5 Things You Can’t Miss in Gatlinburg

5 Things You Can’t Miss in Gatlinburg
Words by Sheila Chau

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a quaint, mountain town in eastern Tennessee that's known for its idyllic landscape, its expansive shopping, and its proximity to the Smoky Mountains. It’s also home to many attractions that bring families, friends, and couples from all over the South and beyond. From exploring an aquarium to soaking up the views on a sky lift, Gatlinburg has it all. No matter the season, you’ll find excitement in Gatlinburg.

Space Needle Observation Tower

The Gatlinburg Space Needle stands at an impressive 407 feet! This means that you get a far-reaching, 360-degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains and the city of Gatlinburg. There’s so much to do at the Space Needle—visitors can enjoy a 25,000 square foot arcade, packed with laser tag, a huge amount of video games, and a hurricane stimulator. There is also a delicious restaurant and a small theater. On windy days, the Space Needle sways alongside the wind—it was built to “bend, not break”—so don’t be afraid! With all of the fun, the Space Needle is a must see for visitors of all ages.

Gatlinburg Skylift Park

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is made up of two amazing features—the Gatlinburg SkyLift and SkyBridge, both of which are breathtaking sights to see. The SkyLift begins in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. It brings visitors up towards the top of the Crockett Mountain at an impressive height of 500 feet. The round-trip takes just about 20 minutes, and the experience makes every minute worth it. At the top of the lift, you’ll find the SkyBridge. It’s 680 feet long, and it’s the longest pedestrian cable bridge in all of North America. Guests at the park are able to experience arguably the best views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a great attraction for families. At the aquarium, there are tons of fun experiences like sleeping with the sharks, behind the scenes tours, a penguin encounter, painting programs, and educational programs. Ripley’s Aquarium is expansive—and if you wanted to, you could spend your entire day touring the aquarium alone. There are over 10,000 exotic sea creatures and 350 individual species to meet! There are actually more fish living in the aquarium than the people living in Gatlinburg!

Ober Mountain Ski Area and Amusement Park Aerial Tramway

The Ober Mountain Ski Area and Amusement Park Aerial Tramway leaves from downtown Gatlinburg and brings visitors up to the Adventure Park and Ski Area. The tram covers 2.1 miles, and as visitors take in the panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains, they will be covered in awe at its beauty. This scene is especially beautiful in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors. During the winter, visitors can be taken to the Ski Area, where you can ski, snowboard, and ice skate. There is also the option of going on the Ski Mountain Coaster ride, depending on if the weather conditions permit. But that’s not all you’ll find—there is a carousel, an arcade center, and so much more!

Ole Smoky Moonshine

Ole Smoky Moonshine is a distillery that is filled with live music, joyous laughter, … and the delicious smell of grains. As visitors walk in, they are greeted by an Ole Smoky Moonshine distiller. The distiller offers free samples of their flavorful moonshine, alongside a brief history of how each sample was made. This is a great place to have fun and to learn about the spirit and its history in Appalachia. This is must-do for adults 21+ who want to have some fun in Gatlinburg.

Plan your visit at www.gatlinburg.com