back to articles | July 31, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

Top 13 Things to Do on Your Weekend Getaway in Gatlinburg, TN

With a range of breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary attractions, Gatlinburg is the ideal place for you to have a memorable weekend getaway. Gatlinburg town is situated at the core of the famous Smoky Mountains. The city is not highly populated, but it receives a high number of tourists annually.


Gatlinburg hosts the renowned Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which offers astounding attractions. It is a great location for your weekend with friends and family as it offers a lot of diverse activities you can partake in. From rafting, hiking, and skiing, there is always an activity for you to enjoy. Here is an ultimate guide to the amazing things you can do in Gatlinburg to maximize your weekend getaway experience.

1. Go for a hike

Gatlinburg is home to beautiful sceneries, and the best way to enjoy what nature here has to offer is by hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park has about 600 miles of trails that allow you to catch a glimpse of the beautiful waterfalls, hills, rivers, and flowers that grow all year round.

Apart from hiking, this park offers other outdoor activities you can enjoy with your friends or family, such as camping, fishing, horseback riding, biking, and water tubing. Whichever way you choose to have fun here, you are set to enjoy the tranquility of Gatlinburg. The amazing thing is that the park is open to the public for free.

2. Go Rafting

If you are looking for a more adventurous way to spend your weekend in Gatlinburg, Whitewater rafting is the answer. Rafting at the Pigeon River is the most chosen adventure by tourists in Gatlinburg. There are several rafting companies in Gatlinburg that will give you the ultimate experience with trained guides.

3. Visit the Gatlinburg Skylift Park

The SkyLift Park gives you access to the Gatlinburg SkyBridge. This is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America that has grown to be an attraction to many visitors. From this 140-feet high bridge, you get an incredible view of the Smoky Mountains and an ariel view of Gatlinburg.

Another way to enjoy your visit to the park is by taking a ride on the SkyLift, which gives you breathtaking views of Crockett Mountain. These views are ideal for photography sessions.

4. View artwork at Arrowmont

The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts has kept its fame for the past 70 years. This historic school is an ideal place for you to connect with Appalachia’s way of life through art. Here you get a chance to view the art collection from the talented artists in the region. In addition, the school offers weaving, woodworking, jewelry, and ceramics-making classes that you can take and learn new skills.

5. Visit the aquarium

Gatlinburg is home to one of the best Aquariums in the United States. The Ripley’s Aquarium is a good place to enjoy your weekend by seeing the sea life. The aquarium hosts over 10,000 sea creatures.

Your kids can also get a chance to watch one of the mermaid shows. Be sure to check out the live dive shows and the shark tunnel, which are very popular in the aquarium.

6. Enjoy drinks at the Smoky Mountain Brewery

Without any doubt, catching some drinks at the Smoky Mountain Brewery after a long day is the ultimate experience. This being the oldest brewery in Gatlinburg, you are sure to get quality beer as opposed to other places where generic beers are sold. The brewery is close to the park, which makes it a strategic place to unwind after spending a day immersed in the park’s activities.

7. Explore the Roaring Fork Motor Trail

The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is a 5.5 miles road that has gained a lot of popularity over the years. The drive takes about two hours and gives you a chance to view breathtaking sceneries rich in the history of this area. It is an ideal drive for photography, too.

To make your drive easier and more enjoyable, purchase a guidebook at any available visitors’ center. This will give you a highlight of what to expect along the way. There are also a number of amazing hiking trails you can decide to explore, too.

8. Enjoy live comedy shows

It is said laughter is the best medicine. Gatlinburg gives you a chance to laugh best by visiting the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, which is the only live comedy theater in the town. In this theatre, you get the ultimate opportunity to immerse yourself in unending fun through songs, jokes, and dances from amazing performers. The theatre is also ideal for an unmatched date night.

9. Go shopping at The Village

Located in Gatlinburg downtown, The Village gives you a unique shopping experience. There are over 30 fascinating boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries to explore. The Coffee $ Company shop is also here, and it’s an ideal place for you to grab a cup of coffee. For some thrill, you can visit the Masters of Magic, which offers unique magic shows, puzzles, and board games.

10. Experience the Cade Coves

The Cade Coves is home to hiking trails friendly for beginners. The trails lead to the cascading waterfalls found within the Smoky Mountains. You can explore the trail on a bike, car drive, or on foot.

The best way to experience the Cade Coves is by bicycle. Bicycles are allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 am. It is advisable to rent a bike early in the morning and have a blissful ride before tourists start flocking to the place.

11. Go for a picnic

Gatlinburg has beautiful picnic sites, such as Mynatt Park. Going for a picnic gives you a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery by the Smoky Mountain. The best way to enjoy your picnic is by getting food from a local restaurant and enjoying it with your friends or alone in one of the parks.

12. Go ice skating

If you are visiting Gatlinburg during the winter season, your weekend getaway activities should include ice skating at Ober. This skating rink is known for hosting the annual Tennessee Special Olympic ice-skating competition. It is affordable as it costs $8 per person. However, remember to wear a warm jacket if you intend to ice skate, as the skating rink can get quite cold.

13. Experience the Amazing Mirror Maze

The Amazing Mirror Maze is one of the popular attractions in Gatlinburg. Make your weekend getaway memorable by getting lost in this maze that offers unique light and music.

It takes about 15 minutes for a complete experience around the maze, but the good thing is that you can take your time as the experience is self-paced. The endless hallways and infinite reflections will give you a mind-blowing lifetime experience.

Summing it up

There are many great things you can do in Gatlinburg, both outdoors and indoors. All you need to do is to try some of these activities during your weekend getaway. The good thing is that most of the activities are cheap and others free, thus making your stay budget-friendly.

That said, any weekend trip requires extensive research and planning. There are many ways to do this, but getting a motorcycle is pretty close to perfect if you plan to ride. You can explore many places in Gatlinburg with a two-wheeler and a spare weekend. If you are looking to buy a new bike for your trip to Gatlinburg, a motorcycle loan could help make your dream come true.