Without a doubt some of the best walking that can be had in East Tennessee is in downtown Gatlinburg. The atmospheric mountain town is a highly clustered commercial environment, densely populated with businesses big and small from one end of town to the other, and yet it’s not so incredibly overbearing that you get lost easily or can’t appreciate the majesty of the Smoky Mountains around you.
In that dense population of businesses pose a variety of things guaranteeing that everyone finds something to their taste. If you enjoy loud and thrilling and mainstream, there are plenty of attractions, restaurants and even shops to cater to that taste. If you enjoy small, quiet, and uniquely dignified within the context of Appalachia, there is much to enjoy here inbetween and throughout as well. If you’ve got taste for something else, boy howdy, you can find that here too.
To help start the journey of what to find and enjoy throughout downtown Gatlinburg, here is a list of some of our favorite attractions for you and your family to check out:
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Give your mind one heck of a workout at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in center downtown Gatlinburg. Hundreds of genuine oddities and interactive fun stuff from every corner of the planet in every epoch of history await you and your family.
Gatlinburg’s oldest haunted house built on the site of an area known to locals to gather spirits (it is reported to be genuinely haunted), Mysterious Mansion glows in the night like a bad omen and glowers in the daytime to all who venture near it. Visit next time you’re in town, but don’t visit alone!
Christ in the Smokies
Formerly “Christus Gardens”, this is one of Gatlinburg’s oldest and most dignified attractions. Christ in the Smokies is a museum dedicated to the story and portrayal of Jesus Christ with over 100 life-sized wax figures and the famous “Carrera” face of Christ.
Guinness World of Records Museum
Consider this to a compliment to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. Also owned and managed by Ripley’s, Guinness World is a sister site where you can indulge in more interactive weirdness and awesome displays of official incredulity like the world’s tallest man, the world’s fattest woman, the longest jump by a human being and much more!
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
Gatlinburg’s premiere theater for serious comedy and theatrical entertainment enthusiasts, Sweet Fanny Adams has had 35 successful seasons in town with no signs of slowing down! If country music isn’t your thing, come to Sweet Fanny Adams for comedy stylings in the vein of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and more.
Few things are more thrilling to modern men than soaring through the skies and Gatlinburg Ziplines gives you the opportunity to see and experience the Smokies like you never have before! This is one of the most adrenaline-filled attractions you can find in Sevier County, and it’s well worth the visit no matter what time of the year you come to town.
Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts
The reason the city is here – The Arts and Crafts Community is famous throughout the country as being the largest collection of independent artists and artisans in The U.S. Potters, painters, broom-makers, fine restaurants, sculptures, sketchers and incredible stores of all kinds could take days to see in full.
An icon in the large roster of attractions in Gatlinburg, Ober has been a site for many things for over 40 years in the city. In the winter time, it’s the only place for miles around to go for skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. In the warmer season, it’s a mountain-high family fun park with mini-golf, arcade, park rides, shops, indoor ice skating and more.
The name says it all at Fort Fun! This is where you go to get set up for Old Gatlinburg Golf and Games, The Venturer Motion Ride, Lazer Tag, 3D theater and much more! Bring the kids and make a whole afternoon of fun at the Fort that bears its name.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Don’t leave the Smokies without visiting Ripley’s Aquarium. This is one of Gatlinburg’s most premier attractions and one look at the complex on River Road will show you why. Whole oceans worth of sea life await you and your family at Ripley’s Aquarium with video presentations, classes, divers, play area, interactive fun stuff, and African Penguins (you heard that right). Ripley’s Aquarium is also often the site for Gatlinburg’s special events. There is nothing to not love about the Aquarium, so make sure you don’t leave Gatlinburg without a visit!
A Brit of Magic With Keith Fields
Gatlinburg does have a small vein representing a UK culture in the area, and that small but pleasant vein grows with the entertainment of Keith Fields – world champion street magician who has appeared on Broadway in New York, London’s West End, Las Vegas, and apparently even had Robin Williams as a warm-up act. How many entertainers like that do you get to see in the Smokies?
See more on Gatlinburg at www.gatlinburg.com.