5 Reasons to Visit Gatlinburg TN this Year

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We’ve told you before about family-friendly and fun Pigeon Forge is, but did you know that Riverside Towers Hotel is right at the cusp of Gatlinburg, TN too? We invite you to come for a two-for-one vacation in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Here are 5 reasons why you must visit Gatlinburg TN this year:

Gatlinburg Vacation

1. Gatlinburg is the “Gateway to the Smokies”

One of the biggest attractions in our area is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP). In fact, our GSMNP is the largest national park East of the Rocky Mountains! Around 10 million visitors a year can’t be wrong: GSMNP is also the most visited national park in the United States. Not only is it a fun place to be, but it’s within a day’s drive of nearly 75% of the U.S. population. That means less traveling and more time for fun.

And there is plenty of fun to be had in the Smokies. According to the website, families can enjoy “auto touring, bicycling, fall color [viewing], hiking, horseback riding, ranger-led programs,” and much more. Must-see spots include Cades CoveClingmans Dome, and Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill. Whether you come to Gatlinburg for the Smokies alone or just visit them a day out of your trip, they are a natural wonder you won’t want to miss.

2. Ober Gatlinburg has tons of activities in one place.

Ober Gatlinburg

If you’re looking for a place to have fun with your family, as a couple, or even just with friends, Ober Gatlinburg is the place to go. In winter months, they offer skiing and tubing down the slopes of the mountains–rental gear and lessons are available for newbies to the sports. But if skiing isn’t your thing, Ober also has an aerial tramway for sweeping views of our gorgeous landscapes, an alpine slide “with a fun-filled weaving, wandering, dipping descent on one of two 1800′ tracks through woods and ski trails,” and even indoor ice skating. Action, adventure, and beautiful views–what’s not to love about this one-stop-shop for vacation fun.

3. Ripley’s Aquarium brings the oceans to you.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has been a hit ever since it joined the Gatlinburg scene. A smaller aquarium, this is the perfect morning or afternoon trip. The Ripley’s website says that the Gatlinbug aquarium “is literally teeming with life – over 10,000 exotic sea creatures in 350 individual species. There are more fish in this aquarium than there are people living in the entire town of Gatlinburg.” Exhibits include the Tropical Rainforest, Shark Lagoon, Gallery of the Seas, Penguin Playhouse, Coral Reef, Touch-A-Ray Bay (where you can pet real sting rays!), Ocean Realm, Stingray Bay, Systems Control (which gives an inside look into how aquariums work!), and Discovery Center (and hands-on learning experience that everyone in the family will enjoy). They even host regular “Sleep with the Sharks” sleepovers.

4. One word: Moonshine.

Gatlinburg Moonshine

If there’s one thing that the Appalachian area has been known for across the nation, it has to be moonshine. Moonshine is a part of our history, and state law allowing the sale of “white lightning” has allowed Gatlinburg to showcase a part of its amazing story. Now there are quite a few moonshine distilleries in the Smokies, and many of them offer tours, tastings, and take-home fun. Ole Smoky is a prominent example, with their bottles being showcased across the US as moonshine sales became legal in Tennessee. Their moonshines come in many flavors, and they can show you how to mix them up to make new ones, too. For example, mix ginger ale and their Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine for an Apple Ginger cocktail–served in a mason jar, of course.

5. Eclectic shopping–something for everyone

The shopping scene in Gatlinburg, TN is quite varied, making it one of the most popular attractions in the area. Visitors can buy locally made arts and crafts along the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Loop, tasty foods, souvenirs, and much more. The Gatlinburg website boasts about its shopping scene: “Watch craftsmen fire ceramics and spin pottery, then take a few steps to a store full of over 100,000 magnets–or 1,000 different hot sauces. Grab some homemade jams and jellies and bring a taste of the Smokies to the breakfast table back home.”

Not only are the artisans in our community some of the best around, but we also have high-end brands right up the road. In fact, our city even provides visitors with this comprehensive Gatlinburg shopping guide so you won’t miss a single stop!

For more information on what to do when you visit Gatlinburg TN, check out the Galintburg tourism website!

Whether you come for a family vacation in Gatlinburg, a romantic getaway with your honey, a ladies outing or a boys trip, our city has something for everyone to enjoy. And when you decide to make your way to the Great Smokies, Riverside Hotel is the place to stay.

Riverside Hotel has honeymoon suites, two-bedroom suites, and all the amenities you’re looking for to enjoy your time near Gatlinburg, TN. Peruse our website today to learn more, and then click here when you’re ready to book your room online.