Gatlinburg is a mountain resort city in eastern Tennessee, located in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a popular tourist destination for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and family-friendly attractions.

One of the main draws of Gatlinburg is its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing in the park.

In town, there are also plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained. These include the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Moonshine Distillery Tour.

Gatlinburg is also known for its unique shopping and dining experiences, with many souvenir shops, candy stores, and local restaurants featuring traditional Southern cuisine. In addition, the city hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair and the Gatlinburg Winter Magic festival.

Overall, Gatlinburg is an excellent destination for outdoor adventure and family-friendly fun.

Downtown Gatlinburg

Downtown Gatlinburg is the major commercial and tourist district of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists, offering a variety of shops, restaurants, attractions, and entertainment options.

One of the main draws of downtown Gatlinburg is its scenic beauty, as the city is located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the mountains while exploring the downtown area.

In addition to the natural beauty, downtown Gatlinburg is home to many unique shops, ranging from souvenir shops and candy stores to art galleries and jewelry stores. There are also a variety of restaurants, serving everything from traditional Southern cuisine to international dishes.

Another popular attraction in downtown Gatlinburg is the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, a 700-foot-long pedestrian suspension bridge that offers panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Other attractions in the area include the Gatlinburg Space Needle, an observation tower that provides 360-degree views of the city and the surrounding mountains, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, which features strange and unusual exhibits from around the world.

SkyBridge

The SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a pedestrian bridge that spans 680 feet across a deep valley in the Great Smoky Mountains. The bridge is located in the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

The SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The bridge is made of steel and glass and is suspended by cables that are anchored to the sides of the valley.

Visitors to the SkyBridge can take a leisurely walk across the bridge and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The bridge also has several observation areas and glass panels, offering visitors a unique and exhilarating experience.

In addition to the SkyBridge, the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park also offers a scenic chairlift ride, a nature trail, and a gift shop. Whether you’re looking for a scenic hike or a thrilling adventure, the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg is an excellent option for those visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.

Downtown Gatlinburg is also a hub for entertainment, with several theaters and live music venues offering a variety of shows and performances. The city also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair and the Gatlinburg Winter Magic festival.

Overall, downtown Gatlinburg is a must-visit destination for those looking to experience the charm and beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains while enjoying a unique shopping and entertainment experience.

Best Places to Eat in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is known for its delicious southern cuisine and scenic mountain views. Here are some of the best places to eat in Gatlinburg:

  1. The Peddler Steakhouse: A classic steakhouse with a rustic atmosphere and a menu featuring prime rib, steaks, and other hearty dishes.
  2. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp: A popular breakfast spot known for its southern-style dishes, including biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and omelets.
  3. The Park Grill: A family-friendly restaurant with a menu featuring burgers, salads, sandwiches, and other casual food.
  4. Calhoun’s Restaurant: A staple in Gatlinburg, Calhoun’s serves classic southern dishes like barbecue ribs, fried chicken, and catfish.
  5. The Melting Pot: A fondue restaurant with a menu featuring a variety of melted cheeses, chocolate fondues, and dipping sauces.
  6. Atrium Pancake House: A casual breakfast and lunch spot often known for its fluffy pancakes, waffles, and omelets.
  7. The Smoky Mountain Brewery: A brewery and restaurant with a menu featuring pub food, such as pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers.
  8. The Wild Boar Saloon: A western-themed bar and grill with a menu featuring steaks, burgers, and other hearty dishes.

These are just a few of the many dining options available in Gatlinburg. No matter your taste, you’re sure to find something delicious to enjoy in this charming mountain town.

Things to do in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, offers a wide range of entertainment options for visitors of all ages. Here are some popular activities in the area:

  1. Ober Gatlinburg: A ski resort and amusement park featuring a ski slope, ice skating rink, alpine slide, and other attractions.
  2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: A large aquarium featuring a variety of sea creatures, including sharks, rays, and penguins.
  3. Anakeesta: A family-friendly outdoor adventure park featuring a tree canopy walk, zip lines, and a scenic rail ride.
  4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: A natural wonder offering hiking, fishing, and scenic drives, as well as ranger-led programs and guided tours.
  5. Gatlinburg SkyBridge: A 140-yard-long pedestrian bridge that offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains and the city below.

Gatlinburg Space Needle: The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a 407-foot-tall observation tower in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The building offers panoramic views of the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains and the city of Gatlinburg. 

Visitors to the Space Needle can take an elevator to the top of the tower and enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding area. The observation deck is fully enclosed, offering protection from the elements, and there are several viewing platforms and telescopes available for visitors to use.

In addition to the observation tower, the Gatlinburg Space Needle has a gift shop, arcade, and restaurant. The building is a popular destination for tourists and locals and is a great place to relax and enjoy scenic surroundings. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is a must-visit destination for those interested in breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area.

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery: The distillery is one of the largest moonshine producers in the United States and offers visitors a chance to learn about the history and craft of moonshine making.

Visitors to the distillery can tour the facilities, sample a variety of moonshine flavors, and learn about the distillation process and the history of moonshine in the region. The distillery also offers a variety of souvenirs, including moonshine jugs, t-shirts, and other merchandise.

In addition to the distillery, visitors can also visit the Ole Smoky Holler, a large outdoor area that offers live music, food, and drinks. The Holler is a popular gathering place for tourists and locals and is a great place to relax and enjoy scenic surroundings. Whether you’re a fan of moonshine or just curious about its history and production, the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is a unique and entertaining experience for those visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.

These are just a few of the many entertainment options available in Gatlinburg. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or just a fun night out, you’ll find plenty to do in this vibrant mountain town.

The History of Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was originally home to the Cherokee Indians, who lived in the region for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.

In the early 19th century, European settlers began to move into the area and establish farms and communities. Gatlinburg was officially launched in the late 1800s and was named after Radford Gatlin, an early settler and businessman.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Gatlinburg remained a small, isolated mountain town. However, in the 1920s and 1930s, the city began to develop as a tourist destination, with visitors coming to the area to experience the scenic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Gatlinburg experienced significant growth and development, becoming a region’s hub for tourism and recreation. Today, Gatlinburg is a thriving city that offers a variety of attractions, activities, and experiences for visitors of all ages. With its rich history, scenic beauty, and diverse cultural offerings, Gatlinburg is an excellent destination for a unique and memorable experience in Tennessee.

Interesting Trivia about Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, has a rich and diverse history, and many interesting facts about Gatlinburg make it a unique and fascinating place. Some of the most exciting facts about Gatlinburg include the following:

  1. Gatlinburg was initially known as White Oak Flats: Gatlinburg was originally named White Oak Flats but was later renamed Gatlinburg in honor of Radford Gatlin, an early settler and businessman.
  2. Gatlinburg was once a central logging town: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Gatlinburg was a main logging town, with logs being floated down the Little Pigeon River to sawmills in the nearby cities.
  3. Gatlinburg is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Gatlinburg is located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
  4. Gatlinburg has a rich arts and crafts tradition: Gatlinburg is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community, with many local artists and artisans creating and selling their work in the area.
  5. Gatlinburg was one of the first towns in the United States to have electricity: Gatlinburg was one of the first towns in the United States to have electricity, thanks to a hydroelectric power plant built on the Little Pigeon River.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Gatlinburg is a fascinating and unique place with a rich history and culture. With its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and vibrant arts and crafts community, Gatlinburg is an excellent destination for those looking for an enjoyable and memorable experience in Tennessee.