Gatlinburg offers a variety of activities, attractions, and scenic adventures to get you through the three-day weekend. Here are just a few of the best ways to celebrate Memorial Day weekend in Gatlinburg.
Hike to a Trail in the Smokies
With over 800 miles of trails in the Smokies, there is an adventure waiting around the corner for everyone in the family. Families can choose a more kid-friendly hike such as Laurel Falls which is a 2.6-mile hike on a paved trail, or a more strenuous one, such as hiking to the infamous Charlies Bunion, an 8.1-mile roundtrip through the Smokies. Looking for a moderate hike? Check out Andrews Bald, the highest bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This moderate hike is worth the steps, not only for its panoramic views but for the vibrant flora that can be found growing there during the warmer months. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail also offers a way to admire the beautiful, picturesque views of nature without leaving the comforts of the car. Learn more about the trails near Gatlinburg here or stop by Sugarland’s Visitors Center for a map of the National Park.
Have a Day on the River
With several regional rivers just minutes away, Gatlinburg is a great place for whitewater rafting! Many Gatlinburg rafting outfitters have been paddling on Smoky Mountain waterways for years. They pride themselves on their well-trained guides, who safely and expertly navigate rafters through countless rip-roaring adventures every season. Ask them about their beginner rafting routes or the more challenging runs for greater thrills. Whether you’ve never been before or you’re an experienced rafter, there's an adventure waiting for you. Find out more about our recommended whitewater rafting outfitters. If rafting is too exciting for you, don't worry, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the river in Gatlinburg.
Hit the Town
Explore Gatlinburg’s famous walkable streets at night. With everything from family-friendly activities to nighttime entertainment, there is something for every visitor. East Tennessee has a long tradition of music, country, bluegrass, and a lot more. Gatlinburg’s nightlife has opportunities to get out and take in some live music. You can catch live performances at Ole Red Gatlinburg. Feel free to sample our legendary moonshine at one of our local distilleries or open your mind to mysteries galore at Impossibilities Magic Show. If you love good scares, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is the place to go once the sun goes down. It's filled with a variety of actors playing creepy roles in the renovated mansion, waiting to welcome you home.
Soar to New Heights
No doubt one of the best ways to see Gatlinburg is from high above! Thankfully downtown offers plenty of ways to get there. Ride 1,800 feet over Gatlinburg on the Gatlinburg SkyLift and take a walk on North America's longest one-of-a-kind SkyBridge for exhilarating views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. You can also gain some elevation – and not to mention some epic scenery - on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, one of the largest trams in the country. Or ride to the top of Anakeesta Mountain, a 70-acre aerial adventure park to enjoy scenic views, zip lines, tree canopy walks, dining, and more. At the end of the day, enjoy an elevated dining experience at Cliff Top restaurant located in Anakeesta’s Black Bear Village. Guests will also love the local craft beers and full bar all while enjoying the sweeping views of Mt. LeConte and the smokies. More Attractions.
Get Hands-on in the Arts & Crafts Community
You are not likely to find more Appalachian art, culture, and tradition anywhere other than the Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Community. Located just off US-321 in Gatlinburg, the 8-mile loop is a tapestry of over 100 local artisans who specialize in everything from glass blowing, silversmithing, watercolor painting, to pottery making and so much more. Not only is this a great shopping opportunity, as these one-of-a-kind pieces serve as a great souvenir of the weekend, but many artisans offer “Create Your Own” classes. Families can become the artisans themselves and create unique masterpieces to take home.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Gatlinburg.