Gatlinburg Travel Guide

  • Gatlinburg
    by skipbourque
  • Smoky Mountains
    Smoky Mountains
    by monica71
  • Biltmore Estate
    Biltmore Estate
    by monica71

Gatlinburg Highlights

  • Pro
    VolsUT profile photo

    VolsUT says…

     Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains 

  • Con
    vhasouth profile photo

    vhasouth says…

     In the Fall the traffic and crowds can be overwhelming 

  • In a nutshell
    AVG2319 profile photo

    AVG2319 says…

     Natural Beauty surronds a giant tourist trap,which is ok if you want that kind of trip :-) 

Gatlinburg Things to Do

  • Taste the moonshine

    Fun for the over 21 crowd. Tiny cups of a wide variety of flavors with entertainment by lively employees who encourage you to give it a try. Hesitant tasters may be pleasantly surprised and even find an flavor to take home.Take time to look around and see if you can get to the corner tasting booth where its more one-on-one.

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  • Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

    My husband was going for a hike, and I decided to stay behind. I had seen the museum before on previous trips to Gatlinburg, and it sounded like a hoot, so I decided to check it out.You pay a $3 admission (kids under 12 are free) at the front counter, then an elderly lady gives you a short orientation. As it turns out, the museum houses her private...

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  • Cades Cove

    Cades Cove is a one-way, 11-mile paved loop within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which showcases many historic buildings from the 1800's. Many open areas make for great wildlife viewing, including deer, black bear, wild turkey, and boar. Be warned - during the high tourist season, this loop can take up to FOUR HOURS to complete.Along the...

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Gatlinburg Hotels

See all 120 Hotels in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Restaurants

  • Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg

    The Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg, TN is the only Cafe with a wedding chapel (the rotunda in back with wedding photos of John Lennon & Elvis Presley can be closed off for privacy), so it was fitting my new husband and I would come here on our honeymoon. I love the HRC, and always make a point of visiting if my travels take me near one. We didn't eat...

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  • Hungry Bear BBQ

    Really good BBQ, just outside of the Greenbriar entrance to the park - we could smell it as we pulled up (always a good sign!). The pulled pork I had was perfect - very moist. My husband had the brisket, and he really enjoyed that. I did not care for the potato salad because it had onion in it (I don't care for raw onion), but I really liked the...

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  • Mexican in Gatlinburg

    No Way Jose's is a Mexican restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg right next to the Ripley's aquarium. Like most everything in Gatlinburg, it is crowded, over-priced, and difficult to find parking. But that's what you get in a tourist-trap town like Gatlinburg. Since there's only a dozen or so parking spots at the restaurant, you're best bet is the...

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Gatlinburg Nightlife

  • Running scams

    Beware of this place. The waitresses will ask you if you want to run a tab and if you say no thanks I'll pay as I go. They'll bring you the next round and not collect the money. I had to chase her down to pay and she said that I owned her for my whole tab. I said, no I don't, paid her for the pitcher and left. I guess I'm lucky that she didn't call...

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  • Puckers Sucks

    If you're in Puckers and your waitress doesn't wait on you, don't go to the bar to get your drinks or you'll get kicked out. Of course they call the cops prior to sending you out the door so they can get you for public intoxication. I guess Mayberry has to make their money some how! I would not step foot back into Puckers just because of the way we...

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  • Hard Rock Cafe

    We enjoy the Hard Rock Cafe because it has a family atmosphere where you can enjoy yourself with or without the Kids. Ours kids are grown now but they loved it when they traveled with us. They have large screen TV's that play great music videos. The music is loud but not so loud that you can't visit. It is busy late at night but you can go during...

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Gatlinburg Transportation

  • Jump on the trolley!

    If you choose not to drive from Pigeon Forge or any of the other areas surrounding Gatlinburg where youre staying and pay $5 for daily parking, why not opt for the trolley? Midway through the gateway to the park and downtown Gatlinburg, you will find a welcome center. Just beyond the parking lot of the welcome center, you will find a waiting area...

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  • Walking is best!!

    Gatlinburg has more tourists coming through daily than they have parking places. Staying on the strip is very helpful. Due to the influx of traffic, parking is difficult to say the least. Walking is a main mode of transportation while in Gatlinburg. The streets are well marked with Crossing lanes every few hundred feet. Cars are to stop for all...

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  • Transport is a nightmare

    Gatlingburg takes only 30 min. from the Interstate in Janurary but in the spring and summer can easily take 3 hours to reach!!If you are not a local and know the back ways then you will have a hard time getting there.

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Gatlinburg Shopping

  • Get some nice souvenirs at Biltmore...

    The shops at Biltmore Estate are a great stop for souvenirs. You can find anything you can think of, from the usual souvenirs to fine chocolates, art pieces and wines. It is really hard to choose what to get, so make sure you browse all the shops before buying something.

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  • Shop and help wildlife

    Cades Cove visitor center is a great place to stop by and buy some souvenirs. Every dollar you spend here goes towards maintaining the grounds and feeding the wildlife. There is a decent variety of souvenirs here and you will feel great knowing that your money goes towards a good cause! T-shirts, books, book markers, fridge magnets, etc

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  • Buying purses

    Sold knock off purses, it was not special it is a rip off. These shops are run by foreigners, and they pushed by two daughters to buy purses. One daughter left in tears not even wanting the purse, the other daughters purse was torn up by the time we got back to our room. We took it back and of course they have a small sign that says all purchases...

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Gatlinburg Local Customs

  • Miss Gatlinburg or never been there?

    Check the live streaming web cam of downtown Gatlinburg.The camera is directed towards Cherokee, NC.You can see the Chrismtas lights during the Winterfest, the parkway events and the current weather conditions.

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  • THE CROSSWALKS R THERE 4 A REASON!!!!

    Pedestrians in the crossing lanes DO HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY & NOT THE AUTOMOBILES!THESE CROSS WALKS ARE CLEARLY MARKED & ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PAY ATTENTION & RELIZE HERE YOU NEED TO YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS.

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  • Winterfest

    The Gatlinburg area holds a Winterfest every year that runs from Nov-Feb. The christmas lights are spectacular!!! They have hayrides, a christmas parade and a chili cook-off to kick it off every year!!!!! This year the chili cook-off is held on the 2nd of Nov. and the fest runs through Feb.28th.

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Gatlinburg Warnings and Dangers

  • Warning!! Gatlinburg!! They allow...

    Do not rent a house in Gatlinburg on ski mtn during the winter months!!! These homes are in the city limits and they allow Hillbillles to shoot the bears during BEAR Season from Oct-JAN! I am not kidding! I am a homeowner there and would love to rent my home, but due to the continued killing and shooting and tracking of these majestic bears, I will...

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  • Cabins of Gatlinburg; Lovers' Retreat

    BUYER BEWARE!!!The contract is all in favor of the rentor and not you the rentee!I only read it after I put it on my credit card. Read this and be forewarned. We rented the Lovers’ retreat on Whaley road, with no view at all. The fees and taxes are almost as much as the rent!!!!The contract says check in time is at 4:30 but they cannot guarantee...

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  • Cabins of Gatlinburg; Lovers' Retreat

    BUYER BEWARE!!!The contract is all in favor of the rentor and not you the rentee!I only read it after I put it on my credit card. Read this and be forewarned. We rented the Lovers’ retreat on Whaley road, with no view at all. The fees and taxes are almost as much as the rent!!!!The contract says check in time is at 4:30 but they cannot guarantee...

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Gatlinburg Tourist Traps

  • Old Town Gem Mine-It's a rip off

    644 Parkway #3, Gatlinburg, TN- The worker I spoke with seemed very nice as long as my friend and I were spending money and looking through a premade bucket of sand and stones. Then after I had "Jesse" look through the stones he offered to set some of them for me. I was unaware of the price and when I changed my mind he was completely RUDE to me...

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  • Downtown Gatlinburg - it IS a tourist...

    Pretty much everything in downtown Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and [part of] Sevierville are tourist traps. Gatlinburg has the Ober Gatlinburg tram system, the sky lift and its many museums and shops. Pigeon Forge is filled with shows and attractions such as Comedy Barn and the Black Bear Jamboree. Sevierville has the shopping outlets and Old McDonald...

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  • Forget the temporary tattoo !!

    I was conned out of $10 for a 2 week tattoo that was "professionally"(he had me put my foot up on his fan) applied by airbrush. The guy at one of those t-shirt stores on main street was a smooth talker, promising a beautiful long lasting tattoo that lasted about as long as it took for me to walk back to my hotel room. Save the $10 and get one of...

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Gatlinburg What to Pack

  • stay in a cabin in the mountains

    video games, pillow and blckets bathing suit, tenni shoes, swim shoes, tank tops and shorts Regular things you get ready for bed and in the morning and a first aid kit a camera or video camera to beautiful for nonpicture takers hat, and binoculars

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  • Gatlinburg Cabin Trips:packing in Early...

    A small backpack for shopping is great because you can carry your needed items along with a camera and any small gifts you buy. This is more convienent than carrying around a large purse or handbag. Besides if you are like me and need a purse to make your clothes one nuetral color back pack is great. It is very warm in early September. I went...

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  • Depends on the time of year.

    If you're staying for even a few days, you'll need a lot of different types of clothing, I've never even seen at least 5 days with the same weather. Clothes:Winter: Big warm coat and ski jacket, thick sweaters, long johns, light sweaters (for "warmer" days), long [waterproof] pants, comfortable boots (in case it snows) , umbrella (in case it...

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Gatlinburg Off The Beaten Path

  • Horseback riding --- up into the...

    I found this farm by accident back in 1998 when I stayed for a week by myself in a cabin. I got bored (imagine that) and wandered... til I found horseback riding! It's on the way into Dollywood, kind of off back by itself... follow the signs for horseback riding til ya get to the farm. You'll be taken on an hour long ride, past lakes & streams, up...

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  • rafting down the Pigeon River

    The Pigeon River, located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, offers breathtaking scenery and heart-stopping thrills! This magnificent river begins in North Carolina and continues through Tennessee. Our trip sure was an adventure, our guide Randy was just recovering from a couple of broken ribs and with his rib tickling humor he guided us thru a 2...

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  • Trek up to the Chimney Tops

    The hike to the summit of the Chimney Tops is accomplished in just a few miles, measuring in at just 2.0 miles one way, but it still presents quite a challenge. The first mile up is relatively easy, but the last mile, particularly the last section on the Chimneys themselves, can be taxing for some hikers—especially those with a fear of heights. We...

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Gatlinburg Sports & Outdoors

  • Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National...

    With nearly 900 miles of hiking trails and about 550,000 acre, there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to experience a wonderfull hoking experience in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Novice or proffessional, short hike or ovenight, easy or challenging, there are many trail to give you a magnificent experience. Many trails give you the...

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  • Mini Golf

    There are many places to play mini golf in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. We visited the mini golf place in Gatlinburg's Regan Terrace Mall. It is right on the strip but you play up the hill. You get some good views of the strip the higher you play!! It also has plaques with Gatlinburg's history along the holes. Nice place to play with the kids!!!!!

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  • Gatlinburg Hotels

    120 Hotels in Gatlinburg

    284 Reviews and Opinions

Gatlinburg Favorites

  • Bear at super 8 downtown gatlinburg

    I love Gatlinburg,Cant wait to go back next year ! You have to watch out for bears, we had one getting into the garbage 2 nights in a row at our hotel on Historic Nature Trail..This is the pic. I took at the super 8 downtown(convention center)

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  • Free booklets

    Brochures for tourists are free and plenty in Gatlinburg. Stop by one of the places/booths that have them on display and get as much information as you want about the area, places to stay, shows, attractions, etc.

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  • Donate something to preserve the beauty

    Donation boxes are all over the park. Make sure you drop some change in there. Remember that the rangers are volunteers and they do not get paid. All the money are being used to preserve the park and its beauty. I was really sad to see how many cars were passing by these donation boxes without making a donation. We were the only ones putting some...

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Explore Deeper into Gatlinburg
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Log Cabin Pancake House
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Unpleasant experience south of the border!
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Hike to Laurel Falls (GSMNP)
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Hike the Abrams Falls trail (GSMNP)
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Adventure Golf
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Ripley Aquarium of the Smokies
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Golfing on a smaller scale
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Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
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Ripley's Moving Theater
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Ripleys Believe it or Not
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Cades Cove
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Don't waste your time in this filthy place!
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Watch out for this one!!
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CABINSOFGATLINBURG - BEWARE!
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Ripley's Aquarium
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Great food in town
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Explore Gatlinburg
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Forbidden Caverns
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Chimney Tops
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Newfound Gap and Rockefeller Memorial
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Clingmans Dome
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Biltmore Estate: Antler Hill Village
Off The Beaten Path
Biltmore Estate: the sundial
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Biltmore Estate: River Bend Farm
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Bitlmore Estate Winery
Off The Beaten Path
Biltmore Estate Gardens
Off The Beaten Path
Biltmore Estate
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Hopkins House
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Cades Cove: Primitive Baptist Church
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Cades Cove: Cable Mill
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Cades Cove: Cane Mill and Molasses Furnace
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Map of Gatlinburg

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