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How to Safely Visit Gatlinburg During a Pandemic

How to Safely Visit Gatlinburg During a Pandemic

After staring at the same four walls for much of the year, enduring a long winter, and  working or learning remotely, you’re probably ready for an escape? Somewhere you can get outside, enjoy nature and feel safe as the COVID-19 pandemic still continues.

Searching for a vacation destination that feels both safe and fun may seem like a challenge. However, planning a safe vacation to Gatlinburg during a pandemic is an easy decision for many reasons. First and foremost, Gatlinburg is one of the most drivable destinations in the country, located within 6 hours of roughly two-thirds of the country; it’s a great alternative to cities that require air travel. In fact, due to the numerous outdoor activities, attractions and accessibility, Trip Advisor has ranked Gatlinburg as Number 1 for “Top Trending Destinations in 2021” for the United States and Number 5 for “Top 5 Trending Destinations in 2021” in the world.

How Gatlinburg is Working to ensure Health and Safety During a Pandemic

If you feel worried about health protocols and safety measures, rest assured The City of Gatlinburg and Sevier County have made the health and safety of its citizens and visitors a top priority. Gatlinburg COVID-19 guidelines currently require all people over the age of 12 to wear masks in outdoor settings where social distancing cannot be practiced and in indoor public settings.

You can safely visit Gatlinburg and know that local businesses, attractions, restaurants, and accommodations will be following these important safety guidelines in order to keep their guests safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Enjoy the Outdoors during COVID-19

One of the best things about a visit to Gatlinburg during COVID 19 is that there are numerous outdoor adventures, attractions, and spaces to social distance and still have fun.

Your head will spin at the options of things to do in Gatlinburg. Within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone, you can choose from over 150 trails covering over 500,000 acres. From a pleasant wildflower walk to a rigorous mountain summit, there is truly a trail for everyone in your  group. Gatlinburg Area Hiking Trails

If you prefer to take it easy, consider a scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park such as Newfound Gap Road which crosses the Appalachian Trail. Don’t miss its breathtaking overlook that sits at over 5,000 feet in elevation and features  stellar 360 panoramic views. If you’re into history,  wildlife, and waterfalls consider doing Cades Cove Loop or Roaring Fork Motor trail which both feature all three of these things along the route.  Gatlinburg Area Scenic Drives

What’s Open in Gatlinburg?

After a year of many closures, both temporary and permanent, you might be wondering what’s actually open in Gatlinburg. Currently everything has reopened except for two attractions  that closed permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic: World Illusions and Christ in the Smokies. Rest assured all Gatlinburg business, restaurants and attractions are following city and county guidelines that  require masking, implementing social distancing, employee training and more. Check out this link for a multitude of options like dining, shopping, fly fishing, museums and much more.  Things to do in Gatlinburg, TN.  Be sure to check specific business websites for adjusted hours and specific safety protocols.

Featured Gatlinburg Attractions


If you are seeking an outdoor adventure with wide open spaces and lots of thrills, you need look no further than Anakeesta’s 70-acre adventure park. This adventure park provides a multitude of outdoor-open air adventures such as their “Tree Canopy Walk,” an incredible trek through old growth forests with sixteen connected sky bridges and various overlooks.

For a big adrenaline rush don’t miss Anakeesta’s premier attraction “Dueling Ziplines.” Rising one-hundred and fifty feet above the forest floor, this one-of-a-kind zipline system allows visitors to zip over one thousand feet through the treetops, side-by-side.

You can be sure that Anakeesta is following strict COVID protocols and guidelines. Currently this adventure park is using QR codes for paperless ticketing and adhering to a rigorous cleaning schedules of all equipment. You will also find reduced capacity, social distancing and hand sanitizing stations are just some of the extra precautions.

For more information visitAnakeesta


SkyLyft Park 

Another outdoor adventure not to miss in Gatlinburg during the pandemic is SkyLyft Park. This journey starts at the base of Crokett Mountain in downtown Gatlinburg where you will board  an open air SkyLift chair.

Once at the top you can do something found nowhere else in America, and that is trek across the state-of-the-art SkyBridge.  Spanning six-hundred and eighty feet across the valley of Gatlinburg, it is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.  You’ll be blown away by the spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as you stroll across this magnificent suspension bridge.  Don’t miss the glass bottom section  of this bridge where you can peer down from great heights to the plunging valley below!

When planning a safe vacation to Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is an ideal attraction for an outdoor adventure. They are also taking extra precautions too, cleaning and sanitizing all touch points, chairs, and rails multiple times a day. Guests and employees are required to where masks and increased social distancing procedures have been implemented.

For more information visit: Gatlinburg Skylift / Skybridge

A COVID-19 friendly 2 Day Gatlinburg Itinerary