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With its Southern charm and Appalachian hospitality, Gatlinburg is a classic American resort town. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the town offers romance, family fun, nightlife, and plenty of outdoor recreation.

Find an abundance of things to do and see, shops, and places to eat along the Downtown Parkway that runs from one end of the town to the other and is always bustling with life. See arts and crafts at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, home to over 100 shops featuring artists and craftspeople who work on site. It’s a great place to stock up on some Christmas gifts.

Take a break from the excitement of downtown and stroll down the River Walk along Little Pigeon River with its many gazebos and benches along the way. Or explore America’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains. The park offers world-class hiking, whitewater rafting, and fishing, to name just a few of the many activities available in the 800 square miles of unspoiled nature. Gatlinburg makes for a perfect access point, with three entrances leading into the Great Smokies right from downtown.

And if you’re not the outdoorsy, zip-lining, hiking, mountain-biking type of person, don’t worry, there are plenty of scenic drives that lead past vista points, waterfalls, and historical homesteads. Or take the Gatlinburg Sky Lift up Crockett Mountain for some amazing panoramic views.

Written by AlocatoNot from stock or prompts


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Things to Do & See

Here are some of the best things to do in Gatlinburg. Add them to your trip and we'll hold on to them in your Travelog. Look for to find free stuff.

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Gatlinburg Sky Lift

Takes you up to 1800 feet in an open-air lift to the top of Crockett Mountain. Enjoy breathtaking views from the scenic overlook platform. Open at night as well, overlooking the sparking lights of Gatlinburg.

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Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley's Aquarium has all the fun stuff, like the world's longest underwater aquarium tunnel, tons of sea creatures like sharks and seahorses, and hourly dive shows. They also have a Touch-a-Ray Bay!

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Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is a ski area and amusement park including a snow-tubing park and a popular year-round aerial tramway.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

800 square miles of pristine nature. Go for a scenic drive, explore on foot or bike, or check out one of the many activities available in the park-like zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and fishing. Learn more about the park with a ranger-led program.


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Smoky Mountain Tunes & TalesAnnually, April to August

Lasting throughout spring and summer, this event brings street performance to downtown Gatlinburg, featuring musicians, storytellers, artisans and more, portraying the culture of various time periods in Appalachian history.

Top-Reviewed Restaurants

You're probably going to get hungry while you're there, but what's good in the area?

We've asked our friends at Yelp to keep us updated on what's cool and tasty, and they sent over their top-rated Gatlinburg eats. Add some to your trip and we'll store them for you.

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