Gatlinburg is often the first choice when planning a Smoky Mountains vacation. There are several reasons that this has been the go-to place to stay and visit. There are dozens of place to stay, eat, shop, and be entertained just inside the strip. Going beyond the parkway offers even more of everything listed above.
Lodging The choices for lodging are as diverse as the forests that inhabit the national park. There are hundreds of motels, hotels, bed & breakfasts, cabins, condos, and campgrounds in this town. There is literally something to fit everyone’s taste and budget here.
Restuarants Like the lodging, there are dining options for every taste and budget here. You can find your typical fast food options here as well as ethnic choices such as Italian and Chinese establishments. There are a ton of grill & bars sporting many names you are used to such as T.G.I. Fridays and Hard Rock cafe. There additional restaurants that offer more upscale dining such as the Park Grill.
Entertainment If you are looking for entertainment, you have come to the right place. There are unique places to play mini golf, laser tag, haunted houses, Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum, Guinness Book of World Records Museum, and so much more. This is one area that Gatlinburg shines. There are an array of experiences that you usually do not see in other places.
Shopping You simply cannot walk five feet in this town without places that want your travel dollars. There are so many stores that sell a variety of goods that you can spend hour upon hour walking in and out of the unique shops. Yes, there are about a million t-shirt shops, but they also have unique souvenirs such as wood carvings, paintings, and so much more.
Proximity to National Park The national park is just steps from the town of Gatlinburg. Depending on traffic, you can be inside the national park within minutes and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. Some of the most popular trails are right outside Gatlinburg, so staying in town makes sense for a lot of people.
Traffic This is likely the largest problem that Gatlinburg faces. There is simply no way to get any where quickly in Gatlinburg by car. Even though the town boasts a 4-lane road throughout, the traffic is generally very slow at best. The town is simply bigger than the roads that run through it, and there is simply nowhere to expand the streets outward. There are not many traffic lights in the downtown area, but the ones that are in place will slow down traffic greatly. In addition, there are dozens of crosswalks in place for pedestrians to get from one side of the strip to another. The pedestrians always have the right of way, so this can and does further slow you down.