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The Appalachian Lodge
Clingmans Dome in the morning

Planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg is fun and exciting, but at times it can also be a bit overwhelming when trying to choose how to spend your time while on vacation. Even if you spent months in the area, you still wouldn’t be able to see and do everything that the Smokies has to offer. With so many choices available we wanted to help get you started with some suggestions on some of the best activities to put on your itinerary while staying with us at The Appy Lodge.

Take in the Views

Gatlinburg SkyLiftThe Great Smoky Mountains are famous for their foggy valleys, rolling hills and beautiful peaks. When staying with us in Gatlinburg you’ll find many activities that will give you a birds eye view of our stunning landscape. In downtown Gatlinburg you can grab some dinner downtown and the head up to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, a tradition for many Gatlinburg visitors. If you’re looking for views and thrills you’ll want to take a trip on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift to one of Gatlinburg’s most anticipated attractions of 2019, the SkyBridge. America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge is sure to get your heart pumping and offers up some amazing views of the Smokies. For those that want to stay on more steady ground, you can take in the scenery at the top as well without needing to cross the bridge. Families, couples and friends will all have a great time exploring Anakeesta as well. Shopping, restaurants and never-ending fun await at the end of the Chondola ride to the summit. The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is also an excellent way to take in the view of the mountains while on your way to a day of fun at the top. If you’re looking to connect with nature, take a scenic drive on Newfound Gap Road and up to the Smokies highest peak, Clingmans Dome. The most recently opened section of the Foothills Parkway, The Missing Link, is also a drive that shouldn’t be missed while vacationing in the Smokies.

Take a Tour

Gatlinburg is filled with locals that have a deep passion for showing visitors the sights of our beautiful community and mountains. The area also offers many opportunities to take a self-tour of both historical places and local businesses. If you’re looking to take a guided hiking tour or just a relaxing history tour, you’ll find many top-rated guide companies on TripAdvisor. For those wanting to enjoy the spirits of the Smokies, local companies offer tours of distilleries as well as Moonshine and Wine Tasting tours. The Rocky Top Wine Trail gives you the opportunity to visit five local wineries and is 100% free. Collect 3 passport stamps for a free logoed wine glass and with 5 passports you’ll receive another free gift. Stamps don’t need to be collected on the same day so take your time at each spot and spread out the fun. Soak up some Smoky Mountain sunshine with a bike rental in Cades Cove or take a ride on the trolley!

Take Advantage of Free Fun

Newfound Gap in the Smoky MountainsYou’ll find activities of all types in Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas, some that do have an admission price but there are many other ways to see the sights for free. One great example is our annual Wilderness Wildlife Week that is based in Pigeon Forge. The event is held on the second week of May and is completely free. Programs for all ages and interests are offered throughout the week and can be viewed by looking over the Wilderness Wildlife Week Program online. In the 23 pages of fun you will find not only day after day of free classes and programs but also free guided outdoor excursions that include bird walks, numerous hikes, Smokies heritage tours and more. If you’re not in the area during Wilderness Wildlife Week, you can still participate in Citizen Science Days with the Institute at Tremont in the park as well as park activities. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park not only offers the Junior Ranger program for kids ages 5-12 but also the Not So Junior Ranger program for those between the ages of 13-130. Take advantage of free opportunities and maybe you’ll save enough to stay for a bonus night!

Have we shared any sightseeing ideas that spark your interest?

Even with everything we listed, the best tip for enjoying your time that we can give is to spend your time in Gatlinburg comfortable and well rested. Stay with us at The Appy so you can get a great night’s rest, relax by the fire pits or in the pool after a day of exploring and kick off each morning by having breakfast with us before heading out for another adventure filled day!

To start planning your next urban and wilderness exploring expedition in the Smoky Mountains, click here! → Be our guest at The Appy Lodge!