Things to do in
Gatlinburg

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Our most recommended things to do in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg: Zipline Canopy Tour

1. Gatlinburg: Zipline Canopy Tour

Admire the Great Smoky Mountains and the beautiful surrounding area from a unique perspective as you zip through treetops and sky bridges on guided ziplining activity. Feel the thrill of soaring over the forest canopy across 6 zip lines. Meet your guide at the outpost and get fitted with your helmet and harness. Receive a short safety briefing to ensure you are confident throughout the day's activities. Begin the adventure from atop a 60-foot start platform to marvel at great views of the Family Adventure Island. Pass over the Pigeon River, and enjoy the sight of the rushing water below. Become immersed in nature as you soar through the air on 6 zip lines and 2 sky bridges for a total of 2,400 feet in length. Keep a lookout for various species of flora and fauna below.

Pigeon Forge: Family-Friendly Floating Tour at the Smokies

2. Pigeon Forge: Family-Friendly Floating Tour at the Smokies

Cruise through the Smoky Mountains on this Pigeon River float for the whole family. Get up close to nature as you splash your way through laid-back rapids that require no previous experience. Get access to a 10-acre island with a nature trail, beanbag toss games, and a playground. Meet your guide at the outpost and get fitted with your helmet and life jacket. Listen as your guide provides you with a safety briefing to ensure you are confident throughout the whole experience. Head out to the Pigeon River and embark on your whitewater trip. Be escorted by your guide down 6 miles of this laid-back section of the river while having fun with your family amid gentle waves and bumpy splashes. Soak in spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon River Gorge. After your ride, enjoy the amenities at the rafting outpost which has a nature trail, beanbag toss games, and a playground at the water’s edge.

Gatlinburg: Haunted Ghost Tour

3. Gatlinburg: Haunted Ghost Tour

Gatlinburg is known as the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains, however, the city was not always a beautiful and unique tourist mecca. On this 1-hour walking tour, you will uncover the real story behind Gatlinburg’s rough frontier town origins, as well as its complicated and terrifying modern ghostly encounters. Just underneath the idyllic mountain town surface lies a deep and dark history that most tourists never think to explore. Alongside ordinary tourist trappings like the Skylift, mini gold mines, and chain restaurants are compelling haunted locations that push the boundaries of what you may or may not believe. Along the tour discover the storied history of one of the oldest graveyards in the state. Listen in horror to the tales of murder, suicide, jealousy, revenge, and everything in between. Gatlinburg’s glossy exterior may be able to fool some of the people who visit the town, but you will be helped to understand the horror on which this town was built.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discover why it’s the most visited National Park in the country. Buckle up and prepare for a deep dive into the most famous stretch of the Appalachians. Enjoy a flexible route that allows you to take all the time you need to admire the timeless wonders of the mountains. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Drive through the scenic mountains and hear all about parts of Cherokee history, like the ancient Cherokee monarchy and the revolutionaries who fought against it. Get detailed accounts of Cherokee ancestral legends, from the great buzzard who shaped the Smoky Mountains from clay to the witch whose droplets of blood bloom into stalks of corn. Experience animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. Be pointed towards some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the park. Gaze at the majestic Rainbow Falls, the breath-taking 360-degree views atop Clingmans Dome, and hear about the deep-rooted history of the Elys Mill. Learn about the complex flora and fauna which call the mountains home. Get to know the creatures of Cades Cove and learn how wildfires form an integral part of the vast and interconnected ecosystem. As you drive, audio stories will automatically pop up and start playing, allowing you to keep your attention on the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Pigeon Forge: French Broad River and Lake Helicopter Trip

5. Pigeon Forge: French Broad River and Lake Helicopter Trip

Join a helicopter tour and fly alongside the French Broad River, across Douglas Dam and along the western shore picturesque Douglas Lake. As the flight turns southwest, see the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance, but it doesn’t end there. The tour continues southward and over the Sevierville and Dollywood areas. As you climb in altitude, you’ll follow the terrain up to the crest of Cove Mountain at the national park boundary line where you’ll be met with unbeatable views of the Wears Valley area. Continuing along the edge of Wears Valley, travel northbound between Pigeon Forge and the rolling foothills of the Smoky Mountains as you return to the heliport.

Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

6. Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

Experience the haunting vision of the Great Smoky Mountains, where colorful fog-rich forests surround majestic Appalachian peaks in Tennessee’s renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the thrilling, the dazzling, the absurd, the historic, and the adventurous with the Sightseeing Flex Pass, your all access pass to top attractions and tours throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the scenic Smokies. Take advantage of full admission to attractions and save up to 30% of total visitation costs. Let the Smoky Mountain Sightseeing Flex Pass take you into the great outdoors and see the natural splendor up close and personal: select between a 3 Attractions or a 5 Attractions Pass and choose what you want to enjoy when you arrive. Coast down whitewater in the Smoky Mountain Rafting. Turn a hike into the extreme with sights from the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Ride. Have your breath taken away from the top of Gatlinburg Space Needle. Partner Tennessee’s exciting outdoor marvels with family-friendly and group-friendly attractions. Play around at the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum or Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud. Learn the fascinating history of the world’s most famous tragic transatlantic ocean liner at the Titanic Museum Attraction, then catch a dazzling magic show at Wonderworks. Top Attractions Best of Smoky Mountain Special Tour - Rocky Top Tours Escape Game Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountain Rafting - Upper Pigeon River Titanic Attraction Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud Dolly’s Rags to Riches - Rocky Top Tours Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Gatlinburg Pinball Museum Rainforest Adventure Zoo Smoky Mountain Rafting - Lower Pigeon River Wonderworks - All Access The Best of Three Cities Tour - Rocky Top Tours Wonderworks

Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

7. Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains at your own pace with a self-guided and self-driving tour. Hike to Alum Cave, enjoy a panoramic view from Charles Overlook, and discover Cades Coves from the comfort of your own car. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one.. Drive to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to start your journey. After exploring the Visitor Center, head past the Mingus Mill, a remnant of a once-thriving town. As you drive to Beech Flats Quiet Walkway, hear accounts of the Cherokee people who once lived here. Learn about their legends and their struggle to hold onto their land. Once you arrive, enjoy a meditative stroll through nature. Hop back into your car and head to Charles Webb Overlook, which offers a panoramic view of the park. Once you’ve snapped some stunning photos, continue toward Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, for more unparalleled views of the mountains. Continue to the trail for Alum Cave, one of the most popular hikes in the park. If you wish, take the moderate 4.4-mile roundtrip trail for beautiful panoramas and fascinating rock formations. After your hike, drive to Chimney Tops Overlook, offering more stunning mountain views. Next, enjoy an easy wilderness walk at Balsam Point. As you continue past yet another incredible vista and another secluded walkway, hear little-known park history. Jump back in your car and drive towards Gatlinburg, stopping on the way to check out the pristine Cataract Falls. In Gatlinburg, pass the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Drive past Ogle Place, an old-timey homestead dating back to the 1800s, before arriving at Rainbow Falls. Continue your drive past several more waterfalls and the historic cabins of Ephraim Bales and Reagan Tub, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. Finally, finish your Great Smoky National Park tour with a visit to the old Ely’s Mill, which is still in operation today. Start the second part of your combination tour, discovering Cades Coves, just west of Gatlinburg. From there, continue west toward the scenic loop. The first landmark on your route is John Oliver Place, once home to some of the first homesteaders to make a living here. After that, pass 3 churches dating back to the 1800s and uncover the devastating impact of the Civil War on this community. Drive to Elijah Oliver Place, a beautifully-preserved homestead offering an authentic look at early pioneer life. If you wish to stretch your legs, hike to Abrams Falls, a secluded, powerful waterfall. Next, drive to Tipton Place. Finally, reach the Carter Shields Cabin, another idyllic homestead from a bygone era. Finish your tour at the start of the loop as you hear about the last family to call the cove home.

Pigeon Forge: Helicopter Tour of Gatllinburg

8. Pigeon Forge: Helicopter Tour of Gatllinburg

Climb aboard a helicopter and admire Gatlinburg from a new vantage point. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of downtown Sevierville, the Pigeon Forge Parkway, and downtown Gatlinburg on your way towards one of Tennessee’s highest mountains, Mount LeConte. As you fly over the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, your pilot will provide you with information about iconic landmarks and things to do such as Dollywood, Gatlinburg Sky Bridge, Gatlinburg Space Needle, Anakeesta, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. You'll be able to capture fantastic photos throughout to help you remember this unique experience.

From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

9. From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

With your hands on your camera and your guide’s hands on the steering wheel, head toward a road where tour busses can’t go. The heavily forested Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a single lane road.  Along the way you’ll learn of the hardwood forest in the Smoky Mountains. A narrow, paved path through chestnut oak, white oak, magnolia, maple and tulip trees take you to the pinnacle, where stops at overlooks give you striking views. Historic structures dot the road’s edges. This was the American Frontier in the 1830s and 1840s.  From Roaring Fork, it’s one last pass through Gatlinburg on the way to a thrilling off-roading ride through a trail on private land. Your professional guide has been expertly trained to give you an experience unlike any other in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Pigeon Forge: Smoky Mountains Rope Obstacle Course Adventure

10. Pigeon Forge: Smoky Mountains Rope Obstacle Course Adventure

Embark on an adventurous high ropes course in the treetops surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains near Hartford. Each course has a series of fun and challenging activities that wind their way through the treetops — it all gets wobblier, longer, and more challenging as you progress. Don your full-body harness, attach yourself to an overhead belay cable with ropes and carabiners, and work through each of the obstacle courses at your own pace. Leap, grab, and pull through the first levels to build confidence, working your way up to the more difficult courses. Challenge your personal boundaries in the breathtaking scenery at the Outpost’s Family Adventure Island, with a view of the Pigeon River and the Great Smoky Mountains as your backdrop. There’s something here for everyone, from first-timers who enjoy a more laid-back adventure to experienced enthusiasts.

Frequently asked questions about Gatlinburg

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What people are saying about Gatlinburg

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 9 reviews

We really enjoyed the narration, great history to the entire park. I wish they did this for other N.P. There were a couple times the narration cut off and started a new area, but you can go back on the app to complete that area.

Such a fun experience! Our guide Duane was so knowledgeable and easy to talk with. We had a blast learning about the haunted history of Gatlinburg. Highly recommend this tour!

Tour guide was very friendly and knowledgable. We had a great time. Great value for the money.

The tour was excellent and our guide was knowledgeable and friendly.

So knowledgeable and interesting! I absolutely loved it.