Top Gatlinburg Activities: 6 Reasons to Visit This Tennessee Hot Spot

Located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Gatlinburg offers a wide range of fun activities. Outdoor recreation seems like an obvious choice, but this city also has family-friendly attractions, a large local arts community, theme park and more. It’s these top Gatlinburg activities that help the area rank on Buzzfeed’s top places to travel with kids. If the mountains start calling, consider these reasons for visiting Gatlinburg.

Top Gatlinburg Activities: 6 Reasons to Plan a Trip

Local Arts and Crafts

Start with a trip to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, which displays art from the largest group of independent artisans in the U.S. Some of the arts and crafts include techniques that have been passed down through the centuries. The community is part of the 8-mile loop designated as a Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail, and shops are open year-round.

The Great Outdoors

The Great Smoky Mountains offer numerous options for outdoor adventures. It is the mountains after all. Try the hiking trails, fishing, biking, bird watching, ziplines and horseback rising. Visitors will also find golf courses in Gatlinburg and white-water rafting in nearby Sevierville and Wears Valley. Don’t forget to take photos of local wildlife and check out the top waterfalls in Smoky Mountains National Park.

Rides and Games

Escape games, go-kart racing and miniature golf courses welcome kids to compete against parents for the family title. Or ride the Over Gatlinburg Tram for a bird’s-eye-view of the mountains. Other must-sees include the Space Needle in downtown, Mysterious Mansion and arcades.

Skiing and Winter Sports

From November through March, enjoy the snow. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort ranks among the best places to ski in the area and the closest to the southeast U.S. In addition, try snowboarding, night skiing, ice skating and tubing. The tubing consists of a 400-foot park with 10 lanes and a 50-foot vertical drop.

Aquarium and Museums

Gatlinburg also houses Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The underground tunnel has a 12-foot shark, giant sea turtles and thousands of sea creatures to delight the whole family. There is also a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, mazes and movie theater.

Dollywood Theme Park

Love roller coasters, water parks and down-home entertainment? Head to Dollywood located in Pigeon Forge. This theme park offers thrill rides, kiddie rides, large water park, live shows, food and Smoky Mountain culture.

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