If you’re looking for an unforgettable getaway, Gatlinburg is the place to be. This charming town nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains offers a plethora of attractions that are sure to delight any adult traveler. From panoramic mountain views to thrilling outdoor adventures, Gatlinburg has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top 10 must-see attractions in Gatlinburg for adults, ensuring that your visit to this beautiful destination is nothing short of extraordinary.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
– Overview of the park
Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a beautiful piece of wilderness nestled in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. With its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic mountain views, this park is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Spanning over 500,000 acres, it is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. Whether you are in search of challenging hiking trails, breathtaking scenic drives, or the opportunity to spot diverse wildlife, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has something to offer for everyone.
– Popular hiking trails
For the adventurous souls, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts a myriad of hiking trails. One of the most popular trails is the Alum Cave Trail, renowned for its stunning views of Mount LeConte and its iconic cave formation. If you are up for a challenge, the Charlies Bunion Trail offers a thrilling hike along the Appalachian Trail to an exposed rock outcropping with breathtaking vistas. Additionally, the Grotto Falls Trail takes you on a magical journey through a lush forest, leading you to a captivating waterfall tucked away in the thriving foliage.
– Wildlife spotting
A visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park wouldn’t be complete without the chance to spot some of its incredible wildlife. The park is home to a large variety of animals, including black bears, white-tailed deer, elk, and bobcats. Keep your eyes peeled during your hikes or consider embarking on a guided wildlife tour to enhance your chances of encountering these magnificent creatures. Just remember to keep a safe distance and respect their natural habitat.
– Skiing and snowboarding
Looking for some winter excitement in Gatlinburg? Look no further than Ober Gatlinburg, the ultimate destination for skiing and snowboarding adventures. With nine slopes of varying difficulties, there is something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned experts. Strap on your skis or snowboard and take to the slopes, enjoying the crisp mountain air and stunning snowy landscapes. Don’t worry if you’re new to winter sports â Ober Gatlinburg offers lessons for all ages and skill levels.
– Aerial tramway
The fun doesn’t stop at skiing and snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg. Hop aboard the iconic Aerial Tramway for a breathtaking ride up the mountain, offering sweeping views of the surrounding scenery. As you ascend, take the opportunity to spot the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from above, marveling at the panoramic vistas. The Aerial Tramway is not only a means of transportation but also an unforgettable experience in itself.
– Ice skating
If gliding on ice is more your style, Ober Gatlinburg also offers a fantastic ice skating rink. Lace up your skates and embrace the joy of twirling and gliding across the smooth ice. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, the rink provides a fun and festive atmosphere for all ages. This activity is particularly popular during the winter months when the rink is illuminated with enchanting lights, creating a magical ambiance.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
– Interactive exhibits
Dive into an underwater wonderland at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, an attraction that offers a captivating experience for adults of all ages. This world-class aquarium boasts a variety of interactive exhibits, allowing you to get up close and personal with marine life from around the globe. From touching stingrays to feeding tropical fish, each exhibit offers a unique opportunity to learn and engage with the underwater world.
– Underwater tunnel
One of the highlights of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the mesmerizing underwater tunnel. Take a stroll through the tunnel and be surrounded by incredible marine creatures swimming all around you. From mesmerizing sharks to graceful sea turtles, this immersive experience transports you into a different realm, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the ocean.
– Shark Lagoon
For those seeking a thrill, don’t miss the Shark Lagoon exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This exhibit allows you to come face to face with these magnificent predators as they gracefully glide through the water. Observe the awe-inspiring power and elegance of sharks while learning about their importance in maintaining the balance of our planet’s oceans. It’s an adrenaline-pumping adventure that is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
– Scenic chairlift ride
Ride up and above the treetops at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Hop on the scenic chairlift and ascend to the mountaintop, soaking in the panoramic views that stretch for miles around. This leisurely ride provides a perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and appreciate the natural wonders that surround you.
– SkyBridge walk
Once you reach the mountaintop, embark on a thrilling adventure across the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. This awe-inspiring structure spans 680 feet, offering an exhilarating walk with jaw-dropping views of the mountains and valleys below. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you step onto the glass floor sections, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the landscape beneath your feet.
– Viewing platforms
If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park also features additional viewing platforms that allow you to marvel at the scenic beauty from different vantage points. Take your time to capture stunning photographs, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and appreciate the tranquility that surrounds you. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park truly offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
– Observation deck
For a panoramic view of Gatlinburg and the stunning mountainscape, head to the top of the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle. As you ascend this iconic structure, anticipation builds for the breathtaking vista that awaits you. Step onto the observation deck and be greeted with a 360-degree view of the city below and the majestic mountains beyond. This vantage point offers a unique perspective, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty and charm of Gatlinburg.
– 360-degree views
Once you reach the observation deck, take your time to soak in the 360-degree views that stretch as far as the eye can see. From the vibrant colors of the changing seasons to the twinkling lights of the city at night, each season offers a different perspective. Whether you visit during the bloom of spring, the lush green of summer, the vibrant foliage of fall, or the winter wonderland, the view from the Gatlinburg Space Needle is always a sight to behold.
– Arcade and theater
After taking in the breathtaking views, continue the fun-filled adventure at the Gatlinburg Space Needle arcade. Challenge your friends and family to classic arcade games, from skee-ball to air hockey, or test your skills at the cutting-edge virtual reality attractions. If you’re in the mood for some entertainment, catch a show at the state-of-the-art theater located within the Gatlinburg Space Needle complex. Immerse yourself in live performances, comedies, or magic shows, ensuring a memorable experience for all adults.
Sugarlands Distilling Company
– Distillery tour
Indulge in a taste of Tennessee’s craftsmanship and heritage at the Sugarlands Distilling Company. Join a guided distillery tour and immerse yourself in the art of moonshine production. Learn about the distilling process, from grain to bottle, and gain a deeper understanding of the techniques used to create high-quality spirits. Expert guides will take you through the steps involved in making traditional moonshine and other unique spirits.
– Moonshine tasting
No visit to the Sugarlands Distilling Company would be complete without a tour tasting. Sample a variety of moonshine flavors, from classic originals to creative blends infused with locally sourced ingredients. With each sip, you’ll appreciate the craftsmanship and unique flavors that make Sugarlands moonshine renowned. Whether you prefer the smoothness of an Appalachian Sippin’ Cream or the fiery kick of a flavored moonshine, there is something to satisfy every taste.
– Live music events
To enhance your experience at the Sugarlands Distilling Company, check their calendar of events for live music performances. Enjoy the lively atmosphere created by talented local musicians as you sip on your favorite moonshine creations. The combination of tasty spirits and toe-tapping tunes ensures a memorable night out in Gatlinburg. Immerse yourself in the rich flavors and captivating sounds that make the Sugarlands Distilling Company a must-visit attraction for adults.
Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
– Moonshine tasting
Prepare your taste buds for an authentic moonshine experience at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. This renowned distillery offers a diverse range of moonshine flavors and infusions, showcasing the heritage and tradition of the Smoky Mountains. Join a tasting session and indulge in the unique flavors created by Ole Smoky’s master distillers. From classic moonshine to bold fruit flavors, there is something to tempt every palate.
– Distillery tours
To delve deeper into the world of moonshine, partake in a guided tour of the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. Learn about the history and cultural significance of moonshine in the Smoky Mountains, and witness the fascinating process of crafting this spirited elixir. Knowledgeable guides will take you through the production facilities, providing insights into the traditional techniques and modern equipment used to create Ole Smoky’s distinctive spirits.
– Gift shop
Before you leave the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, don’t forget to explore their extensive gift shop. From moonshine-inspired treats and accessories to unique souvenirs, the gift shop offers a wide array of products for you to take home. Whether you’re looking to share your newfound love for moonshine with friends and family or simply want a memento of your visit, the gift shop has something for everyone.
Sugarland Riding Stables
– Scenic horseback rides
Experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains in a unique way by embarking on a scenic horseback ride with Sugarland Riding Stables. Choose from a variety of trail options, each offering its own set of breathtaking views and diverse landscapes. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely jaunt through peaceful meadows or a challenging ride up rugged mountain trails, the experienced guides at Sugarland Riding Stables can tailor the experience to your preferences and skill level.
– Guided trail tours
For the ultimate adventure, opt for a guided trail tour with Sugarland Riding Stables. Explore hidden gems and discover remote trails while being guided by knowledgeable professionals who can provide insights into the local flora, fauna, and history of the area. With the majestic Smoky Mountains as your backdrop, this guided tour promises an unforgettable journey through nature’s beauty.
– Riding lessons
If you’re new to horseback riding or simply want to improve your equestrian skills, Sugarland Riding Stables also offers riding lessons. Learn the basics of horsemanship, master riding techniques, and gain confidence in the saddle under the guidance of experienced instructors. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, these lessons provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with these magnificent animals and develop a deeper appreciation for the art of horseback riding.
Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community
– Art galleries
Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and crafts scene of Gatlinburg by visiting the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. This charming community is home to a wide array of art galleries, showcasing the talents of local artists and artisans. Explore the diverse range of mediums, from paintings and sculptures to glassblowing and pottery. Wander through the galleries and discover unique pieces of art that capture the spirit of the Great Smoky Mountains.
– Handcrafted goods
Support local artisans and find one-of-a-kind treasures by exploring the numerous shops and studios within the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. From handcrafted jewelry and furniture to intricately woven textiles and pottery, you’ll find a wealth of beautifully made goods that make perfect souvenirs or gifts. Appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into each piece and take home a tangible memory of your time in Gatlinburg.
– Workshops and classes
For those looking to unleash their inner artist, the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community offers a range of workshops and classes. Try your hand at pottery throwing, painting, or glassblowing under the guidance of talented instructors. Gaining hands-on experience and learning new techniques ensures a unique and enriching experience that allows you to tap into your creative side. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, these workshops provide an opportunity to connect with the arts community in Gatlinburg.
Hollywood Star Cars Museum
– Classic movie cars
Step into the fascinating world of film and automobiles at the Hollywood Star Cars Museum in Gatlinburg. This one-of-a-kind museum is home to an impressive collection of classic movie cars from iconic films and television shows. Marvel at the sleek lines of the Batmobile, relive your favorite “Dukes of Hazzard” moments with the General Lee, or take a trip down memory lane with the DeLorean from “Back to the Future.” Each car tells its own story and offers a nostalgic journey through cinematic history.
– Memorabilia exhibits
In addition to the classic movie cars, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum also features a range of memorabilia exhibits. Explore displays filled with authentic costumes, props, and memorabilia from beloved films and TV series. From superhero outfits to iconic movie posters, these exhibits offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of Hollywood and allow you to connect with your favorite on-screen moments on a more personal level.
– Walking tours
To enhance your experience at the Hollywood Star Cars Museum, consider joining one of their walking tours. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours provide fascinating insights into the history and stories behind the vehicles and memorabilia on display. Expand your knowledge of film and entertainment as you stroll through the museum, igniting your imagination and leaving you with a new appreciation for the magic of the silver screen.
Must See Attractions In Gatlinburg For Adults Are Plentiful
As you explore the must-see attractions in Gatlinburg for adults, you’ll be immersed in the natural beauty, cultural richness, and captivating experiences that this vibrant Tennessee city has to offer. From the majestic Great Smoky Mountains to the adrenaline-pumping adventures and cultural delights, Gatlinburg truly has something for everyone. So, grab your hiking boots, embrace your sense of adventure, and set off on an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Smokies.