We all love mountain getaways: the cool crisp air, the fresh smell of pine trees, and the stunning views. And what’s not to love about Gatlinburg? This charming mountain town has something for everyone.
Do you have a vacation planned to Gatlinburg, Tennessee? If so, you’re in for a trip of your life. Gatlinburg offers various fun activities, from hiking the stunning and expansive Great Smoky Mountains National Park to zip-lining through the treetops.
With the wonderful backdrop of lush green mountains, naturally flowing rivers, and cascading waterfalls, Gatlinburg is an ideal location to de-stress and unwind.
However, before you head out and start exploring, you must first take care of a few things.
Now, let’s explore ways to make the most of your time in Gatlinburg.
Table of Contents
Find a Comfortable Accommodation
First things first, you need to find a place to stay. If you want to make the most of family time, stay in one of the nearby towns instead. While there are hotels in the region, renting a cabin allows you to enjoy your vacation fully and comfortably. Gatlinburg offers cabins of all sizes to fit any budget. Whether you’re looking for a cozy one-bedroom cabin or a large group lodge, plenty of options are available. However, look up “cabins in Gatlinburg Tennessee,” to pick the one most suitable to your preferences and budget.
Make a Quick Stop at the Pancake Pantry
You can’t leave Gatlinburg without stopping by The Pancake Pantry. It is a must for anyone visiting Gatlinburg. They have been serving delicious pancakes since 1960. They aren’t slowing down with over 25 flavors of pancakes, farm-fresh eggs, hot ham, waffles, bacon or country sausage, golden butter-fried hash brown potatoes, etc. You’ll be able to discover something you love. The waiting queue can be long, but it is worth the wait. They also have another location on the Parkway if you want to avoid the waiting altogether.
The Pancake Pantry always serves up something hot and fresh. Although there are many other spots to eat in Gatlinburg, the freshness and quality of The Pancake Pantry’s pancakes are unbeatable.
Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are the highlight of Gatlinburg. Millions of people visit them yearly to hike, camp, fish, and more. Even if you’re looking for an easy trail or an advanced hike, there’s an adventure waiting. Try hiking in the offseason if you want to experience the Smokies without all the crowds. The trails are just as awestriking in the winter, and you’ll have them all to yourself. Don’t forget to keep your warmest jacket, though.
There are upward of 800 miles of hiking trails in Smokies, so you could hike for days and never see the same thing again. Make sure you wear proper clothing and hiking shoes, pack plenty of water and snacks, and tell someone where you’re going before you head out. And don’t forget your camera to snap all the fantastic views.
Take in the Beauty of Cade’s Cove
Family time is a common goal for many when they come on vacation. Whether dining out at a local restaurant or taking a scenic drive, you’re looking for things to do together. And Gatlinburg is never short on family-friendly activities. Cade’s Cove is a no-miss when visiting Gatlinburg, especially if you’re looking for beautiful scenery and plenty of wildlife. The 11-mile one-way loop is perfect for a leisurely drive or a vigorous bike ride. You can also hike, horseback ride, or take a ranger-led tour. Cade’s Cove is especially popular for wildlife viewing. You’re likely to see deer, turkey, bears, and more. But maintain your distance from the animals, and never feed them.
Make sure to go early or later in the evening to avoid the crowds. And if you’re visiting during peak season, be prepared for traffic.
Enjoy a Dinner Show
What’s a night in town without some good food and entertainment? Gatlinburg offers several dinner shows that are perfect for a night out. The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show is a favorite amongst the crowds. It’s a comedic take on the famous feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably get a little hungry. The show is all-you-can-eat, so come with an empty stomach.
If you want a little more family-friendly experience, try the Dixie Stampede. It’s a dinner and show combo that will have you cheering and clapping along. The show is set in the 1800s, narrating the story of the North and South coming together. You’ll see beautiful horses, daring stunts, and a four-course meal.
Visit Dollywood Once
Theme parks are a no-miss. And when it’s something like Dollywood, you don’t want to miss it at all. Dollywood is a crowd-cheering theme park in the Smoky Mountains. With world-class rides, live entertainment, and delicious food, there’s something for everyone at Dollywood. From adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to family-friendly rides, Dollywood presents an unforgettable experience.
You must spend at least two days at Dollywood. You can experience all the rides and shows without feeling rushed. And don’t forget to bring your wallet. Dollywood is not a cheap date. But it’s worth it.
Is it time for some adult fun? Gatlinburg is known for its moonshine, and there are several places where you can go for a tasting. Each distillery has unique flavors, so you’re sure to find one you love. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is a famous Gatlinburg distillery that offers tours and tastings. The tour is about sixty minutes long, and it’s a great way to learn about the history of moonshine. What’s best is that you’ll get to try a few moonshine flavors at the end of it.
Maybe even all the fifty different tantalizing flavors, including the seasonal and limited editions. Sugarlands Distilling Company is another great option for a moonshine tasting.
They offer free tastings of their award-winning moonshine, and you can even buy a jar to take home. So, pick some yummy souvenirs for your friends back home.
Gatlinburg is an excellent place for vacation, especially if you want to make memories that will last a lifetime. Go hiking with your friends, drive to see the sights, enjoy some good food and entertainment, and don’t forget to visit Dollywood. And of course, have your camera ready at all times. You don’t want to miss a chance to capture the beauty of Gatlinburg.