Seasoned visitors and locals alike will tell you these five fabulous attractions are “must-see” destinations when you’re in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Put these on your bucket list!
1. OLE SMOKY MOONSHINE HOLLER
You’ll smell The Holler before you see it--sniff the incredible scent of fermenting grains transforming into legendary moonshine! Follow your nose to discover how The Holler creates Ole Smoky’s homegrown ‘shine. You’ll see authentic stills, learn about moonshining from start to delicious finish, and chat with friendly distillers. Stick around to taste the huge range of lip-smacking flavors Ole Smoky cooks up, and take some home with you.
You’d never guess there are 70 acres of forested mountain in downtown Gatlinburg. At Anakeesta theme park, the theme is nature. On the Treetop Skywalk, experience a bird’s-eye view of the forest. Get your pulse pounding on the Treeventure Challenge Course. Ascend a spectacular observation tower that gives you mountain views for miles. Fly down the mountain on the gravity coaster, or through the air on ziplines. Back on Earth, don’t miss the nature-themed play spaces for kids, fresh local food, and artisan shops.
3. RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF THE SMOKIES
Just steps off Gatlinburg’s main street lies underwater adventure. Mermaids beckon you. Sharks eyeball you as they swim past just inches away. Playful penguins cavort and rubbery rays let you touch their hides! With more than 10,000 sea creatures, the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies will fascinate you for hours. Book extra experiences like painting with a penguin or feeding a sea turtle.
4. GATLINBURG SKYLIFT PARK
The biggest attraction here is the Smoky Mountains, so getting a great vantage point for mountain views is top priority. Let SkyLift Park’s iconic lift chairs float you up the mountain, then stroll the SkyBridge--the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America! Walk the new SkyTrail, an elevated boardwalk hugging the mountainside above the clouds. Visit at night for sparkling lights along the bridge and glowing views of Gatlinburg below.
5. GATLINBURG SPACE NEEDLE
Glide in a glass elevator 400 feet straight up, to the Space Needle viewing platform. Incredible vistas stretch 360 degrees around you! Try to spot your favorite attractions below. The Space Needle entertains at ground level, too, with 30,000 square feet of games and simulators, and the Iris Theater’s magic and mindreading show to astound you. Stop at Slice Pizza Bakery for Italian food to fuel your good times.