Gatlinburg Tours: 6 Different Ways to Experience the Smokies

Warm Tennessee weather and Southern hospitality make it easy to love Gatlinburg. Pair them with the city’s scenic mountain location and laid-back culture, and travelers get a recipe for Smoky Mountain living. Sound intriguing? Check out these Gatlinburg tours — there’s no better way to see the Smokies.

6 Gatlinburg Tours for Different Sightseeing Adventures

gatlinburg tours zipline family

Zipline With Aerial Adventures

Fly high over mountains and through trees on a ziplining tour in Gatlinburg. Climb Works Smoky Mountains offers two zipline tours where guests get a bird’s-eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The treetop tour includes nine lines, sky bridges and an ATV ride to the top of the mountain. From there, guests zip their way from tree to tree. The mountaintop tour features a dual-line zipline and higher vantage points. During tours, enjoy 360-degree views, aerial bridges and learn about the area’s history.

These Gatlinburg zipline tours cater to guests ages 7 and older. Participants 7 to 14 must take the tour with an accompanying adult, and guests 15 and older may zip alone.

Local Car Tours

Smoky Mountain Guides offer guided hikes, however their auto tours rank as a must-try. The company welcomes visitors to sit back and relax while they ride through the scenic Smokies.

Tours range from three hours to a full day, and include fun facts and history. Smoky Mountain Guides has seven different tours that showcase the best of Smoky Mountain living. Options include classic national park, moonshine, ghost town, high peaks, heritage and fall foliage. Read why Gatlinburg ranks among the top fall foliage drive destinations.

gatlinburg tours hiking experts

Hike With Local Experts

Want to stay close to the ground? No problem. A Walk in the Woods hosts hikes that explore trails in the Smokies. Their guides have logged thousands of miles through the mountains and know the area. Hikers have nine tour options, ranging in distance and difficulty, and all include snacks.

For a half-day tour, try Rock of Ages. On this hike, visitors see geological formations, brooks, rock formations and hidden spots. For a longer trip, book the old growth waterfall hike. This eight-hour journey explores two types of trails, small cascades and an ancient Appalachian cove. A Walk in the Woods also schedules hikes that range from six to 12 hours.

Gatlinburg Walking Tours

Love a good ghost story? Check out Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg, which provides everything guests need for a spooky night out. Tours depart every evening at Smoky Mountain Resort, last two hours, and reservations are required.

While walking downtown Gatlinburg, learn about historic settlers, pioneers, loggers and soldiers. In addition to history and legends, visit sites where others claim to have seen spirits and heard noises. A few include Richard Reagan, the town’s first postmaster, and Witch of Gatlinburg. Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg also hosts private van tours for groups of four to seven passengers.

gatlinburg tours family food

Try Food and Goodies

EAT Food Tour ranks among the newest Gatlinburg tours. Book this option, and sample some of the best food from local restaurants. Each two-hour tour features samples of gourmet food and wine from domestic and international sources. Additionally, Eat Food picks guests up from their location, and drives them to various locations where they sample lobster ravioli, gumbo, tiramisu, imported cheeses and wines.

Reservations are required. For each ticket purchased, Eat Food Tour purchases food for a child in East Tennessee.

Ride the Trolley

Prefer unguided Gatlinburg tours? Hop aboard Gatlinburg Trolley, which stops at over 100 locations. For an affordable price – 50 cents to $2 round-trip – riders can hop on and off at the city’s most visited districts.

For example in April through December, ride the yellow line to Gatlinburg’s arts and crafts community. The tan National Park route costs $1 and runs June through October. This one covers the Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with stops at Laurel Falls and Elkmont. Other routes include Dollywood, convention centers and East Parkway. For a treat during the holiday season, ride throughout Gatlinburg’s Winter Magic displays.

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