- Accessible skiing resorts
- Wonderful hiking trails
- Family-friendly museums
- Craft and music festivals
The gateway to Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers a wide range of vacation rentals to choose from. You’ll find snug town center apartments alongside mountain retreats, with hot tubs, huge gardens and peace and quiet for miles around.Family Chalets in the Gatlinburg Area
If you are traveling as a family, Gatlinburg is not short on comfortable chalet-style vacation homes either. Book rental homes with balconies overlooking mountain valleys, and breathe in the fresh Tennessee air every morning – all within a mile or two of Gatlinburg’s downtown attractions.
Gatlinburg is a compact, thriving mountain town in the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee. Easily accessible via major arteries like I-81, I-40 and I-75, it’s also within a short drive from Knoxville’sMcGhee-Tyson Airport and Asheville Regional Airport.
Gatlinburg is very close to Pigeon Forge, the home of Dollywood, an entertainment and amusement complex owned and dedicated to country singer Dolly Parton. However, it also has attractions of its own, including a wonderful aquarium, a museum dedicated to cars from film and TV, and craft distilleries that produce authentic Tennessee bourbon. Many people also visit Gatlinburg for its natural attractions, with ski resorts to visit in the winter, and miles and miles of hiking trails to explore during the summertime.
Getting around is easy. The town has an extensive trolley bus network, which also links it to Pigeon Forge, there are cable cars to the nearby peaks, and plenty of car and mountain bike rental options as well.
Gatlinburg is full of family-friendly attractions. Dollywood is close by, and offers 27 rides, a huge water park and entertainment every night of the week. Gatlinburg itself is home to a fine aquarium, the spooky exhibits of Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, the 342-feet high Space Needle and plenty of restaurants too.A Down to Earth Ski Resort
Just outside the center of town, you’ll find Ober Gatlinburg – one of America’s friendliest (and most accessible) ski resorts. During the winter months, there’s no better place to enjoy ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, wildlife spotting tours or scenic chairlift rides.A Superb Hiking Destination
When the weather warms up, it’s hard to imagine a better destination for outdoors lovers than the Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg is at the heart of this stunning region, where you can fish 2,900 miles of streams, cycle, hike, climb or soak up the vistas at beauty spots like Abrams Falls.
The Smokies are stunning, and trails head out from the edges of Gatlinburg. There are routes for beginners and experienced mountaineers, so pack a lunch, charge your camera and prepare to experience some incredible views.2. Go Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg
In winter, you can juggle family fun in the valley with skiing, skating and snowboarding at OberGatlinburg, hundreds of feet up in the Smoky Mountains. Accessible by a cable car from town, the resort offers slopes for every skill level.3. Pay a Visit to Dollywood
You don’t have to be a devotee of Dolly Parton to love Dollywood (but it helps). This 150-acre entertainment hub features enough rides to keep anyone happy for days, along with eateries, music venues and souvenir stalls aplenty.4. See the Oddities at Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Ripley’s is a Gatlinburg institution, showcasing the weird, the unexpected and – sometimes – the horrifying at its downtown museum space. Don’t miss the Odditorium, with its vampire exhibits, outlandish trash sculptures and spooky shrunken heads.5. Enjoy the Aquarium of the Smokies
Just next to Ripley’s, you’ll find one of America’s finest aquariums – believe it or not. Home to penguins, rays, sharks, reefs and rainforest exhibits, it’s both a magical experience and a chance to learn about exotic marine life.
Gatlinburg has the kind of climate that makes it a popular winter and summer resort, for different reasons. Between November and March, temperatures tend to struggle to get above 50 degrees, while from late May through September, unbroken stretches of temperatures above 80 are common.Bring an umbrella
One thing that visitors need to plan for is rain. Although summer brings plenty of sunny days, Gatlinburg is famous for its rainfall (averaging around 130cm of rain every year). Summer is warm and often wet, so remember to pack an umbrella or raincoat when you hit the trails.Festivals
The town has a lively schedule of festivals and markets as well. For example, there’s the Craftsmen’s Fair every July, which brings regional artisans to town, a fantastic Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg resort, and the Smoky Mountains Music Festival, which takes place in April.