Home Things To Do Things to Do in Gatlinburg 2024: Top Attractions & Experiences

Things to Do in Gatlinburg 2024: Top Attractions & Experiences

by Fabian Mendoza
Things to do in Gatlinburg overlook during prange sunset

Begin your journey with our guide to the best things to do in Gatlinburg in 2024. From natural wonders to cultural treasures, Gatlinburg offers a diverse array of attractions and experiences for every visitor.

Key Facts

  1. Diverse Attractions: Gatlinburg offers a mix of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and thrilling adventures.
  2. New Additions: Exciting 2024 attractions include mountain coasters, historical theme parks, and family entertainment centers.
  3. Natural Beauty: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides unparalleled opportunities for outdoor exploration and wildlife viewing.
  4. Culinary Delights: Gatlinburg’s culinary scene reflects its Appalachian heritage with Southern cuisine, moonshine tasting, and unique dining experiences.
  5. Arts & Culture: Vibrant arts scene, cultural events, and artisan shops showcase Gatlinburg’s artistic heritage and community engagement.

Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook: A Panoramic Paradise

Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook offers a breathtaking vista that encapsulates the essence of the Great Smoky Mountains’ beauty. This spot, perched high above the city, provides sweeping views of the majestic mountains, lush forests, and the charming town below. Ideal for capturing stunning photographs, especially during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike. The overlook offers a moment of serenity and appreciation for the stunning landscapes, making it a top attraction in Gatlinburg​​.

Downtown Gatlinburg: The Heartbeat of the Mountains

The vibrant streets of Downtown Gatlinburg are the lifeblood of this mountain town, offering an array of experiences that cater to every visitor’s interests. From quaint souvenir shops and art galleries to restaurants serving up Southern cuisine and sweet treats, downtown is a bustling hub of activity. It’s more than just a place to shop and eat; it’s an experience that allows you to soak in the local atmosphere and engage with the community. Whether you’re seeking unique gifts, delicious food, or simply a leisurely stroll, downtown Gatlinburg is where your adventure begins​​.

Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community: A Creative Haven

The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community stands as a unique and charming destination that showcases the talents of local artisans and craftsmen. Located along an 8-mile loop road, it’s the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Here, visitors can explore a wide range of handmade and one-of-a-kind creations, from pottery and jewelry to paintings and woodwork. The community not only offers an opportunity to purchase authentic Appalachian arts and crafts but also provides a glimpse into the area’s rich artistic heritage​​.

Thrill-Seeking Adventures: Whitewater Rafting and Mountain Coasters

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Gatlinburg doesn’t disappoint. The Pigeon River, near Gatlinburg, offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences suitable for all skill levels. Guided expeditions lead adventurers through exhilarating rapids against the backdrop of stunning mountain scenery. Meanwhile, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a unique ride that lets you control your speed as you twist and turn down the mountain, offering an exciting adventure for families and thrill-seekers alike​​.

Cultural and Historical Attractions: Museums and Haunted Mansions

Gatlinburg is home to a variety of attractions that cater to film enthusiasts, car aficionados, and those looking for a spooky adventure. The Hollywood Star Cars Museum features an impressive collection of iconic vehicles from cinema and television, providing a nostalgic journey through Hollywood’s memorable moments. For those who dare, the Mysterious Mansion offers a spine-tingling experience in one of Gatlinburg’s oldest and scariest haunted houses, adding a touch of thrill to your visit​​.

New Adventures Await: 2024’s Exciting Additions to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are set to welcome a host of new attractions in 2024, promising even more excitement and adventure for visitors. These additions are not just about thrills; they embody the spirit of innovation and cultural celebration that these towns are known for.

Hellbender at Anakeesta: A Double Rail Mountain Coaster

Anakeesta introduces “Hellbender,” a new double rail mountain coaster that promises scenic views and thrilling inclines. Unlike traditional coasters, Hellbender starts at the mountain’s peak, offering riders 360-degree turns and immersive experiences of the Smoky Mountains’ natural beauty. This attraction is a nod to the native salamander species, blending excitement with environmental awareness​​.

Things to od Mountain coaster Gatlinburg Tennessee
Things to od Mountain coaster Gatlinburg Tennessee

Smoky Gap: A Gateway to Adventure

“Exit 407 Gateway to Adventure,” a 75-million-dollar development at Smoky Gap, is set to become a new entertainment complex. In partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee, this project will feature attractions, hotels, retail shops, and eateries. A highlight will be a European-style historical theme park, offering live shows that depict historical events related to the Cherokee Nation’s involvement in World War I. This blend of entertainment and education is a groundbreaking addition to the area​​.

Family Fun with Crayola and Nerf

In Fall 2024, families can look forward to the Crayola Experience and the Nerf Action Xperience. The Crayola Experience will be a colorful, interactive center with over 20 activities, including the opportunity to star in your own coloring book and design wax color creations. The Nerf Action Xperience will offer a family-friendly play arena with sports challenges, a Battle Blaster Zone, and an obstacle course. These centers will provide unique, creative, and active experiences for families visiting Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge​​.

Mountain Biking at Ober and More

Ober Gatlinburg is expanding its offerings to include a scenic, downhill mountain biking experience with trails for all levels. This addition caters to the growing demand for outdoor recreational activities, allowing visitors to explore the mountains in a new, exhilarating way. Additionally, the American Eagle Foundation is opening a new facility in Kodak, focusing on conservation, education, and protection of birds of prey. This project represents the foundation’s most significant expansion, offering a birds of prey museum, classrooms, and interactive exhibits​​.

Big Bear Mountain: Dollywood’s Newest Thrill

Dollywood continues to innovate with Big Bear Mountain, its longest roller coaster yet. Featuring audio and music to enhance the ride experience, this coaster takes visitors on a thrilling hunt for the elusive “Big Bear” in Wildwood Grove. This addition is a testament to Dollywood’s commitment to providing exciting, family-friendly attractions that celebrate the spirit of the Smoky Mountains​​.

These new attractions, each with its unique appeal, promise to make Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge even more enticing destinations in 2024. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, family fun, or immersive cultural experiences, these additions are sure to enrich your visit to the Smoky Mountains.

Embracing Nature: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature. This vast expanse of wilderness is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, ancient mountains, and a rich cultural history. Visitors can embark on numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes, each offering unique views and experiences. Iconic trails like the Appalachian Trail and Cades Cove offer glimpses into the park’s natural beauty and historical significance. Wildlife viewing, especially the famous Smoky Mountain black bears, along with bird watching, are popular activities that draw nature enthusiasts from around the world​​.

Autumn Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Autumn Great Smoky Mountain National Park

A Taste of Tennessee: Culinary Delights in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg’s culinary scene is a reflection of its rich Appalachian heritage, offering a delightful array of Southern cuisine that tantalizes the taste buds. From traditional barbecue and freshly made fudge to innovative moonshine flavors, the town caters to all tastes and preferences. Dining in Gatlinburg is not just about the food; it’s an experience that combines the warmth of Southern hospitality with the town’s unique charm. The Pancake Pantry, Tennessee’s first pancake house, offers a cozy breakfast experience, while The Peddler Steakhouse provides a rustic, fine dining atmosphere with views of the Little Pigeon River. For those interested in the local craft, distilleries and breweries offer tours and tastings, showcasing the art of moonshine making and craft brewing​​​​.

Gatlinburg’s Vibrant Arts Scene: A Cultural Exploration

Gatlinburg is a haven for art lovers and culture enthusiasts. The town’s vibrant arts scene is showcased through numerous galleries, theaters, and artisan shops. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, with its workshops and exhibitions, serves as a center for arts education and appreciation. Throughout the year, Gatlinburg hosts various cultural events and festivals that celebrate the region’s heritage, including the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair and the Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales. These events offer visitors a chance to experience live music, storytelling, and demonstrations by skilled artisans, providing a deep dive into the cultural fabric of the Smoky Mountains​​.

Adventure Parks and Family Fun: Gatlinburg’s Amusement Offerings

For families and adventure seekers, Gatlinburg offers a plethora of amusement parks and attractions. Anakeesta, a mountaintop theme park, provides scenic beauty, thrilling rides, and family-friendly activities, including tree-top skywalks and zip-lining. Ober Gatlinburg, an amusement park and ski area, offers year-round fun with skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and an alpine slide. The Ripley’s attractions, including the Aquarium of the Smokies and Believe It or Not! Odditorium, offer educational and entertaining experiences for all ages. These attractions highlight Gatlinburg’s ability to blend natural beauty with fun and adventure, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy​​​​.

Gatlinburg’s blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, culinary delights, and adventurous activities makes it a unique destination that appeals to a wide range of visitors. Whether you’re seeking relaxation amidst stunning scenery, a taste of Southern culture and cuisine, or adrenaline-pumping adventures, Gatlinburg has it all.

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