Top 4 Things to Do in Gatlinburg for First-Time Visitors
When you visit Gatlinburg for the first time, you’re guaranteed to fall in love. From delicious restaurants to exciting attractions, there are so many things you’ll want to try while you’re here. To help you decide what to do during your first trip, we’ve come up with the top 4 things to do in Gatlinburg for first-time visitors.
1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-see when you visit Gatlinburg. Not only has it been voted one of the top aquariums in the country, but it allows guests to interact with the sea life! There are a number of unique experiences that let you get up close with the animals. You can waddle with penguins, splash with stingrays, touch a jellyfish and even feed a sea turtle! One of the best things to try at the aquarium is the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure, during which you’ll venture out into the middle of Shark Lagoon with just 3 inches of glass separating you from all the animals that call the lagoon home. You can see 12-foot sharks and a variety of colorful marine life swimming below you. Click here to find out how you can save money on tickets to the Gatlinburg aquarium!
2. Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg is another attraction that you won’t want to miss when you visit. Whether you visit in the winter to hit the slopes or the summer to ride the water rides, you’ll have a blast any time of the year at Ober. A mountaintop of fun awaits you at this attraction! We recommend riding the Aerial Tramway to get there, which departs regularly from downtown Gatlinburg. The tram takes you on a breathtaking 2.1-mile ride up to the park. Once at the park, you can control your own speed on the Ski Mountain Coaster, race down the mountain on the Alpine Slide, or see your favorite wildlife in the Wildlife Encounter! You’ll never run out of things to do at Ober Gatlinburg. Save money on your ticket for the Aerial Tramway when you buy it through Gatlinburg TN Guide!
Anakeesta is an exciting outdoor experience that people of all ages will enjoy. You’ll be able to appreciate the true beauty of the Smoky Mountains when you visit this attraction. To get to the park, you’ll ride in a scenic Chondola to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain, where all your fun will begin. You can stroll along a 16 bridge Tree Canopy Walk, play in the Tree House Village Playground with the kids, or ride on a dueling zipline! There are also plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy stunning views of the Smoky Mountains, or you can grab a bite to eat and a souvenir in Firefly Village. With its 2019-20 expansion, Anakeesta has added Black Bear Village, complete with new places to eat, play and shop, and new TreeVenture obstacle course, and the AnaVista Tower which is the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg!
4. Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a well-known attraction in Gatlinburg that you don’t want to miss. It’s been a popular place for visitors for years, which is why it’s on our list of things to do when you visit Gatlinburg for the first time. The Space Needle is a 407-foot observation tower that offers 360-degree views of downtown Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. You’ll ride in a glass elevator to the top of the tower, which means you don’t have to climb any stairs, and you can enjoy the views on the way up! There is also a Higher Learning educational experience at the top that teaches you more about the Smoky Mountains. Once you take in the views, ride the elevator back down and enjoy the arcade and pizza place!
These are just some of the many incredible things to do in Gatlinburg that you have to try when you visit! Browse more things to do in the area and start planning your first trip to the Smoky Mountains.