The summer season in the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most popular times of the year, as it welcomes long days filled with outdoor recreation and family-friendly fun. Whether you’re out to discover the best local hiking trail or explore everything Gatlinburg and nearby Pigeon Forge have to offer, you’ll find you have much to do.
The number of activities you can do on summer vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains is nearly endless, and there’s something for all vacationers to enjoy, whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or a certified relaxation expert. Besides marking the gateway to the enchanting land of the Smokies, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer a delicious local culinary scene with lots of excellent dining choices—especially for outdoor dining. Check out our list of the best summer outdoor dining in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge below!
Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina
This themed restaurant can be found right in downtown Gatlinburg, with an elevated roof patio that has excellent views of the Gatlinburg Space Needle and the mountains beyond. Here you can sip on a margarita and snack on chips and salsa to terrific views in a festive atmosphere. With a menu full of all the classics—burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and more, there’s something for everyone on their extensive menu of Tex-Mex cuisine.
You can find Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina at 735 Parkway #1, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, or give them a call at 865-430-5624.
This restaurant is located in the Anakeesta mountain top theme park in Gatlinburg but deserves a mention as its cliff-top patio offers unbeatable views of the Smokies. Here you can find traditional steakhouse fare with sweeping views of the mountains, and you can occasionally find live music as well. USDA Choice steaks, gourmet burgers, house-made salads, and a selection of mouthwatering desserts make this spot a great choice any time of the year, but the patio is especially magical in the summer.
You can find the park at 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, and call Cliff Top with any questions at 865-325-2400.
Crystelle Creek Restaurant
This charming Gatlinburg restaurant can be found just outside of town on Highway 321, situated alongside a bubbling creek with a beautiful outside patio. Serving up a selection of steaks and other savory American-inspired dishes, you can dine on one of two levels, and stop to admire the twinkling lights and koi pond on your way out. The sunset views are particularly gorgeous! This is definitely one of the best locations for outdoor dining in Gatlinburg!
You can find Crystelle Creek Restaurant at 1654 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, or call them at 865-430-1551.
The Casual Pint
This trendy spot is located in Pigeon Forge, along the main strip of Highway 321. It’s a great stop after a day of exploring local attractions and theme parks and offers a polished atmosphere with modern touches. This joint is family-friendly and offers a kid’s menu, as well as daily happy hour specials. Offering a selection of brews both locally made and those imported from around the world, you’ll be sure to enjoy an afternoon underneath an umbrella out on their patio, watching the hustle and bustle of the street outside.
You can find The Casual Pint at 2905 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, or call them with any questions at 865-428-2525.
Located at The Island entertainment center Pigeon Forge, this spot offers a cozy patio in a lodge-style space. Take a seat amongst the foliage and take in the latest game on one of their outdoor TVs, watching The Great Smoky Mountain Ferris Wheel go around. Here you’ll find American-style bites, cold brews, and a cocktail list to keep you busy as you kick back and relax in the nice weather. Start with a soup or salad, and when it comes to entrees you can choose from an assortment of burgers, sandwiches, steak, ribs, brisket, and signature dishes.
You can find Timberwood Grill at 131 The Island Drive #1101, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, or call them at 865-286-0600.
Reserve Your Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge Summer Vacation Rental with Us Today!
At Great Smoky Mountains Cabin Rentals, we pride ourselves on offering some of the finest accommodations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. From secluded mountain homes with private pools to cozy cabin-like properties with hot tubs with a view, we have it all in our portfolio of high-quality homes. If you’d like to learn more about our amazing summer vacation rentals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, give our friendly team a call today at 865-328-1943!
Vacationing in Gatlinburg, TN has a way of sweeping you up and keeping you in the moment. Whether you’re admiring the mist-shrouded Great Smoky Mountains, creating memories with family-friendly activities, or exploring the attractions of downtown Gatlinburg, it’s easy for meals to go by the wayside. Instead of settling for the quickest option, be sure to set aside some time to explore Gatlinburg’s ever-emerging culinary scene. From quintessential pancake houses to homecooked southern dishes and international fare, Gatlinburg’s dining scene offers it all. Plan to purposefully refuel at these top casual dining in Gatlinburg spots!
Log Cabin Pancake House
Don’t let the sheer number of breakfast joints in Gatlinburg detract you from hitting up one of the best pancake joints in town. You can’t miss Log Cabin Pancake House, with its large, covered wagon serving as a sign over the old-fashioned log building. Before you can even make it onto the welcoming front porch, you’ll likely be stopped by a long line of hungry patrons streaming from the door. Don’t let this deter you – the line tends to move fast, and the extra wait time will allow you to ramp up your appetite in preparation for their hearty menu options. Go for the traditional favorites such as their cornmeal or buckwheat pancakes or cater to your sweet tooth with an order of the pancake royale, topped with banana slices and a house cream cheese sauce. Eggs, biscuits, and waffles are just a few of the other breakfast offerings at Log Cabin Pancake House.
Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Indulge in finger-licking good BBQ at Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que. This locally owned and operated restaurant serves up slow-smoked ribs, beef, chicken, sausage, and pork accompanied by their homemade BBQ sauce. The atmosphere is casual, with red and white checkered tablecloths and plenty of napkins to catch all that sauce. From appetizers such as deep-fried pickle chips and onion straws to homemade peach or blackberry cobbler for dessert, the Bennett’s menu has got you covered from start to finish. Dinner entrees come with the choice of hearty sides such as BBQ beans, deep fried corn, and spicy mac n cheese. The BBQ beef brisket is a favorite here, whether you opt for it in sandwich form or sliced on a platter. And for the diner who wants to try it all, the Texan Sampler provides the chance, with a generous portion of pulled pork, beef brisket, hog leg, chicken, and baby back ribs. This is definitely one of the best dining in Gatlinburg spots to visit!
Smoky Mountain Brewery
Enjoy your meal alongside a local brew at Smoky Mountain Brewery. Their micro brewed beer and casual atmosphere make this a great stop after a grueling day hike or a day of skiing. Meals are served in baskets lined with black and white checkered paper at Smoky Mountain Brewery, and the service is friendly. Their soft pretzels served with hot beer cheese dip are a favorite way to start off a meal. For mains, you’ll find an assortment of wings, burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas. For families or groups, this is a great place to order a pizza or two to share. They offer several unique options, including the buffalo chicken pizza, topped with blue cheese crumbles, onions, and chicken tossed in their sweet and spicy thunder road sauce. Wash it all down with a local microbrew, which they handcraft in small batches. Enjoy your favorite onsite in a pint or 33 oz super mug, or order some to go in a bottle, growler, mini keg, 1/3 keg, or keg.
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
Named for David C. “Crocket” Maples, known for his military service in the area as well as his penchant for feeding home cooked breakfasts to hungry travelers and guiding people through the area’s rugged mountains, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is a Gatlinburg mainstay. A large wooden statue of Crocket welcomes you into this casual breakfast eatery, where you’ll find a nice variety of breakfast options. Crockett’s is known for their perfectly sweet and gooey cinnamon rolls, so even if you prefer not to start your day on such a sweet note, you won’t regret ordering one to be enjoyed later. Their menu offers a variety of items from the griddle, as well as hearty breakfast platters, omelets, grits, and benedicts. All of their egg dishes are served with a delicious side of sweet corn pone as well as an additional side. For a hearty start to the day, opt for the steak and eggs or the 3-egg grande burrito stuffed with chorizo. Wash it all down with a glass of freshly squeezed juice or a bottomless cup of coffee to power through the day!
Still in search of accommodations for your Gatlinburg getaway? Check out our Gatlinburg cabins, which offer the perfect balance between a getaway in nature as well as easy access to Gatlinburg’s best restaurants.