Six Tips for Planning a Memorable Weekend in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is an exciting place to make lasting memories. It is one of the famous holiday hotspots in the USA for travelers. Many quote their visit to Gatlinburg as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, given its well-functional tourism management system and countless entertainment opportunities.

It houses several exciting and family-friendly tourist spots, theme parks, museums, exhibitions, musical and drama theaters, natural wonders, wilderness trails, historical treasures, and more. For instance, Titanic Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium, the Smoky Mountains National Park, Foxfire mountain adventure park, Rocky top mountain coaster, Knoxville wilderness trail, Forbidden Caverns, and Appalachian Mountains ghost tour are just a few options on the extensive list.

Gatlinburg is also famous for its rich, mouthwatering, and affordable cuisines. It is home to fantastic cafes and restaurants. The Buckhorn Inn, Tennessee Jed’s, Ted Oak Bistro, Trish Mountain diner, Cherokee Grill, Delauder’s BBQ, and Parton’s daily are a few irresistible dining places. And all of them lie roughly within a sixty-minute ride from Gatlinburg town.

That said, you will have a wonderful and memorable dining experience with their variety, tastes, and flavors. The following sections explore tips to plan an unforgettable holiday weekend in Gatlinburg. So do not wait and jot down your wish list for things to do in Gatlinburg TN for a memorable weekend.

1. Search for accommodation within Gatlinburg

If you only have a week for a Gatlinburg holiday, search for accommodation options within the town. Even if you are a native resident, traveling back and forth to Gatlinburg will waste money and time. And you cannot cover all the destinations and enjoy activities on your to-do list.

So explore accommodation options in the town. For instance, downtown accommodations are suitable options if you have distance and affordability constraints. Rental cabins and condos in Gatlinburg downtown are a cheap alternative to hotels.

They are fully furnished and provide all basic facilities like bedding, air conditioning, dining, electricity, and internet. You can also enjoy swimming pools, gaming stations, and aesthetic views if you can afford luxurious cabins. But prices also vary if the residence is near well-known travel attractions, cafes, and restaurants.

Many residents also lend rooms to travelers. They are cheaper than reputable hotel chains. It will give a chance to interact with local people, which is a good idea to get authentic knowledge about the place.

2. Explore local transport alternatives

Transportation can make or ruin your holiday experience. Since traveling is expensive, unwise transportation choices can further increase your expenditure. So look for different local transportation options in Gatlinburg. For instance, travel via shuttle, trolley, bus, or train services can reduce your traveling cost.

They have an extensive network across the town and outside and commute regularly. If you travel via trolleys, you will find a commute at short waiting intervals at each stop. And their stations also touch famous tourist attractions.

As such, Ripley’s aquarium is adjacent to the central base of the trolley network. Other tourism spots also fall within a short distance from most commute stops. But do not just rely on public transport. Keep your travel budget flexible, as local transportation alternatives have designated stops that may not cover every nook and corner of Gatlinburg and attractions on the outskirts.

For instance, you need a jeep to explore rugged trains and mountainous areas of Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains.

3. Search holiday attractions nearby to Gatlinburg

One week is not enough to explore many travel attractions in Gatlinburg, even though the town spans just twenty-six square miles. You will find countless options to entertain even if you explore Gatlinburg town. For instance, Gatlinburg space needle, Hollywood star cars museum, Ghost walk of Gatlinburg, Ripley’s moving theater, and Aerial tramway to Ober Gatlinburg are just a few options.

They all lie within the town’s boundary, and you can visit many attractions within a week if you plan your schedule. But if you also choose destinations in the outskirts of Gatlinburg, you will only exhaust yourself rather than enjoy. Thus keep your focus on attractions within the town. And once you enlist all the famous hotspots, schedule your visit and cover destinations that lie at a shorter distance from each other. A walking distance is an ideal situation. It will save your expense, energy, and time. Plus, you will get the most of your time in Gatlinburg.

4. Read online reviews

If it is your first time visiting Gatlinburg, gather some information while planning the trip. Many people worldwide must have seen this place, and you can learn a lot from their experiences. You can find more details through personal blogs and social media accounts.

Explore online resources with different keywords specific to Gatlinburg. You will find countless reviews from native travelers and foreigners. They also give recommendations for the best travel spots, activities, events, and how you should explore them.

They also share their challenges of visiting different locations and how to prevent troubles with some prior preparation. Their experiences will help you plan and enhance your know-how regarding Gatlinburg town.

You can resolve most of your doubts and misconceptions about traveling to a busy tourist destination in a foreign country. And you will not be completely clueless when you get there.

5. Narrow down focus to the holiday

When you plan and leave for a holiday, keep your focus on the main objective. You will not enjoy your trip if you carry worries from home or the workplace on your holiday. A week will pass by quickly. If you want to savor your experiences, block other thoughts and focus on the trip.

Sort out your professional and personal commitments before leaving for a vacation. Finish pending assignments at the workplace and take a few days off while you are away. Keep social interaction to the minimum so that your friends and colleagues do not bother you needlessly.

And if you leave for a solo trip, keep your family updated before everyone rings you out of worry. And finally, schedule your new routine and plan each day. Even if you are holidaying for a week, you need a schedule to explore many things and collect new memories.

So organize your routine for a rich experience in an unforgettable tourist destination. This preparation will also keep your focus on your holiday experiences.

6. Get some background information about Gatlinburg

The USA is one of the priorities for tourism and holiday for foreigners. It means Gatlinburg is not an inaccessible or deserted location; it is a busy tourism destination throughout the year.

Traveling to such a place can be an uncomfortable and miserable experience if you are stuck in a rush and hustle-bustle. So do not go without sufficient preparation and background research. Study the town, history, norms, code of conduct, and population while exploring famous spots and attractions.

Since Gatlinburg lies in a mountainous region, it has unpredictable weather conditions. So refer to news updates and monitor weather patterns. It will help you prepare suitable clothes, undergarments, and shoes.


A wholesome and unforgettable travel experience in Gatlinburg is impossible without sufficient time. One week is not enough to explore Gatlinburg, but opportunities vs. time restrictions can help you plan your holiday as best as possible.

Hence, spend some time in preparation and make all necessary arrangements to make the most of your one-week trip to Gatlinburg. Refer to this guide and get a rough idea of some traveling prerequisites.

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