Six Tips to Plan a Memorable Trip to Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for a vacation. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, this picturesque town offers everything from dazzling views to exclusive shopping and dining experiences. The rawness of nature and the vibrancy of city life combine to create an enchanting atmosphere. 

You could spend days exploring the rolling hills and lush forests or take a stroll along the quaint cobblestone streets and admire the stunning architecture, and you won’t get bored. No wonder this small mountain town has become a popular destination for those looking to escape the daily grind and have an unforgettable vacation.

Whether you’re an adventure-seeker, adrenaline junkie, nature lover, or a history buff, the abundance of attractions, activities, and events will make your stay in this picturesque paradise truly special. However, planning a trip to Gatlinburg takes more than just a map. You’ll need to consider so many aspects, which may be overwhelming. 

To help navigate the myriad of choices you’ll have, here are some tips to make your trip as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. 

  • Choose your accommodation wisely 

Imagine returning to a stuffy, uncomfortable room after a long day of sightseeing and walking around. Or worse, a cramped room where you don’t even have enough space to put your bags down. Sounds unpleasant, right? Plus, there is nothing unique about staying in a traditional hotel room in a mountain town. 

Instead, rent one of the luxurious Gatlinburg cabins with an indoor pool for a truly comfortable experience. Not only will you have plenty of room, amenities, and all the necessary comforts to make your stay enjoyable, but you will also have a private indoor pool to relax and unwind after a long day. 

These cabins have incredible mountain views, cozy interiors, and easy access to all the attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains. With various sizes and styles of cabins, you’re sure to find one perfect for your family or group. 

  • Make a list of must-see attractions and activities

Gatlinburg is full of attractions, entertainment spots, and outdoor activities. Consider every individual’s age, interests, and abilities in your group when deciding on activities or attractions. It will help ensure a great experience for everyone. 

Popular attractions and activities include: 

  • Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Observe over 10,000 underwater creatures in their natural habitats. 
  • The Gatlinburg Sky Lift – Enjoy panoramic views of the city and take in the sights from the sky lift 1800 feet above. 
  • Learn about the history of Gatlinburg in the Arts & Crafts Community – Walk through the 8-mile loop of quaint shops, studios, and galleries as you uncover the unique cultures of this region. 
  • The Gatlinburg Space Needle – Gaze at the stunning views of downtown Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains from the observation tower – 407 feet up! 
  • Plan your meals & try local food

Feeling hungry during activities may quickly sap your energy. So, plan meals ahead and take snacks and drinks with you to keep your strength up during long days out! 

Crackers, nuts, and dried fruits are all great options to keep everyone full and happy. Take a cooler along with you on the trip to store ready-to-eat foods like fruit salads, sandwiches, or yogurt. If you plan on cooking, visit the nearby grocery stores for the required ingredients.

If eating out, sample Appalachian delicacies like grits, sorghum, and fried green tomatoes to make your trip memorable. Also, try a delectable meal at one of the region’s many farm-to-table restaurants. Look for deals and discounts to get the most out of your meals.

Whether cooking yourself or eating out, plan your meals at least one day ahead to avoid any last-minute inconveniences.

  • Research local events and festivals 

There is always something fun happening in Gatlinburg, including live music, comedy hours, craft fairs, light shows, and seasonal celebrations. 

Research a few local events and plan your trip around them. They’re a great way to interact with the locals and experience unique activities you wouldn’t find in an average tourist destination. Participating in one of these events can also give a better feel of the culture, customs, and traditions. The best part is that these events are usually free or relatively cheap, so you can save money while having a great time. 

  • Enjoy the nature 

Gatlinburg has dozens of breathtaking outdoor spots to explore and enjoy scenic views. From mountains, waterfalls, and rivers to vibrant wildflower fields, you can enjoy nature to its fullest. 

If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, hike to The Chimney Tops, one of the most popular trails of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You’ll be rewarded with gorgeous panoramas at the end of your hike. 

Or, if you’re more of a water lover, check out the numerous rivers and lakes in the area. You can go kayaking, fishing, or dip under the sun. 

Adventure seekers can soar across the sky with zip-lining tours or explore the mountain’s depths with cave tours. Also, take time to appreciate the magnificent views of Clingmans Dome.

Regardless of how you spend your time at Gatlinburg, you’re sure to make lasting memories.

  • Pack smart

Nothing ruins a vacation faster than over-packing or forgetting something essential. Before you head out to Gatlinburg, take some time to make a packing list of everything you’ll need. Make sure to bring the proper clothing for the climate, comfortable shoes for walking, and essentials like toiletries and an emergency kit

If you’re planning outdoor activities, such as hiking or biking, you’ll also want to be sure to have the proper gear and equipment. Remember to bring a camera to capture all your fun memories in Gatlinburg! 

Besides, make sure to leave some room in your luggage for souvenirs. Gatlinburg is known for its unique offerings, with stores selling handmade crafts and other local items; you’ll certainly want to take something home. 


Gatlinburg is a picture-perfect paradise offering an abundance of attractions, activities, and events for any traveler. Make your Gatlinburg trip memorable by staying in a cozy cabin, preparing a must-see list of attractions and activities, planning meals, and packing smart. You can also research local events and festivals before your visit to ensure you get the most out of your stay. Besides, take as much advantage as possible of the city’s outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and fishing. It’ll be an experience you’ll never forget!