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Gatlinburg Girls Trip: Go-to Guide From a Local

Gatlinburg Girls Trip: Go-to Guide From a Local


Are you ready for an adventure-packed escape with your favorite ladies? Say goodbye to everyday responsibilities and hello to the ultimate bonding experience – a Gatlinburg girls trip! Nestled in the picturesque Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN, offers the perfect backdrop for unforgettable memories with your squad.

Whether you’re planning a wild bachelorette party or a relaxing retreat, Gatlinburg caters to every vibe imaginable. So pack your bags, gather your girls, and follow this guide to help you plan your next girls trip to Gatlinburg. We’ll cover planning tips, things to do, dining, going out, and where to stay.

Tips for Planning a Girls Trip to the Smokies

Before plunging headfirst into the excitement, let’s talk logistics for your Gatlinburg girls trip. Trust us, getting the nitty-gritty details sorted now will ensure smooth sailing later.

Know the Best Time To Plan Your Gatlinburg Girls Trip

Gatlinburg is a destination that shines in every season, but choosing the perfect time for your girls getaway can elevate the experience. While summer and fall tend to be the best times to visit Gatlinburg, each season offers its own unique charm and activities:

  • Spring: Spring offers an explosion of wildflowers, active wildlife, and mild weather to enjoy outdoor activities without the summer heat or crowds.
  • Summer: With longer days and warmer weather, summer is prime time for outdoor fun like whitewater rafting and tubing down the river.
  • Fall: Fall in the Smoky Mountains offers a kaleidoscope of colors and is the perfect season for scenic drives, hiking, and pumpkin-flavored everything.
  • Winter: When the snow begins to fall, Gatlinburg becomes a winter wonderland filled with cozy cabins, twinkling lights, and festive holiday events.

Graphic showcasing the ideal seasons for visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, along with average weather temperatures.Please remember that several popular outdoor attractions may be closed or operating under limited hours during the colder months of January and February. Be sure to plan your visit accordingly to avoid any disappointments!

Figure Out Transportation

When it comes to getting around Gatlinburg, you’ll have a few options. 

  • Walking: If you’re staying in the heart of Gatlinburg, you’ll find that many attractions, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance. 
  • Trolley: For a more leisurely option, hop aboard the convenient Gatlinburg Trolley, which offers affordable fares and stops at key locations throughout the town.
  • Car: If your itinerary includes venturing beyond the immediate vicinity of Gatlinburg — like scenic drives along winding mountain roads, exploring hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or visiting neighboring towns like Pigeon Forge — driving in or renting a vehicle might be the way to go.

Make Reservations in Advance

Don’t let the excitement of your Gatlinburg girls trip get overshadowed by long wait times or missed opportunities. With its popularity as a tourist destination, Gatlinburg’s most sought-after attractions and dining spots tend to fill up quickly, particularly during peak seasons like summer and fall. 

If possible, make reservations in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the action. Typically, the sooner, the better, but here are some recommendations to keep in mind during busier seasons:

  • Dining: 2–3 weeks in advance
  • Attractions: 2–3 weeks in advance
  • Lodging: 6–9 months in advance

If you find yourself in need of last-minute lodging for a spontaneous trip, check out Elk Springs Resort cabin availability.

Don’t Overdo It

Even if you’re only planning a quick weekend girls getaway, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Gatlinburg’s bustling atmosphere. With countless activities and sights to explore, it’s tempting to fill every moment of your itinerary. However, carving out time to unwind and simply enjoy each other’s company is essential for a successful trip.

When planning your itinerary, leave gaps of time to relax at your cozy cabin or have a spontaneous adventure. A rigorous schedule can quickly become overwhelming, and you may miss out on discovering hidden gems if you’re solely focused on sticking to the plan.

What To Do During Your Gatlinburg Girls Trip

Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures or peaceful pursuits, these Gatlinburg trip ideas are sure to pack your itinerary with unforgettable experiences.

Hike in the Smoky Mountains

There’s certainly no shortage of hiking trails around Gatlinburg, which is probably why nature lovers worldwide regularly visit. With over 800 miles of trails to explore, hiking enthusiasts of all skill levels will find their perfect adventure amidst the lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas of the Smokies. 

Here are a few trails to check out:

  • Laurel Falls Trail: An easy 2.6-mile round trip to the picturesque Laurel Falls, perfect for beginners.
  • Abrams Falls: A moderate 5.2-mile round trip leading to the powerful Abrams Falls, one of the park’s most iconic waterfalls.
  • Alum Cave Trail: A moderate 4.4-mile round trip leading to stunning views from Alum Cave Bluffs.
  • Charlies Bunion: A challenging 8-mile trek offering panoramic views from a rocky outcrop along the Appalachian Trail.
  • Mount LeConte: Choose from several trails leading to the summit of the third-highest peak in the Smokies, offering unparalleled views and rustic mountain lodges.

Planning tip:

A hike excursion could be 1-3 hours or half-day to a full day, depending on the trail, its condition, and difficulty.

Girl hiking in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

Visit Dollywood

Nestled in nearby Pigeon Forge, you’ll find the beloved theme park Dollywood, founded by country music legend Dolly Parton. Dollywood offers something for everyone, from thrilling roller coasters and live performances to artisan crafts and delectable Southern cuisine.

Whether you’re screaming your way through rides like Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle or indulging in all the delicious Southern food—or the famous Dollywood Cinnamon Bread— a visit to Dollywood promises a day filled with excitement for your Gatlinburg girls trip.

If you’re visiting in the warmer months, don’t forget to check out Dollywood’s sister park — Splash Country. 

Planning tip:

To experience Dollywood to the fullest, plan to spend a full day there.

Explore Downtown

Downtown Gatlinburg has a vibrant energy and diverse array of attractions, including shopping, dining, museums, mini golf, and more. You won’t have trouble finding something for everyone in this bustling mountain town. 

Some top downtown Gatlinburg attractions you should visit include:

  • The Village Shops: Explore charming boutiques and specialty stores in quaint cottages reminiscent of a European village.
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: Visit this award-winning aquarium, home to thousands of sea creatures and interactive exhibits.
  • Gatlinburg Space Needle: Take in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and downtown area from the observation deck.
  • The Escape Game: Test your wits where you and your friends can solve puzzles and uncover mysteries to escape from various themed rooms.

Aerial view of downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Planning tip:

Plan to spend a half day to a full day exploring downtown Gatlinburg.

Do a Tasting at a Winery or Distillery

Whether you’ve got a group of wine connoisseurs or spirits enthusiasts, you’ll find various options to explore, from locally crafted wines to artisanal moonshine and whiskey. 

You have options for your tasting experience: take on a guided tour to delve into the production process and enjoy sampling handcrafted beverages, or simply pop into a few shops of your choosing to taste between activities. While the wine, whiskey, and cider options are great, don’t miss out on trying Tennessee Moonshine—it’s a must!

Here are a few popular locations to check out:

  • Sugarlands Distilling Company: Try a variety of moonshine flavors at this popular distillery in downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery: Experience Appalachian moonshine and whiskey tastings at this iconic distillery with multiple locations in Gatlinburg.
  • Tennessee Homemade Wines: Enjoy complimentary tastings of locally made wines at this charming winery in Gatlinburg.

Planning tip:

Each tasting experience typically takes approximately 20-30 minutes at a minimum.

Go to Anakeesta

If you’re seeking a modern mountain adventure, check out Anakeesta Outdoor Adventure Park. You can reach the park via Chondola—a chairlift or gondola—or Ridge Rambler and enjoy the various attractions at the mountain top, including various shopping and dining. With general admission, you can also get access to fun attractions like:

  • AnaVista Tower: An observation tower with panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • Treetop Skywalk: An elevated walkway with views of the surrounding mountains and forest canopy.
  • Vista Gardens: Beautiful gardens with natural foliage and scenic overlooks.

Anakeesta mountain top park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Planning tip:

Depending on what you do, plan to spend anywhere from 2 to 5 hours at Anakeesta.

Hit Up Ober

Located atop Mount Harrison, Ober Mountain Gatlinburg offers year-round fun for outdoor enthusiasts. In the winter, you can hit the slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing on freshly powdered runs. 

When the snow melts, the fun continues with activities like alpine slides, chairlift rides, and potential wildlife sightings. Plus, you can explore the scenic trails and take in panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Planning tip:

Plan to spend 2 to 5 hours to enjoy all the activities at Ober.

Book an Excursion

Booking an excursion in Gatlinburg is the perfect way to add thrill to your getaway. Whether you’re a water enthusiast, adventure seeker, or nature lover, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Some exciting excursions include: 

  • Whitewater rafting
  • Zip-lining
  • Horseback riding
  • Jeep tour
  • River tubing
  • Boating
  • Zorbing

Smiling girl in red helmet riding on a zipline in the forest.

Planning tip:

Excursions can last 2 hours to a full day, depending on what you do.

Check Out Gatlinburg SkyPark

Another iconic location to experience breathtaking views is at Gatlinburg SkyPark. Situated at the top of Crockett Mountain, the park offers visitors the chance to soar high above the treetops on the scenic SkyLift. At the summit, take advantage of the experience of crossing the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.

Planning tip:

Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours enjoying everything Gatlinburg SkyLift Park offers.

Indulge in the Pigeon Forge Parkway

If you’re looking for some girls trip ideas filled with entertainment and excitement, check out the Pigeon Forge Parkway – the Vegas strip of East Tennessee! Whether you’re in the mood for retail therapy, an entertaining dinner experience, or eager to explore quirky roadside attractions, the Parkway has it all. 

You’ll find endless options here, but here are a few top picks to check out:

  • Dinner shows: Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show
  • Shopping: The Island in Pigeon Forge, Tanger Outlets Sevierville
  • Museums: Titanic Museum, Hollywood Wax Museum

Image of The Island in Pigeon Forge at dusk.

Planning tip:

Plan to spend at least a full day exploring the Pigeon Forge Parkway.

Have a Girls Night Out on the Town

Whether you’re seeking a spot to debrief with your crew after a day brimming with activities or craving some live music for dancing the night away, Gatlinburg nightlife has you covered. 

From unique bars to venues with live music, there’s something for every mood and occasion. Be sure to add these hotspots to your itinerary:

  • Ole Red Gatlinburg: Experience the vibrant energy and live music at this iconic venue owned by country superstar Blake Shelton.
  • Jason Aldean’s Rooftop Bar: Enjoy sweeping views of downtown Gatlinburg while sipping on handcrafted cocktails and soaking in the lively atmosphere.
  • Hogs & Honey’s Saloon: Dive into the lively atmosphere of this Western-themed saloon, where you can enjoy cold drinks, live music, and good company.
  • Shamrock Pub: Head to this cozy Irish pub for a laid-back vibe, friendly atmosphere, and a wide selection of beers on tap.

Planning tip:

Ole Red Gatlinburg and Jason Aldean’s Rooftop Bar don’t take reservations (unless you book a “VIP experience”), so try to arrive on the earlier side before it gets packed.

Best Gatlinburg Bites for a Girls Trip

When it comes to food in Gatlinburg, you’ll have endless options to choose from. There’s something for every palate and every occasion. From top breakfast spots to Southern classics, these places will help you select some food joints for your itinerary.

Southern Classics

For a girlfriend getaway in Tennessee, indulging in Southern comfort food is mandatory. We don’t make the rules! From delicious family-style restaurants to spots brimming with Tennessee history, you’ll be craving these Southern classics for years. While there are plenty of amazing options to choose from, here are some top picks to keep on your radar:

  • The Old Mill Restaurant
  • The Applebarn Restaurant
  • Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen 
  • Southern Comfort
  • Mama’s Farmhouse
  • Cumberland Jacks

Breakfast and Brunch Spots

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! For a Gatlinburg girl’s trip, it’s the fuel for a day’s worth of adventures or the perfect remedy to soak up the moonshine tasting from the night before. From cozy pancake houses to brunch staples, here’s a list of breakfast and brunch places you need to try:

  • Pancake Pantry
  • Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
  • Ruby Sunshine
  • Log Cabin Pancake House

Fine Dining Restaurants

Having at least one night to dress up for a nice dinner and drinks is a must on your girls trip. If you’re seeking spots with an upscale vibe, be sure to check out these dinner spots:

  • The Greenbrier Restaurant
  • The Peddler Steakhouse
  • Gaucho Urbano Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Chesapeake’s Seafood House
  • The Melting Pot

Sweet Treats

Nothing beats a gourmet milkshake after a summer hike in the Smokies or a delicious baked good following a savory Southern dinner. Gatlinburg is dotted with places to satisfy your sweet tooth, including old-fashioned candy and fudge shops. 

Here are a few places to find some of the best sweet treats and candies in town:

  • Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
  • Donut Friar
  • Fudge Shoppe of the Smokies
  • Cookie Dough Bliss & Creamery
  • The Crazy Mason Milkshake Shop
  • Chocolate Monkey

Where To Stay in Gatlinburg with Your Girlfriends

For the ultimate girls weekend in Gatlinburg, a cabin getaway is not just an accommodation — it’s a unique experience. Nestled amidst the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, renting a cabin provides the perfect blend of comfort, privacy, and adventure. 

With spacious living areas, private hot tubs, and fully equipped kitchens, cabins provide the perfect setting for creating unforgettable memories with your girlfriends. 

If you want to know where to stay when visiting Gatlinburg for your girls getaway, here are just a few of the types of cabins Elk Springs Resorts offers:

Large-Group Cabins

Best for: Groups of 10+ people

Whether you’re organizing a bachelorette party, a sorority trip, or simply have a lot of amazing girlfriends, opting for a large cabin rental is essential. With so many exciting activities awaiting in Gatlinburg, ensuring everyone gets their beauty sleep is a priority. Choose a cabin that can comfortably sleep your entire group and offers ample space for socializing and relaxing.

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Luxurious Cabins

Best for: Groups that value a girls’ night in

A luxury cabin rental combines a log cabin’s cozy charm with a five-star hotel’s lavish amenities. Each Gatlinburg luxury cabin promises a unique experience, with features like indoor pools, theater rooms, jacuzzis, and breathtaking views, ensuring that your stay is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s the perfect rental choice for indulging in a memorable girls’ night in.

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Budget-Friendly Cabins

Best for: Groups on a tight budget

If you’re on a tight budget or prefer to allocate your funds towards the exciting activities around town, choose a budget-friendly cabin rental. Despite the lower cost, you’ll find that these cabins still offer enticing amenities like hot tubs and stunning views, so you can enjoy your Gatlinburg girls getaway without breaking the bank.

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Creekside Cabins

Best for: Groups that want a relaxing stay in nature

For the girls seeking that extra serenity found in the soothing whispers of waters flowing through the woods, a creekside cabin rental is the perfect choice. Whether it’s the gentle trickle of a brook or the rush of a mountain stream, the cleansing sound of water brings peace and renewal to all who seek it.

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Cabins For Your Gatlinburg Girls Trip

Whether you’ve embarked on outdoor adventures, had a wild time in town, shopped till you dropped, or experienced a mix of it all, the success of your Gatlinburg girls trip is measured by the cherished memories you take home. Enhance the experience by renting a unique cabin with mountain views and exciting amenities.

Explore some of our favorite vacation rentals that are sure to delight groups of all sizes.


Is Gatlinburg Good for a Girls Trip?

Absolutely! Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for a girls trip with its vibrant downtown area and the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. There are plenty of things to do in this mountain town, from hiking and sightseeing to shopping and dining.

How Much is a Weekend Trip To Gatlinburg?

The cost of a weekend trip to Gatlinburg varies depending on timing, accommodation, and activities. On average, travelers spend approximately $571 per person for a three-day trip to Gatlinburg. This figure includes activities, accommodation, dining, and local transportation expenses.

What is the Cheapest Month To Go To Gatlinburg?

The cheapest month to go to Gatlinburg is during the off-peak season in January, February, and March. During these colder months, popular attractions often close or operate on limited hours, contributing to lower prices for accommodations.

How Many Days Do You Need For Gatlinburg?

Planning a long weekend getaway consisting of three to four days is the perfect amount of time to experience Gatlinburg for your girls trip. This gives you plenty of opportunities to explore some of the most popular attractions and restaurants in the area.

Is It Better To Stay in a Hotel or Cabin in Gatlinburg?

A cabin rental is often the best choice for a girls trip to Gatlinburg. Cabins offer more space, privacy, and an authentic mountain experience, making them ideal for a memorable getaway. Plus, the serene surroundings and scenic views add an extra layer of charm to your trip.