8 Fun Things to Do While Traveling to Gatlinburg

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is the ultimate place for outdoor adventures, family fun, and exploring the Appalachian culture. This lively Tennessee town offers lots of attractions sure to make visitors of all ages and interests happy. From beautiful walks and exciting zip lines to moonshine tastings and artsy workshops, Gatlinburg has many cool things to do to fill your plans. When visiting Gatlinburg, be sure to try these nine fun and typically Smoky Mountain activities:

Take a Walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With over 800 miles of trails, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park borders Gatlinburg and offers plenty of walking options ranging from easy nature walks to challenging uphill hikes. For amazing views, walk up to Clingman Dome, towering 6,643 feet. Stroll through the lush forest on the easy Cucumber Gap Loop. See old cabins along the Noah “Bud” Ogle Trail. Whatever path you choose, walking amid the different plants, wildflowers, waterfalls, and mountain views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Experience Excitement on Gatlinburg Ziplines

Experience the ultimate excitement in Gatlinburg by flying through the treetops on awesome zipline canopy tours! Several ziplining companies offer thrilling courses with amazing views of Mount LeConte and the surrounding peaks. As you glide along cables stretching up to 1/3 mile, you’ll feel the rush of excitement like never before. And if you’re up for an extra challenge, test your bravery by navigating obstacles on a treetop ropes challenge course. After an exciting day of zip lining, return to your comfy accommodations, complete with a relaxing hotel indoor pool, to relax and recharge for more adventures in Gatlinburg. Don’t miss out on the excitement – ziplining provides high-energy fun for all ages!

Ride Rollercoasters at Ober Mountain

The Ober Mountain, located high atop Mount Harrison, offers year-round entertainment. Get your thrills on rollercoasters like the Aerial Tramway, Wild Bear, and Tennessee Tornado. Glide around the ice skating rink inside the mall. Try your skills on the indoor ropes course and rock wall. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in winter. With wide views, this lively park on a mountaintop setting offers options for adventure any season.

Shop the Arts & Crafts Community

Gatlinburg’s special arts and crafts heritage thrives in the downtown area, where you can browse artwork at over 100 galleries and shops while watching demonstrations. The nonprofit Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community consists of independent local artisans dedicated to mountain crafts like woodcarving, painting, pottery, and glassblowing. Visit studios to see creators in action. The quality craftsmanship makes for meaningful souvenirs and gifts. Downtown Gatlinburg lets you dive into the area’s rich craft heritage. Browse paintings, wood carvings, stained glass, and more crafted locally. Watch artisans make clay pots, carve bears from wood, and blow intricate glasswork. The nonprofit arts community keeps mountain traditions alive. Take home high-quality mementos crafted with care.

Learn Traditional Crafts

Immerse yourself in Appalachian heritage by taking classes at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Try your hand at making brooms, jewelry metalsmithing, ceramics, knife forging, and more. Founded in 1912, this creative campus hosts weeklong and weekend classes where all are welcome to learn traditional mountain arts and crafts. Exploring these hands-on, creative opportunities provides memories to last a lifetime. Arrowmont School lets you try traditional crafts like making brooms, blacksmithing, pottery, and more through immersive classes. Learning these heritage arts from experts provides an incredible creative experience you’ll never forget.

Sip Moonshine Tastings

Gatlinburg is renowned for its moonshine, continuing Tennessee’s proud distilling traditions. Take a tasting tour along the Gatlinburg Moonshine Trail to sample the local spirits. At Ole Smoky Distillery in the heart of downtown, sip inventive flavors like salted caramel alongside classics like unaged white whiskey. Hear the history and culture behind moonshine at Sugarlands Distilling Company, set in a historic lumber site. The smooth drinkers to bold ‘shines offer unique local flavor. On a moonshine tasting, discover Tennessee’s famous, high-proof whiskey. Sample apple pie and other fun flavors. Distillery tours share the lore behind the mountain ‘Shine. It offers adventurous sipping.

Savor Down Home Southern Food

After an active day, refuel on southern cuisine in Gatlinburg. Sit down for big breakfasts at Pancake Pantry with omelets, waffles, and flapjacks. Experience lunch and dinner favorites like fried chicken, biscuits, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes done right. Or try local specialties like ramps, a type of wild spring onion harvested in the mountains. Gatlinburg’s simple eateries serve comforting regional cooking. Fill up on southern comfort foods like fluffy pancakes, crispy fried chicken, buttery biscuits, and more. Local spots serve hearty helpings of regional favorites. Be sure to try Appalachian specialties like ramps when visiting.

Try Winter Snow Sports

Once the snow starts falling, the outdoor adventure continues in Gatlinburg with skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and more right at Ober Mountain’s slopes. Skiing the Smokies since 1961, Ober offers ten trails ranging from beginner to advanced. The longest trail spans 1.35 miles from top to bottom with a 650-foot vertical drop. Eight lanes accommodate snow-tubing thrill-seekers. Local outfitters also offer snowshoeing treks through the quiet, tranquil forested landscape. When snow covers the Smokies, enjoy skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and more winter fun. Ober Mountain’s slopes have terrain for all abilities. Snowshoe through quiet forests.


With endless activities and attractions, from beautiful walks to local crafts, Gatlinburg promises visitors endless opportunities for fun and discovery. This lively mountain town has secured its place as a top Smoky Mountains destination through its wealth of recreation, entertainment, and culture. Whether traveling with family, friends, or solo, Gatlinburg offers experiences to thrill any visitor. Come ready to fill your days with adventure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *