Think back to the days when you first discovered the call of the wild—was it a childhood summer camp? A family vacation? Maybe you’ve only recently stumbled across the simple pleasures of a crackling campfire, a star-filled sky or a quiet hike along a forested trail. The Mountains Are Calling™ once again, and this time, you’ll discover your next great adventure is waiting for you in Gatlinburg.
Nestled on the cusp of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee, Gatlinburg is the gateway to endless outdoor activities. Pull on your hiking boots to explore the park’s 850 miles of trails, or pack up your family in the car for a gorgeous drive through old-growth forests along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail or Cades Cove loop. Keep your eyes open for wildlife; the park is home to white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and even an estimated 1,500 black bears.
During the winter, Gatlinburg transforms into a picturesque holiday scene, glittering with millions of lights during Smoky Mountain Winterfest. Soar above the snow-dusted forests on one of America’s largest aerial tramways to reach Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort.
In 2017, discover even more adventures. The Rowdy Bear Mountain opens spring 2017, featuring two exciting rides: Rowdy Bear Mountain Glider (the first mountain glider in the world) and Rowdy Bear Coaster, a gravity-propelled ride that winds through the forest. In summer 2017, hop on the “Chondola” to ride 600 feet above the Parkway all the way up to Anakeetsa, a treehouse-themed attraction boasting 70 acres of family fun, including zip lining, shopping, a roller coaster and a treetop canopy walk.
After your outdoor pursuits, explore charming downtown Gatlinburg, where more than 50 attractions appeal to visitors of all ages. The pedestrian-friendly area makes it easy to park your car and then leisurely stroll or ride the trolley to get around. Marvel at an underwater world at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and be sure to see the new exhibit, Pearl Harbor, featuring hands-on exhibits and interactive technology.
When you’re wondering where to eat, take your pick from mouthwatering meals: sauce-slathered barbecue, juicy steaks, handmade pizzas, and even fluffy pancakes made with stone-ground flour from the nearby mill. We also have an impressive lineup of local craft breweries, scenic wineries and Appalachian-style distilleries (yes, we’re talking moonshine).
Seeking local arts and culture? Browse the galleries and artist studios of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, the largest group of independent artisans in the country. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Tennessee fight song “Rocky Top,” when you visit the very place it was written: the historic Gatlinburg Inn. Or explore history and heritage when you stroll through downtown to see the new Civil War marker or when you venture to the many historic sites in the area.
The first step of planning your upcoming mountain adventure is finding the perfect base camp, so book a room at a cozy cabin, rustic chalet, family-friendly resort or romantic bed and breakfast—there are plenty to choose from. Find even more information on Gatlinburg.com, or order your free Gatlinburg Vacation Guide.
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