If you are a person who enjoys the downtown life, partying in a downtown bar; nevertheless enjoy hiking, outdoor picnic, swimming, outdoor activities, and embrace the Spiritual Side of Nature then Gatlinburg is for you.
Gatlinburg, a mountain town in eastern Tennessee, is home to a bustling downtown area filled with interesting attractions and delicious restaurants. Nonetheless it’s also home to one of the oldest and most iconic American parks, roughly 520,000-acre the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Here I will share the itinerary that we made to the Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains last fall.
Day 1 : We have started from Nashville in an attempt to catch the fall colors, we spent 3 days exploring Great Smoky Mountain National park and the small town gatlinburg. We drove to Gatlinburg and we booked the hotel while we planned for the trip. A two night hotel cost us $140/ per night. We directly drove to Clingmans Dome,which is on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina and is the tallest point in Tennessee. This is not only the highest point in Tennessee, but also in the park itself. On a clear day, you may be able to see more than 100 miles. There are several scenic pullouts along Clingmans Dome Road, ultimately elevated roads leading to an observation tower at the summit. There are also several other trails that start at Clingmans Dome Road and its parking area, including the Appalachian Trail, which crosses Clingmans Dome and is the highest point along its route from Georgia to Maine.
The clingmans dome is steep and a little more challenging for the beginner but you will find places to rest yourself. The views from the top were amazing though and totally worth the hike!
The whole day we stopped at many overlooks, honestly you can just drive anywhere in the smokies, pull over your car, and enjoy the amazing views.
Day2: On the second day we start our Day at “Crockett’s Breakfast Camp”. Crocketts Breakfast Camp is Gatlinburg’s most-buzzed-about breakfast spot! It is receiving recognition not only from locals but also from the travellers. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp continues to deliver their famous massive pancakes (a.k.a. “griddle cakes”), which are over 1 inch thick. After having breakfast we headed to Cades Cove. When it comes to visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a trip is not complete without experiencing the Cades Cove Loop. This place offers breathtaking valleys, a variety of historic buildings, gorgeous mountain scenery, sightings of black bear, coyote, groundhog, turkey, raccoon, and skunk.
We have hiked the Cades cove natural trai, you will find the information center that provides free maps, you also can buy gifts, souvenirs, and treat yourself with a hot coffee. I was super excited to see a bear here, but didn't get to. The drive to the hike is a one way scenic road. Which is nice and all until it's so backed up and people drive 2mph. For a one way loop the traffic is a bit boring here.
In the evening we came back to Gatlinburg and enjoyed the Gatlinburg Brewing Company. Gatlinburg Brewing Company is a locally owned and operated microbrewery in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. They specialize in craft beer, craft pizza, and cold brew nitro coffee. After dinner, spend any remaining energy walking around the Gatlinburg strip, which is full of shops and attractions!
Day 3: This is the last day on Gatlinburg , ws we wanted to try the Gatlinburg sky lift. The SkyLift Park is the longest running attraction in town, and located right in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg sky lift is a landmark on the parkway which is 500 feet vertically high from ground and absolutely gives the best views of Gatlinburg town as well as the smoky mountain. It is a very scenic chairlift ride and the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Enjoy the sky lift even though it's a bit scary when you look downwards !You can ride as many times as you want. I suggest going for a ride in the morning and again at night so that you can experience the beauty of Gatlinburg. The sky place offers a small souvenir shop, a small SkyDeck, which features an expansive viewing deck, outdoor seating areas, tiered waterfall, firepit, and the spectacular SkyCenter building.
We also recommend you to visit Anakeesta!! Anakeesta, Tennessee's award-winning outdoor family theme park is known for its panoramic smoky mountain views, thrilling treetop adventures including rail mountain coaster, Dueling Zipline Adventure etc.
Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains is one of our favorite tours.
- Visit during fall time; fall in a great smoky mountain is the must to do bucket list.
- Please consider accommodations at incredible Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg mountain view cabins; these places' views are spectacular.
- Must try local top notch Whisky & Moonshine Distilleries
- Try Ziplining