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Gatlinburg Tennessee | Everything you need to know before visiting

by Corey Piccirillo
Gatlinburg Tennessee Fall Fantasy

If you are looking for the perfect vacation, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is your spot. With so much to offer, it isn’t easy to know where to begin. From hiking trails and ziplining adventures to arts and crafts shopping and live music concerts, Gatlinburg has something for everyone! This blog post will break down all of the things that make Gatlinburg one of the best places in Tennessee. Here is a list of EVERYTHING you need to know about Gatlinburg!

Table of Contents

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg Tennessee Exciting Facts

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

Best Ways To Get To Gatlinburg Tennessee

***Amtrak does not provide rail service to Gatlinburg, nor does Greyhound offer bus service. 

Catch A Flight:

McGhee Tyson Airport is the primary commercial airport servicing the Gatlinburg area, located about an hour to the west of Gatlinburg, south of Knoxville. Several national airlines provide service here, as do several car rental agencies.

Roadtrip:

However, most visitors arrive by car. Traffic on the main road, Highway 441, through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge can become very congested, so drivers may want to follow an alternate route. 

Gatlinburg wasn’t built for driving. It can be a freaking nightmare. My recommendation, get out of the car as early and often as possible and enjoy the city the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

COVID Protocols | Gatlinburg Tennessee

Governor Bill Lee has signed Executive Order 80, declaring the end of COVID-19 as a public health emergency in the state of Tennessee. While there is not a state mandate in place, businesses in Sevier County can maintain Covid-19 restrictions and regulations at their discretion for the safety and well-being of their employees and guests. Masks are still required when riding the public trolley transportation system in Gatlinburg. – that’s about it.

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

Local Customs | Gatlinburg Tennessee

Drinking:

The drinking age in the United States is 21 years old – this applies to Gatlinburg too. Memphis, TN, is the only place in Tennessee where you can legally open and carry alcohol in public. No open containers in vehicles for the driver – this is still illegal in Gatlinburg. Several moonshine distilleries are open in Gatlinburg – it’s legal to purchase moonshine. 

Smoking:

Suppose you’re a smoker and plan on visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or any other part of TN. In that case, you need to be aware of a statewide smoking ban starting July 1, 2007; this affects all enclosed public areas, which means restaurants no longer allow people to smoke inside. The exceptions are: Private Clubs, Bars that only allow 21 and over at all times, Accommodations (there will still be smoking rooms that you can stay in), Tobacco stores, Businesses with less than three employees

Feeding Wildlife aka Bears:

Feeding black bears is illegal in Tennessee. The violation is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and six months in jail. Feeding wildlife is prohibited in the national park as well. 

Walking:

Walk to the right of the sidewalk. Step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions, or want to take in a view. Since Gatlinburg is so heavily populated this avoids any issues when walking amongst the crowds.

Public Transportation:

Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat, and stand to offer seating to pregnant women or someone with a disability.

Tipping | Gatlinburg Tennessee

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

Transportation Around | Gatlinburg Tennessee

The Gatlinburg Tennessee Trollies:

The Gatlinburg Trollies are a great way to get a quick overview of the many studios, shops, and galleries in this working arts community. The Trolleys run color-coded routes all over town; ask your driver for help finding your way around. Click the button to download the up-to-date Gatlinburg Trolley Map!

On Foot:

 For the more adventurous and those with strong calf muscles, walking is the way to go…..but be warned, Gatlinburg has only 2 kinds of streets….UPHILL and DOWNHILL. You really feel the burn walking in Gatlinburg! 

Bring Your Car:

A pro of Gatlinburg is the abundance of parking wherever you’re going.  Be warned that traffic can be a REAL challenge in this small mountain town. The best advice is to plan out the days and start them early to beat rush hour and heavy traffic times.

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

Top Events In The Year | Gatlinburg Tennessee

It’s hard to know where to start with so many fun things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! There is something for everyone, from thrilling adventures like zip-lining and whitewater rafting to family-friendly events like the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Festival and the Christmas Parade of Lights. Here are some of the main event highlights each year!

The Smoky Mountain Winefest in April provides the opportunity to sample some of the best wines in Tennessee at one fun event. The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in April is five days of classes, seminars, and guided hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and at the Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg. The Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show in April is huge in Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg Beans & Cornbread Festival is popular too.

Some of the biggest and most popular Summer events are Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales, Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta, First Independence Day Parade in the Nation, and Cocke County Fair to name a few.

FALL IS HUGE in Gatlinburg – the leaves are changing all around you! These is the busiest time of year but, well worth it! Oktoberfest is big at Ober, pumpkin patches, and so much more! Check out our Fall Event list.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic is huge for Winter. For more than 30 years, Gatlinburg has celebrated Winterfest with millions of twinkling lights on festive holiday displays throughout the city. Soak up the spirit of the season from the comfort of your own vehicle and take a memorable journey on the exciting Gatlinburg Winter Magic Lights Tour. Enchanted Winter Celebration at Anakeesta is another popular attraction for Winter!

Abrams Falls is a great sight all year round but especially in the Fall season!

Seven Popular Attractions | Gatlinburg Tennessee

1. Sugarlands Distilling Company:

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

3. Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies | Gatlinburg Tennessee:

4. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park:

5. Gatlinburg Tennessee Scenic Overlook:

6. Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area:

7. Anakeesta | Gatlinburg Tennessee:

First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

Helpful? Share it!

Gatlinburg is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you are looking to spend your days hiking and exploring the great outdoors, or if you want an escape from reality in some of the best arts and crafts shops around, this Tennessee town will have everything you need! If I had to pick just one favorite thing about Gatlinburg, it would be how much there is to do for people who love adventure – ziplining adventures? Check! Live music concerts? Yep! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park right at our doorstep? Of course. So come visit  Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for a vacation you won’t forget! 

Found this post helpful? Be sure to share amongst your friends and family. Everyone should explore the beauty of the mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

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First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg. First off, Gatlinburg Tennessee is a must vacation for any family. Above all, the mountains alone are stunning. In other words, if you love nature you’ll love the beauty that Gatlinburg offers. Second, there is so much for families to do in Gatlinburg.

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