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Gatlinburg Established in 1856
Gatlinburg, a charming mountain town located in East Tennessee, is filled with millions of visitors each year seeking the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and endless family-friendly activities. As the fourth most popular destination for travel, Gatlinburg offers visitors a wide variety of activities such as skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, beautiful hiking in the national forest, Ripley’s Aquarium, shopping, and much more. The plethora of activities makes Gatlinburg a fantastic year-round destination for people of all ages.
Popular Activities in Gatlinburg
Downtown Gatlinburg, known to both locals and visitors as “the Strip,” is filled with the city’s most popular attractions, shops, and restaurants. With its natural beauty and a German, quaint, small-town feel, and located just outside the national park, there is so much to love and even more to do in this charming tourist town. The attractions on the strip are so unique and diverse that people of all ages will find more than enough to keep them busy. Some of Downtown Gatlinburg’s more popular attractions are Ripley’s Aquarium, Davy Crockett Miniature Golf, the Space Needle, Ober Gatlinburg, and the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster. Whatever your pleasure, Downtown Gatlinburg is sure to please.
In the heart of Gatlinburg lies Anakeesta, one of the city’s newest and most popular attractions. The award-winning 70-acre outdoor family theme park has continued to expand since its opening in 2017 to provide even more enjoyment for its visitors. One of Anakeeta’s most memorable adventures is its Dualing Zipline course. Stretching hundreds of feet above the forest floor, guests enjoy the breathtaking views while zip-lining side by side. The memories created are unsurpassed. Also, not to be missed is the new Anakeesta Rail Runner, a single-rail mountain coaster that takes riders on an exhilarating ride that hits speeds of 25 mph and encompasses 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns. After enjoying the many activities offered at Anakeesta, there are delicious dining options located at the top of the mountain, along with a diverse array of shops. Anakeesta is an attraction not to be missed and should be at the top of anyone’s list when visiting Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg Skylift Park
Since 1954 thousands of visitors have enjoyed the most spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains at Skylift Park. However, on May 17, 2019, Skylift Park took it to a whole new level when they built the Gatlinburg SkyBridge. As America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, the SkyBridge crosses the sky, in a single span, as it stretches nearly 700 feet across a deep valley. The wooden bridge begins at the top of Crockett Mountain and ends at an observation deck at the far side of the bridge. In the middle of the bridge, clear glass replaces the wood floor, enabling visitors to enjoy a clear view to the bottom of the valley.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
Ride the glass elevator up the Iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle in the 407-foot observation tower that overlooks the beautiful Smoky Mountains and Downtown Gatlinburg. Enjoy a stunning 360-degree view of the Smokies from the observation deck located at the top of the Space Needle. Don’t miss this truly unique experience and the picture-perfect backdrop to capture your photos.
Arts and Crafts Community
Be sure to make the Gatlinburg Art Tour part of your itinerary when planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains. The many shops, designed with a rustic theme, within the arts and crafts community, offer a plethora of specialty shops and galleries owned and operated by local artists. The historic 8-mile loop, known by locals as the Glades Area, has been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Along the trail are a wide variety of hand-made, original collectibles and folk art such as pottery, dolls, jewelry, candles, baskets, leather, stained glass, sculptures, framable art, and more. All these one of a kind gifts and many more await you in the arts and crafts community in Gatlinburg.
Ober Gatlinburg, located in the mountains overlooking Downtown Gatlinburg, is an amusement park and ski area. A tramway, located on the strip in downtown Gatlinburg, takes passengers to the top of the mountain where they can ice skate, ski (in winter), visit the Wildlife Encounter, play in the water rides, eat, and shop. During the winter, Ober offers snow tubing and ten slopes for Snowboarding and Skiing. Ober Gatlinburg is a blast all year round for people of all ages.
When strolling Downtown Gatlinburg, it is hard to miss the presence of Ripley’s. There are roughly six separate attractions owned by Ripley’s on the Strip, each offering a variety of fun.