11 Things to Do in Gatlinburg, TN (2023 Update!)

Eleven Exciting Things to Do In Gatlinburg Tennessee!

Hello and welcome to my article on great things to do in Gatlinburg. Luckily there was a great mix of indoor and outdoor activities so you will be able to find something fun to do no matter what the weather might be like. I’ll give you the website and Yelp page of every one of these attractions so you can check them out yourselves. And I’ll also let you know any time they accept our convenient digital GiftYa gift cards.

What makes the digital format of GiftYa so convenient is that it allows you to buy and send them wirelessly in seconds. So there is never any worry about it getting lost in the mail. And as an added bonus the digital format keeps track of the balance for the recipient so they won’t even have to do any math to keep track of their balance.

But enough about GiftYa, let’s get to those fun things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee that you came here for!

1 - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

One of Our Nation’s Most Beloved National Parks

107 Park Headquarters Rd | Gatlinburg | nps.gov

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a lot like our other big national parks. You can expect the park to be massive at over 500,000 acres! And in that massive expanse you can expect to see all sorts of beautiful and lush forest as well as wild flowers that bloom throughout the year. But like many of the parks, the expansive nature of it isn’t laid out so well on trail makers. 

My biggest advice if you are going to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is either do a guided tour of the park with a tour company (this will ensure you see all the best parts of the park in a time efficient manner) or plan to spend a couple of days exploring on your own. There are all sorts of fantastic hiking trails and gorgeous scenery to snap a photo in front of. Overall, if you are in Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains aren’t on your itinerary, I’m afraid you haven’t planned a very wise trip. Definitely give the park a visit!

“We rented a side by side and drove through the park all day, such a neat experience! It was our first time visiting the park and now we can't wait to come back. There's no shortage of places to explore.” - Yelp Review 

2 - Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg

Great Frightening Indoor Event That’s Great for the Fall

424 River Rd | Gatlinburg | gatlinburgsmysteriousmansion.com

The Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg is the area's oldest haunted house. And in all practicality it’s basically an Addams Family house. It’s a three story turn of the century haunted mansion that you will need to navigate your way through using secret staircases and passages.

There’s another haunted house a bit further down the list, but I think this one is much more frightening and would recommend it for anybody who wants to do a haunted house and doesn’t have young children with them.

“Was so excited to go in! Though I was even more excited to get out. Lol! Definitely a lot more scary than I expected, but I was so happy we did it. If you want a scare of your life MOST DEFINITELY come here!! Whoever was the person scarring us did a fantastic job! We'll h” - Yelp Review 

3 - Grotto Falls

One of the Most Popular Hikes In the Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Roaring Fork Rd | Gatlinburg | hikinginthesmokys.com

Grotto Falls is one of the most popular hiking trails to go on at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. And there’s a few reasons for that. First of all, the hike isn’t particularly strenuous so it is a great option for hikers of any age or skill level. But in addition to that, it also takes you on one of the most scenic paths through the park, and at the end of the scenic trail you will be greeted with a beautiful waterfall. So if you love to see beautiful natural features out in nature, be sure to give this hike a look when you are in Gatlinburg next!

“The Grotto Falls trail is a relatively easy hike with a gorgeous waterfall that you can walk behind. I've hiked it twice and the only thing is that it can get a little slippery in spots if there has been rain. I highly highly recommend getting there early because the parking for Grotto Falls off the Roaring Forks Motor Trail is incredibly limited.” - Yelp Review 

4 - Dave & Buster’s

A Great Indoor Group Activity With Food & Booze

Grab a Dave & Buster’s gift card by following the link!

1554 Pkwy | Sevierville | daveandbusters.com

I imagine most of you out there are fairly familiar with the concept of Dave & Buster’s. I mean it’s basically a grown up Chuck E Cheese. But for those of you who don’t know, Dave & Buster’s is a great place to get food, drinks, and play fun arcade games. It makes for a fun night out that breaks up the monotony of the same thing you get at every old bar. Here at least you can eat good food and play games while you enjoy your drinks. 

“This was my first time visiting a Dave and busters and it was fun! The drinks are over over priced (no one is surprised though right) games are well maintained. Was not crowded on Columbus Day which was nice- no wait for anything.” - Yelp Review 

You can grab a convenient Dave & Buster’s gift card that’ll keep you from spending too much on your debit card when you are drinking and having fun following the link!

5 - Clingmans Dome

Difficult Half Mile Hike In Exchange For Incredible Views

Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Uninc Sevier | nps.gov

Clingmans Dome is another great hike you can go on in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. At this one though you will park your car and then be expected to hike half a mile up a pretty steep hill. Luckily the path is paved, but this might not be the best stop for those with very young children or elderly people in their party.

But for those of you who can make the half mile hike up the hill, you will be rewarded with absolutely breathtaking views. I can only post the one photo to sell it, but I highly recommend you take a look at the pictures posted in the Yelp reviews to get a much better idea of the treat you are in for here!

“We really enjoyed it. We waited til our daughter was old enough to make the walk herself. We didn't want to push a stroller up. The walk up is definitely an incline. Made it up without stopping. Made it up without stopping.” - Yelp Review 

6 - Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster

Small Park Home to Gatlinburg's Most Exhilarating Rides


386 Pkwy | Gatlinburg | rowdybearmountain.com

Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster is pretty much exactly what you might expect. It is a small amusement park in Gatlinburg that features a couple of fun coasters. It features North America’s first flying shootout coaster, and the famous Avalanche Snow Coaster. But if rides aren’t enough to entice you you can also enjoy their year round outdoor tubing hill, check the playground, and even give ax throwing a try. Overall Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster makes for a fun afternoon with family or friends for a reasonable price!

“This place was awesome. I've been on a couple mountain coasters and this one was good, especially for younger kids. It wasn't as intense as others but still a fun time. They also have a zip line sort of ride and axe throwing which I really enjoyed. Overall, great experience, would definitely go again.” - Yelp Review 

7 - Anakeesta

Tennessee's Award Winning Theme Park

576 Pkwy | Gatlinburg | anakeesta.com

Located above, and in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, you can find Anakeesta. The state’s award winning theme park. The name of the park literally translates to “the place of high ground” which is very fitting because the park is located on a 70-acre mountain over 600 feet above the city.

The owner’s of the park aim to create a different experience from your usual theme park and it attracts over 14 million guests annually. You can enjoy hiking, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and rides to fill your day with excitement at Anakeesta!

“It was amazing and the burgers where bussin bussin and the ski lift is super fun going up I was going to like drop a rock to see how long it took to go down” - Yelp Review 

8 - Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

Breathtaking Views of the Great Smoky Mountains

765 Pkwy | Gatlinburg | gatlinburgskylift.com

The Gatlinburg SkyLift is where you are going to find the absolute best views of the Gatlinburg area and the Great Smoky Mountains as well. At almost 700 feet long the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is North America’s longest pedestrian cable car bridge. And you get to experience the whole trip with a glass bottom cable car carrying you up the mountainside. 

For me personally standing on top of a small glass pane while up in the air doesn’t sound like a blast, but for those of you who are into such an idea, you are going to have to pay a pretty penny out of pocket. It’s about $32 per person, so maybe check out some photos before you dedicate to this one, yeah?

“The view is worth the cost. We had a great time walking the bridge.  The views are unbelievable.  There was a nice fire which was nice since it was a cool morning when we took the trip to the top” - Yelp Review 

9 - Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf

Fun Mini-Golf Course Great For All Ages

Grab a Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf gift card by following the link!

188 Pkwy | Gatlinburg | ripleys.com

This is a fun little mini golf course you can find in Gatlinburg. The nice thing about it is that they steer into the Great Smoky Mountains being nearby and decorated the whole course with a great outdoorsy rustic kind of feel. It’s nothing too extravagant, but for a full afternoon at a mini-golf course, you really aren’t going to be able to go wrong with Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Gold

“2 course options - ours had some nice shaded areas. Cute water wheel feature and some unique holes. $55ish for 3 people with no coupon. Free parking lot with plenty of room when we were there. Seemed a little nicer than some other mini golf places we passed.” - Yelp Review 

You can get a quick and convenient Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf gift card by following this link!

10 - Ripley’s Haunted Adventure

Great Indoor Event For the Fall/Halloween Season

Grab a Ripley’s Haunted Adventure gift card by following the link!

908 Pkwy | Gatlinburg | ripleys.com

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is a haunted house that aims to take the idea up to the next level. They have live actors hired to work the large old mansion and they hide behind the corners to give you a fright. It’s not going to be knock your socks off scary, but it can be quite fun for young children. However, the kids do have to be at least six years old to enter because it’s considered a little too scary for kids that young! But for everybody between the ages of six and twelve, I suspect they’ll have a pretty good time here when you want to get indoors for a while on a cold autumn day. 

“A-OK. This is the typical Gatlinburg tourist trap but I'd still say it's pretty fun. This was actually my first time doing any sort of haunted house and I found it pretty interesting.” - Yelp Review 

You can get a Ripley’s Haunted Adventure gift card by following the link!

11 - Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Over 350 Individual Species At This Aquarium In Gatlinburg

Grab a Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies gift card by following the link!

88 River Rd | Gatlinburg | ripleyaquariums.com

There’s so many great things to do outdoors in Gatlinburg that it’s easy to forget about all the great indoor activities. And just like with the previous couple entries this is another one run by Ripley’s. They have a one of a kind aquarium that is great to do on a day when the weather outdoors isn't so great. To be honest, I’ve always found aquariums to be a bit more interesting than a zoo so if you have never been to one before, I highly recommend you check this one out!

“This is probably one of my favorite aquariums. It has just the right amount of stuff. The penguin parade was our favorite!!” - Yelp Review 

Grab a Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokes gift card for you or your loved ones by following the link!

And there you have it! A list of all the best things you can do in Gatlinburg for fun. I hope you found what you were looking for on this list. And if you are looking to have an extended stay in Gatlinburg be sure to check out our articles on great restaurants and great hotels in the area!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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