Welcome to Gatlinburg, Tennessee!
Perfectly situated on the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Reaching Gatlinburg is easy as U.S. Highway 321 enters the mountain village from two directions; one leading from the Cosby area and the other on the north side of town from Pigeon Forge where it connects to the stretch of Foothills Parkway, locally referred to as “the Spur.” You can also reach Gatlinburg from Cherokee via U.S. Hightway 441 North.
Gatlinburg is surrounded by the beautiful Smoky Mountains with peaks reaching over 6,000 feet. These high elevations offer unique opportunities for fun that are not found anywhere else in the North American East. In the winter season snow skiing, snowboarding and tubing offer an extreme form of excitement. In the warmer months, take a bracing plunge in a mountain river. The West Fork of the Little Pigeon River winds its way through the city like a silver blue thread connecting all the communities of Sevier County.
Be on the lookout for the avid trout fisherman sprinkled along the river. It is estimated that there are over 2,000 fish in every 1 mile of river. The fish are numerous and varied depending on where you visit the river but they range from rainbow trout, brown trout, native brook trout, small mouth bass, the mysterious buffalo sucker fish, just to name a few. Just be sure to pick up either a Tennessee fishing license or North Carolina fishing license before you dip that hook! Fishing licenses are sold at area outfitters and other locations such as Walmart throughout the area. A special permit is required for fishing in Gatlinburg and the Cherokee Reservation.
Get your walking shoes on for a tour of the Parkway which winds through the center of town. If you have a craving for funnel cake or fine dining you will find it here. There’s no need to go hungry with all the choices available. After a good meal, take advantage of the wide variety of shops along the Parkway. Rain or shine, and any time of the year have super fun at any of the seven Ripley’s attractions, especially Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Perhaps you yearn for simpler times away from the hustle and bustle. If so, be sure not to miss the Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community just a short drive from downtown. All manner of crafts are created by hand daily in a natural setting. Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts is a world renowned center for education in mountain arts and crafts. Mountain crafts such as quilting and basket weaving were once a necessity to mountain life and now they are highly prized works of art. Some examples of this art are displayed in our nation’s premier museum the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. You can expand your horizons and skill set by taking a class like pottery or just go to the experts and purchase their wares ready-made. It is up to you and what you want from your Smoky Mountain experience.
Gatlinburg is a thrill any time of year as its natural beauty changes throughout the season. Join us for cool spring air wafting down from Mt. LeConte waking the wildflowers, a warm summer breeze drifting along the riverside as a trout jumps in a hidden pool, the sudden chill of fall changing the leaves into a vibrant rainbow of color, or the bracing winter snow that heralds the start of ski season. Any time of year is clearly the right time to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee!