130 Things To Do In Gatlinburg, Tennessee This Year
If you’re looking for amazing things to do in Gatlinburg, you’re in the right place! Most famous for being in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a town full of fun activities and beautiful scenery. There is something in Gatlinburg for every type of traveler. In fact, more than ten million people visit Gatlinburg every year!
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Gatlinburg. A shopper? You’ll love Gatlinburg too. An explorer, you’ll love Gatlinburg as well! You can hike through the Smokies, try yummy southern cuisine, and play your heart out at one of the many arcades or courses in the city. There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!
If you’re also looking to head to the near by towns of Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, just click the links at the bottom of this post. Which of these fun things to do in Gatlinburg will you do first?
130 Things To Do In Gatlinburg
1. Ober Gatlinburg
One of the most popular things to do in Gatlinburg, Ober Gatlinburg is fun in all seasons and has fun activities and festivals year around for family travelers.
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Watch marine life, learn about conservation and take a glass bottom boat ride at Ripley’ Aquarium of the Smokies.
3. Gatlinburg Sky Lift
Take in breathtaking views of Gatlinburg on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. Children under 3 are free, ages 4-11 are $17.95, and 12+ is $24.95.
4. Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar
Enjoy delicious calamari or crab mush from Chesapeake’s even in the winter on their heated patio. If you are getting around Gatlinburg via the trolley system, the restaurant is located on the pink and purple trolley lines.
5. Gatlinburg Space Needle
Ride the glass elevator over 400 feet to the observation deck for a 360 degree view of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Children tickets are $7.95 and adult tickets are $12.95
Other than the Smoky Mountains, Anakeesta is the most popular attraction in Gatlinburg. Children under 3 are free, adults are $21.99, and 4-11 are $17.99. This gets you onto the The continents longest Treetop Skywalk, unlimited Chondola or Ridge Rambler Rides, access to the Treehouse Village Adventure and more! You can spend hours exploring all of Anakeesta.
7. Hollywood Star Cars Museum
See the famous General Lee and the 1966 Batmobile at the Hollywood Star Cars Museum. Adult tickets are $14.99, ages 6-12 are $8.99 and anyone 5 and younger are free.
8. Ponder at shrunken human heads and rare animal skeletons at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Ponder over shrunken human heads and rare animals at the three story Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in Gatlinburg. Adult tickets are $24.99, ages 6-11 are $14.99, ages 2-5 are $4.99, under 2’s are free.
9. Ole Smoky Moonshine
Learn about the moonshine distilling process and for the adults buy some unique flavors of moonshine to take home with you as a souvenir from your time in Gatlinburg at Ole Smoky Moonshine.
10. Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster
Children must be 3 years or older to ride with a parent and must be 9 years old to ride by their self. Enjoy the ride and the views it offers with a single ride ticket, an unlimited 1 hour pass or an all day pass.
11. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
Enjoy a full southern breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp.
12. Gatlinburg SkyBridge
Walk the 680 foot glass bottom bridge in the Smokies. Kids 3 and under are free, ages 4-11 are $14.95, and adults are $19.95
13. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
Get brave at the #1 haunted house in Gatlinburg where live actors lurk behind every corner. You must be 6 years old to enter!
14. Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf
I always say, you’ve never really experienced a place in true American vacation fashion until you’ve played a a round of themed mini golf!
15. Mysterious Mansion
For some reason children under six are allowed into the mysterious mansion, but I definitely don’t recommend it. Children admission after tax is $11 and adults are $16.
16. Rowdy Mountain Glider
This ride is best for older children as you have to be 80 pounds in order to ride. This is a single person ride where you are strapped into a little sling type seat and you hang down from the rail that your glide on; a super cool and fun interpretation of a mountain coaster.
17. Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze
Find your way through the Marvelous Mirror Maze.. if you can!
Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens
This attraction takes you through the biblical world of 2000 years ago. Adult tickets are $13.99 and children tickets are $5.74.
UPDATE: this attractions has permanently closed
19. Try your hand at Hillbilly Golf
Get a true mountains experience playing a round of putt putt at Hillbilly golf!
20. Ripley’s Moving Theatre
Feel like you are actually in the movie with Ripley’s 5D moving theatre.
21. Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
Shop at over 100+ shops for home decor, souvenirs, and more in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.
22. Wild Bear Falls Water Park
Laze in the lazy river at Wild Bear Falls Water Park on a rainy day in Gatlinburg.
23. Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum
Do something unique while in Gatlinburg by visiting the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.
24. Sugarlands Distilling Company
Take a moonshine distillery tour; open year around except Christmas day.
Guinness World Records Adventure
UPDATE: this attraction has permanently closed
26. Gatlinburg Trail
This trail includes one of the longest foot bridges in the park over the Little Pigeon river and remnants of an old homestead which includes a chimney and a few other rock structures. The roundtrip would take you 3.9 miles. Although younger kids may not be able to walk the full length, a partial hike would be worth it.
27. Drive through the Great Smoky Mountains
You can’t visit Gatlinburg without a proper drive through the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains.
28. Delauder’s BBQ
Get your barbecue fix on at Delauder’s BBQ.
29. Fannie Farkle’s Amusement
Grab a smoked sausage smothered in peppers and onions (there specialty) and play exciting games at Fannie Farkle’s Amusement
30. Gatlinburg Scenic Overlooks
Stop at one… or all of the stunning scenic overlooks in Gatlinburg.
31. Circus Golf
If you fancy a round of Circus themed putt putt, buy your ticket online and get your tickets for only $5.95 for ages 2 and up!
32. Roaring Fork Park
Enjoy hiking, a picnic in the park, and watch black bears at Roaring Fork Park
33. Tennessee Homemade Wines
Enjoy a little adult time at a wine tasting at Tennessee Homemade Wines.
34. Gatlin’s Mini Golf
Play 18 holes of mini golf on a course full of mini replicas of famous places in Gatlinburg.
35. Mynatt Park
Enjoy a slow simple day in Gatlinburg by going fishing in Mynatt Park.
36. Ober Gatlinburg’s Snow Tubing Park
Have a ball tubing at Gatlinburg’s Snow Tubing Park. this place rocks because your can ride the “magic carpet” takes you and your tube back to the top of the mountain so there’s no climbing involved. Children under 2 may not ride, children must be 6 years old to ride alone, children 3 and 4 are free with a paying adult. A 90 minute session is $25.
37. Earthquake The Ride
Experience an earthquake without the fear of reality on Earthquake The Ride. Adult tickets are $8.99 and children tickets are $6.99
38. Smoky Mountain Winery
Take the time to do something for your self by having a wine tasting at the Smoky Mountain Winery
39. Gatlinburg Pinball Museum
Dive into ultimate nostalgia at the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum. They have over 100 limited edition pinball machine and arcade games.
40. Baskins Creek Falls
Find the secluded two tier Baskins Creek Waterfall in the Smoky Mountains. This is best suitable for older kids as it’s not a super easy hike.
World of Illusions Museum
Explore the worlds largest exhibition of illusions right in beautiful Gatlinburg!
UPDATE: this museum has unfortunately been permanently closed
42. Nantahala Outdoor Center Rafting
Children 8 years old and at least 70 pounds can go white water rafting on the Pigeon river. Take a 5 mile, 2.5 hour rafting adventure with your kiddos!
43. Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg
A great budget option if you have a child 12 or younger who loves spooky things because they would be free on the ghost walk!
44. Hike the picturesque Mount Le Conte
One of the most beautiful trails in the Smoky Mountains. This trail is slightly strenuous and would be best for older kids or teens.
Dig into sweet cornbread, pulled pork nachos, and homestyle sides at Calhoun’s
46. Visit the Jim Gray Gallery
Appreciate local art at the Jim Gray Gallery.
47. Kilwin’s Chocolates
Indulge your kids.. and your own sweet tooth.. with chocolates, ice cream, and other sweet treats.
48. The Village Cafe and Creamery
Try unique ice creams and shakes at The Village Cafe and Creamery.
49. Gatlinburg Trolley
A great way to get around Gatlinburg and do some sightseeing is riding on the Gatlinburg trolleys. You can ride on them all day long for just $2!
50. Camping In The Great Smoky Mountain National Park
A trip to Gatlinburg wouldn’t be complete without spending a night under the stars in the beautiful national park.
51. Pepper Palace
One of my favorite stops in Gatlinburg is at Pepper Palace. Try all the flavors and intensities of hot sauces and salsa then buy a few to bring home. They make great conversation starters when you have guests over.
52. Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
Buy delicious sweet treats at the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen.
53. Wild Plum Tea Room
Visit the old world tea house called the Wild Plum Tea Room. It’s a unique lunch or dinner dining experience and they have a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free menu options for those who have kids who or if they themselves have certain dietary restrictions.
54. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Take this gorgeous scenic hike along a beautiful stream near Gatlinburg. This hike is one for hiking families/kids who are older and like to hike.
55. Mountain Mall
Shop for unique sodas, cowboy boots and hats, sweets, souvenirs, and more at the popular Mountain Mall across from the aquarium.
56. Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
The perfect rainy day activity; laugh your head off at a show at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
57. The Chocolate Monkey
Eat scrumptious chocolate covered bananas and chocolate covered apples from The Chocolate Monkey.
58. Chimney Tops Trail
A BEAUTIFUL hiking trail and observation point that is moderate in difficulty.
59. Gatlinburg SkyDeck
Sit on the Gatlinburg Sky Deck and soak in the breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains.
60. Sugarlands Riding Stables
The Sugarlands Riding Stables is inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and children as young as 5 can participate!
61. Gatlinburg Farmers Market
The largest farmers market in Tennessee, the Gatlinburg Farmers Market; you can get fruits, honey, meats, cookies, and more, plus a few fun crafts as well.
62. Historic Ogle Log Cabin
Built in the early 1800’s, the Ogle cabin has an interesting story behind it that any history lover will be interested in.
63. Cataract Falls
This is a short 3/4 mile trail appropriate for kids of all ages that leads to a 25 foot tall waterfall.
64. CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains
Feeling adventurous? CLIMB Works has mountains e-biking, treetop zipline tours, mountain top zipline tours, and more for all the adventure lovers in your family.
65. Stay at the Wild Bear Falls Resort
A great place for families to choose as their accommodation while in Gatlinburg because it gives you easy access to their water park.
66. Gatlinburg Walking Tours
The original food tour in Gatlinburg, sample foods along the way on their various tours. You also learn a lot about the history of the area as well.
67. Alewine Pottery
Buy the perfect souvenirs to take home with you from Gatlinburg. The pottery is made in such a beautiful style, you can check it out here
68. Village Shops
Walk around the Village Shops area where you can visit European designed shops including: a candle shop, donut shop, toy shop, and a Celtic heritage shop.
69. Smoky Mountains Riding Stables
Take a 3 mile, 45 minute trail ride through wooded trails and mountain streams. The cost is $26.50 per person.
70. Fudge Shoppe Of The Smokies
Walk up to the store front window and order yummy flavors of fudge, sold by the pound.
71. Mountain Life UTV Rentals
Cruise in style with a UTV rental. These are made to be driven on the road and can kids of all ages can ride along, just make sure to bring car seats if they still use them normally.
72. Big Pigeon River Swimming Holes
There are several swimming holes that are popular among locals and visitors in Gatlinburg. Cool off on a hot summer day by diving into a cool swimming hole!
73. “Create You Own” banner shops
In Gatlinburg some little shops will have a banner outside saying “crate your own”, stop at these to get the opportunity to make your own crafts.
74. Ripley’s Odditorium
Up the weirdness level at Ripley’s Odditorium while viewing camel bone carvings, mummies, and more weird and nifty things. Adult tickets are $17.99, kids aged 3-11 get in for $8.99, and 2 and under are free.
75. Impossibilities Magic Show at Iris Theatre
Watch a magic show by comedians, magicians, and mentalists at the Iris Theatre. I actually saw a magic show in Gatlinburg for my honeymoon and highly recommend going with kids or by yourself, it’s so fun! This show costs $27.95 for adults, $12.95 for children aged 4-11, and is free for kids 3 and under.
76. Bicycle the Gatlinburg Trail
A great way to see the Gatlinburg trail is by cycling through. If your children are older this is a great way to spend time together in Gatlinburg.
77. Amazing Gatlinburg Race
Have you ever wanted to be on the amazing race? Now’s your chance! If you have at least 3 people in your traveling party you can take part in the Amazing Gatlinburg Race. Check out all the details, here.
78. Alum Cave Bluffs trail
This is another awesome trail for family travelers who have older kids who can handle hiking a few miles. The Alum Cave Bluffs is 2.3 miles from the trailhead and is an absolutely STUNNING hike.
79. Log Cabin Pancake House
Munch down on a huge stack of pancakes at the Log Cabin Pancake House.
80. Beef Jerky Outlet of Gatlinburg
This beef jerky outlet has some truly unique items in their shop; they have chocolate covered jerky, cherry maple jerky, hot sauces, and flavored popcorns.
81. Hike the Cove Mountain Trail
The Cove Mountain Trail is a strenuous 7.7 mile hike that rewards you with beautiful views and a waterfall!
82. Carousel Gardens
The shops at Carousel Gardens offer unique, beautifully crafted items that are made with tremendous care.
83. Abandoned Amusement Park
On Hemlock Street, there is an old abandoned amusement park that can be explored and can be made to be an awesome backdrop for cool travel pictures.
84. Herbert Holt Park
Spend time with your kiddos having a picnic and fishing at Herbert Holt Park.
85. Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House
Buy homemade jellies and jams at the Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House. they make great momentos and gifts as well.
86. Sugarlands Trail
This trail is moderately trafficked and fairly easy but it is best suited for teenage hikers due to it being a 7.5 mile round trip. If you are a hiking family, this is a good opportunity to get out into the woods and see some black bears.
87. Mad Dog’s Creamery & Donuts
Ice cream, apple turnovers, donuts, and funnel cakes.. need I go on? Mad Dog’s Creamery and Donuts is a must visit while in Gatlinburg!
88. Hike the 3 mile trail to the 25 foot Grotto Falls waterfall
The 3 mile hike to the 25 foot Grotto Falls is gorgeous and takes about 2-3 hours round trip to the waterfall and back.
89. Aunt Mahalia’s Candies
Indulge your inner child and your actual children at Aunt Mahalia’s Candies.
90. Have an exciting interactive experience at The Captured Escape Game
Take part in an exciting interactive experience at The Captured Escape Game. For these escape room games only children aged 12 and up are allowed to participate.
91. Kayaking in The Little Pigeon River
Take part in a healthy and wholesome family activity by kayaking in the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg. You’ll see why kayaking in Gatlinburg is one of the top things to do in the area.
92. Gatlinburg Golf Course
Have your kids started to pick up the family pass time? Play golf as a family at with a picturesque backdrop to add to your experience.
93. Rainbow Falls
Hike to go see the Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The roundtrip length is 5.4 miles so this is another good option for family travelers with older kids. the waterfall is sure to leave an impression with its staggering height of 80 feet.
94. Ole Red Gatlinburg
Listen to live music over a delicious southern dinner at Ole Red Gatlinburg.
95. Zip Gatlinburg
See amazing views through the Smoky Mountains forests while you are zip lining through the treetops with Zip Gatlinburg. Activities start at age 5 and the regular 9 zip line tour price is $59.
96. Nantahala Outdoor Center
Are you an outdoor family? You will be in outdoors-y heaven at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. They offer so many awesome tours and activities that all take place in the gorgeous Smoky Mountains.
97. Celtic Heritage Co
Population experts say that between 40% and 50% of Americans are of Celtic decent. Visit Celtic Heritage Co and see if they have the tartans and family crests of your family name.
98. Fireflies in the Smoky Mountains
Every year in late May and early June, the Elkmont Fireflies put on a synchronized show in the Smoky Mountains National Park; they light up the sky! If you are visiting Gatlinburg in the spring or early summer, taking a walk into the woods to see the firefly show is a must do!
99. Elkmont Historic District
This abandoned historic town is situated in the upper Little River Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains. The first settlers of Elkmont were there in the mid-1800’s. Over time the town turned from a normal little town to a tourist hotspot to hotel and cabin rentals. Most peoples leases ended in 1992, but the last resident didn’t leave Elkmont until 2001. Originally Elkmont was to be demolished but it was added to the National Register of Historic places so now there is a plan in place to restore all of Elkmont by 2025.
100. Gatlinburg Tunes & Tales
Gatlinburg Tunes and Tales is a summer long street performance festival that includes cloggers, storytellers, musicians, and other performers portraying characters from time periods back to the 1800’s. A must see if you visit Gatlinburg in the summer!
101. Picnic in Smoky Mountain National Park
Pack a cooler of delicious local foods and have a picnic in one of the most beautiful places this side of the Mississippi.
102. Gatlinburg Visitors Center Fountain
If you have young kids, a fun free activity is to let them play around in the fountains in front of the Gatlinburg Visitors Center. It’s so easy to entertain kids when they’re really young, let’s enjoy it while it lasts!
103. Mills Park
Play a game of disc golf at the Mills Park.
104. Free Bluegrass
Enjoy a free bluegrass concert every evening at Ole Smoky Moonshine’s Gatlinburg location.
105. Emert’s Cove Bridge
See a beautiful covered bridge just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.
106. Ranger Bob’s Trading Post
Buy conversation starting souvenirs from Ranger Bob’s Trading Post.
107. Mynatt Park
Ever played horse shoes? Try your hand at the game in Mynatt Park.
108. Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
Take a free public viewing of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts or even schedule to be in one of their workshops!
This sweet shop, aptly names, “Sweet!” has chocolate covered Oreo’s, taffy, chocolate dipped pretzels, and a variety of unique soda flavors like.. Martian Poop, Birthday Cake, and Cookies N’ Cream.
110. Herbert Holt Park
Visit the trout farm, have a picnic and play on the play ground at Herbert Holt Park.
111. Cooter’s Place
Boost your Dukes of Hazard knowledge at Cooter’s Place. This is basically a museum o the Dukes of Hazzard TV show with indoor go karts and mini gold. The museum is run by actor Ben Jones
112. Cascades and Creeks of the Smokies tour
This tour is three hours long and takes you through lush woodlands, valleys, and cascades in the Smoky Mountains. A tour guide will take you through the the woods, pass streams, and old homestead sites in the park. Booking options start at $52
113. No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina
Craving Mexican food? Get your fix at No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina.
114. Cookie Dough Bliss
You will be in edible cookie dough heaven at this little Gatlinburg sweet shop.
115. Fowler’s Clay Works
Come home from your trip to Gatlinburg with beautifully crafted items from Fowler’s Clay Works.
116. Wood Whittlers shop
See locals handy work at the Wood Whittlers shop and if you’re keen, you can come home with a piece of artwork made right there in the Smoky Mountains.
117. Explore a Simpler Time Smoky Mountain Tour
Take a three hour nature and history tour of the Smoky Mountains, learn about Native Americans, the geology and plants of the area while your walking along a gentle and beautiful nature trail.
118. The Donut Friar
Try a cinnamon cake donut from the Donut Friar.
119. Cliff Dwellers Gallery
You can truly admire the work of local craftsman at the Cliff Dwellers Gallery. They have wool that has been naturally dyed from local elements, beautiful pottery, crystal jewelry and more.
120. Ghost and Haunt Tour of Gatlinburg
Prices for this ghost tour start at just $25.65 and it will take you on a two hour night walking tour to hunt for supernatural spirits and possibly even communicate with them yourself.
121. Double Decker bus Tour
Not just unique to London, you can take a double decker bus tour in the Great Smoky Mountains.
122. The Park Grill Steakhouse
Yummm! Order delicious food from the Park Grill Steakhouse.
123. Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
Are you afraid of heights? Don’t be, you will love a ride on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway.
124. Headcase Escape Adventures
This escape rooms place has some of the coolest themed rooms, including Merlin’s secret chamber, Doomsday Bomber, and Aztec Temple.
125. Gatlin’s Rugged Ropes Adventure Course
Family Travelers with older kids, this ropes course would be so exciting for both you and your kids to do together!
126. Gatlin’s Laser Tag
Play laser tag, bumper cars, and more! Buy a ticket pack for any 6 activities that they offer for only $19.99
Bearfoot Art Gallery
UPDATE: THIS HAS PERMANENTLY CLOSED
128. Ripley’s Super Fun Zone
Open 365 days a year, Ripley’s Super Fun Zone has laser tag, a shooting gallery, mini golf, and more all under one roof! Entertain those kiddos on a rainy, cold, or hot day at Ripley’s Super Fun Zone.
Great for kids, Arcadia is a video arcade. Gatlinburg has everything you need to cope with a rainy day in the Smokies.
130. Visit the Talking Turkey Studio
Take another opportunity to support local craftsmen and bring home some awesome art by stopping by the Talking Turkey Studio.
*keep in mind all prices and locations are accurate as of the time writing this article based on the most current information available
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