty of Gatlinburg in a special and engaging way.

Whitewater Rafting Excursions

adventure on river rapids

Join thrilling whitewater rafting excursions along the Pigeon River with Smoky Mountain Outdoors to experience the rush of the rapids and the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Whitewater rafting is an adventure-packed activity perfect for families seeking outdoor excitement. Professional guides at Smoky Mountain Outdoors guarantee a safe and enjoyable whitewater rafting experience for all ages.

  • Lower river trips are suitable for small children, providing a mild introduction to rafting.
  • Upper river trips cater to older kids and teens, offering more challenging rapids for adrenaline seekers.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains while maneuvering the twists and turns of the Pigeon River.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rafter, these excursions promise fun and unforgettable memories for the whole family.

Nature Walks for All Ages

exploring the outdoors together

How can families of all ages enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

The park offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for small children and older adults, providing the perfect opportunity for nature walks. These trails range in difficulty, ensuring that families of all skill levels can explore the wonders of the mountains together.


Engaging in guided nature walks allows families to experience the outdoor beauty while participating in activities that promote togetherness. These nature walks offer a cost-effective way to enjoy quality family time without the need for expensive attractions.

Hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park presents a chance to reconnect with nature and create lasting memories in a stunning outdoor setting. So, lace up your hiking boots and venture out onto the trails for an unforgettable family adventure in the heart of nature.

Gatlinburg Mountain Woods Exploration

great smoky mountains adventure

Explore the Gatlinburg Mountain Woods through the unique experience of the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, offering gravity-propelled coaster rides in the day and night amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings.

As you venture into the Smoky Mountains National Park, immerse yourself in the following:

  • Exciting Coaster Rides: Enjoy the thrill of riding through the mountain woods on a gravity-propelled coaster, experiencing twists and turns while surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
  • Control Your Adventure: Use a hand brake to control your speed as you navigate the coaster, ensuring a personalized and exhilarating experience for both single and double car riders.
  • Day and Night Experiences: Whether you choose to ride during the day to marvel at the lush greenery or opt for a night adventure under the stars, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster offers a unique way to explore the mountain woods.

Embark on this unforgettable journey through the mountain woods for an outdoor adventure like no other in Gatlinburg.

Memorable Family Time in Gatlinburg

family bonding in gatlinburg

Create lasting memories with your family in Gatlinburg by exploring a variety of outdoor activities and natural attractions. Nestled in the majestic Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers a plethora of experiences that are perfect for family bonding.

Take a leisurely hike through the lush forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can witness stunning vistas and immerse yourself in nature's beauty. For a thrilling adventure, soar through the treetops on a ziplining tour or conquer the rapids while whitewater rafting.

To add more fun to your family time, head to Mynatt Park, where kids can enjoy the playground, splash in the creek, and have a delightful picnic. For an adrenaline-pumping experience, hop on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster for a thrilling ride through the mountain woods both during the day and at night.


Additionally, explore the mountains on horseback with a guided trail ride at Cades Cove Riding Stables, offering a unique way for all ages to appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Gatlinburg truly provides the perfect setting for creating unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is More Kid Friendly Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg?

When comparing Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg for kid-friendly activities, both offer a plethora of options. Pigeon Forge boasts attractions like Dollywood and The Island in Pigeon Forge, while Gatlinburg features Ober Gatlinburg and Ripley's Aquarium.

Each destination caters to families with mini-golf courses, go-kart tracks, and interactive museums. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your family's preferences and interests in entertainment and outdoor adventures.

Is Gatlinburg for Kids?

Yes, Gatlinburg is a fantastic destination for kids with its wide array of family-friendly activities. With attractions ranging from amusement parks to outdoor adventures like ziplining and skiing, there's something for children of all ages to enjoy.

Educational experiences such as guided nature walks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park provide enriching opportunities for families to bond and learn together. Gatlinburg truly caters to the needs of kids, ensuring a memorable and fun-filled experience for families.


Is It Better to Go to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg?

When deciding between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, consider your preferences. Pigeon Forge offers a variety of entertainment options like dinner shows and go-kart tracks, perfect for those seeking lively activities.

On the other hand, Gatlinburg's charm lies in its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, catering to outdoor enthusiasts.

Depending on whether you prioritize entertainment or nature, choose the destination that aligns with your interests for a fulfilling vacation experience.

Which Is More Walkable Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg?

In Gatlinburg, you'll find a more walkable environment compared to Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg's compact layout allows for easy exploration on foot, with attractions, shops, and restaurants within walking distance. The town is designed with pedestrians in mind, featuring sidewalks, crosswalks, and pathways for your convenience.

On the other hand, Pigeon Forge's spread-out nature may require more reliance on transportation to navigate the larger distances between attractions.



To sum up, Gatlinburg offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and family fun for all ages. With a variety of activities ranging from thrilling mountain coasters to peaceful nature walks, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

So, pack your bags, hit the road, and make memories that will last a lifetime in the charming town of Gatlinburg. After all, as the saying goes, 'Adventure awaits those who seek it.'

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Things to Do in Gatlinburg With Kids

Hunt for exciting family adventures in Gatlinburg with kids, offering diverse attractions and activities for an unforgettable experience.



family friendly activities in gatlinburg

When in Gatlinburg with kids, explore diverse attractions suitable for all ages. Discover over 350 marine species at Ripley's Aquarium, offering interactive experiences like the Penguin Playhouse. Enjoy thrilling rides at Dollywood with 40+ diverse attractions, including the Lightning Rod Roller Coaster. Visit Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo to connect with 130 animal species and explore different ecosystems. Engage in classic and new arcade games in Downtown Gatlinburg, perfect for family fun. Explore water parks and indoor attractions like WonderWorks, full of engaging activities for children. Each spot promises a memorable family adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Ripley's Aquarium for interactive marine species and Penguin Playhouse.
  • Enjoy family-friendly Hollywood Star Cars Museum showcasing famous TV and movie cars.
  • Visit Rainforest Adventures Zoo for 130 animal species and interactive experiences.
  • Discover WonderWorks for thrilling simulations and entertainment for all ages.
  • Have fun in downtown Gatlinburg with arcade games, shopping, and unique souvenirs.

Family-Friendly Museums and Aquariums

Discover engaging attractions like museums and aquariums perfect for family entertainment in Gatlinburg. Start your exploration at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, where you can marvel at over 350 marine species and let your kids enjoy the interactive Penguin Playhouse.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum offers a unique experience with its collection of famous cars from TV shows and movies, providing an engaging visit for the whole family.

For a blend of education and entertainment, head to Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo, where you can encounter 130 animal species and explore exotic plants and waterfalls indoors.

WonderWorks in Gatlinburg is a hub for interactive experiences, featuring earthquake simulations, hurricane-force winds, and a space shuttle simulator that promise a fun and educational adventure.

Lastly, don't miss the Gatlinburg Space Needle, where panoramic views of the city await alongside an arcade and high-tech laser tag game for a thrilling family outing.


Thrilling Rides at Dollywood

exciting roller coasters and attractions

Experience the heart-pounding excitement of the thrilling rides at Dollywood, where over 40 attractions cater to all ages for a memorable family adventure. One of the highlights is the Lightning Rod Roller Coaster, renowned as the fastest wooden coaster, promising an adrenaline rush for thrill-seekers.

In addition to the invigorating rides, families can enjoy entertaining shows included with admission, fostering a wholesome environment for all visitors. Dollywood, infused with Dolly Parton's personal touch, offers a unique and welcoming atmosphere throughout the park.

During hot summer days, Dollywood's Splash Country provides a revitalizing escape with a variety of water attractions suitable for families seeking fun in the sun. From heart-racing roller coasters to family-friendly entertainment, Dollywood ensures an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Zoo and Exotic Animals

safari park in africa

Immerse yourself in a world of wonder at the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo in Gatlinburg, where 130 animal species await your discovery. This family-friendly zoo offers a chance for kids and adults alike to explore diverse ecosystems and interact with exotic animals in an educational setting.

As you wander through the enclosures representing rainforests from around the globe, you can enjoy hands-on encounters with creatures such as scorpions, snakes, and other cuddly critters. The zoo not only provides a fun experience but also aims to educate visitors about conservation and biodiversity.

With engaging displays, a soothing waterfall, and a focus on interactive learning, Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo in Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for families looking to connect with nature and wildlife in a meaningful way.

Downtown Arcade Games and Shopping

diverse entertainment options available

In addition to the engaging zoo experiences, downtown Gatlinburg offers a vibrant array of arcade games and unique shopping opportunities for kids and families to enjoy. Kids can immerse themselves in a variety of arcade games, from classic favorites to the newest attractions, providing hours of entertainment in the heart of Gatlinburg.

While exploring the downtown area, families can also discover a treasure trove of unique shops and boutiques, perfect for finding souvenirs and gifts to remember their trip by. Don't miss the taffy makers' storefronts, where kids can watch the sweet treats being made right before their eyes, adding a deliciously fun element to their visit.


For more entertainment options, the Gatlinburg Space Needle boasts an arcade at its base, catering to kids of all ages with an exciting array of games. Additionally, families can partake in a thrilling laser tag experience downtown, offering a high-tech twist to their Gatlinburg adventure.

Get ready for a day filled with fun and excitement in downtown Gatlinburg!

Water Parks and Indoor Attractions

fun in all weather

Explore an invigorating way to have fun indoors in Gatlinburg by discovering the thrilling water parks and indoor attractions available for families and kids.

Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo is a must-visit, housing 130 animal species and exotic plants, creating an engaging experience for animal enthusiasts.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies offers interactive experiences, including the popular Penguin Playhouse, where you can explore over 350 marine species in a family-friendly setting.

WonderWorks in Gatlinburg provides a range of interactive experiences, such as earthquake simulations and a space shuttle simulator, ensuring an exciting indoor adventure for kids and adults alike.


For panoramic views and entertainment, head to Gatlinburg Space Needle, boasting an arcade and stunning vistas of the city.

Additionally, the Guinness World Records Museum in downtown Gatlinburg offers a unique and entertaining indoor experience for families, showcasing fascinating world records in an interactive setting.

These indoor attractions promise a fun-filled day for all ages in Gatlinburg.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is More Kid Friendly, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge both offer numerous kid-friendly attractions, making them suitable destinations for families. Gatlinburg showcases attractions like Ober Gatlinburg and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood and WonderWorks.

It ultimately depends on your family's preferences, as both locations provide a wide array of entertainment options for kids to enjoy. Consider the specific activities and experiences that align with your family's interests when choosing between the two.


Is Gatlinburg for Kids?

Gatlinburg caters to kids with a plethora of family-friendly attractions and activities. From amusement parks to interactive museums, outdoor adventures, and wildlife encounters, Gatlinburg offers a diverse range of experiences for children of all ages.

The town's blend of educational and entertaining options guarantees that families can enjoy a memorable vacation filled with fun and excitement. Gatlinburg's focus on providing kid-friendly entertainment makes it a great destination for families seeking engaging experiences.

What to Do With 1 Day in Gatlinburg?

If you have just one day to spend in Gatlinburg, immerse yourself in the enchanting mountain views from the SkyLift Park, offering a perfect blend of amusement park activities and nature's beauty. According to 7,113 reviews, visitors find this spot mesmerizing.

Afterwards, explore the underwater wonderland at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, boasting 15,112 reviews. These two attractions promise a memorable day in Gatlinburg, filled with awe-inspiring experiences.

Is 3 Days in Gatlinburg Enough?

Three days in Gatlinburg offer ample time to explore various attractions, ensuring a well-rounded experience.


Whether you seek outdoor adventures, interactive exhibits, or family-friendly fun, a 3-day itinerary allows for a balanced mix of activities.

With proper planning, you can cover a good portion of Gatlinburg's offerings, creating lasting memories for your family.

Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourselves in the charm of this vibrant destination over the course of three days.


To sum up, Gatlinburg offers a wide range of family-friendly activities for you and your kids to enjoy. From interactive museums and thrilling rides at Dollywood to exotic animals at the zoo and arcade games downtown, there's something for everyone.

Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures or indoor attractions, Gatlinburg has it all. So pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled family vacation in this charming Tennessee town.

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Knoxville's Lively Vibe and Smoky Summits

Nestled between vibrant culture and smoky mountains, Knoxville's lively vibe and scenic summits beckon exploration and discovery.



vibrant city scenic mountains

Immerse yourself in Knoxville's vibrant cultural scene boasting historic landmarks, art galleries like Tennessee Theatre and Emporium Center, and local artists' showcases at Christopher Robin Arts. Savor wood-fired cuisine at J.C. Holdway and zesty hot chicken at Myrtles Chicken & Beer. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains for outdoor activities, scenic drives along Newfound Gap Road, and diverse wildlife. Hike Alum Cave Trail, encounter black bears, and explore the Appalachian Mountain culture. Admire sunsets from Sunsphere Observation Deck in Knoxville or Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. Uncover more about Knoxville's lively vibe and the beauty of its smoky summits.

Key Takeaways

  • Knoxville offers a vibrant cultural scene with historic landmarks and thriving art galleries.
  • Explore the stunning landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Knoxville.
  • Enjoy serene nature retreats and lush forest hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • Witness breathtaking sunset views from various vantage points in Knoxville and the Smokies.
  • Experience the creative energy of Knoxville's music and art galleries, complemented by delicious cuisine options.

Knoxville's Cultural Scene

Immerse yourself in Knoxville's vibrant cultural scene, enriched with historic landmarks and thriving art galleries showcasing the city's artistic community. The Tennessee Theatre stands as an iconic symbol of Knoxville's cultural heritage, hosting a variety of performances and events that captivate audiences.

The Emporium Center, with its diverse range of art exhibitions and workshops, serves as a hub for local artists to showcase their creativity. For a peek into Knoxville's past, the historic Blount Mansion offers visitors a chance to explore the birthplace of Tennessee and learn about its early history.

Art enthusiasts can wander through galleries like Christopher Robin Arts and Art Market Gallery, which highlight the talents of local artists and contribute to Knoxville's vibrant arts scene. These spaces not only provide a platform for artists to exhibit their work but also offer visitors a unique perspective on the city's cultural diversity.

As you explore Knoxville's cultural offerings, you'll find a rich tapestry of history, art, and creativity waiting to be discovered.

Music and Art Galleries

celebrating creativity through sound

Explore Knoxville's vibrant music and art scene, with venues like the Tennessee Theatre and galleries along Gay Street showcasing the city's creative energy.

The music scene in Knoxville offers a variety of live performances at venues such as the Blue Plate Special, providing a platform for local artists to share their talent.


Along Gay Street, art galleries like Christopher Robin Arts and the Art Market Gallery exhibit a diverse range of works by local artists, contributing to the city's dynamic artistic expression.

The Emporium Center serves as a hub for creativity, hosting events like the First Friday ArtWalk and featuring exhibitions by both emerging and established artists.

Additionally, visitors can immerse themselves in Knoxville's musical heritage at the Museum of East Tennessee History, which celebrates the region's contributions to various music genres.

For those interested in the visual arts, Blount Mansion offers insights into local history and culture through art and artifacts, enriching the understanding of Tennessee's early days.

Delicious Cuisine Options

tantalizing menu selections available

Indulge in Knoxville's diverse dining scene with a range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. Downtown Knoxville offers a variety of options to explore, from wood-fired Appalachian cuisine at J.C. Holdway to the zesty flavors of hot chicken at Myrtles Chicken & Beer.

For a taste of traditional soul food, head over to Jackies Dream in North Knoxville, where classics are served with a touch of home. If you're in the mood for some Tennessee BBQ, Downtown Dive and Sweet Ps Barbecue are go-to spots, known for their mouthwatering smoked meats and delicious sides.


For a fun night out, Chivo Taqueria in downtown Knoxville provides a unique experience with its creative taco combinations and invigorating cocktails. Whether you're craving comfort food, spicy delights, or savory wood-fired dishes, Knoxville's culinary offerings are sure to leave you satisfied and coming back for more.

Great Smoky Mountains Overview

natural beauty and diversity

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spanning across North Carolina and Tennessee, showcases majestic mountain ranges and breathtaking natural beauty.

Renowned for its rich biodiversity, the park serves as a hotspot for diverse plant and animal life.

With ancient mountains and remnants of Southern-Appalachian Mountain culture, it stands as the most visited national park in America, attracting millions of visitors annually.

Majestic Mountain Ranges

Nestled along the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains boast diverse plant and animal life in a stunning natural setting. Here are some key points about this majestic mountain range:

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: This park is famous for its ancient mountains and Southern-Appalachian Mountain culture remnants, making it the most visited national park in the U.S.
  2. Tennessee: The Great Smoky Mountains cover a significant portion of Tennessee, offering a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
  3. Mountains: The peaks and valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains provide breathtaking views and opportunities for exploration.
  4. Newfound Gap Road: This scenic drive offers spectacular vistas and easy access to the beauty of the park.

From iconic hikes on the Appalachian Trail to historic structures in Cades Cove, the Great Smoky Mountains provide a rich tapestry of experiences for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Wildlife enthusiasts can witness a variety of species and seasonal wonders, making every visit a memorable one.


Breathtaking Natural Beauty

Embrace the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spanning over 800 square miles of Tennessee and North Carolina. The park boasts breathtaking views, diverse wildlife including black bears, and a rich history waiting to be explored.

One of the most iconic features of the park is the famous Appalachian Trail, a hiker's paradise offering over 850 miles of trails with varying levels of difficulty. For a glimpse into the past, visitors can journey to Cades Cove, a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains, filled with historic cabins, churches, and even panoramic murals of the park's history.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, draws millions of visitors each year, making it the most visited national park in the United States. Whether you're into hiking, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying scenic drives, this natural wonderland has something for everyone.

Rich Biodiversity Hotspot

Explore the vibrant ecosystems of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, teeming with unparalleled biodiversity and natural wonders. Here are some fascinating facts about this rich biodiversity hotspot:

  1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional biodiversity, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.
  2. Boasting an impressive count of over 19,000 documented species, the park surpasses the number of tree species found across the entire continent of Europe.
  3. Within the park's boundaries, visitors have the chance to encounter a variety of wildlife, including black bears, elk, deer, and an array of over 200 bird species.
  4. The park's diverse ecosystems span from lush lower elevation forests to enchanting spruce-fir forests at higher elevations, providing a home for an astonishing range of flora and fauna.

With over 800 miles of hiking trails, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers ample opportunities for you to immerse yourself in its stunning natural beauty and explore the habitats of its diverse wildlife.

Serene Nature Retreat

peaceful forest cabin getaway

Immerse yourself in a serene nature retreat in Knoxville, where the tranquility of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park awaits. This peaceful haven offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, wildlife spotting, and waterfall exploration amidst the lush greenery. The park's diverse plant and animal life provide a unique opportunity to connect with nature and unwind in its serene embrace.

To make the most of your visit, consider exploring the historic sites, scenic drives, and cultural insights within the park's boundaries. This will enrich your experience and offer a deeper understanding of the area's significance. While in the park, be sure to take a moment to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the ancient mountains that surround you, providing a sense of calm and serenity.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park serene nature retreat
outdoor activities wildlife spotting
waterfall exploration

Stunning Mountain Landscapes

captivating mountain scenery showcased

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the stunning mountain landscapes within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where over 800 miles of hiking trails offer unparalleled views of ancient peaks and abundant wildlife. The Smoky Mountains National Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts, boasting diverse ecosystems and rich history.

Here are four key highlights to explore:

  1. Clingmans Dome: Visit the park's highest point and ascend the observation tower for stunning 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  2. Cades Cove: Immerse yourself in history at this historic valley, where preserved log cabins, churches, and pioneer structures provide a glimpse into 19th-century Appalachian life.
  3. Newfound Gap Road: Take a scenic drive through the park, connecting Tennessee and North Carolina, and witness historic sites, mountain streams, and a variety of ecosystems.
  4. Appalachian Trail: Traverse the Smokies on this famous trail, offering hikers the chance to explore remote wilderness, high ridges, and serene valleys in the region.

Explore the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and witness the beauty of these stunning mountain landscapes firsthand.

Lush Forest Hikes

exploring nature s greenery

Set out on invigorating hikes through Knoxville's lush forests in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, renowned for its diverse flora and fauna. The park offers a plethora of scenic trails like Alum Cave Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, and Laurel Falls Trail, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and hikers alike.

As you venture through the ancient mountains and remnants of Southern-Appalachian Mountain culture, you'll have the chance to encounter wildlife such as black bears, deer, and various bird species in the verdant forests. With over 800 miles of well-maintained trails, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park caters to hikers of all skill levels, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in nature and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.

Whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, the park's lush forest hikes promise a nature-filled experience that showcases the rich biodiversity and scenic landscapes of this renowned outdoor destination.

Breathtaking Sunset Views

breathtaking mountain sunset views

As the daylight fades, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking sunset views that grace Knoxville and its surrounding landscapes. Here are some spots where you can witness these stunning views:

  1. Sunsphere Observation Deck: Take in the panoramic sunset views of Knoxville from this iconic structure.
  2. Clingmans Dome: Enjoy the mesmerizing Smoky Mountain sunsets from the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  3. Tennessee River: Watch the vibrant colors of the sunset reflecting off the tranquil waters as you walk along the waterfront in downtown Knoxville.
  4. Hiking Trails in East Tennessee: Experience the beauty of the sunset over the rolling hills and lush forests of East Tennessee from popular trails like the Alum Cave Trail.

Don't miss the chance to relax and unwind while witnessing the sun dip below the horizon from scenic overlooks such as Morton Overlook or Foothills Parkway in the Smokies.

Whether you prefer cityscapes or natural vistas, Knoxville offers a variety of breathtaking sunset viewing spots for you to explore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is so Special About Knoxville, Tennessee?

Knoxville, Tennessee stands out for its vibrant music scene, rich history, diverse culinary options, and proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


The city's charm lies in its blend of culture and natural beauty, with events like the Big Ears Festival adding to its unique appeal.

Whether you're exploring historic sites, enjoying southern comfort food, or immersing yourself in outdoor adventures, Knoxville offers a special mix of experiences worth discovering.

Does Knoxville Have a Good Nightlife?

Yes, Knoxville has a vibrant nightlife scene with a diverse range of bars, clubs, and live music venues to explore.

From live music performances to themed parties, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Knoxville after hours.

Whether you prefer craft breweries, cocktail lounges, dance clubs, or sports bars, you'll find options to suit your mood and occasion in this lively city.


What Is the Famous Street in Knoxville?

Gay Street is the famous street in Knoxville, renowned for its vibrant dining, entertainment, and shopping options. It's a historic street with charming buildings, art galleries, theaters, and diverse restaurants and cafes.

Hosting various events, festivals, and live music performances, Gay Street is a cultural hub in Knoxville. Visitors can explore specialty shops, boutiques, and local businesses, creating a lively and bustling atmosphere in the heart of downtown Knoxville.

What Knoxville Restaurant Is Featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives?

Myrtles Chicken & Beer in Knoxville was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Known for its Knoxville hot chicken, a spicy bone-in dish, this restaurant also offers delicious sides like baked beans and coleslaw.

Established in 2015 by Jackie, Myrtles serves southern classics such as fried green tomatoes and catfish. Located in North Knoxville, it provides a flavorful dining experience showcased on the popular TV show.


To sum up, Knoxville offers a vibrant cultural scene and breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you're exploring art galleries or hiking through lush forests, there's something for everyone to enjoy.


So, next time you're looking for a lively city with serene natural retreats, consider visiting Knoxville. Just remember, while the city may be lively, the summits of the Great Smoky Mountains offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle down below.

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Gatlinburg for Smoky Mountain Adventures

Lose yourself in Gatlinburg's thrilling Smoky Mountain escapades, where outdoor wonders and family fun await—discover more hidden gems ahead.



explore gatlinburg s smoky mountains

Immerse yourself in Gatlinburg for a plethora of Smoky Mountain adventures blending outdoor thrills, scenic drives, waterfall wonders, family-friendly delights, varied accommodations, wildlife sightings, and seasonal festivals. Explore the charming downtown with old-world allure and modern amenities. Engage in diverse outdoor pursuits catering to nature enthusiasts of all levels. Traverse over 384 miles of scenic drives offering iconic viewpoints and wildlife spotting opportunities. Delight in over 2,100 waterfalls cascading amidst picturesque landscapes. Experience family-friendly attractions, diverse dining options, and accommodation choices from cabins to hotels. Encounter the park's rich wildlife and enjoy vibrant seasonal events.

Key Takeaways

  • Gatlinburg offers diverse outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts.
  • Scenic drives with iconic viewpoints in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Abundant waterfall exploration opportunities for all skill levels.
  • Family-friendly attractions and events cater to visitors of all ages.
  • Rich wildlife encounters showcasing over 65 mammal species and 240 bird species.

Gatlinburg's Charming Downtown Scene

When visiting Gatlinburg, you'll be immediately captivated by the charming downtown scene. Nestled at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg's downtown area offers a delightful mix of old-world charm and modern amenities for visitors to enjoy.

As you stroll through the streets, you'll encounter a diverse range of boutiques, galleries, and eateries that cater to every taste. The vibrant energy of street performers, artists, and musicians adds to the bustling atmosphere of this charming district.

Gatlinburg's downtown scene is renowned for its unique shops, restaurants, and attractions. Whether you're looking for local artisan crafts or delicious southern cuisine, you'll find something to capture your interest.

The eclectic blend of offerings guarantees there's something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant downtown area. Soak in the sights and sounds as you explore the bustling heart of Gatlinburg, a perfect starting point for your Smoky Mountain adventures.

Outdoor Activities in the Smokies

exploring nature in tennessee

Immerse yourself in the outdoor adventures of the Smokies, where Gatlinburg offers a diverse array of thrilling activities for all types of nature enthusiasts. Experience the exhilaration of white water rafting with three outfitters conveniently located in Gatlinburg, providing an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the rapids.

Along the Parkway, Gatlinburg boasts numerous outdoor attractions suitable for families and friends, offering a blend of entertainment and natural beauty.


For those seeking tranquility, Gatlinburg's surroundings provide opportunities to rejuvenate amidst scenic landscapes and historic sites, immersing yourself in the peaceful embrace of nature.

Embrace the outdoor charm of Gatlinburg with a wide range of activities catering to all types of adventurers, from zip-lining through the treetops to wildlife viewing in the natural beauty of the Smokies. Explore a variety of outdoor recreational spots that showcase the diverse and enchanting offerings of Gatlinburg's outdoor scene.

Scenic Drives and Overlooks

exploring nature s beauty

Discover the enchanting beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through over 384 miles of scenic drives, offering breathtaking vistas and diverse landscapes. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Smokies as you explore popular drives like Newfound Gap Road and Cades Cove Loop Road, granting access to stunning overlooks and historic sites. Take in the grandeur of the mountains from iconic viewpoints such as Clingmans Dome, Morton Overlook, and Oconaluftee Valley Overlook. These scenic overlooks not only provide panoramic views but also opportunities to spot wildlife, admire colorful wildflowers, and capture the essence of the rugged terrain through photos. The Great Smoky Mountains showcase their beauty from these overlooks, creating a serene and awe-inspiring experience for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Scenic Drive Length Main Attractions
Newfound Gap Road 33 miles Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap
Cades Cove Loop Road 11 miles Cable Mill, Abrams Falls
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail 5.5 miles Grotto Falls, Roaring Fork

Waterfall Wonders in the Smoky Mountains

nature s beauty on display

Discover the enchanting charm of the Smoky Mountains through their numerous breathtaking waterfalls, each offering a unique and mesmerizing experience for visitors of all interests and abilities.

With over 2,100 waterfalls dotting the landscape, the Smokies boast some of the most enthralling natural wonders like Laurel Falls and Rainbow Falls.

From easy strolls to challenging treks, the waterfall hikes cater to every skill level, making it accessible to all. The allure of these cascading beauties draws in photographers, nature enthusiasts, and hikers alike, seeking the perfect shot or a moment of tranquility in the heart of nature.

Some of these waterfalls plummet over 100 feet, creating awe-inspiring spectacles that are a sight to behold. As you immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the Smokies, the soothing sounds and picturesque views of the waterfalls provide a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.


Family-Friendly Attractions

family friendly travel destinations

Explore the array of family-friendly attractions in Gatlinburg, offering entertainment and excitement for visitors of all ages. From amusement parks to interactive museums, there's something for everyone in the Smoky Mountains. Check out the table below for a glimpse of what Gatlinburg has to offer:

Family-Friendly Attractions Description
Dollywood Theme park with rides and shows
The Island at Pigeon Forge Entertainment complex with shops
Ripley's Aquarium Underwater adventures for all ages

Gatlinburg provides a mix of fun activities and educational opportunities for children, allowing them to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region. Whether you're into wildlife encounters, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, there are plenty of options to make your family trip memorable. Take advantage of the family-friendly events and entertainment choices that cater to various age groups and interests, ensuring a fulfilling experience for everyone.

Dining Options in Gatlinburg

gatlinburg dining variety available

Indulge in a variety of dining options in Gatlinburg, offering a culinary experience to suit every taste bud. Gatlinburg boasts a diverse range of restaurants, from those serving traditional Southern comfort food to establishments offering international cuisines.

You can enjoy unique dining experiences in Gatlinburg, such as dining in a cozy mountain lodge or savoring delicious meals while overlooking breathtaking scenic views. Local favorites like barbecue, fried green tomatoes, and dishes inspired by the region's famous moonshine are must-tries during your visit.

Many restaurants in Gatlinburg take pride in sourcing ingredients locally, ensuring that visitors are treated to fresh and flavorful dishes. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty breakfast to kickstart your day, a gourmet dinner to indulge your palate, or a sweet treat to satisfy your cravings, Gatlinburg has a plethora of dining options to cater to your preferences.

As you explore the dining scene in Gatlinburg, you'll find that the culinary choices complement the array of places to stay, making your overall experience in this charming mountain town truly delightful.

Accommodation Choices in Gatlinburg

diverse lodging options available

Gatlinburg offers a diverse range of accommodation choices, including cabins, hotels, resorts, and campgrounds.

Whether you prefer a cozy cabin in the woods, a luxurious hotel with mountain views, or a family-friendly resort with various amenities, Gatlinburg has something for everyone.


From rustic charm to modern comfort, the lodging options in Gatlinburg cater to different preferences and budgets.

Lodging Options Overview

Discover a range of accommodation choices in Gatlinburg, from cozy cabins to luxurious hotels, catering to various preferences and budgets.

Gatlinburg offers a diverse selection of lodging options, including cabins, hotels, resorts, and campgrounds. Whether you prefer a secluded cabin nestled in the Smoky Mountains or a high-end hotel in downtown Gatlinburg, there's something for everyone.

Accommodations in Gatlinburg cater to different budget ranges, ensuring a comfortable stay for all visitors. Many lodging options provide breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains and easy access to outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Gatlinburg's lodging choices offer a wide array of options to suit your needs. From budget-friendly accommodations to luxurious retreats, Gatlinburg has it all for a memorable stay in the heart of the Smokies.


Cabin Rentals Comparison

Interested in finding the perfect cabin rental for your stay in Gatlinburg? Gatlinburg offers a diverse selection of cabins and chalets to suit various preferences and group sizes.

From cozy cabins ideal for couples to spacious lodges perfect for large families, there's a range of options to choose from. These accommodations come equipped with amenities such as hot tubs, fireplaces, game rooms, and breathtaking mountain views, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Prices for cabin rentals in Gatlinburg vary depending on factors such as the size of the cabin, its location, and the amenities included. Whether you prefer a secluded cabin in the woods or one closer to town for easy access to attractions, there's something for everyone.

Booking your cabin rental can be conveniently done online or through local rental agencies, providing flexibility in planning your Smoky Mountain adventure. Take the time to compare different options to find the cabin rental that best fits your needs and budget.

Hotel Amenities Spotlight

Amidst the array of accommodation choices in Gatlinburg, hotels stand out for their unique amenities and services tailored to enhance your stay. Gatlinburg's hotels offer a diverse range of amenities, including indoor pools, hot tubs, and complimentary breakfast options.


Some hotels provide breathtaking mountain views from their rooms, adding to the allure of the stay. Visitors can indulge in spa services, utilize fitness centers, and savor on-site dining options at select hotels in Gatlinburg. These amenities cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all guests.

Whether you seek relaxation by the pool, a rejuvenating spa treatment, or a hearty breakfast to kickstart your day of Smoky Mountain adventures, Gatlinburg's hotels have you covered. With a focus on enhancing guest experiences, the hotel amenities spotlight in Gatlinburg adds an extra layer of comfort and convenience to your stay in this charming mountain town.

Wildlife Encounters in the Smokies

nature experiences in mountains

Encountering the diverse wildlife in the Smoky Mountains offers visitors a chance to witness a vibrant ecosystem teeming with black bears, white-tailed deer, elk, and a multitude of bird species.

As you explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here are three fascinating facts about the wildlife you may encounter:

  1. The park is home to over 65 species of mammals, including the iconic black bears and graceful white-tailed deer. Keep your eyes peeled for these majestic creatures as they roam through the forested mountains, showcasing their natural behaviors.
  2. Birdwatchers will be delighted to know that the Smokies host over 240 documented bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts. From colorful warblers to majestic birds of prey, the diverse avian population adds a symphony of sounds to the mountain air.
  3. Delving deeper into the park's ecosystem reveals a rich diversity of plant life, with over 1,600 species of flowering plants, including rare wildflowers like the flame azalea. Take a moment to appreciate the delicate beauty of these botanical treasures as you hike through the Smokies.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

celebrations throughout the year

Gatlinburg offers a vibrant array of seasonal events and festivals, providing visitors with a diverse range of entertainment options throughout the year. From parades to craft fairs, concerts, and food festivals, there's always something exciting happening in Gatlinburg.

Special events cater to various interests and different seasons, creating a lively atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.

One highlight is the celebration of holidays like the 4th of July, where Gatlinburg comes alive with patriotic festivities. Additionally, Memorial Day weekend in Gatlinburg offers a plethora of activities, events, and special promotions for a fun-filled experience.


To stay informed about upcoming events in Gatlinburg, visitors are encouraged to check the event calendar for a memorable Smoky Mountain adventure.

These events not only showcase the vibrant culture of Gatlinburg but also provide unique opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains National Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Better to Go to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg?

When choosing between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, consider your preferences. Pigeon Forge is known for its entertainment options like Dollywood, while Gatlinburg offers a more serene mountain town experience.

If you seek outdoor adventures, Gatlinburg's proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes it a suitable choice. On the other hand, Pigeon Forge boasts family-friendly attractions such as mini-golf courses and go-kart tracks.

Each destination caters to different interests and vacation styles.


How Far Is Gatlinburg From Entrance to Smoky Mountains?

From Gatlinburg to the entrance of the Smoky Mountains is approximately 2.5 miles. This short distance makes it easy for you to access the park quickly for hiking, wildlife viewing, or scenic drives.

The proximity of Gatlinburg to the park entrance serves as a convenient starting point for your outdoor adventures. So, whether you're staying in Gatlinburg or just visiting, you can reach the entrance to the Smoky Mountains with a short drive.

What Is Gatlinburg Best Known For?

Gatlinburg is best known for its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering easy access to outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

The town's charming downtown area, lined with unique shops, restaurants, and attractions, draws tourists.

Gatlinburg's diverse range of outdoor activities, including zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and scenic drives through the mountains, make it a popular destination for those seeking adventure and natural beauty.


Is Gatlinburg, TN Worth Visiting?

Yes, Gatlinburg, TN is worth visiting for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a mix of natural beauty and small-town charm. With its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities like hiking, zip-lining, and rafting.

The town's downtown area offers unique shops and restaurants, making it a popular tourist destination. Gatlinburg's events throughout the year also provide entertainment for all tastes.


To sum up, Gatlinburg offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy in the Smoky Mountains.

From exploring charming downtown scenes to encountering wildlife in the great outdoors, there's something for everyone to experience.

So, whether you're seeking adventure or relaxation, Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for your next Smoky Mountain getaway.


Come and immerse yourself in all the wonders this beautiful region has to offer!

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