Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA downtown viewed from above in the summer season. Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA downtown viewed from above in the summer season.

5 Tips for Planning Your Vacation in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, TN, is a mountain resort city in the United States. This beautiful city attracts tourists from all over the United States annually.

Gatlinburg has a lot to offer to people of all tastes and ages in all seasons. From fishing, zip line, exposure to a variety of sea and animal life, and golf to hiking, there is something for everyone all year round.

However, summer (July till August) and fall are considered the best time of the year to visit this exotic place displaying the shades of autumn. If you love winters, you can explore Gatlinburg anywhere between January and March, when tourists do not occupy the city as much. Here are five valuable tips for planning your vacation in Gatlinburg.

1. Plan and Save Ahead

A vacation plan can save you from the hassle of last-minute worries and running out of the best available options like accommodation, transport, getting tickets, etc. Do your homework about the deals offered, which places to visit, and how to get to those places without going crazy and arranging last-minute transport options.

During the busier time of the year, rooms book faster, and must-visit attractions become crowded quickly, so it’s handy to plan and book everything before your visit if possible.

2. Book a Cabin

Cabin Rentals in Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge, Smoky Mountains - Top 10 Tips

If you are visiting Gatlinburg, staying in a cabin is a must for a relaxed and pleasant stay. Far from the crowded touristic area, sitting beautifully near the scenic beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg cabin rentals are the best choice. These aesthetically decorated, feel-like home cabins offer well-equipped kitchens, hot water tubs, and, most importantly, breathtaking views of mountains.

Luckily these cabins offer many accommodation possibilities, from a couple’s cabins to cabins suited for big families. These exquisitely crafted wooden cabins have a lot to make your vacations memorable and comfortable.

3. Use Travel Guide and Map

Keep a travel guide handy to make a mental list of the places and main attractions of Gatlinburg. These travel guides can help you find restaurants, shops, and transport options you should avail of while on the trip. Using a travel guide can help you prioritize places you would like to visit and learn about the charges and timings of a specific tourist attraction.

Travel guides may also provide insight into upcoming events and festivals. A map in your backpack is a must, so it’s easier for you to find your way around Gatlinburg. Using a map can save you a lot of time and gives you an idea of where to proceed.

By jdross75 from Shutterstock

4. Put Your Walking Shoes On

The high number of tourists visiting Gatlinburg makes it busier and more crowded. You may not find parking near the most visited attractions and have to walk from the parking lot. So, it’s wise to invest in comfortable walking shoes. Carrying a backpack stuffed with snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, maps, and attraction guides can help you along the way.

5. Visit the Charms of Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg has a lot to offer, but the considerable charms which attract tourists yearly are a must-see.

5.1. The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are famous for their scenic beauty worldwide. The diversification of plants and animal life in these ancient mountains makes it one of the highly visited national parks in the United States.

This national park is a haven for outdoor lovers which offers river tubing, horse riding, long hikes, and sightseeing. You can also go for a mesmerizing drive in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is a soul-satisfying experience.

Clingman’s Dome, Cades Cove, Chimneys Tops, and Roaring Fork Motor Trail are among some of the best spots in the Smoky Mountains.

Smoky Mountains
By Sean Pavone from Shutterstock

5.2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokys

It is the home of a wide variety (over 100,000) of incredible sea life. In 2019 it was ranked as the number 1 Aquarium in North America and was the second most visited place in Gatlinburg.

Since its inception, the aquarium has been visited by over 15 million tourists and welcomes more yearly. Whether you are a nature lover, sea life lover, or a child who fantasizes about life under the sea, you can’t miss paying a visit. W

alk your way through the tunnel, and you have a lifetime opportunity to look closely at sharks, giant stingrays, sea turtles, penguins, and much more. Also, don’t miss Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure at the aquarium.

5.3. Ober Gatlinburg

Positioning at the top of Mount Harrison, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park have a wide range of fun-filled activities for the family.

Ober Gatlinburg Full Tour: All Spring, Summer & Fall Activities

The Amusement Park offers Ski, Mountain Coaster, Ice Skating, summer tubing, Ice Bumper, Alpine Slides, and other family-oriented activities during spring, summer, and fall. The park provides snow skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding during winter.

You will also find shops, a restaurant, and a lounge here.

5.4. Anakeesta

Anakeesta Park is a natural-themed jewel in the heart of Gatlinburg, offering an unforgettable medley of adventure and relaxation. You can explore the wonders of nature and have treetop fun.

The park provides various fun-filled adventures, including Zipline, Mountain coaster, Gem Mining, Treetop Skywalk, Splash Pad, and much more.

This park brings you closer to nature in an adventurous and fun way. You can eat, shop, relax, and dive into adventure at Anakeesta.

5.5. Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Are you a car lover? Then you are in for a treat; this museum is for Hollywood car lovers of all ages.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum
By 010110010101101 from Shutterstock

Hollywood Star Cars Museum exhibits over forty-five cars used in Hollywood movies, including Gone in 60 Seconds, The fast and the Furious, Batmobile used by Batman in the TV show, and Herbie from a Disney movie.

The museum also showcases cars owned by Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and other legends.


Flying to your favorite spot for a vacation is a delightful experience, and it stays a cherished memory throughout. You can make it even more pleasant and trouble-free by starting to save early and planning accordingly. The catch is to save ahead, plan and pack wisely and keep your travel guides and map handy.

These tips can be beneficial while planning your trip to the breathtaking destination to give you a lifetime of adventurous and relaxing experiences in Gatlinburg. Go through your priority list again, so you don’t miss out on any must-visit places or ongoing festivals. Now, you are all set to go to your dream destination, which is praised and visited by millions of visitors yearly.


Last Updated on March 3, 2023 by Ananya Sreen