While Gatlinburg, TN is most famous for its family-friendly attractions, there is plenty to do in town for adults! Whether you’re on a romantic retreat or you’re visiting with a group of friends, you will have a blast exploring our Smoky Mountain city. To help you make the most of your next vacation, Chalet Village has put together a guide to five of the best things to do in Gatlinburg for adults.
1. Shopping in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
For over 80 years, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community has been Gatlinburg’s top destination for souvenir shopping. Located off of the East Parkway, this 8-mile loop is filled with shops, galleries, and studios that showcase the work of local craftspeople and artists. Visitors to the Arts & Crafts Community will find an unparalleled collection of handmade goods, including pottery, wood carvings, candles, soaps, photography, jewelry, paintings, and many more items. If you want to take a piece of Gatlinburg home with you, the Arts & Crafts Community is the place to find it!
2. Watching a Show at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
Seeing a show at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre is another one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg for adults. Inspired by the music halls of the late 1800s, this one-of-a-kind theater produces original musical comedies that embrace the outrageously silly humor found in programs like the Carol Burnett Show or Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre has been an iconic part of Gatlinburg since 1977 and was recognized as a National Historical Treasure by the city and the Tennessee State Senate.
3. Sampling Moonshine at Downtown Distilleries
For the uninitiated, “moonshine” is unaged whiskey that was traditionally distilled under the light of the moon, in order to avoid the long arm of the law. Today, Gatlinburg’s distillers no longer have to make their white lightnin’ under the cover of darkness, because moonshine is totally legal! Downtown Gatlinburg is home to a number of excellent moonshine distilleries where you can sample Tennessee’s most iconic drink. Tastings cost five dollars, but that money is applied to any purchase made at the store. The most popular distillery on The Strip is the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, which frequently hosts live bluegrass music.
4. Enjoying the Views from the Gatlinburg Space Needle
At 407 feet tall, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is the perfect place to take in some spectacular views. When you head to the top of this awesome observation tower, you will enjoy breathtaking panoramic vistas of downtown Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. For a romantic outing with your sweetheart, we suggest visiting the Space Needle at night, when you can see the city’s twinkling lights below.
5. Playing The Captured Escape Game
At the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, you will find another great activity for adults: The Captured Escape Game. In this unique game, participants are “locked” in a room and must solve a series of puzzles in 60 minutes or less to “escape”. The Captured features a narrative right out of a horror movie: a family of East Tennessee cannibals has imprisoned you in their home so they can “have you for dinner”. Playing this spooky escape game is great for a group of friends because you’re going to need all of the brain power you can get to win!