Top 5 Outdoor Activities in Gatlinburg TN for Your Vacation

view of downtown Gatlinburg

Spending time outside is one of the best parts about visiting the Smoky Mountain area. The views are incredible and the weather is great. Here’s a few of our favorite outdoor activities in Gatlinburg TN, so you can start planning your vacation today:

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Of course, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular place to spend time outside. There’s so much to see in the national park that the possibilities for your vacation are endless. There’s hundreds of hiking trails featuring historic sites, waterfalls, wildflowers and more. You can visit areas like Cades Cove for a walk through history, or you can take a bike ride around the Cades Cove Loop Road. If you’re looking for great views of the mountains, take the hike to the Clingmans Dome observation tower where you’ll experience 360-degree views of the mountains that stretch for miles and miles.

For more information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, click here.

2. Outdoor Shopping in Gatlinburg TN

Outdoor Shopping in Gatlinburg TNIf you want to do a little shopping outside while you’re in Gatlinburg, there’s hundreds of shops along the Gatlinburg Parkway, but we recommend taking a day to spend at the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. This area features the art of some of the best artists in the Smokies. The community even has a couple of really great local restaurants, so you won’t even have to go back to the Parkway to eat. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts because all of the items are so unique and truly represent the history of the Gatlinburg arts community.

To learn more about the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, click here.

3. Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is one of the more recent additions to the Gatlinburg area. The alpine coaster takes you down the mountainside so you can get some of the best views of the area while gliding through the woods at your own pace. You control the speed, but you can also speed through for a quick, adrenaline-rushing ride down the mountain.

Click here to learn more about the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.

Gatlinburg Sky Lift4. Gatlinburg Sky Lift

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift is one of the best places to take a ride up and down the mountainside and is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Gatlinburg TN. The Sky Lift is constantly running, so you just grab your ticket and take a ride. The Sky Lift takes you along Crockett Mountain, to the top where you’ll get off to view your souvenir picture that was taken on the ride, browse the gift shop and purchase any snacks. You can spend as much or as little time at the top as you’d like, then you’ll get back on the ride and make your way down the mountain.

You can also take a ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift at night, so you can experience all of the lights of Gatlinburg when you ride at night.

To learn more about the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, click here.

5. Ober Gatlinburg

You don’t have to enjoy skiing, snowboarding or ice skating to have a great day at Ober Gatlinburg. There’s plenty of fun things to do outside, including a wildlife viewing area, shops, a mountain coaster and more.

Ober GatlinburgIf you’re interested in spending time at Ober Gatlinburg in the winter, of course, we recommend trying skiing and snow tubing. You don’t have to be experienced with snow sports to have fun at Ober Gatlinburg – they welcome beginners and they have all the gear you need for rent, so you can just try out the experience for fun on your vacation.

To find out more about Ober Gatlinburg, click here.

If you’re still looking for more fun outdoor activities in Gatlinburg TN, there’s dozens of putt putt locations, ziplines, horseback riding and more, so be sure to check out our favorite Gatlinburg attractions when you’re planning.