Treat Yourself to a Deluxe Cabin Stay
When you book with Elk Springs Resort, you can get a luxury cabin situated right in the middle of nature with stunning views without giving up easy access to all that downtown Gatlinburg has to offer.
Hike in the Smoky Mountain National Park
With more than 800 miles of exquisite hiking in the Smoky Mountain area, you can follow the same paths that settlers and explorers did hundreds of years ago. To help you set your course, here are five can’t-miss hikes in Gatlinburg that you should add to your bucket list:
- Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte: Best explored between April and November, this trail is popular because of its views and frequent black bear sightings.
- Clingmans Dome Trail: Make the rewarding trek up the observation tower path at the end of this trail to enjoy 360º views of the Smokies.
- Laurel Falls Trail: Originally paved for fire trucks, this trail is well-maintained and offers a comfortable walk for people of all ages.
- Cataract Falls Trail: Take a short and charming walk on the trail that leads from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to find a serene waterfall.
- Rainbow Falls Trail: One of the most beautiful falls in the area (especially after heavy rainfall), it’ll be worthwhile to make this trek.
Try to Spot Local Flora and Fauna
Gatlinburg, TN, is home to thousands of species of plants and animals. And even if you visit the same path a hundred times, you’re still likely to see something new on each trip. While you’re exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, see if you can spot some local flora and fauna including:
- Animals like warblers, wild turkeys, tanagers, elk, foxes, black bears, salamanders, bass, river otters, butterflies, deer, squirrels, snails, slugs, and trout.
- Plants like ferns, azaleas, rhododendrons, trilliums, Dutchman’s breeches, bloodroot, tulip trees, laurels, geraniums, and spring beauty wildflowers.
Take a Scenic Drive
If you take a road trip to get to Gatlinburg, you’ll undoubtedly see miles of beautiful, untouched land. Of course, if you’d rather take a real scenic drive after you’ve settled into your cabin, we recommend trying the Cades Cove Loop, Roaring Fork Motor Trail, or Newfound Gap Road for the best views in the area.
Check Out Downtown Gatlinburg’s Nightlife
When you step out for a night of fun in Gatlinburg, you can expect good drinks, music, and service in a laid-back environment whether you want to watch the game at a pub or jam out to live music, a good night awaits in East Tennessee. Here are some great Gatlinburg bars to go if you’re not sure where to start your night:
- If you like to dance: Loco Burro brings in a DJ and a crowd of partiers on Tuesday nights.
- If you like great food with your drinks: The Shamrock Pub doesn’t just offer drinks and karaoke. They also have pizza and sandwiches to keep you energized all night long.
- If you like quiet conversations with friends: The Fox & Parrot Tavern offers a unique but homey atmosphere where you can chat with the people at your table.
Visit an Amusement Park
Gatlinburg doesn’t have your run-of-the-mill amusement parks. Instead, we have family-friendly destinations where you and your family or friends can explore activities unique to Appalachia. Here are a few of note:
- Anakeesta: This mountaintop adventure park has a scenic chairlift, an observation tower so tall you can see Kentucky, zip lines, gem mining, and an adventure zone.
- Dollywood: Located less than 20 minutes outside of Gatlinburg’s city limits, Dolly Parton’s theme park offers live shows, rides, attractions, and a water park.
- Ober Gatlinburg: Stop by in the winter to enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Or, visit when the weather warms up to experience fun activities like the Tennessee Flyer Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, bumper cars, or a rock wall.
Listen to Live Music
Gatlinburg has a vibrant music scene — to say the least. Local venues bring in acts from near and far, and on any given night, you can hear the sounds of country, bluegrass, and folk music flowing. Here are just a few of the great spots where you can kick back and enjoy live music in Gatlinburg:
- Three Jimmy’s: Mostly known as a restaurant, Three Jimmy’s is also a popular live music venue in Gatlinburg that hosts performers from around the country.
- Country Tonite: Renowned for its high-energy and family-friendly musical acts, this is the place to be if you want to listen to country music accompanied by strong choreography and glamorous outfits.
- Ole Red Gatlinburg: Owned by country music star Blake Shelton, Ole Red knows a thing or two about good music. They often bring in local artists to perform at the large venue.
Go to Local Events
The events in Gatlinburg are known for drawing visitors by creating an entertaining, one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Some popular annual events include:
Of course, there are a ton of other exciting events that occur throughout the year. Keep up with our event calendar to see what will be going on on your next Gatlinburg trip.