8 Ideas for Having The Time of Your Life in Gatlinburg

Vacation season is the most anticipated for almost everyone. After all, the chance to leave behind the everyday responsibilities and stress of life is quite tempting.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to relax during your vacation, Gatlinburg is a great option. With rich scenic beauty and fresh mountain air, Gatlinburg provides the best outlet to rejuvenate yourself while relishing many different experiences the place offers. If you are not yet sure what spots and activities to put in the itinerary for your Gatlinburg trip, here are some ideas for what you can do to have the best time there!

1. Explore The Local Food

Going someplace new is all about exploring its essence, digging deeper into what the place offers, and finding reasons why the locals feel proud of it. One of the best ways to experience the city’s heart is through its food. The food you’ll find in the restaurants dotting the local streets will show you the city’s personality. There is nothing like sitting in a wholesome and cozy restaurant nestled in Gatlinburg’s hills, enjoying delicacies in front of a view your camera could never justify.

Your hotel’s room service, while convenient, will not color your vacation experience as well as exploring different restaurants in the city could. For the best tourist experience in Gatlinburg, make memories by enjoying food in the best Gatlinburg restaurants.

2. Check Out The Beautiful Sea Creatures At Ripley’s

If you don’t visit Ripley’s Aquarium on your trip to Gatlinburg, you are missing out. If you love ocean life and wish to acquaint yourselves with sea creatures up close, you should put Ripley’s Aquarium in bold in your vacation itinerary. From walking under sharks in an underwater tunnel to touching different sea creatures in touch tanks, the aquarium is every marine lover’s dream.

One of the best aspects of the aquarium is the chance to get close to the penguins. Very few would want to pass the opportunity to pet those adorable creatures and get pictures with them.

3. Visit Anakeesta

A visit to the summit of the Anakeesta Mountains is a must for every Gatlinburg tourist. The ride to the top is worth the trip. With peaceful air and scenic views to die for, the summit will make you forget all about the busy roads and tall skyscrapers back home.

From taking a breathtaking botanical walk to enjoying food and souvenirs, the Firefly Village in Anakeesta is a must-go. For the daring, adventure-seeking souls out there, Anakeesta offers many more activities to enjoy to your heart’s content. You could satisfy your adrenaline rush by ziplining with your friends, sitting on the mountain coaster, sky walking 60 feet above the ground, and much more!

4. Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you visit the Smokys and don’t go hiking, you have already missed half the fun. Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park gives you the perfect opportunity to hike through the hills and connect with nature. You will get to explore the beauty of Mother Nature first-hand by hiking along the Gatlinburg Trail or climbing to the top of Mount LeConte.

Hiking opportunities are not the only thing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is best known for. You could camp under the stars, witness the finest waterfalls, picnic along the best views, or go horseback riding!

5. Try White Water Rafting

Rafting in the beautiful rivers of Gatlinburg should be a priority on your vacation to-do list. Very few places offer a worthwhile whitewater rafting adventure like Gatlinburg does. So, if you are a watersport person, pack your swimming trunks and enjoy splashing in the beautiful waves.

You don’t need any prior rafting experience to enjoy rafting in Gatlinburg. Rafting newbies can enjoy the adventure just as much as an experienced rafter. If anything, your first time rafting in the beauty of Gatlinburg’s rivers will only make the experience more memorable.

6. Have Fun At Ober Gatlinburg

Whether you are visiting Gatlinburg in winter or summer, the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park offer fun activities regardless of the time of the year. The amusement park is the perfect place to fulfill your winter sports fantasies. This place becomes the only ski resort in the entire state of Tennessee after the Thanksgiving season, offering fun activities like snow skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating to its visitors.

If your visit to Gatlinburg is scheduled in the seasons besides winter, no worries, for there is still a lot you can enjoy in Ober Gatlinburg. Ice skating, ski mountain coaster, and chairlift are only a few of the many activities you can enjoy here.

7. Enjoy Zorbing at Outdoor Gravity Park

Almost every adventure enthusiast wishes to go zorbing at least once in their life. Luckily, you can enjoy this experience in Gatlinburg by visiting Outdoor Gravity Park. If you have an affinity for trying out new things, experiencing zorbing should be one of the most anticipated activities in your vacation itinerary.

8. Taste The Best Alcoholic Drinks In The Area

There is nothing like unwinding with a good glass of wine when on vacation. Gatlinburg has some of the best wine cellars and breweries you can visit in Tennessee. Distilleries like Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and Sugarlands Distilling Company are two of the most prominent stops for alcohol enthusiasts. Rocky Top Wine Trail, one of Tennessee’s most visited wine trails, is another place you should add to your list. Visit different distilleries and wine cellars to get the taste of some of the best drinks and cocktails you can find in Gatlinburg.


The success of every trip largely depends on the efforts you put into its planning. Once you have researched the many activities and places you can visit on your vacation to Gatlinburg, it is time to finalize your vacation itinerary. However, while planning is necessary, it is also important to remember to have fun. Focus on making as many memories as you can and remember to immortalize the precious moments.

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