You might know about the Great Smoky Mountains and all the cool things to do in Gatlinburg, but that doesn’t mean you can waltz and have a great time.
After all, it’s a tourist destination with millions of visitors each year.
So what sets the savvy traveler apart from the crowd? Preparation! There are thousands of things to do in Gatlinburg, but we narrowed it down to our top ten favorites.
Before you go, read up on where to stay, what to eat, and how to save money while you’re there.
Here are 10 tips for doing things in Gatlinburg that will result in a fantastic trip!
The first rule of anything is to plan.
This should go without saying, but it’s imperative to remember this.
If you have a specific activity, make sure it’s open when you’re there.
If not, shift your plans.
You also need to plan your transportation, budget, and lodging.
You might also want to plan out where to eat.
You’ll likely have a shorter time than usual wherever you go, so make sure you’re prepared.
If you’re going with a big group, have a meeting place and determine where everyone is going ahead of time.
If you’re traveling with kids, make sure everyone has their vaccinations.
Finally, make sure you have everything you need before you go.
Stay and eat on-site.
If there is one thing you should do while visiting Gatlinburg, it is stay on-site.
There are several beautiful hotels and resorts in the area, many of which offer incredible views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Be sure to book your stay early enough to get a great rate! The same goes for eating out. There are many restaurants in the area, but most are chains.
If you go out, eat at one of the local restaurants or go to Cracker Barrel.
It’s a Southern tradition to eat biscuits in the morning with their homemade honey.
You’ll find that many hotels and resorts offer breakfast as well.
If not, there are many local places that do offer breakfast.
Go during the off-season.
The best time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains is October through March.
You’ll likely see fewer crowds, get better rates, and have an overall better experience.
You’ll also be treated to beautiful foliage, especially from November through December.
If you go during the summer, though, you’ll experience the Great Smoky Mountains Music Festival, which is a ton of fun.
Just be aware that the festival happens every year at the end of July and the beginning of August.
Travel with friends or family
If you travel with friends or family, it’s easier to split up the costs and balance everyone’s travel plans.
Traveling with people is also more fun, so you’ll be sure to make memories that last a lifetime.
You can also help watch each other’s kids if you have them.
When you travel with friends or family, it’s easier to make new memories together.
Traveling with friends or family also allows you to have the freedom to split up and do your own thing when you want.
It’s important to remember that everyone has different interests, and you don’t want to impose on their schedule.
It’s also important to travel with people you know and trust.
Know where you’re going
You can save money on transportation if you know exactly where you want to go.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-see spot, but it’s an all-day excursion.
You should visit the park if you have time, but if time is tight, you should visit Cades Cove instead.
It’s a smaller cove and is an easy day trip.
Another excellent day trip is to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge.
This fabulous museum is dedicated to the story of the Titanic.
If you want to visit the actual Titanic, you must visit Canada.
There are many other exciting and fun places to visit in the Gatlinburg area.
Don’t stop at the bottom of the hill.
There are plenty of attractions at the bottom of the hill.
You get a great view of the Great Smoky Mountains and other attractions.
But if you want to see the real magic, don’t stop there. Instead, head up to the top of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Once you get there, you can do lots of activities, including the following:
Cascade – There is a beautiful waterfall at the top of the Great Smoky Mountains.
It’s a popular spot for old and young. If you walk behind it, you’ll find a small cave to explore.
This cave is full of bats, but they’re not out during the day, so you don’t need to worry about disease.
Gatlinburg Trail – You’ll also find a trail near the top of the Great Smoky Mountains.
This trail goes all the way to the Appalachian Trail.
If you want to walk the entire trail, it’s about 2,200 miles long.
Crowders Mountain – There’s also a mountain near the top of the Great Smoky Mountains.
This mountain is around 1,800 feet tall.
If you want an even better view, you can hike to the top of the mountain.
Don’t pay for parking.
Parking in Gatlinburg can be a nightmare.
Instead of trying to find a spot, look for these two things.
First, park near a trolley stop. The trolleys go to many of the most popular tourist attractions.
If you park nearby, you can get on a trolley for free. You can also park at a nearby shopping center and walk to your destination.
This way, you don’t have to pay for parking and get some exercise.
If you don’t want to walk, there’s a shuttle that travels between the shuttles and the parking lots.
Get to know your transportation options.
When you get to Gatlinburg, you have several transportation options, including rental cars, trolleys, shuttles, and chartered buses.
If you need to get around town, use the trolleys. They go to many of the most popular tourist attractions in Gatlinburg.
They’re free and easy to use. If you want to travel between cities, use the shuttles.
The shuttles are free and go from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Cosby.
You can use the free shuttle if you want to go to the Smoky Mountain National Park.
It runs between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Cades Cove.
Don’t forget your water!
The Great Smoky Mountains get very hot in the summer.
You’ll want to bring plenty of water, even if you don’t usually drink it.
You’ll especially want to take plenty of water with you when hiking or other outdoor activities.
You won’t regret it.
The Great Smoky Mountains are a wonderful place to visit, but you’ll have a better time if you’re prepared.
From booking your hotel to bringing water, you’ll have a better time if you’re prepared.
These simple tips will make your trip better.