One Day in Gatlinburg, TN: A Guide for First-Time Visitors

One Day in Gatlinburg, TN A Guide for First-Time Visitors

Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Smokies and filled with adventure and Southern charm, Gatlinburg, TN offers a slew of unique experiences that will certainly make anyone’s visit a memorable one! Acting as a gateway to the Smokies, there’s no end to what adventures you might have during your Smoky Mountain stay. Whether it’s your first visit or you’re back for more, Gatlinburg beckons everyone to relax, enjoy themselves and make some memories. In this guide, we will help you plan an unforgettable day in this picturesque municipality, filled with vibrant streets, natural wonders, and cultural delights. To plan the ideal one-day adventure in Gatlinburg, continue reading!

Morning Exploration: Downtown Gatlinburg

One Day in Gatlinburg, TN A Guide for First-Time Visitors

Step into the vibrant pulse of Gatlinburg as you embark on a morning exploration of downtown. From the lively streets to the charming cafes, this bustling district sets the stage for an exciting day ahead. Get ready to immerse yourself in the heart of the action as you discover the best breakfast spots and iconic attractions that Gatlinburg has to offer.

  • Gatlinburg Parkway:
    Begin your day by immersing yourself in the heart of Gatlinburg along Gatlinburg Parkway. This bustling main street is lined with a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, offering a lively atmosphere to kick-start your adventure.
  • Breakfast Spots:
    Before diving into the day’s activities, indulge in a hearty breakfast at one of Gatlinburg’s local cafes or diners. Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp pays homage to the legacy of David C. “Crockett” Maples with dishes like Big Tennessee French Toast and Huntcamp Skillets. Alternatively, satisfy your sweet tooth at the Donut Friar or savor a stack of pancakes at the iconic Pancake Pantry.
  • Ripley’s Aquarium:
    No visit to Gatlinburg is complete without exploring the fascinating underwater world at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Dive into interactive exhibits and marvel at a diverse array of sea creatures, making this a captivating morning adventure for visitors of all ages.

Midday Adventures: Nature and Culture

One Day in Gatlinburg, TN A Guide for First-Time Visitors

As the day unfolds, venture beyond the city limits to experience the natural beauty and culture of Gatlinburg. From breathtaking mountain vistas to local artisan crafts, there’s something for every adventurer to explore.

  • Gatlinburg SkyPark:
    After a satisfying morning, ascend to new heights at Gatlinburg SkyPark. Experience panoramic views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains as you glide effortlessly up the mountainside on this iconic chairlift, to North America’s longest pedestrian cable bridge, offering unparalleled vistas and photo opportunities. In fact, this breathtaking destination was awarded 2023’s “Best Lookout in Tennessee” by Tripadvisor. Be sure to add this stop to your itinerary and find out what Tennessee’s best lookout has to offer with your very own eyes!
  • Arts & Crafts Community:
    For a glimpse into Gatlinburg’s rich cultural heritage, venture into the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Explore local art studios and discover Appalachian crafts along the 8-mile loop road, where over 100 artists and craftsmen showcase their talents amidst the scenic beauty of the mountains.
  • Wild Plum Tea Room:
    As lunchtime approaches, take a break and relax at the charming Wild Plum Tea Room. Indulge in a delightful dining experience amidst the serene surroundings, offering a variety of dishes and gluten-free options to suit every palate.

Afternoon Escapes: Unique Sights and Experiences

One Day in Gatlinburg, TN A Guide for First-Time Visitors

Get ready to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary as we journey into the afternoon delights of Gatlinburg. From quirky museums to thrilling outdoor activities, the possibilities are endless. Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and offbeat attractions that promise to make your afternoon an unforgettable experience.

  • Salt and Pepper Museum:
    Explore the quirky and offbeat offerings at Gatlinburg’s very own Salt and Pepper Museum. Marvel at the vast collection of salt and pepper shakers from around the world, making for a unique and memorable afternoon excursion.
  • Hillbilly Golf:
    Embark on a zany mini-golf adventure at Hillbilly Golf, where a Smoky Mountain twist awaits at every hole. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon of family-friendly entertainment amidst the scenic backdrop of the mountains.
  • Gatlin’s Escape Games:
    Test your problem-solving skills at Gatlin’s Escape Games, where a variety of themed escape room experiences await. Whether you’re unraveling mysteries or solving puzzles, these immersive adventures promise an afternoon of excitement and teamwork.

Evening Delights: Sunset and Nightlife

One Day in Gatlinburg, TN A Guide for First-Time Visitors

As the sun begins to set, Gatlinburg comes alive with the promise of an evening filled with excitement and entertainment. From delectable dining options to breathtaking sunset views, the evening holds a myriad of delights for every traveler. Join us as we discover the best places to dine, unwind, and experience the vibrant nightlife of Gatlinburg.

  • Dinner Options:
    As the day draws to a close, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of Gatlinburg’s local restaurants serving Southern cuisine. From succulent steaks at The Peddler Steakhouse to authentic Mexican fare at No Way Jose’s, there’s something to satisfy every appetite.
  • Sunset Spot:
    Capture the beauty of a Smoky Mountain sunset from the Gatlinburg Space Needle or the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook. Watch as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the picturesque landscape, creating a perfect end to your day in Gatlinburg.
  • Nightlife:
    Continue the evening with lively entertainment and spirited libations at Gatlinburg’s nightlife hotspots. Experience the best of country music at Ole Red Gatlinburg, sample a variety of moonshine flavors at Ole Smoky Mountain Moonshine, or savor craft beers at Smoky Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg.

At the End of Your Day

Gatlinburg offers a captivating blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation, making it the perfect destination for first-time visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains. From exploring the charming streets of downtown to immersing oneself in the natural wonders of the surrounding landscape, Gatlinburg promises an unforgettable experience at every turn.

As you plan your visit, consider choosing Parkside Resort as your home away from home when exploring the area. With its luxurious accommodations and convenient location, Parkside provides the perfect retreat after a day of exploration. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking views, thrilling attractions, or delicious dining experiences, Gatlinburg and Parkside Resort await, ready to make your Smoky Mountain getaway truly unforgettable.

One Day in Gatlinburg, TN A Guide for First-Time Visitors

Call us today at 888-908-6066 or visit our website to learn more about our amazing accommodations!