7 Amazing Things You Must Do on A Gatlinburg Vacation

Vacations are a prime time to get away from the daily grind of your routine and immerse in activities that wear off your exhaustion. It is like a system reboot that pumps you up to return to your life with new energy. Search for the right place, and the world will offer you hidden wonders to bestow you with exactly what you want at that moment. 

The nature-laden, resort-like town of Gatlinburg is nestled in the mountains of East Tennessee and is a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. With its eye-catching sceneries, adventurous activities, cultural heritage, and colorful history, this town has something for every age group. It will leave you sated at the end of your trip. Whether it is an adrenaline spike you are looking for or to savor the delicacies of nature in its rich silence, Gatlinburg will not disappoint you in any aspect. Not sure about your itinerary in Gatlinburg? Here are some amazing destinations and activities you must try.

1. Book a Scenic Lodging:

When traveling to Gatlinburg, treat yourself to a truly mesmerizing experience of a private lodging that offers iconic views to make your experience a memory of a lifetime. While vacationing in a scenic place, no moment should pass by without immersing in the solace of nature, even when you are just resting. The right accommodation will provide you with the best of both experiences. To add a bonus, search for a Gatlinburg hotel downtown to locate yourself within walking distance of all the prime attractions in Gatlinburg. With your accommodation at the right spot, just having tea on your balcony will be a refreshing experience.

2. Hike Through the Great Smoky Mountains:

When you come to the mountains, hike your way up! The rich flora and fauna, streaming waterfalls, and refreshing air that renews your spirit will make a hike through the Smoky Mountains a memorable experience. Since Gatlinburg is at the foot of Smoky Mountains National Park, you can access 800 miles of breathtaking hiking trails and 100 waterfalls. Choose a trail that best suits your hiking skills and stamina. While you make your decision, do not forget to consider the destination you want to see at the end of the hike.

3. Experience Life Under the Water at Ripley’s Aquarium of The Smokies:

Want a sneak peek into life underwater? Experience the underwater world of wonder at Ripley’s Aquarium, a crown jewel attraction in Gatlinburg. Cruise through the moving glide paths with sea turtles and rays accompanying you, drink in the sight of colorful exotic fish, and say hello to the sharks, eels, and jellies!

The aquarium boasts 350 species of aquatic life in its state-of-the-art facility. From boating to sleepovers with the sharks, Ripley’s aquarium will make you fall in love with creatures from another world. It offers diverse activities that will make your trip one to remember.

If you want to get up close and personal with the gigantic residents of the aquarium, go for a glass bottom boat adventure and see marine life swim right underneath you. With only three inches of the glass between you and the predators of the deep, this adventure will be a perfect adrenaline fix for your holiday. Also, learn about marine life through the aquarium’s animal experts and first-hand experience.

4. Go Up on the Space Needle:

Standing 407 feet tall, the Space Needle is the tallest structure in Gatlinburg. You can locate it from the SkyLift Park, towering high above everything else with all its magnificence. So if you want a bird’s eye view of this mountain town, visit this iconic landmark. You can ride up on the glass elevators to the top. The scenery that will unfold before you will be a panorama that will display unique views in different seasons, making you want to come back year after year.

5. Explore the Arts and Crafts Community:

If you want a leisurely day out, why not stroll around the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community and tap into your creativity? You will see original handmade crafts from different artists clustering beside an eight-mile road. It is away from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg downtown into a quieter place. You can pop in and out of the shops and see the artisans stir their magic. Many will be eager to talk to you about their latest creations. 

6. Do Some River Rafting:

If you are a fan of water sports, Gatlinburg might be the perfect spot for you, having several regional rivers just minutes away. Whether you are a newbie in this sport or an expert, Gatlinburg offers rafting on every level at the Pigeon River. There are two different trips you can take. The upper part of the Pigeon River is more exciting, where you will ride through more than 60 rapids. However, if you have younger children and want a more family-friendly adventure while absorbing the surrounding scenery, go for the lower part of the Pigeon River, a comparatively calm 5.5 miles raft.

7. Float in Air at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park:

SkyLift Park is the perfect destination for your vacation if you love seeing the world from above. It is not for the faint-hearted, but if you do not have a height phobia and want the best view of the Smoky Mountains, try not to miss this park. Cruise in the scenic chairlift rides and fancy the scenery from five hundred feet above as you slowly soar over Crockett Mountain.

 As soon as you step off the ride at the top of this mountain, relax at the SkyDeck, absorb the gorgeous view around you and brace yourself for the grand attraction of SkyLift Park. The SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the US and gives you a spectacular walk tour and jaw-dropping view of the Smokies’ magnificent heights. You will walk 680 feet across a heart-pumping height of 140 feet. 


Adventures are a means to refuel our strength and motivation that dwindles as we spiral into our monotonous and stressful routines. With its range of activities for every age group, Gatlinburg will never let you run short of options. So if you have never been to Gatlinburg or have missed these activities, why not head to this breathtaking place? Plan an itinerary before your trip, devise a realistic budget, and set out on a journey to Gatlinburg that you will cherish for a lifetime.