Whether you and your family want to get back of beyond and experience nature and the peace and serenity which comes with it or visit one of the coolest amusement parks in the world, there is something for you near Gatlinburg. You are surrounded by things to do when you eat, stay, and play in downtown Gatlinburg.

Things to Do the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Located just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. With all the things to do in the Smoky Mountains, it’s no wonder so many people and their families flock in to experience its bounty. Some of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Smokies are by hiking the trails, driving the auto tours, and picnicking next to the creeks.

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

All sorts of sights and sounds are waiting on Smoky Mountains hiking trails: waterfalls, stunning views, blooming wildflowers, and more. No matter your flavor, the hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can stimulate your palate.

If you’re looking for waterfalls, some of the best hiking trails for you include Laurel Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Grotto Falls. And, if you want a challenging hike as part of your Smoky Mountains waterfall experience, go test your stamina on the Ramsay Cascades Trail in Greenbrier.
Want to experience a view of the Smokies that’ll leave you breathless and in awe? Chimney Tops Trail, Silers Bald, or Andrews Bald will do the trick. Of course, you can always take a stroll up the paved trail leading to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.
Hiking in the Smoky Mountains can lead to all sorts of fun adventures, and it’s only a short drive from downtown Gatlinburg.

Smoky Mountain Auto Tours

Driving through the Smokies is an excellent way to experience all the scenery and wildlife this area offers. Just a short drive from downtown Gatlinburg, the auto tours offered by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are fun for the entire family.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, for instance, is just a couple of blocks from the Parkway, and it provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle and transports you back in time with its beautiful scenery and old log cabins which were once occupied by early settlers.
Roaring Fork is also a great place to see black bears; there have been a many bear sighting on this nature trail. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is at the head of Airport Road and will take you about forty five minutes to drive the loop which will circle you right back to where you came in.
Probably the most popular auto tour in the Smokies is Cades Cove. Located about thirty minutes from Gatlinburg, Cades Cove is an awesome daytrip that offers plenty of opportunities for viewing scenery, wildlife, and old structures from the yesteryears of the Smokies. Like Roaring Fork, Cades Cove is also an excellent place for bear watching.
Another good drive is Newfound Gap Road that leads to Cherokee, North Carolina. This winding road takes you all the way across the mountain and through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On the way there, you will drive through nature and experience plenty of breathtaking scenery and panoramic views. If you drive the road from downtown Gatlinburg to Cherokee and back, it will take a little over two hours, granting you don’t stop to take it all in at some point (you will).

Picnic in the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides countless picnic areas for you and your family. What better way to experience nature than to have a good meal in its midst. There’s something about the Smoky Mountains that just makes the food taste better.

A few places that offer picnic areas for you and your family in the Smokies include: Cades Cove, Elkmont, Chimney Tops Picnic area, and Greenbrier. So, pack some food and head to the Park for a family outing certain to make some memories for everyone in the family. Just remember not to feed the bears.

Attractions Near Gatlinburg

While downtown Gatlinburg attractions serve up more than enough good times, there are also a few attractions just on the outskirts of Gatlinburg that you may want to give a whirl.


Probably one of the most uniquely-themed amusement parks in the United States, Dollywood is sure to be a blast for your family. From roller coasters to a train ride into the Smokies, the activities at Dollywood are a blast and fun for all ages. So, buy your tickets to Dollywood and get ready to have the time of your life. Dollywood is located a short 20-minute drive from downtown Gatlinburg.

Dixie Stampede

If you find yourself hungry and in need of a good time, look no further than the Dixie Stampede, the most fun dinner show in the Smoky Mountains. Only 15 or so minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, the Dixie Stampede serves up lots of fun and delicious food. But, don’t expect any silverware; they do it the old way at the Dixie Stampede. The entire show, filled with horses, buffalo, ostriches, and more, is themed around a North versus South battle from the Civil War era. Good food and good times – the Dixie Stampede is worth the short drive from downtown Gatlinburg.

A few more popular attractions just outside of downtown Gatlinburg include:

•    The Titanic
•    Wonderworks
•    The Comedy Barn

Downtown Gatlinburg is a load of fun, but what’s a Smoky Mountain vacation if you don’t get out and explore for a spell. One thing’s for sure, when you’re in the Smokies, adventure lurks around every corner. So, get out there and have your adventure and good times without venturing even thirty minutes from downtown Gatlinburg. Vacations are good when you eat, stay, and play in downtown Gatlinburg.