If you’re on the hunt for the perfect bachelorette party destination to celebrate your friend’s upcoming nuptials, look no further than Gatlinburg, TN, a small town in the heart of the Smoky Mountains with no shortage of exciting activities. In this complete guide, we’ll tell you why Gatlinburg is one of the best domestic destinations for girls’ trips in 2024.
From cozy cabins nestled in the woods and thrilling outdoor excursions to an array of delectable dining options and bumping nightclubs, our guide has it all. So, get ready to explore the best the Volunteer State has to offer and make the bride-to-be’s last hurrah a memory that lasts a lifetime. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Explore the great outdoors
Schedule a tasting at a local winery or distillery
Spring because of the assortment of wildflowers that cover the Smoky Mountain National Park.
Fall because of the color-changing autumnal foliage that lines the streets and paths.
Of course, Gatlinburg is a worthwhile vacation destination at any time of the year, whether you prefer winter sports and activities or warm-weather activities in the summer.
Just keep in mind that you should confirm the hours of operation for any attractions or activities you want to see or do in late winter since there are often closures around this time. For instance, the famed Dollywood theme park closes after the winter holidays every year and doesn’t reopen until March.
Find a Cabin
Whether the bride-to-be is a country girl, a nature-lovin’ granola girl, or a city gal who is long past due for a break from the hustle and bustle, there’s sure to be a Gatlinburg bachelorette cabin that compliments their style and interests. Here are a few fantastic options and amenities to consider to get you started:
Regardless of what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll be able to reserve a budget-friendly cabin in Gatlinburg from January to March as much as one month before your trip. Although, we don’t recommend waiting until the last minute if you don’t have to since you’re more likely to encounter slim pickings and surge pricing.
The rest of the year tends to be busier, especially the Summer months. That said, you should reserve a cabin six months to a year in advance if you plan to host a bach party between April and December.
Next, you can begin building out your itinerary. Here are a few ideas for activities you can try to liven up the upcoming bach bash.
Explore the Great Outdoors
The Smoky Mountain region is known for beckoning adventurers from around the world to explore its untapped natural beauty and once-in-a-lifetime activities.
Whether your crew prefers hiking, off-roading, or spending a low-key day at the lake — Gatlinburg has something for everyone.
Hike the Smokies
There’s something undeniably magical about conquering a trail with your best friends, supporting one another through challenging moments, and finally, reaching a stunning summit or waterfall.
The Smokies offer a sense of serenity and grandeur perfect for reflecting and connecting even further with the people who know you best. So, embrace the fresh mountain air and take your bachelorette party to new heights.
Test your endurance with a winter hike to Rainbow Falls Trail or the Alum Cave Trail.
Take a scenic drive along the Cherohala Skyway Trail or the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to take in the area without leaving your car. Or, if you want, you can always pull over to look around.
Fly Through the Smokies on a Zipline Tour
Zip through the Smokies to get an exhilarating 360º view of the Smoky Mountains. Ziplining is the perfect adventure for fun-loving souls who love an adrenaline rush and breathtaking sights.
Fortunately, most local ziplining tours offer dual lines, so you and a friend can go down together. Imagine zipping through the treetops, the wind in your hair, and the forest canopy spread out beneath you, all while sharing uncontrollable laughter with your closest friends — there’s really nothing better.
Here are a few of the best places to go ziplining in Gatlinburg:
CLIMB Works has a mountaintop zipline tour that offers adventurers an impressive view of the Smokies. During the tour, guests slide side-by-side on zip lines and walk across sky bridges. At the end, CLIMB Works will set you and your friends up on ATVs so you can take off on an adventure atop the mountain together.
Ober Mountain Ziplining is the only canopy zipline tour running over the Pigeon River, and with dual zips that allow you to keep a friend by your side, this is a great option for enjoying the beautiful Smoky Mountains with your crew.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines is another canopy tour with multiple stops. However, it also comes with a controlled descent feature that lowers visitors. Zippers can reach speeds of 25 mph on these lines, which makes for an amazing and exhilarating experience.
Go Offroading on a Jeep Tour
Buckle up for a wild ride as you traverse the winding, unpaved trails in the Smokies. A jeep tour is an incredible opportunity to have fun, bond and laugh like never before.
Here are a couple of top options for off-road tours in Gatlinburg:
Pink Adventure Tours:Choose between tours of the Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains, Newfound Gap, Foothills Parkway, or The Gatlinburg Loop. Each tour is led in a pink jeep and departs from Pigeon Forge, less than ten miles from downtown Gatlinburg.
Smoky Mountains Jeep Tours: This off-road tour host drives to the same areas as Pink Adventure Tours, but they also offer “Winterfest,” a scenic evening drive that gives guests a close-up of glittering light displays around the winter holidays.
Rent a Boat
Douglas Lake offers views of an expansive, tree-lined shore, and the reservoir is perfect for outdoor activities like boating, swimming, and sunbathing. Here are a few local watersports companies to help you get out on Douglas Lake Marina.
Smoky Mountain H20 Sports:Specializing in pontoons and tritoons, this Gatlinburg water sports rental company is a great option for getting your group out past the marina. The boats for rent range from 20 to 24 feet, and the rental company can accommodate groups of 30+ people with advance notice. If you don’t want a motorized boat, you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, and paddle boats here.
Mountain Cove Marina: Stop by Mountain Cove if you need to rent a boat and get a bite to eat. Mountain Cove rents out pontoons to individuals and small groups in the spring, summer, and fall.
Hit the Slopes
Ober Mountain is the go-to spot for shredding snow in and around Gatlinburg.
The slopes are open to skiers and snowboarders of all ages. For newbies and casual winter sports enthusiasts, Ober Mountain also rents out gear and equipment for upfront cost savings.
Ober Mountain also offers skiing and snowboarding training. Lessons are extremely beginner-friendly, and the experts who work there teach groups of skiers and snowboarders essentials like gliding, slowing, turning, and stopping.
If it’s anyone in your group’s first time on the slopes, Ober Mountain will require them to complete a lesson to keep everyone safe.
Book a White Water Rafting Excursion
White water rafting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a fast-paced and scenic adventure. When you book a rafting excursion, you can expect to rush down the roaring Pigeon Forge Rapids surrounded by the lush greenery of the Smokies.
If that sounds like fun to you and your group of thrill-seekers, here are a few companies that can get you set up for a safe ride:
Ober Mountain White Water Rafting:Ober Mountain promises an exciting, but not overly strenuous, two-hour rafting experience to guests in the spring and fall. Or, if you’re not in the mood for high-intensity rafting, Ober Mountain also offers a gentle floating excursion on the lower Pigeon River.
Rafting In The Smokies: This rafting tour service offers two group-friendly trips. The Upper Pigeon River Whitewater Trip traverses five miles of Class iii and Class lV rapids. Meanwhile, the Lower Pigeon River Scenic Float Trip is much calmer, instead drifting through six miles of Class l and Class II rapids surrounded by the Smoky Mountain wilderness.
Smoky Mountain Outdoors Rafting:Much like the other rafting companies in the area, Smoky Mountain Outdoors Rafting offers routes on the upper and lower parts of the Pigeon Forge River. However, their upper river rafting experience is 6.5 miles long and is only available from March through October. Lower river rafting is a 5.5-mile trip and is available from May through September.
Go Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a serene way to explore the picturesque landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains. As you saddle up and meander along forested trails, you’ll feel a deep connection with nature and tranquility as your trusty steed carries you past streams and under the canopy of towering trees.
Here are two of the best ranches in Gatlinburg that are leading tours via horseback:
Big Rock Dude Ranch:This ranch’s riding experts lead horseback mountain trail rides year-round, and the stables are just a short drive from Gatlinburg. Since tours depart seven days a week from nine to five, you can easily fit a ride into your itinerary.
Jayell Ranch:This Sevier County ranch leads horseback rides through the Smokies, exposing riders to unmatched views of North Carolina and Tennessee. Tours are beginner-friendly, and experts on the ranch personally select the perfect horse for each rider to ensure you find a good match for the trip.
Schedule a Tasting at a Local Winery or Distillery
Toast the bride-to-be before the wedding at a Gatlinburg winery or distillery. There are a ton of tantalizing options that offer moonshine, whiskey, and wine tastings.
Here are a few of the best spots for day drinking with the girls.
Ole Smoky Moonshine has a popular seven drinks for a $5 tasting deal. This promotion is the perfect way for you and the girls to find your favorite flavors without spending a lot of money. The Holler, Ole Smoky’s Gatlinburg location, will select the available flavors ahead of time, but they do have a wide variety for sale in-house.
A few of the moonshines they have at the distillery right now are:
Some Beach: This coconut concoction is perfect for people who want a taste of island life in the mountains.
Mountain Java: With hints of coffee and vanilla, this is a great evening pick-me-up.
Strawberry Mango Margarita: This shine is a fruity, sweet, and playful drink that is perfect for cooling off and winding down in the summer.
Many locals and tourists like the Sugarlands Distilling Company because they host musicians who play live, Appalachian-inspired tunes. However, they also offer a twist on old classics like whiskey, moonshine, and vodka, and their recipes are known to pull a sizable crowd.
You can’t go wrong with any of their drinks, but you should definitely try their Appalachian Sippin’ Creams while you’re in town. These 40-proof cream liqueurs are in high demand and known for sweetening up everything from desserts to drinks.
A few of the Sugarlands Distilling Company’s best Sippin’ Creams flavors are:
Specializing in uniquely flavored wines, the Gatlinburg Winery has earned awards and acclaim. If you like what you taste, you can also join the winery’s subscription-based club to get bottles shipped directly to your door.
When you visit the winery in Gatlinburg, be sure to sample some of their sweet wines such as:
Cotton Candy Peach
Indulge in Gatlinburg’s Nightlife
After exploring natural wonders and can’t-miss attractions, hit the town and explore Gatlinburg’s nightlife scene. Complete with vibrant bars, live music, and packed dance floors, you can celebrate the bride’s last hurrah in style.
Whether you’re shuffling at a country bar or shaking your hips at a nightclub, the night is yours for the taking when you step onto the East Tennessee streets.
Loco Burro is the place to be on Tuesday nights. By day, the venue is a popular Mexican Cantina. But one night a week, they bring in a DJ for a night of dancing. With modern hits and an upbeat crowd, this is a high-energy spot to let loose with your friends.
Located at the Island in Pigeon Forge, this island-inspired oasis offers cold drinks and live music. Serving a menu of craft beers and eclectic cocktails, this is a chill place to unwind with friends. This bar does close its doors at 11 p.m., but it’s good for pre-gaming if you’re planning to stay out late or as a last stop if you want to call it quits early.
Funky Buddha is a 21+ sports bar and lounge in Gatlinburg. It’s also one of the few local establishments that stays open until 3 a.m., and it’s a lot of fun whether you want to relax and talk with your friends on the patio or show off your moves on the dance floor.
If you get hungry at night, they also sell appetizers like egg rolls and onion rings and entrees like Snow Crabs and spicy chicken sandwiches.
Sample Some Delicious Southern Recipes
Whether you’re looking to keep your energy levels up for your next activity, you’re a foodie at heart, or you just want to snap some cute shots for social media — Gatlinburg has plenty of eateries.
From cozy breakfast cafes to bars with live music and greasy food, we have it all.
Drop into the Pancake Pantry for a late breakfast or lunch. This restaurant has been a local staple since the 1960s and has perfected the art of brunch. They serve mouth-watering dishes from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Here are just a few tasty menu items that you can order at this specialty restaurant:
Breakfast: For your first meal of the day, try the Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Swedish Crepes with Lingonberries, or farm-fresh eggs and bacon.
Lunch: Give yourself an energy boost with a robust lunch like the Black Jack Burger, Polynesian Delight, or the French Royale Club Sandwich.
If BBQ is calling your name, you have to visit Three Jimmy’s. There, you can find grilled meats like pulled pork, prime beef, chicken, and smoked ribeye and several homemade sides to accompany them.
While you chow down, you can also listen to national musical groups performing pop, country, and southern rock. Or, if you’d rather, you can sit outdoors, catch a breeze, and reminisce with your friends.
Situated in Anakeesta’s Black Bear Village is Cliff Top, an American restaurant that serves steaks, burgers, and craft beers each day. When you visit, consider starting with the Charcuterie Board, which comes with smoked meats and artisan cheeses.
Then, for your meal, you can’t go wrong with The Appalachian Bison Burger, the Mississippi Chimney Top, or the Mt. LeConte Burger.
When you’re done eating, you can stretch your legs in the Vista Gardens or on the suspended canopy Tree Top Skywalk.
Jam Out at Local Concerts
Attend a local concert to add a little extra rhythm to the bachelorette celebration.
Gatlinburg offers an array of concert experiences that will have you tapping your toes and dancing the night away. Whether you’re grooving to live country tunes, swaying to folk melodies, or catching a vibrant bluegrass performance, the local music scene in Gatlinburg is a delightful surprise waiting to be discovered.
Country Tonite is a dynamic two-hour show featuring professional singers, dancers, and musicians. This high-energy production showcases sidesplitting comedy acts, youth performers, and captivating bluegrass, gospel, and patriotic compositions.
Country Tonite presents a wholesome, family-friendly variety show where the cast passionately sings live. If you crave a blend of live music and captivating performances, Country Tonite guarantees an electrifying show, complete with stunning costumes and skilled choreography.
The Soul of Motown’s show is sure to get you grooving in your seat. Performing songs by Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and Gladys Knight, the performers at the Grand Majestic Theater will grace you with the pop and blues sound popularized in 1960s Detroit.
From exploring the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to strolling through the charming streets of downtown Gatlinburg, this vibrant town offers a wealth of local events, parks, and activities. Here are a few things you can do in Gatlinburg to liven up your stay.
Infuse your bachelorette party plans with a dash of excitement. Axe throwing is a somewhat unconventional activity that will get your adrenaline pumping and give you something to talk about for years to come.
Here are a few places that can help all of you beginners get going:
Gatlinburg Axe House: Test your aim by hurling hatchets at the Axe House in Gatlinburg. If you and your friends are new to axe throwing, this is a great place to start because everyone gets to keep throwing until they make a clean hit that sticks to the board. The axe house also has WATL-trained coaches on-site to help. This axe house specializes in throwing but doesn’t have any extras like food and drink for sale.
Country Road Axe Co.: Stop by the Country Road Axe Co. for a night of axe throwing, moonshine-inspired cocktails, and flavorful coal-fired pizza. Also, if your group has 12+ people, it’s only $5 each to throw.
The Gatlinburg area has amusement parks aplenty. For a day of carnival rides and prizes, stop by Dollywood or Anakeesta. Both offer guests rides, food, and more, making for a fun, full-day adventure.
Dollywood: Make your way to the Dollywood Amusement Park a few miles from Gatlinburg for some high-octane fun with the girls. A few fan favorites you won’t want to miss include the Lighting Rod, which is inspired by hot rods from the 1950s, the Mystery Mine steel coaster known for its twisting maneuvers and 85-foot vertical drop, and try out the park’s famous Dollywood Cinnamon Bread.
Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park: Anakeesta, known for its food, entertainment, and shopping, is also a great place for fun. When you visit, try out the scenic Chonodla Chairlift and the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster for some lighting-fast entertainment.
Here, you and your friends can dive into an immersive underwater world, marveling at the graceful movements of sea creatures in the mesmerizing glass tunnels. You can even visit Ripley’s touch tank for a chance to touch sea creatures like rays, starfish, and moon jellies.
With interactive exhibits, whimsical underwater-themed decor, and the tranquil ambiance of the ocean’s depths, Ripley’s Aquarium is a captivating experience that strikes the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation.
Unleash your sleuthing skills as you and your friends step into a world (or room) of mystery. Perfect for those seeking a bachelorette party filled with intrigue and teamwork, these puzzle-packed adventures will inspire an unforgettable bonding experience.
Whether you’re solving a historical mystery, pulling off the heist of the century, or trying to escape a maze, we guarantee you’ll build lasting memories along the way.
So without further ado, here are a few of the best escape rooms in Gatlinburg:
Breakout Games: Solve puzzles and clues at your bachelorette party. With private rooms, you can make your way through games like CLUE, Mystery Mansion, The Kidnapping, and Bomb Squad with just the help of your friends.
Gatlin’s Escape Games:Choose between rooms like Curse of the Kraken’s Eye, Moonshine Hill Hootenanny, and The Haunting of Hyde House to establish yourselves as super sleuths in an entertaining fictional scenario.
Find the perfect cabin to host a bach party
Ladies, if you’re dreaming of a charming getaway with breathtaking views, Gatlinburg’s cabin rentals are your ticket to an enchanting escape.
Imagine waking up to the sun casting golden light over the Smoky Mountains, sharing laughter around a cozy fireplace, and toasting to the bride-to-be under a starlit sky. Gatlinburg boasts an array of cabins that are not only luxurious but also offer unparalleled mountain vistas, creating the perfect backdrop for your celebration.
Here are just a few of the luxury stays Elk Springs Resorts offers for bachelorette parties in Gatlinburg:
Heavenly Heights is an Elk Springs Resort cabin with five beds and five baths. Complete with a hot tub, theater room, and stunning mountain views, this is a gorgeous luxury cabin that can serve as a home base during the bride’s bachelorette party getaway.
This mansion in the mountains is a hit with most big groups. However, it’s a particularly special place to host a major bachelorette party. Sleeping up to 20 people, you can bring all of your friends along for a major memorable bash. This is a great pre-nuptial getaway with a lit indoor pool and stunning sunset views.
The Serenity Lodge is a lovely escape from the city. Here, you can decompress with your friends before the final crunch leading up to the wedding. With arcade games, a hot tub, and an indoor theater, this is a popular option for bachelorette parties in Gatlinburg.
Rent the Stairway to Heaven and spend your nights laughing with friends. At this cabin, you can have fun swinging around a bonfire, relaxing in a hot tub with views of the Smokies, and hosting movie nights in the home theater. This incredible cabin is perfect for a getaway with your closest friends.
Celebrate the Bride-to-Be with Your Whole Party
A good bachelorette party is about making memories from the time you leave on your trip until the second you step back into your everyday life. To complete the experience and light up your friends’ final days before they walk down the aisle, splurge on a one-of-a-kind cabin with mountain views and exciting amenities.
Check out some of our favorite vacay rentals that are big hits with bridal parties of all sizes.
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