Situated in Tennessee along the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are not only a launching point for outdoor adventures within the park, but also destinations in and of themselves. From taste-testing your way through breweries and distilling companies to family-friendly thrills of well-loved amusement parks such as Dollywood, there’s something for every traveler. Be sure to add these top 5 tourist attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to your itinerary!
Sugarlands Distilling Company
Situated in downtown Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Distilling Company offers more than a product sampling – visiting their distinct barn-style distillery is an experience in itself. Tour the stillhouse and enjoy seasonal samples complete with tasting notes and cocktail ideas. They also offer a blended cocktails tour that includes two hand-crafted cocktails perfect for experiencing the ways you can bring Sugarlands products to your own kitchen. Sugarlands is known for its award-winning moonshine, which comes in a signature jar worth saving. They even boast unique flavors such as maple bacon and peanut butter and jelly moonshine, along with traditional southern influenced favorites such as sweet tea and lemonade. Grab your favorites to be enjoyed later from the comfort of your Gatlinburg vacation rental!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
It may come as a surprise that landlocked Tennessee is home to a high-quality aquarium, but Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is considered top-notch! When you’re ready for a break from the outdoors, this family-friendly destination offers over 350 species of sea creatures to observe, along with a handful of interactive experiences that are sure to delight the kids. Experience the moving walkway that takes you through an underwater tunnel, where you feel as if you’re a part of this underwater habitat as sharks, tarpons, sea turtles, giant stingrays, and sawfish surround. Kids will love the shallow lagoon where they can touch and interact with rays. The penguin playhouse is another favorite, where access tunnels provide unique viewpoints into their habitat, both above and under the water.
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Soak in a bird’s eye view of Gatlinburg and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains from the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. With iconic yellow chairs that have been whisking people to fabulous views for nearly 70 years, the SkyLift Park is a Gatlinburg icon. Newer on the scene is the thrilling SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Located at the top of the SkyLift, the SkyBridge extends nearly 700 feet across a deep valley. Adding to the thrill, a section of the bridge is made with a glass panel floor, so the views completely surround – even from below! Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and SkyBridge provide an excellent chance to soak up those panoramic views of the mist-shrouded Smokies.
Heralded as one of the world’s top theme parks, a visit to Dollywood offers an experience for every kind of traveler. From entertaining shows to thrilling rides, each visit can be tailored to specific interests. Their event schedule has a robust lineup of music, theater, and holiday shows that change with the seasons. In the amusement park, rides range from kiddie rides for the littlest adventurers to coasters that will thrill even the biggest riders. When the weather is warm, cool off at Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park with a scream-inducing drop-down Fire Tower Falls or a leisurely float down the lazy river.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Known as America’s most-visited National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a popular excursion option for those visiting the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. From driving to scenic lookouts that require little more than parking and soaking in the views to embarking on hikes that make their way through this vast terrain, there are many ways to experience Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For those who would prefer to explore on foot, Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations within the park’s bounds. This 80-foot cascade can be reached via Laurel Falls Trail, which is a 2.6-mile round trip trek. This moderate hike is a great way to glimpse what exploring deeper into the park beholds!
Whether you’re planning on exploring the meandering trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park or wining and dining your way through its bordering mountain towns, the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas offer a great vacation destination. Be sure to add these top 5 tourist attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to your itinerary to enjoy all the best of the area! Also, be sure to browse our beautiful Gatlinburg holiday vacation rentals today!