The following is a guest blog from Westgate Resort:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a visit to the extraordinary Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Indeed, this national treasure is a primary reason why innumerable people come to Gatlinburg every year. Indeed, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, with over 10 million guests in any given year.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits on over 522,000 acres and sits on the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. A visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can include activities like:
· Horseback riding
· Historical exhibits
· Scenic drives
· Exploring amazing vistas
Another of the great features of the Park is cost. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of only a few in the country that does not charge an admissions fee.
Mountain Moonshine Tastings
Like many people, you may have participated in wine tastings. You may have toured a “wine country,” – there are a lot of them today. But, odds are you’ve yet to experience a mountain moonshine tasting. And, that’s something you’ll definitely want to consider doing when in Gatlinburg.
There are two main destinations of choice in Gatlinburg when it comes to moonshine tasting, Sugarlands Distilling Company and Ole Smoky Distillery welcome folks the year around.
Tennessee Homemade Wines
If you’d prefer a more traditional wine tasting, Gatlinburg does not disappoint. Tennessee Homemade Wines presents vintages made from area fruit and crafted by area residents. Tennessee Homemade Wines offers you the chance to enjoy a great wine tasting among some of the friendliest folks around.
Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Loop
If you’re an art enthusiast, or if you have an interest in authentic Appalachian crafts, make time for the Great Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Loop when in Gatlinburg. The Loop gives a whole new meaning to an art walk. You can elect to stroll the Loop. There is also a trolley available as well.
You will be able to watch mountain artisans and craftspeople make a myriad of stunning items – from pottery to painting to baskets and other attractive pieces. The Loop also features five galleries that feature local, regional, national, and even international collections. There are over 100 shops and galleries featured on the Loop.
Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram
If you want a birds-eye view of the city of Gatlinburg and the magnificent Smoky Mountains, you will want to take a ride on the Ober Garlinburg Aerial Tram. You board the tram in downtown Gatlinburg. The ride takes you over 2 miles up 11,000 feet to a mountain peak. At the top, you will be able to enjoy everything from a small zoo to shopping and dining (among other things).
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre hearkens back to another area, to the music halls of the late 19th century. At Sweet Fanny Adams you will be able to see family-friendly variety shows that include song and dance, magic, and a healthy helping of audience participation. The two hour shows are highly affordable.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
Another must-see destination in Gatlinburg is the 407-foot Gatlinburg Space Needle. At the top of the Space Needle, you are afforded tremendous views of the beautiful Smoky Mountains as well as of the city itself. The Space Needle comes complete with educational exhibits that present the history of the area. The Space Needle is home to Arcadia, a 25,000 square foot arcade, and a pizza parlor, Slice Pizza.
Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area
The Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area is open year around. In the wintertime, visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Snow tubing is also available for people who neither ski not board. The Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area also has a fun amusement park, with special features for the kids. You can access the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area either by car (weather permitting) or a tram from downtown.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
A popular destination for the kids, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies presents opportunities to get up close to a broad spectrum of interesting and beautiful marine animals. In addition to taking a gander at these creatures, guests have the opportunity to pet a penguin or swim with a stingray.
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster
The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is another family friendly activity. This coaster puts you in charge, with individual cabs, complete with personal braking. The coaster takes you on a delightful ride through the natural splendor of the area.
In considering the Gatlinburg scene, it truly can be said that there is something for everyone. Indeed, there are many destinations that a visitor to the city definitely will want to take in.
Ramble On: A History of Hiking