Tourists from all around the world have Gatlinburg on their bucket lists because of its breathtaking natural splendor. The city is among the most picturesque places in the U.S., known for its stunning mountain views and cultural attractions. Whether you are planning a weeklong escape or just a weekend getaway with loved ones, making meticulous plans is essential.
As summer vacations approach, nearly seventy percent of the U.S. population seeks to unwind and recharge through trips with friends and family. If you are planning to visit Gatlinburg, use the following tips to make your trip as smooth as possible!
Best Places to Visit
When visiting Gatlinburg, a vacation town tucked away in the mountains, it is important to be mindful of your surroundings. You should stay informed about the best ways to reach your destination, the operating hours of key attractions, and have a general guide of activities to enjoy and those to avoid in the region. To get started, let’s explore a few must-see sights you shouldn’t miss:
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
The Ripley brand, needing no introduction, offers a wide range of engaging experiences for young kids. In addition to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium, which hosts mind-blowing exhibits, this attraction also features:
- Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Ripley’s Moving Theater
- Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf
- Ripley’s Mirror Maze
- Ripley’s Mountain Coaster
These options alone can easily fill your weekend, and there won’t be a dull moment for the kids. Each of these sites offers a variety of activities that both adults and children can enjoy.
- Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Now known as the Gatlinburg SkyPark, the iconic Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is one of the most popular attractions in the region for a variety of reasons. Housing North America’s longest suspended pedestrian bridge, this park is full of experiences that anyone from kids to adults can enjoy. Just standing on the Gatlinburg SkyBridge and taking in those breathtaking views of the Smokies is an experience and a half.
- The Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
The best way to experience Gatlinburg is to view it from above as if you were a bird, and the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway offers the perfect opportunity to do just that. The tramway can carry you for over two miles and reach a height of thousands of feet. The tramcars are designed to provide every passenger with the best possible view through the windows.
Tips to Plan the Perfect Trip to Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is often best experienced in the summer, but if you decide to visit during the peak season, be prepared for large crowds. Here are a few factors to consider and prepare for, given that the location will be very busy:
- Book Your Cabin as Soon as You Can
Gatlinburg receives approximately 12 million visitors annually, with the majority arriving during the summer. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the area is crowded during this season. If your trip is planned for the summer, make sure to book a cabin as early as possible because there’s a good chance you won’t find one at the last minute.
- Pre-Booking Tickets Can Save You Money and Hassle
In addition to booking your lodging, it is a smart move to purchase tickets in advance for any attractions you plan to visit. You can save money by utilizing online coupons and discounts while also avoiding the inconvenience of waiting in line at the ticket counter.
- Be Prepared for Gatlinburg and Its Untrustworthy Weather
Due to its elevation, Gatlinburg can still be pleasant during the summer months. If you plan to drive or go hiking in the Smokies’ colder upper elevations, carry a jacket or dress in layers. Additionally, be prepared for rainy conditions and overcast days. It is wise to research the weather forecast before your trip so you can pack appropriately.
- Hiking Shoes Are a Must to Carry
While driving can get you closer to some locations in Gatlinburg, you will ultimately need to walk a few kilometers to reach your desired destinations and enjoy the natural attractions that the city has to offer. That’s why it is essential to pack your hiking or walking shoes. As they say, “The best views come after the hardest climb.”
Gatlinburg is a popular tourist destination with a lot to offer visitors. With museums, theme parks, scenic hikes, and aerial tramways, the city caters to a wide range of audiences. Even though a weekend is insufficient to fully explore everything on offer, sometimes you have to make do with the time you have.
For the best experience, it is advisable to conduct thorough research in advance and create a detailed plan for your stay. Good luck!