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Dog-Friendly Activities in Gatlinburg: Your Pet-Friendly Vacation Guide

Dog-Friendly Activities in Gatlinburg: Your Pet-Friendly Vacation Guide


For many people, their fidos and felines are not just pets but family members. You want to bring your whole family on vacation, right? So start planning your pet-friendly Gatlinburg getaway. While many vacation destinations make it challenging to travel with pets, you may be surprised to find that Gatlinburg is an uber pet-friendly vacation destination with numerous pet-friendly cabin rentals and things to do. Read this ultimate guide to your next pet-friendly Gatlinburg vacation to plan your next trip with the whole kitten kaboodle, literally, and no one will be left out!

Pet-friendly Restaurants in Gatlinburg

You might be surprised at the number of restaurants that have created dog dining areas or patios specifically so you can enjoy a drink or meal with your canine companion. Pet-friendly restaurants in Gatlinburg that have patios or designated doggy dining areas include:

  • Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill
  • Howard’s Steakhouse
  • Wild Plum Tea Room
  • Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill
  • Best Italian
  • Red Oak Bistro
  • Cobbly Knob Pizza
  • Burg Coffee
  • Split Rail Eats
  • Three Jimmy’s
  • Fannie Farkles
  • The Funnel Cake Company

Don’t miss The Fox & Parrot Tavern, a traditional British Pub with a cozy atmosphere and authentic cuisine, a local’s favorite and pet-friendly. Also, your dog will bark with glee when you stop by Mad Dog’s Creamery & Donuts that features “doggie donuts” in addition to superb human sweet treats.

Pet-friendly Activities

hiking with dog in the smoky mountains

Your four-legged friends are on vacation too, so why not choose some pet-friendly activities in Gatlinburg that include them in the fun! 

  • Gatlinburg SkyLyft: Pets are allowed to ride with their owners up the mountain to take in stunning mountain vistas.
  • The Original Old Timey Photos of Gatlinburg: Make a memory of your pet-friendly Gatlinburg escape and include your pooch, parrot, cat, or other pet in your family.
  • Pet-Friendly Parks: If your pet is just up for some outdoor play, we suggest visiting one of Gatlinburg’s spacious city parks that offer playgrounds, picnic areas, walking trails, and plenty of space for your four-legged friend to get out and exercise. Pet-friendly parks include Herbert Holt Park, Mynatt Park, and Mills Park.

Pet-friendly Hikes & Drives in Gatlinburg

While the Great Smoky Mountains National Park doesn’t allow pets on most of their trails due to their impact on wildlife, there are a couple of exceptions for pet-friendly hikes in Gatlinburg and the park. Your pet-friendly hiking itinerary in Gatlinburg should definitely include:

  • The Gatlinburg Trail: One of the best pet-friendly hiking trails in Gatlinburg, this trail travels 1.9 miles each way from the Sugarlands Visitor’s Center to the outskirts of the City of Gatlinburg through dense forests and along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. 
  • Oconaluftee River Trail: The other pet-friendly hiking trail is on the North Carolina side of the park called the Oconaluftee River Trail that runs 1.5 miles each way from the OconalufteeVisitors Center. This picturesque stroll along the Oconaluftee River is a beautiful hiking trail to take your furry friend and soak up the natural wonder and ancient history here near Cherokee, North Carolina.

If you are just feeling like cuddling your four-legged friend or setting out on the open road there are numerous pet-friendly drives that you can enjoy with your pet. The most famous, Cades Cove Loop, will delight you and doggy as you follow this 11-mile loop through a sweeping mountain valley filled with historic buildings and plenty of wildlife viewing. You might have to hang on to your canine friends as white-tailed deer are commonly seen on this route as well as black-bears, turkeys, groundhogs, skunks, coyotes, and racoons.

Roaring Fork Motor Trail is another pet-friendly Gatlinburg car trip. This one way, 6-mile loop is accessed from the town of Gatlinburg itself. You and your pet will enjoy this quiet leisurely motor trail that traverses through old-growth forests and passes historic buildings such as grist mills and once inhabited log cabins. 

Pet-friendly Stores in Gatlinburg

If you want to treat your four-legged friend to some special treats stop by  Holly & Willows Pet Barn for pet toys, accessories, etc. or Bonediggity Barkery for some scrumptious doggy treats and novelties. 

Take your pooch along for some retail therapy at these pet-friendly stores/areas in and around Gatlinburg.

  • The Village Shops
  • The Soft Shirt Place
  • Smoky Mountain Wax and Company
  • Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
  • Great Smokies Flea Market
  • Apple Mountain Valley Village General Store
  • The Apple Barn and Cider Mill
  • Old Forge Distillery
  • Bass Pro Shops


Pet-friendly Cabins in Gatlinburg


When planning your pet-friendly vacation, finding the place to stay in Gatlinburg is the most important part. You want to make sure you and your pet feel comfortable and welcome. 

The Cozy Creek cabin in Elk Springs Resort is a pet-friendly creekside cabin rental in Gatlinburg. This cozy cabin is situated right beside a creek with an outdoor swing, foot bridge and plenty of space for you to play fetch. In addition, Cozy Creek features two king suites, a hot tub, and community pool access.

For a bigger group of friends or family that wouldn’t dream of leaving their pet friends at home, the Southern Comfort cabin sleeps twelve people. This pet-friendly stay features an open floor plan, home theater area, air hockey, hot tub and many more luxury amenities.

Couples seeking a secluded hideaway with just their furry kids will love Creekside Hideaway. This pet-friendly cabin features a wrap-around deck, covered balcony, in-suite jacuzzi tub, hot tub, and a lovely creek for your furry friend to romp and play.