8 Things to Know Before Traveling to Gatlinburg

Are you planning your next trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee? Good pick! This mountain resort city in Sevier County fulfills the criteria for being tiny yet powerful, with various events and activities for everyone.

Pull up a chair because we’re about to share all the tried-and-true tourist advice you’ll need before visiting Gatlinburg for the first time.

With its breathtaking natural scenery and attractions, Gatlinburg is worth a visit! Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip.

1. Bring Your Walking Shoes

It would be a problem to come to Gatlinburg and not be able to explore everything it has to offer because your feet are killing you. So with that being said, pack comfortable shoes so you can walk around and take in all the sights. Otherwise, you’ll have difficulty exploring places like The Village Shops or Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community stores.

Also, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and features 800 miles of hiking trails, over 500,000 acres of forest, tranquil waterfalls, and magnificent scenery. So if that is on your to-do list, you will need some good shoes.

2. Choose the Right Cabin

The essential part of your Gatlinburg trip is to select the right cabin. After all, this is where you’ll spend most of your time. You want to make sure it’s comfortable and has everything you need.

Some of the cabins Gatlinburg TN offers come with amenities like outdoor fire pits, game tables, private indoor pools, and so much more. While some cabins offer stunning mountain views, others provide a more intimate experience surrounded by woods. They are also available in different sq. footage to accommodate your group size.

You can also find pet-friendly cabins in Gatlinburg, so you don’t have to leave your furry friend behind.


3. Don’t Overlook the Local Restaurants

Gatlinburg is a small city, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some great places to eat. The city is home to many award-winning restaurants.

You can’t go wrong with the Local Goat when picking a place to eat. This restaurant is known for its delicious American cuisine and friendly staff. The juicy burgers and yummy fries will hit the spot.

If you’re looking for a different burger experience, check out the Three Jimmy’s Good Time Eatery. Their burgers are filling, juicy, and worth a try.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find a great place to eat in Gatlinburg.

4. Carry Your Snacks at All Times

When you’re stuck in traffic as you return to the cabin, the last thing you want is a gurgling stomach. So, ensure you carry a travel bag with snacks and drinks for the drive. It can have a water bottle for each visitor and non-perishable provisions such as trail mix, peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, and dried fruit.

You could also bring juice boxes and pre-sliced fresh fruit for the kids. It will save you time (and tantrums) while hiking or exploring the city.


5. Visit During Off-Season

If you’re wondering whether Gatlinburg traffic is always congested, it depends on the time of year you visit. Since The Smokys are a popular destination for leaf peepers, the city is the busiest during summer and fall when the leaves change color.

To avoid crowds, plan your trip for during the spring or winter. These are the seasons when you’ll be able to enjoy all the Gatlinburg attractions minus the tourists’ heads. More importantly, you might even get a better deal on your cabin and attractions tickets.

6. Ride the Gatlinburg Trolley

Although walking the Parkway is a great way to see the sights, it can be tiring. If you don’t want to walk the entire length of the Parkway, hop on the Gatlinburg Trolley.

For just $.50, you can ride the trolley all around town. There are even trolley stops near some of the most popular attractions, like Ripley’s Aquarium and Ober Gatlinburg.

Riding the trolley is a fun experience in itself, and you can rest your feet while still seeing all that Gatlinburg offers.


7. Ride the Tramway to Ober Gatlinburg

When you’ve had enough of the Parkway and the national park, it’s time for something fresh. Board the aerial tramway, and it’ll whisk you away to Ober Gatlinburg, a mountain-top amusement park, in just a few minutes.

With its ski slopes, ice rink, alpine slide, and more, Ober Gatlinburg is ideal for spending a day. And, with the aerial tramway, getting there is half the fun.

Ober Gatlinburg has numerous fun activities for the whole family, so no one’s getting bored here.

8. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

You can’t miss out on one of the most popular national parks in the United States. The park gets more than 11 million visitors each year for a reason. Gatlinburg is a city close to the park, and it’s a great place to stay if you’re planning on spending time in the park.

Depending on your taste, there are plenty of things to do in the park. You can go hiking, spread your picnic blanket for a scenic lunch, go fishing, or stargaze at night.

You can enjoy a scenic drive or visit one of the many historical sites.

Don’t forget to keep food and water with you at all times, as well as a map of the area. And remember to be bear aware! Also, always open your camera app and be prepared to take a lot of photographs because the views are simply breathtaking.



Hopefully, you now know better what to anticipate when you go to Gatlinburg. You will find more options for things to do in Gatlinburg than you might have realized. So, whether you’re looking for a place to hike, camp, or just take in the sights, Gatlinburg is the perfect destination. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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