Gatlinburg Travel Guide: Local Insights and Tips

Gatlinburg Travel Guide: Local Insights and Tips

Exploring Gatlinburg: A Local's Travel Guide

Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a charming town in eastern Tennessee known for its stunning natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities. Whether you're looking to hike in the mountains, explore quaint shops and galleries, or simply relax in a picturesque setting, Gatlinburg has something for everyone.

Things to Do

1. **Great Smoky Mountains National Park:** Explore the most visited national park in the United States, offering scenic drives, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and more.

2. **Gatlinburg SkyLift Park:** Take a ride on the iconic yellow chairlift to the top of Crockett Mountain for panoramic views of the area.

3. **Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies:** Discover a fascinating underwater world with interactive exhibits and marine life from around the globe.

4. **Ober Gatlinburg:** Ride the Aerial Tramway to this mountain-top amusement park for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and more.

5. **Gatlinburg Space Needle:** Enjoy 360-degree views of the Smokies from the observation deck of this iconic tower.

Where to Eat

When it comes to dining in Gatlinburg, you'll find a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries to suit every taste and budget. From Southern comfort food and barbecue joints to upscale dining establishments and international cuisine, there's something for everyone.

Some local favorites include:

  • **The Peddler Steakhouse:** Known for its juicy steaks and rustic ambiance overlooking the river.
  • **Pancake Pantry:** A Gatlinburg institution serving up delicious breakfast and brunch options.
  • **The Greenbrier Restaurant:** Enjoy fine dining in a historic setting with a menu featuring seasonal ingredients.

Where to Shop

Gatlinburg is a shopper's paradise, with a wide array of specialty shops, boutiques, galleries, and craft stores offering everything from handcrafted gifts and souvenirs to unique home decor and clothing.

Some popular shopping destinations in Gatlinburg include:

  1. **The Village:** A quaint shopping area featuring 27 unique boutiques and eateries in a European-inspired setting.
  2. **Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen:** Watch taffy being pulled and sample homemade sweets at this iconic candy store.
  3. **Mountain Mall:** Explore three levels of shopping with over 36 boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Where to Stay

From cozy cabins and luxury resorts to budget-friendly motels and campgrounds, Gatlinburg offers a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler's needs. Whether you prefer to stay in the heart of town or nestled in the mountains, there are options for every taste and budget.

Some top places to stay in Gatlinburg include:

  • **The Lodge at Buckberry Creek:** A luxury mountain lodge offering upscale amenities and breathtaking views.
  • **River Terrace Resort and Convention Center:** Located on the banks of the Little Pigeon River with easy access to downtown Gatlinburg.
  • **Gatlinburg East KOA Campground:** Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a rustic camping experience near the Smokies.