Overview: Road Trip and Things To Do in Gatlinburg TN
This small town is located at the entrance to the most visited National Park in the US. With the natural landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains, it attracts over 11 million visitors a year. People come from all over the world to for the outdoor adventures, family fun things to do in Gatlinburg TN. Downtown Gatlinburg has many local and unique shops restaurants to visit such as arts, crafts, souvenirs and breakfast eateries that displays the traditions of Gatlinburg. This small yet serene town is certain to make long lasting memories.
Morning: Road Trip and Things To Do in Gatlinburg TN
Quick Stop at the Meadowlark Lobby
Stop by the lobby for a lite breakfast bite and snacks for your road trip!
Drive to Cades Cove
Cades Cove Loop Rd, Townsend, TN 37882 Phone: 865-435-1200
Cades Cove is a perfect way to begin your morning trip towards Gatlinburg. The Cades Cove Loop winds for 11 miles through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a picturesque drive with a backdrop of the mountain peaks and its lush, rolling greens. During the winter; it can be transformed into a winter wonderland with a coat of snow covering the landscape. The gently winding road offers many places to stop, park and stretch your legs while taking in the scenery. When traveling the scenic loop road, plan to get out and visit the restored buildings that include three churches, log homes, cantilevered barns and a working mill. Halfway through the Loop, make a point to stop at the Visitors Center. Most importantly don’t forget to take pictures!
Tips: During your drive, keep an eye out for white tail deer, coyote, elk, fox and/or black bears [hibernating during the winter months]. Additionally, bringing a snack and drink during the drive is recommended, our Meadowlark staff will have you covered!
Brunch at The Pancake Pantry
628 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 Phone: 865-436-7894
Hours for this restaurant is 7:00AM-4:00PM Monday-Sunday
Breakfast…what a delightful challenge! The Pancake Pantry has been in business for over 50 years! It was the first Tennessee pancake house in the state and has become a tourist tradition over the decades. This restaurant has twenty-four different varieties of pancakes, many waffles, farm fresh eggs, sizzling ham, bacon or country sausage and golden butter-fried hash brown potatoes. If omelets are your choice, they have seven to choose from. Menu
Scenic Aerial Tramway
1001 Parkway #2, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Tickets and Info: 865-436-5423 or visit
Hours for the venue is 9:30AM–8:30PM Monday-Sunday
Departing from downtown Gatlinburg, this cable car will take you on an incredible 2.1-mile ride up to the Amusement Park & Ski Area. Ober Gatlinburg’s tramway system is one of America’s largest. Skiing is not required. Once your reach the end, you will be let out at their Ober Gatlinburg’s enclosed Mall. Inside there are various vendor booths and snack options. Celebrate the festive season by ice skating while you are at the top! The rink is the centerpiece of the mall and is a ton of fun! All Ages: $9 (3 hour continuous session + skates)
Ice skating isn’t your thing? Don’t worry!
576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Tickets and Info: 865-325-2400 or visit
Hours the venue is 10:00AM-6:00PM Sunday-Thursday, 10:00AM-7:00PM Friday-Saturday
Anakeesta offers a picturesque chondola, 4 person chair lift of a tramway to the top. The summit of Anakeesta is one of the most scenic views around town. Discover the panoramic overlook of the Mt. LeConte Range hidden just above Gatlinburg’s downtown strip. While at the top there are many recreational activities available such as gem mining, dueling zip line, a children’s tree house village playground (free) and a tree canopy walk (free). Want to just relax? Sit back and unwind at Firefly Village as you watch the mountain mist. Then, find your favorite spot to watch the sunset over the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy the twinkling lights of Gatlinburg come alive below. Don’t forget to bring a camera for photos!
Walkthrough of the Gatlinburg Strip!
The Village: 634 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
For a complete listing of shops visit: https://thevillageshops.com/the-village-shops/
After your scenic tramway or ski lift ride check out what downtown Gatlinburg has to offer! During the holiday season; the town is transformed with décor and lights. During your walkthrough The Village is a must see experience. This boutique center transforms itself into a miniature Christmas town and is perfect for picture taking with the family!
Dinner at The Peddler Steakhouse
820 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 for reservations, Phone: 865-436-5794
Hours for this restaurant is 5:00PM-9:00PM Sunday-Friday, 4:30PM-10:00PM Satuday
A Scenic river front dinner is a perfect way to end your Gatlinburg, TN trip! This restaurant has become a tradition for tourists and locals. They best are known for their grilled beef, chicken, and trout with a full salad bar. Menu