Serving as a gateway to the sprawling Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg in Tennessee is renowned for its outdoor activities and picturesque views. On your visit, you’ll find plenty of interesting things to do in and near this scenic mountain city.
Towering 407 feet above the landscape, Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. From its observation deck, you can savour sweeping views of the Smokies as well as the urban landmass. Head to Gatlinburg SkyLift Park nearby for a chance to experience the mountains from various angles – ride up and down in the SkyLift chairs, walk across the partially glass-panelled SkyBridge, explore the SkyTrail and more. At Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, you’ll find immersive exhibits and experiences like a shark tunnel, opportunities to touch stingrays and take glass-bottom boat rides. The mountainside amusement park, Ober Gatlinburg, offers superb valley and mountain vistas from ski coasters and ski lift rides.
With its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg provides easy access to outdoor activities, wildlife viewing opportunities and more. Hundreds of hiking trails criss-cross the park, including the legendary Appalachian Trail. Wildflower walks to see picture-perfect waterfalls are also popular here. Scenic drives through the park will give you a glimpse of the seasonal natural beauty of the area. You can also enjoy white-water rafting in Gatlinburg, with thrilling class III and IV rapids on regional rivers.