The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an enchanting forest known for its waterfalls, wildflowers, autumn colors, and black bears. The mountains give a blue-colored mist that looks like smoke, which gave the area its name The Smokies. Sitting at the base of this stunning sanctuary is a town called Gatlinburg. If you’re backpacking, Elkmont Campground (https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232487) is a gorgeous place to set up camp. Backpackers will value the venture of LeConte Lodge (http://www.lecontelodge.com/), the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States. The lodge is on the peak of Mount Le Conte, elevating 6,594 ft., it’s the third tallest mountain in the park. Five hiking trails reach the summit ranging in lengths from 5.0 miles up to 9.1 miles. Gatlinburg has an endless list of outdoor activities to do beyond hiking such as ziplining, Gravity Coaster at Rowdy Bear Mountain, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, Dollywood’s Splash Country, the list goes on. Gatlinburg is a prize city for many interests.
Gatlinburg is a shopping experience that offers a wide range of boutiques, apparel, eateries, and galleries. The Village (http://thevillageshops.com/) has 27 isolated shops in the heart of Gatlinburg. A quiet, relaxing place The Village’s road is made of brick with moss as mortar. An appealing place to drink a coffee, or have a meal on the patio. Two great establishments to get some delicious candy are Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen (https://www.olesmokycandykitchen.com/) and Fudge Shoppe of the Smokies (https://www.fudgeshoppeofthesmokies.com/). The shops will lure you in as you watch the operation of making homemade taffy and fudge. Want to check out some well known Tennessee moonshine stop by Ole Smoky (https://olesmoky.com/) and taste some samples. The Park Vista (https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/gktpvdt-the-park-vista-gatlinburg/?SEO_id=GMB-DT-GKTPVDT) is a great place to stay. Sitting on top of a ridge, this hotel is one of a kind. Built as a cylinder, the hotel balconies give great views of The Smokies and Gatlinburg. The towering mountain behind Park Vista is Mount Le Conte.
Gatlinburg has a multitude of activities that easily keep the family captivated. Mini golf, laser tag, go-karts, haunted houses, museums, and various entertainment centers just to name a few. Anakeesta (https://www.anakeesta.com/) is a fun outdoor park for the whole family. Here you can zipline through the woods, ride the scenic gondola up Anakeesta Mountain, mine for gems, and much more. Museums like Ripley’s Believe It or Not (https://www.ripleys.com/gatlinburg/) and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/gatlinburg/), as well as the Gatlinburg Space Needle (https://www.gatlinburgspaceneedle.com/). During the Fall there are numerous haunted houses in the region. A popular one is the Gatlinburg Mysterious Mansion (http://gatlinburgsmysteriousmansion.com/). The town has boundless restaurants to please all preferences. In the mood for some seafood stop by LandShark Bar & Grill or Bubba Gump Shrimp, Co. Want a good steak to try The Peddler Steakhouse, and a well-known place for breakfast is Log Cabin Pancake House.
The list of experiences could continue for eternity. With so many things to do inside and outside, Gatlinburg is a hit and will leave you wanting to come back time and time again.