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Ten Ways to a Perfect Day at Gatlinburg

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While there are many places to visit in Gatlinburg, the amazing city is one of three gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains. 

A day’s itinerary at Gatlinburg entails having a good breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, followed by a hike to the Smoky Mountains. You can then end the day with a picnic at Metcalf Bottoms, 

Then at night, you could explore Ripley’s Aquarium, play mini golf, and conclude your evening with dinner shows in Pigeon Forge’s themed restaurants.

Moreover, you can skip the city and head straight to the mountains to enjoy scenic views of the city from the top. 

Explore caves at the base of the mountains and take a boat ride underneath them. You can end your day with a bonfire and barbeque at the campsite. 

You can even spend an entire day outdoors with family while taking in the panoramic views, taking pictures, and participating in festivals. 

Either way, there are multiple ways to enjoy your one-day trip to Gatlinburg, and in this article, we’ll help you visualize what a perfect day at Gatlinburg should be like. 

Check-In in a Cabin in the Mountains

After checking into one of the many cabins of the Smoky Mountains, settle in nicely, arrange your stuff here and make it your own. 

Most cabins offer free Wi-Fi and an indoor game room with game tables. If you want to spend a bit more, you can get a cabin with an indoor swimming pool, a spa, a home theatre, and a media room.

One of the coolest experiences of staying in a cabin is that you can visit a campsite nearby to enjoy outdoor barbecues, swim in the watering hole, play outdoor sports, or relax and take in the beauty of nature.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park

While visiting Gatlinburg, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the first place you must visit. The park will offer many family-friendly activities, including hiking trails, picnic spots, waterfalls, wildlife, and ancient settlements. 

Start your day early in the morning to enjoy the complete Smoky Mountain experience.

Have Breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp or Ruby Sunshine

After going through and exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sit down for delicious breakfast platters in a mountain lodge-themed restaurant. You also can eat your breakfast outside while enjoying the pleasant weather. 

Do not forget to order your portion of the special Crockett’s griddlecakes, which are more than one inch thick. Alternatively, you can have brunch at Ruby Sunshine, which brings flavors of New Orleans using fresh and local ingredients, served with mixed cocktails and various hot drinks. 

They also offer other varieties of all your breakfast specials, including dietary specials, the Tennessee menu, summer specials, and the Charlotte, NC menu. 

Play Putt-Putt at Davy Crockett’s Mini Golf

After breakfast, head to Davy Crockett’s 18 holes of Putt-Putt, a vacation activity for the entire family. The kids will be able to enjoy the course’s unique sound effects and cartoon animal characters while you enjoy playing mini golf by making pitches. 

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

After enjoying a game of Putt-Putt, head towards the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park by taking a lift to the top and walking across the most significant pedestrian bridge. Explore the surrounding scenery from the observation deck and shop your favorites from the top.

It provides excellent natural picturesque backgrounds for perfect family photos, solo photos, clicks, and videos of beautiful scenarios, etc. Bring your cameras along to click tons of selfies.

Grab Sandwiches at Old Dad’s General Store & Have a Picnic at the Metcalf Bottoms

While in Gatlinburg, you must not miss picnics. Stop by the Old Dad’s General Store and pick up some sandwiches and deli supplies right next to the National Park. 

After picking up your picnic lunch, take a 20-minute drive to the Metcalf Bottoms for the perfect afternoon picnic spot. Right next to it is the Little River amid the beauty of the Smokys. 

Attend Ripley’s Believe it or Not

At Traffic Light #8, Gatlinburg, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM every day, you can attend ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not,’ an event full of activities, artifacts, 500 exhibits, and interactive family adventures. 

If you are into exploring weird and wild sea creatures, visual illusions, shrunken skulls, and cannibal heads display, then you must not miss this exciting event. Head towards the Odditorium in Parkway, and spend precious moments you will remember. 

Wrap it Up with a Dinner at the Peddler Steakhouse

The Peddler is the perfect destination spot to enjoy steaks with views of the Little Pigeon River. Since 1976, this charcoal-grilled steakhouse has mesmerized its visitors with mouth-watering treats made from fresh produce, with amazing views for an unforgettable dining experience.

Live Music at Tom and Earl’s

Do not check back to your lodge for a night-in yet. If you still want to stay out, we recommend turning to Tom and Earl’s Back Alley Grill for dessert and drinks. 

If you visit Gatlinburg over the weekend, you will find Denver Evans playing live country music on the restaurant’s patio. You can even request him to play your favorite songs and dance to them. 

Make the Cabin your Sanctuary

Now is the time to relax back at your cabin by jumping in the Jacuzzi or hot tub or sitting out on the deck on a rocking chair. You can even go for a relaxing swim at night to eliminate weariness and freshen up. Alternatively, watch a movie in the theatre room, or play a game of pool before you hit the bed. 


Just because you only have a day to spend in Gatlinburg doesn’t mean you cannot take full advantage of the mountain getaway. The perfect day starts by checking into a cabin, resting, and planning the day.

One of the greatest advantages of staying in a cabin is that it allows you to be part of nature, which is what Gatlinburg is all about – being part of nature. 

With that said, consider this guide your one-day itinerary for a day full of mountain adventures, thrills, and delicious meals in Gatlinburg. 

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