Had a tough week? It’s finally time for your weekend getaway! With the breathtaking views and range of activities in Gatlinburg, TN, you’re all set to have the time of your life!

Gatlinburg is located near the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a beautiful tourist destination that still gives you a small-town feeling. 

Perhaps you’re leaning towards Gatlinburg for a fun-filled weekend but not sure what to do there? Worry not; we’ve got you covered. Here are some top things you can enjoy on your next trip to this mountain town.

1. Go Hiking 

There’s fresh, clean mountain air outside, so take full advantage of it! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park costs nothing to enter. Once you’re inside the park, take your pick of the 600 miles of hiking trails. Each trail has its share of rolling hills, gorgeous flowers, and splashing waterfalls.  

If you’re especially interested in seeing some waterfalls, go to Cade Coves. These trails will take you to the Smoky Mountains’ famous cascading waterfalls. Another easy trail is the Gatlinburg Trail. You can hike, bike, or even go running here. Get to the trails early to beat the rush, and you’re all set!

Make sure you book your stay in a nearby downtown Gatlinburg hotel so you’re only a short drive from the park. The Sydney James Mountain Lodge is a great option and is minutes away from not only the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but also many attractions and restaurants. 

2. Go Shopping

Up for some retail therapy, but the super-modern strip malls don’t cut it? In Gatlinburg, TN, you can have some unique shopping experiences. 

One of the best places to shop is The Village. Here, you get to visit several art galleries and eat at exotic restaurants. When your energy starts lagging, grab a cup of coffee from a coffee shop. Pay a visit to the Masters of Magic store as well. You can get all kinds of board games, puzzles, and magic tricks here. These can be a perfect addition to rainy day activities for brightening your mood

3. Go Out for a Picnic

Yes, you can probably order room service and relax in your hotel room. However, this is a weekend getaway that’s supposed to wash away your worries. If you don’t get to spend any quality family time during the week, a picnic is the best way to start!

If possible, try putting away your phones and other devices. When you’re picnicking in Gatlinburg, sit in a place where you can enjoy the beauty of the region. You’ll have several picnic sites to choose from, including Mynatt Park, Greenbrier, Chimneys Picnic Area, etc. Grab your food from one of the local restaurants and enjoy it in the mountain air. 

4. Try Out Rafting

After a boring work week, a little adventure might be the need of the hour. If you’re nodding along, try whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg this time around! 

A large number of tourists choose to go whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg, so show up early! Fortunately, there are quite a few local rafting companies. Ensure that you book this experience with experienced and trained guides. 

5. Go on the SkyBridge

The Gatlinburg SkyPark contains the SkyBridge, which is North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. It’s a coveted attraction in itself. Once you get on this bridge, the height gives everyone an amazing view of the mountains. You also get to see an aerial view of the town of Gatlinburg. 

You can also get on the SkyLift, which enables people to see amazing panoramic views of Crockett Mountain. As long as you keep your devices safe, these rides and climbs can be excellent photography opportunities!

6. View the Artwork

If you’re an art lover or want to instill a love of art in your kids, make sure to visit the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. This historic institution has held an esteemed position for over seven decades. Overall, it’s the ideal spot for connecting with Appalachia’s presentation of art. Visitors can view art collections from local talented artists. 

If you’re interested in taking any kind of art class, visit the Arrowmont School website or call them up! The school provides several skill-learning courses that include:

  • Jewelry Making
  • Ceramics Making
  • Woodworking

Classes like these can help you obtain a new skill. Take this chance to improve your mind and focus on something other than work. 

7. Enjoy the Aquarium Wonders

If you and your travel mates are fans of sea life, it’s best to check out The Ripley’s Aquarium. This aquarium is one of the best in the United States. With over 100,000 sea creatures inside it, any child can learn a lot just by visiting the aquarium.

8. Attend a Live Comedy Show

Laughter is probably what you need most from this vacation. After all, it is the best medication for almost any kind of tiredness or grumpiness.  

If you’ve been feeling a bit down, give yourself a boost by going to one of the dinner theatres in town. The theaters are usually full of performance dancers, jokes, and impromptu songs; why wouldn’t you want to stay?

9. Experience Some Strange Attractions

The Amazing Mirror Maze is among the most popular Gatlinburg destinations. Once you get into this maze, the special light and music come on. You’ll eventually have to make your way through this contraption using your wits, skills, and memory. 

A complete experience of the maze will take an average of 15 minutes for one go. You can even take your time about it, as self-pacing is allowed. The experience will include long, endless hallways, strange shapes, flashes of light, and infinite reflections. All in all, it’s a mind-blowing experience that may only come about once in a lifetime. 


Whether you prefer to stay outdoors or indoors, Gatlinburg has all sorts of activities for a memorable weekend trip. Most of these are light on the pocket, available in a good deal, or even free of charge! On this little vacation, Gatlinburg will not fail to impress!