Here We Grow Again in Gatlinburg and Beyond

Activities, Smoky Mountain Tour Guide

There are no growing pains as Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville continue to amaze with diverse Tennessee attractions

Every year, Tennessee attractions beckon millions of visitors to Gatlinburg and surrounding towns with new experiences all the time. Diverse amusements like imaginative mountain adventure parks flip the script on family-friendly excursions. To help narrow down the growing field of choices, check out this comprehensive collection of unique escapades in Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.


Anakeesta is a whimsical mountaintop playground in the heart of Gatlinburg

Sometimes the journey is half the fun. From Downtown Gatlinburg, you can take the Chondola or 45-passenger Ridge Rambler to Anakeesta Mountain. This whimsical place sits at and above the heart of Gatlinburg. You’ll arrive at Firefly Village filled with quaint shops, dining options, a botanical garden and truly panoramic views. Firefly Village is your gateway to adventure including racing ziplines and the Treetop Skybridge, North America’s longest tree-based bridge. Additionally, the Rail Runner Mountain Coasters and a magical tree house village connected by bridges of varying challenge levels entertain visitors.

Soar above Gatlinburg at SkyLift Park

Since 1954, SkyLift Park has offered Gatlinburg’s best views and most memorable experiences. Walk the spectacular SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America stretching 680 feet. Also, the expansive SkyDeck overlooking Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains is perfect for catching a sunset. Perhaps  just relaxing on the top of Crockett Mountain is what your group craves.

Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park

Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area offers 250-foot lanes for summer tubing, a wildlife habitat, biking, ice skating and more. Tennessee activities have seasonal advantages because they experience all four seasons. At Ober, winter, spring, summer and fall provide endless unique avocations like skiing, scenic chair lift rides, a rock wall, bumper cars, a jump pillow and other nature-based options.

Play vintage and retro arcade games at the Pinball Museum

A playful afternoon must include the Pinball Museum at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Over 100 rare pinball and retro arcade games are waiting to be played along with modern games.  Get competitive with games like Attack From Mars and Medieval Madness. Or go old-school with the 1960s classic Gottlieb Sky-Line.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Photo courtesy of dafacct via Pixabay

Delicious eats in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg’s Tennessee Cider Company offers the sweetest ciders and southern hospitality. The Goodwater Winery Gatlinburg offers the vineyard’s unique and locally made blends. Specializing in craft beer, craft pizza and cold brew nitro coffee, Gatlinburg Brewing Company is centrally located downtown.

Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Gatlinburg restaurant serves up burgers, brews and southern-fried staples. Also offering local fare is Local Attraction Gastropub. Located in the marketplace, Cookie Dough Bliss is where you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Consider these Gatlinburg, Tennessee attractions

Slug in the Village shops features gifts and souvenirs by local artists, designers and makers. Paying tribute to the Appalachian Trail and the Gatlinburg mountain setting, Appy Lodge offers a truly local feel.

Pigeon Forge

Mountain Mile for thrilling Tennessee attractions

Located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Mountain Mile is a major development featuring retail shops, entertainment options, authentic Tennessee attractions and various dining. You can find REI Coop and Appalachian Apparel company in the Tower Shops, among other favorites. Dining options at Mountain Mile showcase Cream & Sugar Sweet Shop, Currahee Winery, Mountain Rifle Coffee Company and Junction 35, to name a few. In addition, the Mountain Monster is an amusement ride that features three thrilling experiences launching from a 200-foot tower.

Feuding lumberjacks captivate audiences in Pigeon Forge

When the Dawson and McGraw families square off in 13 competitive logger events, there’s sure to be real completion among world-class lumberjacks at Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show. This authentic outdoor show performs regardless of the weather with the lumberjacks outside and spectators in a climate-controlled grandstand. The adjacent Lumberjack Adventure features the Flying Ox Zipline Roller Coaster, High Woodsman Challenge, Logger Sports and Timber Towers. In fact, the Flying Ox is considered the first cable-to-rail zipline rollercoaster and it takes travelers soaring above and around Lumberjack Square.

Tour natural Tennessee attractions in style

Probably the most interesting way to see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on a guided excursion with Pink Jeep Tours. For the first time in its 60 year history, Pink Jeep Tours has expanded east from the desert southwest. The expansion offers a number of guided tour options in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—the most visited national park in the United States. Pink Jeep Tours offers group rates so bring the whole gang for a memorable expedition.

A thrilling off-road ride on private property concludes each tour. Photo courtesy of Pink Adventure Tours

Groups will learn of history, geology, flora, and fauna from a Pink Jeep Tours certified interpretive guide. The tour of Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail takes guests on ecosystem changes equivalent to drive from Georgia to Maine on your 3,000-feet climb to Newfound Gap. Groups will experience some of the most incredible views in the nation along Foothills Parkway and learn the story of the decades-long project.

Each tour concludes with a thrilling off-road experience on private land, designed and built by Pink Adventure Tours. “We’re excited to be part of the Pigeon Forge Community. Groups of all ages will enjoy their guided experience through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the 4×4 adventure on private land,” said Jodi O’Gara, sales manager.

Consider these offbeat Pigeon Forge, Tennessee attractions

The Escape Rooms at Crave Golf Club pits your team against the clock with clues to direct your escape. The Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge showcases a 500-plus-foot year-round tubing hill and the first Alpine Flyer laser gun coaster. The Micro Wrestler’s Federation has found a home at the Microtorium bringing wrestlers fewer than five feet to the ring. Holgate Virtual Reality is open at TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena. Santa’s Haus, a 2,000-square-feet Christmas themed attraction, provides tons of merrymaking opportunities.


Sevierville invites travelers during the summertime to Soaky Mountain Waterpark, a 50-acre aquatic playground. Soaky Mountain features a first-of-its-kind water coaster, plenty of waterslides, a winding wave river and a 35,000 square foot wave pool capable of generating waves up to six feet high and more.

Sevierville Courthouse with a tribute statue honoring Dolly Parton. Photo courtesy of ruthdaniel3444 via Flickr

The Historic Central Hotel in downtown Sevierville is historic boutique lodging at its finest. Comparatively, Oak Haven Resort adds luxury with lux cabins and The Resort at Governor’s Crossing offers amazing condo units.

Aubrey’s Restaurant, located on Dolly Parton Parkway, serves up steaks, seafood and fresh local vegetables. Local Eatery & Grill is all about authenticity with a great menu and live music. Farmer’s Market concept Ogle Brothers General Store offers local jams and honey and a clothing line.

Find more amazing Tennessee attractions and things to do near Gatlinburg and subscribe to the current issue of Leisure Group Travel today.

Featured Activity

Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium

Situated in the heart of Missouri, the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium captivates visitors with a diverse array of creatures from land and sea. From the intriguing depths of the Sobela Ocean Aquarium, home to over 8,000 marine species, to the expansive grounds showcasing wildlife from across continents, it’s a celebration of nature’s marvels. A must-visit destination for a comprehensive zoological experience.

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