Looking for a ways to make sure that your next vacation to the Smoky Mountains is one to remember? Check out the list of our favorite Gatlinburg vacation ideas below! We made sure to include something for everyone to make sure that all members in your family have as much fun as possible while you are here.
(See Related: How to Plan the Perfect Gatlinburg Vacation Weekend)
Our Favorite Gatlinburg Vacation Ideas
For Outdoor Enthusiasts
One thing that vacations in Gatlinburg have that other destinations don’t is we have the most popular national park in the country right in our back yard. That’s right, over 10 million visitors experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains every year on average.
Are you wondering why? Maybe it’s because we have over 800 miles of scenic trails and walkways just waiting to be discovered by you. Or, it’s because we offer several scenic overlooks where you can view hundreds of species of wildlife, birds, plants, flowers, trees, and more!
The point is that there is no shortage of natural beauty in our area. Plus, it is the kind of beauty that you really have to see to believe. Sometimes pictures just can’t do it justice..
Click here for tips on how to prepare for your next outdoor adventure in Gatlinburg TN.
The Smoky Mountains are much more than just a popular travel destination. In fact, guests may be surprised about just how much history and culture can also be found here.
As you may know, before it was declared a national park, the Great Smoky Mountains were home to hundreds of families and early settlers. Now, although the families have moved away, you can still find many of their historic home sites scattered throughout the area.
You can also find quite a bit of history about the area at one of the many Visitor Centers located throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Not only do these centers house a ton of artifacts from the early settlers, they even sell a ton of books and educational materials that you can take back home with you.
If you want to educate yourself on some of the rich culture of the Smoky Mountains, be sure to head over to the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. Home to over 100 unique artisans and crafters, this community is where visitors can witness skills and trades that have been passed down for generations, including pottery, leatherworking, painting, and more!
If you love feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, then you will love our Gatlinburg vacation ideas for thrill seekers. Not only are we going to tell you to test your limits by conquering all of the rapids on the Little Pigeon River with a day of whitewater rafting, but we are also going to encourage you to learn how to fly on some of the tallest zip lines in the Smokies.
A few of the main thrilling attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge include:
- Smoky Mountain Outdoors
- Learn team building and endurance as you conquer the rapids of the Little Pigeon River
- Flyaway Indoor Skydiving
- Indoor skydiving for almost all ages
- Xtreme Racing Centers
- Home to the fastest go karts in the Smoky Mountains
If one of your beloved past times includes shopping until you drop, then you will love taking a trip to Gatlinburg. There are literally hundreds of stores you can choose from, including souvenir stores, knick knacks, homemade pottery, painted masterpieces, clothes, accessories, kitchen supplies, sports memorabilia, and anything else you can think of.
Needless to say, you will have no trouble finding the perfect souvenir or gifts for your friends back home if you choose to follow this Gatlinburg vacation idea and do a little shopping on your next trip to the area.
To get started planning your shopping spree in Gatlinburg, begin by checking out all of the quaint stores located at The Village Shops in Gatlinburg.
For Music Lovers
If you are looking for a good Gatlinburg vacation idea that will have you dancing in your seat, then you are sure to love hearing about all of our favorite places to listen to music during your vacation. Because of the rich musical history found in our area, guests of all music tastes are sure to find something they love. From theater shows to outdoor concerts, we have it all!
Some of the popular places to hear live music in Gatlinburg are:
- Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
- Smoky Mountain Songwriter’s Festival
- Every year in mid-August hit songwriters from across the country gather in downtown Gatlinburg for four exciting days.
- Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler
- Featuring two locations, one in Downtown Gatlinburg and one at The Island in Pigeon Forge, guests to Ole Smoky can enjoy an abundance of live music several nights a week.
For more fun Gatlinburg vacation ideas, don’t forget to check out our Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Events Calendar. There, you will see a full list of all of the upcoming events and festivities in the Smoky Mountains.