20 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Gatlinburg for First Time Visitors
Are you planning a trip to Gatlinburg for the first time? If so, chances are you’ve already looked up things to do in the area. At The Appy Lodge, we know how overwhelming that can be. Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas, are filled with wonderful attractions, unlimited dining options, beautiful places to see and countless shops. Plus, right in our backyard is America’s most visited national park, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During your time in the area, we want you to enjoy your visit and make the most of the time that you have with us!
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 20 things to do during your vacation to get you started with making an itinerary that fits your interests and needs.
1. Take a Walk Among the Sharks
In the heart of downtown Gatlinburg you’ll find one of the top aquariums in the world! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a top rated attraction and is one of the most unique experiences that you’ll find in the Smokies. A visit to this spectacular attraction is perfect on any day but a rainy or extra cold day gives you the perfect excuse to bump it to the top of the list!
2. Visit Tennessee’s Only Ski Resort
Speaking of cold weather, Ober Gatlinburg is the spot to have some fun in the snow! Take a ride on the Aerial Tramway and enjoy everything from skiing and tubing to ice skating and even ice bumper cars. Visiting during the warmer months? No problem! They have plenty of attractions and events going on throughout the year! Regardless of when you’re in town, be sure to ride or drive up to Ober and have some mountain top fun!
3. Walk North America’s Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge
The SkyBridge. You’ve heard about it and you’ve probably already decided that you have to walk across or you’ve made the decision that you’ll never walk on it. Conquer your fears or enjoy the thrill, either way you won’t want to miss the most talked about Gatlinburg attraction of 2019!
4. Enjoy the Views from the Space Needle
A Gatlinburg classic. Go. You won’t be disappointed!
5. Experience Anakeesta
A visit to Anakeesta is one of the best things you can possibly do when visiting the Smokies! You have three choices of transportation to the top and once you’re at the summit you’ll find a canopy walk among the trees, ziplines, a beer garden, shopping, a rail runner and more!
6. Take a Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
America’s most visited national park bumps right up against our charming city! Take an easy hike along the Gatlinburg Trail or climb to the summit of Mount LeConte. There’s a hike for everyone and when in Gatlinburg, everyone must take a hike on some level! Disconnect to connect and you’ll be wanting to go again before you’re back at the hotel.
7. Eat Like a Local
Have a hearty breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, grab a sandwich at Old Dad’s, enjoy the salad bar at The Park Grill or enjoy fine dining at The Greenbrier. When in town, eat where the locals eat and you’ll be enjoying the best grub in town!
8. Browse the shops of Downtown Gatlinburg
Take an early morning stroll through The Village Shops, wander the Mountain Mall or stock up on goodies in The Marketplace. We have plenty of everything in Gatlinburg and great local shops is right there in the mix!
9. Sample Some Corn in a Jar
When in the Smokies, it’s time for moonshine! Who has the best moonshine in town? Stop in at Ole Smoky for a tasting then head over to Sugarlands Distilling Co. and decide for yourself!
10. Ride a Mountain Coaster
There are countless ways to experience the mountains but riding on a mountain coaster while you’re in Gatlinburg is certainly one that you’ll remember!
11. Take a Scenic Drive
Take a sunday drive any day of the week, after all isn’t that what vacation is all about? Days and time don’t exist in the Smokies and all that matters is that you have a great time!
12. Connect with Local Artists
Tour the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community! You’ll find over 100 artists and craftsmen in the area and many that do daily lives demonstrations. Take an afternoon while you’re in town and connect with them! They’ll certainly appreciate your support!
13. Catch a Live Band
During your time in Gatlinburg you’ll find plenty of spots with live music filling in the quietness of the mountains as the evening rolls in. Sit back, relax and enjoy some tunes!
14. Make Time to Sip a Little Wine
If moonshine really isn’t your thing, head over to Sugarland Cellars for a free tour and tasting of some of their very best wines! Be sure to check out the Rocky Top Wine Trail as well!
15. Wander the Appalachian Trail
One mile or seventy, you decide. But at least take a bit of a stroll on one of the most loved footpaths on the planet!
16. Ride the Trolley
After a long drive it’s nice to leave the driving up to someone else for a bit. When staying with us, purchase a $2 Gatlinburg Trolley pass for the day at our front desk and sit back and relax as you’re chauffeured around town!
17. Take in a Show
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. Don’t forget the tissues! Because you will laugh until you cry!
18. Go Waterfall Chasing
Grotto Falls, Laurel Falls, Rainbow Falls, A Place of a Thousand Drips, Baskins Creek Falls, Fern Branch Falls, Cataract Falls, Ramsey Cascades… You get the point. There are no shortage of waterfalls near Gatlinburg! Chase a few before you head back home!
19. Fill up Your Phone or Camera with Photos
When exploring all of the wonderful things to do in Gatlinburg and the Smokies you’ll find the perfect photo opportunities around every corner! Don’t forget to charge up your phone or camera and fill them up with photos of your Smoky Mountain memories! We would love for you to share a few with us on our Facebook or Instagram accounts!
20. Stay at The Appy Lodge
We couldn’t wrap up our list without adding our favorite place in Gatlinburg! Before doing any of the above, you should book a stay with us! Not only will you find that you will be in a great spot to check off your bucket list for your vacation, but you’ll receive the best hospitality in the Smokies! We’ll treat you to a free breakfast every morning and cookies in the afternoon. You’ll find that the mini-fridge and microwave in your room is perfect for snacks and late night warm ups of leftovers from your dining time in town. Take a dip in our seasonal outdoor pool or year-round indoor pool, relax in the hot tub or kick back and relax by the fire pits or fireplace. The selection of Our Guest Rooms provides an option for your travelling needs and the coziness of our property is undeniable! Booking direct with us by Clicking Here or calling the front desk will give you extra perks as well!
We hope to see you soon!
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