Spring is on the horizon and the Mountains are Calling! If the winter blahs kept you cooped up and you're ready to get out of the house and do some serious exploring all within easy reach of civilization, Gatlinburg is the place to be. If you are looking for some fantastic fun, this is the place to start.
Crowd-Pleasing Fun Found in Gatlinburg
Entertaining kids has never been easier in Gatlinburg. From heart-thumping adventure to discover the wonders of nature, filling your day with crowd-pleasing fun is just steps away on the Parkway. You are going to need more than a few days to check all these must-do’s off the list.
Take a hike and have a picnic
Gatlinburg is uniquely situated with three entrances to the National Park right in the City. Just steps from downtown at traffic light #10 is the Gatlinburg Trail, an easy two-mile hike to Sugarlands Visitor Center. The trail meanders along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River and is one of two dog-friendly trails in the National Park. After a quick hike in the park, swing by the Chimneys Picnic area for lunch and enjoy the sounds of the roaring river in the background.
Get a Bird’s Eye View
Gatlinburg is a walking town, which means you can just park the car and walk to dozens of entertaining attractions. If you’re having trouble deciding where to start, take a ride to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle and plot your course from 407 feet above the city.
A must-see is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The beautifully designed saltwater aquarium is home to thousands of fascinating ocean creatures. Have the kids ever wanted to pat a jellyfish or make friends with a mermaid? Well, you can at this aquarium! Touch pools, dive shows, the Penguin Playhouse and Shark Lagoon are just a few of the wonders that await in Tripadvisor’s #1 Aquarium in the U.S.
Family Entertainment and Fun Food
As you make your way down the Parkway, duck into one of the many eateries to fuel the fun. From pizzerias to pancake houses, locally-owned restaurants and breweries, it is not hard to find a place to eat that will satisfy even the pickiest eater. Fannie Farkle's has been on the Parkway for 40 years, offering up the best in arcade games and the delicious Ogle Dog.
Try your hand at one of the mini-golf courses in town. Challenge your crew to play in sunlight or blacklight! Gatlinburg has indoor and outdoor courses. Or, get your adrenaline going in a game of Laser Tag or scaling the Rugged Ropes Adventure Course at Gatlin’s Fun Center.
Museums Made for Families
Museums in Gatlinburg are anything but ordinary. Explore the fascinating collection of unbelievable oddities at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. Or, take a trip down memory lane at Hollywood Star Cars, a collection of notable and famous cars from movies and television shows over the last 50 years. The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is home to 20,000 salt and pepper shakers from all over the world. It is a little east of downtown and has free parking.
Walk the Bridge
Like generations before you, make the Gatlinburg SkyLift a family tradition. Plus, start a new tradition and walk across the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. At 125 feet high, crossing over the glass panels make the walk just that much more exciting!
Soar Over The Treetops
Make memories and be sure to take pictures on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway as you soar 2.1 miles over the treetops to Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park. Ober is home to an indoor ice arena, Ski Mountain Coaster, Wildlife Encounter, Kiddie Land and a Scenic Chairlift that takes you to the top of Mount Harrison for breathtaking views of the National Park.
Explore A Mountaintop Village
As the day winds down, make your way to Gatlinburg’s newest attraction, Anakeesta. Watch the sunset from AnaVista Tower, the highest point in the city. Immerse yourself in the forest on the Tree Canopy Walk. Shop in Firefly Village and check out the dining and music in the new Black Bear Village. Imaginative play areas and the adrenaline-pumping zipline and mountain coaster are fun for kids of all ages. Anakeesta is truly a crowd-pleaser.