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Top 10 Things to do in Gatlinburg TN

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If you have never been to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you are totally missing out. There are so many things to do there, it can actually be kind of overwhelming to narrow it all down. My family has been to Gatlinburg several times over the years. Check out these Top 10 Things to do in Gatlinburg TN.

Planning a trip to Tennessee? I highly recommend my top 10 things to do in Gatlinburg TN list! Perfect for families and just about any time of the year! #travel #tennessee #gatlinburg #ourroaminghearts | Travel Tennessee | Tennesee | Gatlinburg TN | Things to do in Gatlinburg

Top 10 Things to do in Gatlinburg TN

So before we get into the list below I want to mention the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass. This is a discount admissions pass. You pay one price and pick either 3 or 5 attractions you want to visit out of 30 different options!

The attractions are in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area and include everything from dinner shows to tours, and more. I'll make a note below if the item is in the Sightseeing Pass. Depending on the attractions you choose you can save between $20 to $60 per person!

What is Gatlinburg Tennessee famous for?

I was recently asked this and wanted to share here. Really Gatlinburg gained popularity as the gateway to the Smoky Mountains National Park. Then they took on a huge Christmas festival and have grown popularity right next to Pigeon Forge thanks to Dolly Parton. 

Make sure to check out our 15 free things to do in Gatlinburg Tennessee as well. They are so worth it and will make your trip amazing and your wallet will thank you for it!

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Sign

Drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

While there may be tons of things to do in Gatlinburg, the top thing to do, in my opinion, is to drive through the Mountains. Experiencing the Smokies at any time of the year is a treat.

They have several scenic drives, the visitor centers have museums, then there is Cades Cove which is an open-air museum. 

There is hiking, and camping here that all lead to some amazing views. Your kids can also grab their National Parks Junior Ranger Badges.

Check out the top things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

(included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass)

Ripley's really had brought a lot of attractions to the area but this aquarium is at the top of the list for sure. The aquarium had been voted one of the top 5 in the country by several publications and they were voted as one of the top destinations to see penguins in the country too. 

They have everything from 12-foot sharks, massive stingrays, and sea turtles. They have some state of the art underwater tunnels so you can really experience the sea life in their own space. 

They have a 3-Story Discovery Treehouse & Play Center and a glass-bottom boat ride over the shark tank. 

Gatlinburg Tennessee Airbnb

Stay in a Mountain Cabin

Part of the wonder of Gatlinburg is staying right in the heart of a mountain. One thing you will want to do while in Gatlinburg is to stay in a cabin in the mountain. The views are indescribable.

Plus, if you book the right cabin, you can experience things like a hot tub, a back porch with the view of a mountain after mountain, and lots of relaxation.

I love booking cabins on Airbnb. You can get a whole unique cabin for less than one hotel room. Plus if you sign up with my link you get a free $40 credit!

Related: 25 Can't-Miss Free Things to do in Knoxville TN

Check out the Guinness World Records Adventure

(included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass)

They advertise that you can become a Guinness World Records title holder right in Gatlinburg and it’s already happened more than 20 times!

This is a part museum of the world records and they also have 50 interactives, including 10 Official Guinness World Records Attempts.

Walk Downtown

From Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, you can truly shop until you drop. I have never seen so many shopping opportunities available. You get the pleasure of supporting some locally-owned shops as well. 

Many shops are themed and have some attractions from making your own candles, watching them make candy, small museums, tastings, and more. 

Related: 23 Free Things to do in Pigeon Forge TN

Explore the Anakeesta Theme Park

(included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass)

One of Gatlinburg's newer attractions you can take the Chondola up the mountain top to take in the park. This is a 14-minute ride up 600 feet to the top where you enter the whimsical Firefly Village. 

While there you can take in the Memorial Forest Walk that talks all about the 2016 wildfires. They have a treehouse playground, a Tree Canopy walk with 16 bridges, a Vista Garden walk, and amazing views of all the mountains and the city below. 

Ober Gatlinburg Tram
Ober Gatlinburg Tram

Ride the Ober Gatlinburg Tramway

(included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass)

Something that the whole family will love is the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. You can see pictures of the tram in the sky taking you to the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park.

The park at the top had a mountain coaster, a small petting zoo, ice skating, shops and more. In the winter they have snow activities. 

This ride is all about the views especially in the fall with the leaves changing and in the winter with the town covered in snow. 

This is the kids favorite of the top 10 things to do in Gatlinburg TN list.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

(included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass)

Get an amazing 360-degree view of downtown Gatlinburg, part of the Smoky Mountains National Park and more. You can ride the glass elevator to the top with some amazing views as well. 

At the top, there are high power binoculars to take in the views. You can even take in Gatlinburg at night with all the neons lights it's beautiful!

10 things to do in Gatlinburg TN

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

Something you will see a lot while you are in Gatlinburg is moonshine distilleries. One of the best distillery is the Ole Smokey Moonshine Distillery and they have a shop right downtown where you can do a moonshine tasting and get more information on tours. 

Zipline in Gatlinburg

(included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass)

If you have ever wanted to zip line, Gatlinburg is one of the best places. The mountains allow you to have the most incredible experience as you zip through the mountains.

As you can see, Gatlinburg is the perfect place for families as well as individuals. There is something for everyone while in Gatlinburg, TN. What do you think should be on my top 10 things to do in Gatlinburg TN list? Don't forget to grab your Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass.

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