3 Things to Avoid and 4 Things to Do in Gatlinburg

Do in Gatlinburg

Speaking of early times, Gatlinburg was a quiet and peaceful mountain town located in eastern Tennessee. Founded by settlers from South Carolina, it was initially named white oaks due to the abundant white oak trees covering the landscape. 

However, the name soon changed from white oaks to Gatlinburg because of a controversial figure known as Radford Gatlin, who caused quite a stir with his Confederate views in an area significantly inhibited by Union supporters

How Did Gatlinburg become a Tourist Attraction?  

With time Gatlinburg has grown into one of the most popular vacation spots. Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounded by breathtaking ridges, including Mount Le Conte and Cove Mountain, Gatlinburg has attracted numerous visitors over the years. 

The rich history, dating back to before the Civil War, and the great smoky mountain national park, which has received countless visitors since 1934, have put Gatlinburg on the map. Gatlinburg became a tourist attraction due to endless recreational opportunities and mostly because of the unique Appalachian Culture. 

So, what exactly is Gatlinburg famous for? The attractions. Clingmans Dome observation Tower, Great Smokey Mountain National Park, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies are among Gatlinburg’s tourist attractions that have delighted visitors from all walks of life. 

4 Things to Do in Gatlinburg

You will find several rental condos in Gatlinburg to make your stay comfortable during the trip.      

If you enjoy the outdoors and want to be entertained, here is a guide on things you and your family must try. 

Ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway

One of the main reasons you shouldn’t miss the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is the breathtaking views of the smokies. Nothing beats gliding above the forest floor as you tread 2.1 miles from downtown Gatlinburg to Ober Gatlinburg. 

The Aerial Tramway is a delightful attraction for all ages to admire. This attraction isn’t only for the summers; if you plan to vacation in winter, activities like skiing and snow tubing will keep you entertained. 

Several cabin rentals located within walking distance make it convenient to travel to the tramway through tram cars that depart every 20 minutes. The best thing about the Aerial Tramway is that the tickets are affordable, and the ride is free for kids under the age of 4. 

Visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle

The beauty of the Gatlinburg Space Needle is spectacular. Gatlinburg space needle offers scenic views, from vibrant autumn leaves to snow-covered mountains. Besides the bird’s eye view of the downtown, you will also get to take in the majestic view of Mount LeConte.  

Besides jaw-dropping scenery, you can also learn a few historical facts about the fascinating area. The trip isn’t complete without a couple of pictures to make the entire experience wholesome.

One of the finest addition to this spectacular tourist attraction is the gaming arcade. The Gatlinburg space needle treats its visitors with a special package deal where you get 2 visits to enjoy the mesmerizing scenery both during the day and night. Once you conquer your fear, the gaming arcade is the perfect way to celebrate your victory. 

Explore the Hollywood Star Cars Museum 

Rated top star; the Hollywood star cars museum is where you can find the most exceptional movie cars collection from blockbuster movies. The wide variety of cars allows visitors to relive Hollywood history. Some of the vehicles you might come across are the DeLorean Time Machine from back to the future, and the Mellow Yellow Race Car from the Days of Thunder.

One of the attractive things about the museum is that every vehicle is displayed in a recreated setting, complete with sound, lights, and action. You will also see a few vehicles from your favorite tv shows like the Batmobile from the original 1960 series and the Drag-u-la from The Munster’s. Additionally, to fill your photo album with memories, you can also purchase souvenir photos of the cars with you in the driver’s seat. 

The museum is located in the heart of Gatlinburg at 914 Parkway which is within walking distance of several restaurants and other fun attractions. 

Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Who wouldn’t want to have fun for free, right? That is what the Great Smokey Mountains National Park promises its visitors. This is unique considering how other national parks charge a fee for the entrance. The park is widely known for its diverse animal and plant life along with fun-filled activities for an unforgettable experience. 

Hiking is one of the common activities travelers like to indulge in. The park is accessible to visitors for hiking throughout the year, with different destinations serving the best route to explore and enjoy spectacular views. If you are tired of walking, a horseback ride is the best option that will help you explore the park differently. 

The 71-mile-long Foothill Pathway offers an incredible park view for a scenic drive. 

3 Things to Avoid in Gatlinburg 

Although you might be eager to try new things, it is okay to miss out on a few spots. This will save your time which could be used doing something fun. So, here are a few things you should avoid while visiting Gatlinburg.

Avoid visiting every gift shop

Buying souvenirs for your friends or extended family back home is a thoughtful gesture, but there is no point in visiting every gift shop selling the same thing in the same price range. Visit only two to three shops because visiting every gift shop won’t change the price or the design of Smokey Mountain Dulcimers. 

Being unprepared for the mountains

The national park offers more than 800 miles of trails of easy and challenging paths. This means you need to be prepared to enjoy your time instead of facing any problems. Carry out proper research like checking the weather, filling the water bottle, and avoiding hiking or walking alone. 

Don’t dine out every night

Gatlinburg is full of delicious restaurants making it easy to get carried away. However, if you don’t want to return with an empty wallet, you should best make an effort to avoid the dine-out option and put the kitchen in the cabin to good use. 


Traveling is all about experiencing new things and taking in what life offers. The experience becomes more memorable when traveling with friends or family.  

From mighty mountains to local entertainment, Gatlinburg has become one of the best places for a fun-filled trip. With a rich history and spectacular attractions, Gatlinburg ensures that visitors experience everything they are looking for in their trip. 




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