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Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, TN
Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2020 and is proud of its reputation as one of Tennessee's premier tourist destinations. A mountain town of only just over 4,000 inhabitants, the location features prominently on the state's tourist information website along with neighbouring Pigeon Forge. In fact, Sevier County, which covers Gatlinburg and the other Great Smoky Mountains gateway communities on the northern side of the national park, usually welcomes over 12million visitors each year.

Gatlinburg Quick Facts

Where is Gatlinburg in Tennessee? graphic

Gatlinburg is located in the northeastern part of Tennessee in Sevier County on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The population of Gatlinburg is estimated to be just over 4000 permanent residents.

Gatlinburg is located at just under 1300ft in elevation (393 meters), around 300 feet higher than nearby Pigeon Forge.

The town of Gatlinburg is named after Radford Gatlin, who ran the first post office in the settlement in the mid-1800s. However before incorporation in 1945 it was known as White Oak or White Oak Flats.

The most convenient road access to Gatlinburg is to take exit 407 for Sevierville off Interstate 40 and head south through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. Drivers crossing over from North Carolina would take US441 from Cherokee through the National Park.

Gatlinburg Cabins

Chalet Village, Gatlinburg

Chalet Village

Chalet Village is a Gatlinburg cabin rental company which has been in operation since 1972. There are three clubhouses around Gatlinburg offering family sports and facilities to its guests.

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Cozy Mountain Cabins

Cozy Mountain Cabins

Cozy Mountain Cabins offers mainly one- and two-bedroomed cabins in the Gatlinburg area, with the two one-bedroom cabins being highly rated for romantic breaks and honeymoon trips.

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Things To Do In Gatlinburg

As one of Tennessee's prestige vacation destination there are plenty of activities on offer in and around Gatlinburg:

Gatlinburg Skylift Park

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

The SkyLift Park is located at the top of Crockett Mountain in the center of Gatlinburg. The attraction is reached by the SkyLift, a distinctive yellow chairlift. The first lift was built back in the Fifties, but these days the SkyLift Park is a modern operation with the newest attraction being the SkyBridge - the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Evening trips to watch the sunset and see the lights of Gatlinburg are also available.

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Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg offers summer and winter trips up to an activity centre just over two miles outside the center of the town. Ober Gatlinburg can be reached by car (via Ski Mountain Road) or by an aerial tram holding up to 120 people which leaves from the center of Gatlinburg. A scenic chairlift from the top of the tram leads up to the summit of Mount Harrison and the Ober Gatlinburg summer attractions include summer tubing and a mountain coaster.

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Skiing in Gatlinburg

Skiing is available at Ober Gatlinburg in the winter months - in fact it is Tennessee's only functioning ski resort. The season usually runs from mid-December through to mid-March. The ski area consists of two beginner runs, two expert runs, six intermediate runs and a terrain park, all served by three chairlifts. The longest ski trail has a vertical drop of 556 feet. More information about the skiing and other winter sports such as snow tubing is available through the Ober Gatlinburg website link above.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Space Needle landmark is located in downtown Gatlinburg, Just over 50 years old, the 400 feet high needle offers an obervation deck with panoramic views of the Smokies reached by glass elevators. At the base of the Space Needle are escape room adventures, a video games arcade and a theater.

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Anakeesta Gatlinburg

Anakeesta Theme Park

The Anakeesta Theme Park offers a rail-mounted coaster, dual ziplines and a forest canopy walk at the summit of a hill above Gatlinburg. The main area is reached either by 'Chondola' (a choice of gondola or chairlift) or by rugged ex-military vehicles.

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Hiking Trails Around Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg lies right on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and many of the most popular trails and sights are within easy reach by car or by local trolley service. The red and green Gatlinburg trolley lines access the Historic Nature Trail. This is a circular driving route but the trolley stop is near the Twin Creeks trailhead, a favourite easy hike for families looking for an outdoor experience as part of their vacation. (The route also leads towards the popular and substantially tougher Rainbow Falls trail).

Alternatively, the tan trolley line heads towards the Sugarlands Visitor Center and hiking attractions such as Laurel Falls, the most popular trail in the National Park.

More information about the hiking, current conditions and safety considerations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is available at the official website.
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