Tips For a Holiday in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a tourist favorite for its terrific views and numerous outdoor activities. Whether you want to stroll through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or hike to a mountaintop, Gatlinburg will surprise you every step of the way. Top that with a new activity to experience, like zip lining or whitewater rafting, and your vacation is complete!

Tips For A Holiday In Gatlinburg

No matter what season you visit or whom you travel with, this picturesque town will leave you refreshed. If you're ready to make the most of your trip to Gatlinburg, TN, check out these tips:

#1. Plan when to travel!

The best season to visit Gatlinburg is during the fall. The weather is mild, and the leaves are changing colors, making for a beautiful backdrop. You can also witness the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival during this time. Late spring and early summer are also lovely in Gatlinburg. However, the town can get crowded during peak season (mid-June through August). If you don't mind the crowds, you can enjoy attractions like Anakeesta's Firefly Village and Ober Gatlinburg.

So, align your travel dates with the activities you want to experience and the weather you prefer, and then book your lodging accordingly.

#2. Choose your lodging carefully!

There are many places to stay in Gatlinburg; it all depends on your budget and the kind of amenities you're looking for. Consider staying in one of the many cabins in and around Gatlinburg. These are usually more affordable and offer basic amenities like a pool, free parking, and Wi-Fi. Some cabins in Gatlinburg even have hot tubs!

Consider renting a large cabin if you're visiting Gatlinburg with a large group. These usually have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and offer plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Most cabins also have full kitchens, making it easy to prepare meals for your group.

#3. What to eat in Gatlinburg?

Gatlinburg is home to many great restaurants, from casual cafes and diners to upscale restaurants and barbecue joints. There's something for everyone's taste and budget. If you're on a strict budget, there are plenty of fast food and casual restaurants in Gatlinburg. McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Subway are all located in the city center. For something more filling, head to a local BBQ or check out Whole Earth Grocery Café, which has vegan options, too! These usually have affordable lunch specials that won't break the bank.

If you're looking for a more upscale dining experience, there are several great restaurants in Gatlinburg. For instance, the Hard Rock Cafe is a popular spot for American comfort food like burgers and fries. Or, if you're in the mood for Italian, check out the Tuscan oven-roasted eggplant at the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

#4. What to do in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg will never bore you. Whether you're looking for adrenaline-pumping thrills or relaxing scenic views, you'll find it all here. Some popular things to do in Gatlinburg include taking a ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, hiking to Clingmans Dome, and exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (it's worth preparing for possible wildlife encounters!).

For those who love the great outdoors, there are enough activities to keep you busy. Take a scenic drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, go whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River, or hike to one of the many waterfalls in the area. Gatlinburg is also home to several excellent museums, including the Gatlinburg Museum of Appalachia, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and the Hollywood Star Cars Museum. No matter what you're looking for, you'll find it in Gatlinburg.

#5. Things you should carry

If you're traveling to Gatlinburg, there are a few things you should bring with you. First and foremost, you'll need a valid ID to enter attractions or rent a car. Secondly, you should pack appropriate clothing for the season. In the summer, shorts and t-shirts are acceptable, but in the winter, you'll need warmer clothes like jeans and a jacket. You'll also want to pack comfortable walking shoes, as a lot of walking is involved in exploring Gatlinburg. Remember to keep your snacks and drinks to stay full and hydrated. You will also need your bug repellant and sunscreen!

You'll probably do a lot of walking while on vacation, so it's essential to be prepared. And if you're planning hikes in the Smoky Mountains specifically, pack more water than usual and some high-protein snacks. A map of the area will also come in handy to stay safe and hydrated while exploring the trails.

#6. Enjoy musical shows!

One of the best things to do in Gatlinburg is to enjoy its live musical shows. Several great venues offer a variety of genres, so there's something for everyone. The Gatlinburg Comedy Barn is a great spot to catch clean humor. You'll also meet jugglers, magicians, and ventriloquists.

For country music fans, the Gatlinburg Country Tonite Show is a must-see. This popular venue features live country music, clogging, and dancing. If you're a fan of bluegrass, gospel, or old-time music, check out the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. This venue has live music daily, and you can even tour the distillery to see how moonshine is made. No matter your taste in music, you'll find the live shows here extremely entertaining.

#7. Where to shop in Gatlinburg

If you love to shop, Gatlinburg is the place for you. From local shops to outlet malls, there's something for every shopper. The Gatlinburg Village is a wonderful place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. Head to the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen for beautiful souvenirs to take back home. You may also find great options at the Fudge Shoppe.

For those who like to shop for brand-name items, the Gatlinburg Tanger Outlets are a great option. In addition, you'll find stores like Nike, Ann Taylor, and Gap Outlet. If you are with kids and family, we recommend visiting local shops. For clothes, visit Smoky Mountain Outfitters. If you are looking for outdoor games, visit the Gatlinburg Sports Complex.

Wrap Up: Tips For A Holiday In Gatlinburg

Whatever your reason for visiting Gatlinburg, we hope you have a wonderful time and come away with some great memories. However, to ensure you have a comfortable place to stay and plenty of activities to enjoy, always plan and be prepared. Do some research on the area before you go, and don't forget to pack your essentials. No one likes insect encounters or being caught in the rain without a jacket. But most importantly, relax and have fun! That's what vacations are all about.

What about you, have you ever been to Gatlinburg? Feel free to share any tips & advice below!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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