Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a small town in Tennessee that is teeming with outdoor adventure and natural beauty. From hiking and biking trails to waterfalls and scenic drives, there is no shortage of things to do in Gatlinburg. And, with its close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is the perfect place to base your Smoky Mountain vacation.
To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most stunning sights to see in Gatlinburg. From awe-inspiring mountain vistas to cascading waterfalls, these are the must-see sights in Gatlinburg:
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the most visited national park in the country, the Smokies offer an unparalleled outdoor experience. With over 800 miles of hiking trails, dozens of waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a nature lover’s paradise.
2. Gatlinburg SkyBridge
Spanning 680 feet, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. The bridge offers stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. And, for those who are feeling adventurous, there is a glass floor panel in the center of the bridge that allows you to look straight down into the valley below.
3. Gatlinburg Space Needle
Standing at 400 feet tall, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is the tallest observation tower in the Smoky Mountains. The tower offers 360-degree views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding mountains. And, for those who are afraid of heights, there is a glass floor panel in the observation deck that allows you to look straight down.
4. Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
For a bird’s eye view of the Smoky Mountains, take a ride on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. The tramway takes you from downtown Gatlinburg to Ober Gatlinburg, an amusement park and ski resort located on top of Mount Harrison. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the mountains and Gatlinburg.
5. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
For a scenic drive through the Smoky Mountains, head to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The six-mile loop road takes you past waterfalls, old-growth forests, and historic log cabins. And, if you’re lucky, you might even see some wildlife along the way.
6. Cades Cove
Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11-mile loop road takes you past historic buildings, scenic vistas, and an abundance of wildlife. Cades Cove is especially popular with photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.
7. Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains. The 80-foot tall waterfall is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And, during the summer months, you might even see a rainbow in the midst of the falls.
8. Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower atop the dome offers stunning 360-degree views of the Smokies. On a clear day, you can even see as far as 100 miles from the tower.
9. Chimney Tops
The Chimney Tops are one of the most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. The four-mile round-trip hike takes you to the top of a mountainside where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The Chimney Tops are especially popular during the fall when the leaves are changing color.
10. Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook
For one of the best views of Gatlinburg, head to the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook. The overlook offers panoramic views of the city and the Smoky Mountains. And, if you’re lucky, you might even see a rainbow in the midst of the falls.