There’s nothing quite like gathering your closest friends for a much-needed escape, and Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for that. Amidst the majestic Great Smoky Mountains, this charming city offers a treasure trove of adventures and experiences. Imagine tackling a challenging hike in the Smokies, taking memorable group photos at scenic overlooks, or engaging in friendly competition as you race each other down the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg. Your group will have ample opportunities to connect, collaborate, and have fun.

Image source

Let’s explore such activities that not only showcase the best of Gatlinburg but also focus on creating shared experiences for friends. From adrenaline-pumping thrills to relaxing and immersive experiences, these adventures promise to bring you and your friends even closer.

Create Unforgettable Memories in Gatlinburg’s Cozy Cabins

Staying in a Gatlinburg cabin allows you and your friends to indulge in a cozy, intimate atmosphere while enjoying the beauty of the Smoky Mountains right at your doorstep. These picturesque cabins in Gatlinburg come in various sizes, offering your group the perfect accommodation after a day of exploring the town’s attractions. What trumps it all is the shared moments you’ll all have in these rustic abodes. Picture yourselves huddled around a crackling bonfire, roasting marshmallows, and sharing stories under the starry night sky. 

Amenities here include game rooms with pool tables, foosball, or arcade games, allowing your group to bond over the friendly competition. You’ll also find plenty of Gatlinburg cabins with indoor pool facilities perfect for a lively pool party or a rejuvenating dip when you crave relaxation. Most importantly, when staying in cabins, your group can split the expenses and ensure a comfortable and spacious stay! 

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a breathtaking treasure trove of natural beauty. With over 800 miles of well-maintained trails, you’ll find hikes suitable for all experience levels. Embark on the enchanting Alum Cave Trail, or challenge yourselves with the strenuous hike to the iconic Charles Bunion. As a fun challenge, you and your friends can create a scavenger hunt or a nature photography contest to engage more actively with the park’s flora and fauna. Doing so will give you a shared goal, and enjoy lively conversations about your discoveries. 

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the park’s diverse wildlife! With over 65 species of mammals, including the famous black bear, and 200 species of birds, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot some incredible creatures. If you prefer to take in the sights from the comfort of your car, there are scenic drives like the Cades Cove Loop Road or the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Sit back, relax, and admire the breathtaking vistas that unfold around every bend.

Discover the Magic of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers a spectacular underwater experience that your group will cherish for years. Wander through the Shark Lagoon tunnel, where you can marvel at the majestic sharks, graceful rays, and colorful sea creatures swimming just inches away. This immersive experience is a great opportunity for bonding while exploring the mysteries of the deep.

For a more interactive adventure, gather your group for the Penguin Encounter or Stingray Bay, where you can learn about these fascinating animals and touch or feed them. Take advantage of the special events the aquarium hosts, like sleepovers and dive shows, which are perfect opportunities for creating unique memories with your friends.

Taste the Local Flavors at the Gatlinburg Wine Trail

The Gatlinburg Wine Trail is an exciting way to indulge in the area’s delicious local flavors while spending quality time with friends. Embark on a self-guided tour of local wineries, such as Sugarland Cellars, Little Bear Winery, and Bootleggers Homemade Wine, where you can sample a diverse range of wines and ciders while learning about their production process.

As you sip your way through the wine trail, create a wine-tasting game where each friend rates the wines and shares their impressions, or take turns asking fun questions about the winemaking process and each other’s wine preferences. Keep an eye out for wine-related events, such as tastings, festivals, and workshops, to learn more about wine culture while having a blast.

Test Your Skills at the Escape Game Gatlinburg

Put your friendships to the test at the Escape Game Gatlinburg, an exciting way to challenge your teamwork, problem-solving skills, and creativity. Choose from a variety of themed escape rooms, like “Heist,” “Gold Rush,” or “Prison Break,” and work together to solve puzzles, decipher clues, and complete your mission before time runs out. Make the experience even more memorable by assigning roles or creating friendly wagers before entering the escape room, such as the losing team cooking dinner for the winners, to heighten the excitement.

Escape rooms are an excellent team-building exercise that can bring your friends closer. Share a laugh as you celebrate your successes or learn from your failures, ultimately creating a stronger bond within your group.

Experience the Thrills of Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area

Unleash your inner daredevils and create adrenaline-fueled memories with your friends here. In this mountain-top playground, you’ll find year-round activities suitable for every thrill-seeker. From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to the Alpine Slide and mountain coaster in the summer, there’s always something to keep your group entertained.

Begin your journey to the top with a scenic ride on the Aerial Tramway, a breathtaking experience in itself. As you soar above Gatlinburg, soak in the stunning views, and share your excitement with your friends. Once at the park, cheer each other on as you conquer the slopes, race down the tracks, or simply enjoy a group photo with the awe-inspiring Smokies as your backdrop. 

While exploring the park, consider setting up friendly competitions, like timed races down the slopes or a group challenge to ride all the attractions. These activities will not only bring you closer but also provide plenty of opportunities for laughter, encouragement, and shared memories.

Unwind at the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Take a whimsical detour with your friends at the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, where you’ll find over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from around the world. Delight in the nostalgia and quirkiness of the collection as you stroll through the museum, sharing childhood memories and discovering the unexpected artistry behind these everyday items.

As you marvel at the intricacies and stories behind each set, you and your friends will be reminded of the joy found in life’s simple pleasures. Before leaving, pick up a unique souvenir from the museum’s gift shop, so you can always remember the laughter and wonder shared with your friends during your visit.


In Gatlinburg, you’ll find a wealth of amazing activities to experience with your friends, from exploring the majestic Smoky Mountains to challenging your minds in a thrilling escape room. As you embark on these adventures, you’ll create lasting memories and strengthen your bonds, proving that the best journeys are those shared with the ones you love. So plan your trip to Gatlinburg, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure.