What to Know Before Visiting Gatlinburg

What to Know Before Visiting Gatlinburg

Learn about the essentials that will make your vacation in the awe-inspiring town amid the Great Smoky Mountains memorable and enjoyable.

Gatlinburg is a pleasant small town perfectly nestled in the Smoky Mountains that has become a well-known destination over time. 

Now a sprawling mountain resort, Gatlinburg is full of accommodation options, restaurants, and attractions. This makes the 3,500-people-large community one of the central hubs for exploring the Smokies and a wonderful place in its own right.

If you’re preparing for a holiday in the Smokies, here are the vital things you should know for your vacation in Gatlinburg.

1. The Ideal Visiting Time

Gatlinburg Ideal Visiting Time

Gatlinburg can become quite crowded at the peak seasons, as Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts millions of visitors every year. But the periods with the highest concentration of tourists in town are from June to August, in October, and from December to early January.

If you would rather avoid the crowd, the best time to visit will depend on your preference. 

If you love winter landscapes, you should ideally travel to Gatlinburg in February or November. But those that aren’t too keen on chilling temperatures might find mid or late spring a better fit.

2. Packing Essentials

Gatlinburg Packing Essentials

When packing for a trip to Gatlinburg, it’s a must to consider the season. Mountain weather can be tricky since the sun can pack a punch even in the winter. Not to mention early mornings or evenings are surprisingly chilly in the summer.

You would do well to bring a couple of sweatshirts, a jacket, and some sunscreen, regardless of the season. That’s to ensure the climate doesn’t catch you off guard.

Besides that, make sure to pack both your hiking boots and a swimming suit, as well as some bug spray to fend off the insects that abound in the mountain forests. 

Finally, bringing a camera is a must if you want to capture the incredible vistas of the area.

3. Where to Stay

Gatlinburg Camping

Gatlinburg has a plethora of options when it comes to accommodations. So, the first thing you need to decide on is whether you’d like to stay at a hotel, cabin, or resort. But you could also choose a camping site as the perfect place to stay for a unique experience.

You can’t go wrong if you choose one of the luxurious hotels, such as the Bearskin Lodge or the River Terrace Resort. 

The cabins are as comfortable and peppered all around the mountains, so you might find some of them more convenient and closer to the attractions that interest you the most. In that case, you can check out a cabin company like Hearthside or Bluff Mountain Rentals.

But if you’re going for an all-inclusive experience, there are fantastic resorts and spas to choose from. 

Finally, you could have a real mountain adventure if you choose to stay at a camping site. The National Park Service and the Park Rangers will help you understand all of the guidelines and regulations you should know before braving the wilderness.

4. Must-See Attractions

Gatlinburg Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium

While the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is undoubtedly the most enticing feature of the area, there are many other attractions in Gatlinburg you should see.

The Guinness World Records Adventure is where you can see galleries showcasing some impressive records, and you can even try and break some of them. Besides browsing the exhibits, you can enjoy interactive games, watch videos, and learn plenty of trivia.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium has all of the fun and weirdness you could wish for. From the National Anthem presented on license plates of every state to shrunken heads and a scrap-metal dragon, the exhibits will fascinate and shock you. The Odditorium also features a 5D theater, a mirror maze, a haunted house adventure, and plenty more.

For the most impressive view of the area, make sure to catch a ride on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. The ride will take you up the mountain in 10 minutes, offering plenty of time to be awed by the beauty of the scenery and snap all the photos you want.

But if you want a more static point of view, get on the elevator and reach the observation deck on top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle. You’ll be fascinated by the panoramic view that reveals much of the gorgeous landscape.

Dollywood is a family entertainment park that will make you want to check out the cabins in Pigeon Forge immediately. There are several themed areas, southern restaurants, and authentic shops in this center owned by the famous Tennessean Dolly Parton.

5. The Best Outdoor Activities

Gatlinburg Outdoor Activities

Naturally, the best time you can have on your vacation in Gatlinburg is when you’re enjoying activities in the great outdoors. Ensure there’s enough time in your schedule for extensive hiking, but don’t forget about all other activities you can enjoy in the Smokies.

But you don’t have to rely on your feet to carry you through the mountains. Instead, you could go ziplining or horseback riding. And for those that like the adrenaline rush and some tumbling, there are huge plastic orbs you can jump into and go zorbing down the mountainside.

And when it comes to water-based activities, there’s everything from swimming to kayaking and white water rafting.

6. Arts and Crafts

Gatlinburg Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

If you’re into arts and crafts, you’re probably already familiar with the well-developed community present in Gatlinburg. But for most other people, the abundance of galleries and artistic shops will come as a surprise.

Gatlinburg prides itself with the largest independent group of artisans in the country, so there’s plenty of opportunities to take an interest in their work. Why not try creating some pottery yourself?

Prepare for the Best Vacation in Gatlinburg

Once you have every essential piece of information in place, you can start planning for the perfect vacation in the majestic Great Smoky Mountains. 

There’s plenty of various accommodations, exciting activities, and fascinating nature all around. Your vacation in Gatlinburg will surely be one of your most memorable experiences.

Share On :
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What to Know Before Visiting Gatlinburg