Gatlinburg vacation spots are very popular among US travelers. Although this town in eastern Tennessee is relatively small, with about 3,800 residents, it’s a terrific vacation resort and the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park, which also extends into western North Carolina, and all its beauty comprise a protected area with an abundance of attractions for nature-lovers and anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. The miles of hiking trails winding through the mountains, beautiful waterfalls cascading over clear rock-lined creeks, lakes for fishing or canoeing, numerous species of wildlife, and an array of plant and tree species make it one of the most scenic and most frequently visited parks in the US.
Gatlinburg, located along US Highway 441, is most popular in the summer, when the temperatures are at their warmest, and the fall, as this region is known as one of the prettiest spots for fall foliage tours. It’s a great family vacation destination as well, with lots of things to do in Gatlinburg with kids, including the Wild Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, among others.
In addition to exploring the park itself, sightseeing in and around the city provides an ideal way to see the many Gatlinburg vacation spots. Restaurants, shopping, specialty shops, and arts and crafts shops are all within walking distance in downtown Gatlinburg. Guided tours are another option to be sure you see all of the interesting places Gatlinburg has to offer. Other things of interest in Gatlinburg include the Hollywood Wax Museum, Guinness World Records Museum, annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, and local businesses providing whitewater rafting and horseback riding excursions.
Gatlinburg vacation spots include something for everyone any time of the year. At the Ober Gatlinburg ski resort, wintertime is fun time as you choose between eight slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier, Ober Gatlinburg has a slope to fit every skill level. The resort also has an indoor ice-skating rink to enjoy regardless of the weather outside, and you can top off your day with a delicious meal at the resort’s restaurant or before heading out to the slopes.
Whenever you go, there are many Gatlinburg vacation tips when it comes to accommodations. Some travelers prefer staying at one of the quality hotels located along Little Pigeon River in the city while others choose secluded cabin rentals in forested areas or chalets perched on a mountainside with panoramic views for miles around. Whatever your preference, plan ahead of time and make your reservations early, especially during the busy season. You can also look for hotels in Pigeon Forge, which is just seven miles outside Gatlinburg, and has many great hotels and things to do of its own.
If your vacation is during the winter and you plan to drive, several Gatlinburg vacation tips to consider when arriving by car, truck, or SUV, is to have snow tires on the vehicle. Ice and snow, as well as heavy fog, are dangerous on any roads, so be sure to plan ahead. If you’re visiting in the summer, you may encounter thunderstorms or tornadoes, but the warm temperatures mean the roads are otherwise safe.