Things to do

From the shopping and dining of downtown to all of the things to do in the Smoky Mountains, there’s no end to all you can see and do when you getaway to Gatlinburg.

How to Plan Your Gatlinburg Outdoor Wedding

Gatlinburg TN weddings

Gatlinburg outdoor weddings are glorious!

June is nearly upon us and if you’re looking for the perfect venue for your June wedding, then we heartily recommend an outdoor wedding in Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is beautiful any time of year, but spring in the Smokies is something special. Your wedding day will be even more memorable when you hold the ceremony outdoors. While outdoor weddings are not uncommon, there are so many settings and touches you can add to the ceremony to make it uniquely yours.

One of the more popular outdoor weddings in Gatlinburg is the gazebo wedding. These weddings are designed for people who prefer a small gathering, as they are usually attended by groups of 6-10 guests. The bride and groom ascend a few steps up to the main gazebo floor where the service is performed with Gatlinburg’s natural beauty as the backdrop. Gazebo wedding packages are available from several local wedding planners. It’s a good idea to make inquiries of several planners to see what is included with their packages before making a final decision. For example, there are packages that offer gazebo weddings near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and include ceremony, cake, floral bouquet, music and photography. Each package is different and they range in price from as low as $100 up to several hundred dollars and more. You can ask the wedding planners what special deals or custom wedding packages they offer, as many of them will work with you to create a beautiful gazebo wedding that fits your taste and budget.

Another type of outdoor Gatlinburg wedding that you can select is the garden wedding. Some planners have designed weddings with an English garden theme, where the bridal couple is married under an archway or pergola area that is festooned with flowers. Some of the planners in the area offer acres of landscaped gardens or even waterfalls as romantic backdrops for your ceremony. Depending on the package you choose you can also hold your reception within the garden areas following your wedding. A few of the garden wedding venues offer multiple garden sections with different flowering bushes and trees so you can select one area for your ceremony and other areas to take your wedding photographs.

Some couples rent a romantic cabin in the woods and choose to be married there. After the ceremony and a small reception, their cabin hideaway becomes the couple’s private paradise. They can enjoy the quiet and inspiration of nature that is Gatlinburg in springtime. Some cabins are perfect for an intimate getaway for two. Others are mansion-like with wraparound balconies, walls of windows and room for dozens of guests who could stay over and continue the wedding celebration with a shopping trip in town, boating, hiking or a private party.

After reading all of these inspiring ideas for outdoor weddings, you may have one question…What if it rains on my wedding day? This is a great question and it’s important to be prepared. Ask each planner that you interview what the ‘rain plan’ is. If they don’t have a suitable indoor alternative or a large tent that can be pitched in an emergency, look elsewhere. Also remember that your wedding day will be special regardless of the weather. Many people have been married on rainy days, so ‘wear a smile as your umbrella’ and enjoy yourself!

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Tell us about your wedding day in Gatlinburg! Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Satisfy Your Italian Food Cravings Right Here in Gatlinburg

visit Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg vacations

Enjoy pizza and other Italian specialties in Gatlinburg!

When you visit Gatlinburg you’ll discover dozens of casual and fine dining restaurants. Even though you’ll likely love the local cuisine, sometimes Italian food just seems right. In Gatlinburg you won’t have to worry that you’ll miss your NY style pizza because some of the best pizza around is made right here. While you can visit the big chain pizza places, what we’re talking about are locally owned and operated restaurants. These delivery, dine in and carry out places are Gatlinburg, through and through.

After a full day skiing or exploring all the shops Gatlinburg has to offer, you’ll surely work up a big appetite. Satisfy your craving for something extra delicious with crispy crust or deep dish pizzas, with as much cheese as you can stand. Gatlinburg pizza places know how to put together a tempting pizza pie, and they can even create vegetarian wonders for people who wish to indulge, but want to do so sensibly.

Enjoy a Variety of Italian Specialties in Gatlinburg

Variety and choice are both front and center when you order pizza in Gatlinburg. The local pizza places offer dozens of toppings and the Italian sandwiches and side dishes they make are perfect for rounding out your meal. Whether you have one or 21 in your party, hand tossed pizza, salad, lasagna, and more will tempt you. You’ll find just about every Italian specialty that you love is available in Gatlinburg, so you won’t have to let your desire for spaghetti, veal parmigiana, eggplant parmesan or garlic rolls go unfulfilled. If you’re in the mood for steak, why not try a steak pizza? Gatlinburg’s local pizza places are proud of their dough that’s made fresh daily and pizzas available in pan, thin crust or hand tossed varieties. Pizza wouldn’t be the same without side orders of peppers and extra sauce to complete the experience and Gatlinburg pizza places cater to your tastes with all of these finishing touches.

Try Specialty Pizzas and Calzones

You won’t want to leave town until you try specialty pizzas and calzones, Gatlinburg style. Some pizza places allow you to build your own calzones and pizza. The ingredients you can add range from green peppers, onions, tomatoes, Italian sausage and many more tempting toppings. Pizza chefs can add multiple types of cheeses, so when you ask for extra cheese, let them know if you mean mozzarella, feta, parmesan, ricotta or provolone. Gatlinburg pizza places know how to create mouthwatering breadsticks too. Get an extra side order of garlic butter and let the dipping begin!

One of the best things about Gatlinburg pizza is that you can get it your way. There are restaurants that sell specialty pies made with chicken, vegetables and several kinds of cheese and there are places where you can stop in fast to get a slice and a drink. Or you can luxuriate in your Gatlinburg hotel and let the pizza come to you, delivered hot and fresh. Before you even come to Gatlinburg you can take to the web and print out menus from several of the pizza places, so you’ll know ahead of time where you’d like to stop. You can start here to find the best pizza restaurants in Gatlinburg.

What’s your favorite Italian dish that you’ve eaten in Gatlinburg? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Plan Your Corporate Retreat in Gatlinburg

visit Gatlinburg

Bond with your group on fun activities!

If you’re the one tasked with planning your company’s corporate retreat this year, think Gatlinburg. A successful corporate retreat needs to be a mix of work and play to allow bonding and insights to flourish. Gatlinburg offers a year round opportunity to get away from the pressures of the office and rethink your company’s mission and vision.

One of the best lodging choices for a corporate retreat is in a large group cabin in Gatlinburg. These cabins are well-appointed super-sized log homes with multiple bedrooms and massive, centralized great rooms that work well for casual meeting spaces. In spring, summer and fall the second story outdoor decks that many of these cabins offer provide opportunities for colleagues to sit together surrounded by the grandeur of the Smokies.

While all group cabin amenities are different many of them offer these features and more that can make your corporate retreat perfect:

  • Widescreen TVs
  • Stereo systems
  • Fireplaces
  • Fully appointed kitchens
  • Hot tubs
  • Private bathrooms for each bedroom
  • Catered meals
  • Arranged transportation
  • Wireless Internet access

You won’t have to worry that the group cabins won’t have room for your entire party. There are a number of very large cabins for rent; some have up to a 36 person capacity. Most of the cabins in the Gatlinburg area offer very comfortable, and often luxurious accommodations. It is a good idea to write up a list of ‘must-haves’ when planning your retreat. That way you can ask a few questions when arranging the rental. One common question that some renters ask is: ‘Is the cabin handicap accessible?’ Another important question is: ‘How far is the cabin from downtown Gatlinburg?’ Some people also want to know if pets are allowed. These and other questions can be asked ahead of time to allow for better trip planning.

Rental rates will vary throughout the year. Most business trip planning experts believe that 3 days is the optimal timeframe for a corporate retreat. If colleagues know they will be staying overnight they will have more incentive to relax and ‘buy in’ to the theme of the trip. Some companies plan new websites on corporate retreats. Others discuss rolling out new services or upcoming acquisitions. Regardless of the theme of your corporate retreat, Gatlinburg cabins offer the beauty and privacy you need to get the job done.

After a long day of discussing your company’s future while at the retreat, it will be time to enjoy a great dinner. Gatlinburg is home to some of the finest restaurants in the Southeast. Try some hickory grilled steaks, barbeque, Mexican, fresh mountain trout, lasagna or seafood. Gatlinburg offers sports bars, Friday and Saturday night dancing, and private reception rooms for your group.

Come soon for your corporate retreat and enjoy Smoky Mountain Springfest that runs through June 2, 2013. See beautiful flowers and enjoy the feeling of renewal in the air that’s spring in Gatlinburg.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now.

Have some corporate retreat tips to share? Tell us about them in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Cades Cove Bird Watching Fun

visit Gatlinburg, Cades Cove vacations

Cades Cove beckons with history and natural beauty.

There are so many things to do in Gatlinburg not the least of which is enjoying all the natural beauty. Wildlife is abundant in the area, especially in Cades Cove within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you enjoy bird watching you’ll love Cades Cove because this immense valley surrounded by mountains offers opportunities to see a diversity of wildlife, including dozens of bird species.

Visitors often sight wild turkeys in the Cades Cove area. There are a number of nature trails in Cades Cove, not counting the 11 mile Loop Road. Later in the spring (beginning in May) the Loop Road is closed to cars on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10: 00 am. People love to bike and hike the loop road during these quieter times. In April there are multiple hiking opportunities in Cades Cove, from the easier Cades Cove Nature Trail to the more challenging Abrams Fall Trail and some of the longer trails that go to Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top. You could also take your car around the Loop Road and use one of the stop offs along the side of the road to get out and observe wildlife. Wherever you roam in Cades Cove bring your camera and log book because you’ll want to record your adventures!

In addition to wild turkeys, some of the larger birds you may see at Cades Cove include Great Blue Herons and Green Herons. Ducks inhabit the Cades Cove area in abundance, and you may see Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks, mallards, Gadwalls and Ring-Necked Ducks. As you make your way through the over 6800 acres that is Cades Cove, you’ll also have the opportunity to see Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks near the many pools and streams.

See our Smoky Mountain Birds Pinterest board for more examples of birds you may see on your visit to Gatlinburg.

Throughout the valley that is Cades Cove as you walk, bike or drive watch for black vultures along with Golden Eagles and American Kestrels. Cades Cove also makes a wonderful day trip to see the historical buildings around every bend of the Loop Road, and the bird watching is a spectacular bonus as you immerse yourself in the history of the area.

It’s a great time to see birds in the Gatlinburg area as they search for nesting spots to raise their young. Imagine picnicking at Cades Cove and seeing a wild turkey strutting by! Start planning your camping trip as Cades Cove has a large campground with over 159 sites that’s open year round. Be sure to stop at the Cades Cove Visitors Center which is located half way up the Loop Road to get more information that can help you get the most out of your trip.

Download your free Gatlinburg vacation guide now. You can also see our Cades Cove Pinterest board for more ideas.

Have you been to Cades Cove? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , | Leave a comment

See Candle and Pottery Artisans at Work in Gatlinburg

visit Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg trips, Gatlinburg arts and crafts

Visit Gatlinburg to see local artisans at work!

So you’ve enjoyed your trip to Gatlinburg and now it’s time to decide on gifts to take home to family and friends, and some great mementos for yourself. A trip to the Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community will provide dozens of gift ideas. While there are so many talented local craftspeople in this area, some of the most fascinating pieces created here are the one-of-a-kind candles and pottery.

See Candle Creation Firsthand

When you visit the candle makers in Gatlinburg there’s more to do than buy keepsakes. Candle shops invite visitors to see candle creation firsthand, and the process is remarkable. Plain candles are not what you’ll find in Gatlinburg candle shops. Some candles are placed in unique containers like jam jars. Others are highly scented. Still others look just like porcelain figurines and come in a wide assortment of sizes and types. You’ll be able to find candles that look like finely carved bears, fish, mice or birds. There’s a candle for most every interest, including religious figures, clowns, birthday bears and frogs. Many of these candles are beautifully hand painted; and you’d swear they were sculptures.

It’s hard to choose just one candle that would be the best souvenir from Gatlinburg, but there are some that look like exquisite carvings of black bears. Since black bears are often seen in this area, one of these candles would surely bring back memories of your trip. For those who enjoy aromatherapy, several of the shops offer these products, plus incense, potpourri and candle accessories.

Enjoy Floral Scented Candles for Spring

Hurry in as some of the candle shops have special floral scented candles for spring. Some of the shops also offer handmade soaps. A good idea is to ask the proprietors about gift baskets. You could pick out several candles and soaps and have them arranged in gift baskets to ship to friends and family. Usually the stores have a ‘no melt’ shipping guarantee, but this is another good thing to ask about before making purchases. Shoppers can also request that store staff light a few candles to try out the scents before purchasing.

In addition to gift giving, Gatlinburg handmade candles are great for fundraisers or special events. If you have an event coming up, consider purchasing and shipping home a few dozen candles to sell. They’d surely make a unique item to help promote your organization. A good choice for fundraisers would be some of the unique pillar candles that the shops create. These come in diverse styles; with some wrapped in wood, candy canes, bows and much more.

Did you know: Many of the candles made in Gatlinburg are made from soy wax, which is a renewable resource and a clean, long and even burning wax. Soy wax (melted then cooled before applied to your skin) is a great moisturizer.

Gatlinburg Pottery Designs Reflect Natural Surroundings of the Area

If you’re searching for some fun places to visit during your stay in Gatlinburg be sure to stop into some of the pottery shops in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community along Glade Road. Local artisans offer some of the most beautiful pieces you’ll find anywhere. Many pieces reflect the natural surroundings of the area and include leaf impressions, acorns and an array of blues, greens, reds, orange and other vibrant colors. You’ll find every type of pottery to match your taste and budget including plates, bowls, mugs, pans, pitchers, lamps, candle holders and vases. There are even framed prints of artists at work. Wood, candles and soap are some of the other handmade items you’ll find in the pottery shops.

Each piece of pottery is unique in shape and color. That fact alone makes pottery a great choice for decorating rooms in your home. Gatlinburg handmade pottery is not only beautiful, it can also be quite functional, too. Pottery pie plates, baking dishes, cups and more can lend a nostalgic air to any kitchen or dining room. Depending on the artisan, much of the pottery can be safely put through the dishwasher. It’s a good idea to ask about the stoneware pieces you buy to see what common usage is for each piece.

Watch Gatlinburg Potters at Work

Even if you don’t buy anything the stops at some of the pottery shops can be a lot of fun because you often can see the artists at work. Feel free to strike up a conversation with the potters and discover some of their ideas and inspirations for pottery making. Since pottery is so unique some visitors have said that they were able to find pieces for everyone on their holiday or special occasion gift lists. Some people like to purchase a piece or two every year upon returning to Gatlinburg, and have assembled impressive pottery collections that make distinctive conversation pieces.

Gatlinburg handmade pottery makes a beautiful and useful gift for yourself or friends and family. Once you find the pottery pieces you’d like to buy there’s no need to wrap them yourself for your trip home. Usually the pottery shops offer shipping services and they will take good care of your pottery and arrange for its safe shipment.

There are so many delightful uses for handmade pottery. Remember your Gatlinburg trip every time you drink your morning coffee in a beautiful handmade mug. How’s about a beautiful blue bowl to hold some garden fresh tomatoes? Why not a small, one-of-a-kind container as a pot to hold spare change? Or cut some daffodils and place them in a stoneware vase. These are a few ideas; let us know what pieces you purchase and how you use them!

If you visit Gatlinburg in April you can take advantage of The Yellow Trolley line to get to the Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Craft Community. Available 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily from April 5 – October and Monday – Saturday in November and December, the Yellow Trolley is the convenient way to go candle and pottery shopping.

Tell us about your visits with Gatlinburg artisans. Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Consult Our Pinterest Boards to Plan Your Gatlinburg Trip

visit Gatlinburg, TN

Visit our Pinterest boards to see more great photos!

If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words then our new Pinterest account should transport you in spirit to Gatlinburg. We began creating our 43 boards in September and we add to them regularly. The reason we created them was to give you more ways to discover Gatlinburg beyond what we provide on our website. So many of you have been so kind to follow the boards. As of this writing we have over 3200 followers. The diversity that Gatlinburg offers provides us with many opportunities to visually highlight the area on Pinterest. While Pinterest provides a variety of ways to display the photos we’ve collected, we’ll continue to brainstorm new board ideas. Our goal is to make these Pinterest boards useful for you; new and returning travelers to Gatlinburg.

Join us now for a short tour of our Pinterest boards. Perhaps you’ll find something inspiring to pin to your own boards.

We’ll start with our ‘Gatlinburg Travel Information’ board. This board provides a great pictorial summary of some of the top info you’ll want to know for planning your trip. We have a picture of the Aerial Tram set against amazing fall foliage. There’s info on convention and meeting space if you’re planning a corporate trip. We even include a link to our downloadable vacation guide.

You’ll want to see our Things to Do’ board. Here we feature shots of the Aerial Tram and the scenic chairlift at Ober Gatlinburg. Take a look at our photo of the Gatlinburg Zipline Family Adventure. With 27 different activities this attraction may require several repeat visits. Fishermen will be right at home in Gatlinburg as our area offers some of the best fishing in this part of the country. Be sure to see our fishing photos on our ‘Things to Do’ board.

A big part of your trip will likely be spent visiting all the attractions in Gatlinburg. Try our Attraction Information board for tips. You’ll see photos of penguins from Ripley’s Aquarium, info on the Dukes of Hazzard Store and Museum, pics of Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium, photos of Arcadia’s 145 interactive games and so much more. This is one of our biggest boards full of the color and excitement you’ll find in Gatlinburg.

Next we invite you to check out our ‘Scenic Gatlinburg’ board. Here you’ll see everything from mountain beauty to stunning cloud formations to gorgeous rivers and streams. The photos range from overlooking the city of Gatlinburg to some of the most beautiful scenery in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We even have a ‘Gatlinburg at Midnight’ photo.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of our Pinterest boards. There are many more boards for you to explore on our Pinterest page. Have fun repinning the photos to your own boards. You can collect them to build anticipation for your trip to Gatlinburg!

Do you love Pinterest? Which is your favorite photo on our boards? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Flowers: Where to find them and What’s Blooming

visit Gatlinburg

See wildflowers like this when you visit Gatlinburg!

While many people look forward to their summer vacation every year, Gatlinburg invites you to get away from it all early. Think Spring and come to Gatlinburg now for a wildflower show you’ll never forget! In Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone there are over 1500 different species of flowering plants. Couple that treasure trove of stunning blooms with the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage held by the Great Smoky Mountain Association and you can immerse yourself in a spring flora extravaganza the likes of which you’ll not find anywhere else in the country.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s abundance of wildflowers has earned it the nickname ‘Wildflower National Park,’ as it offers visitors more wildflowers than in any other national park in the United States. Visit the park in mid-April to enjoy a diversity of flowers in the lower elevations and then trek to higher elevations later in the month to enjoy the wildflowers spread throughout the park’s upper regions.

What’s Blooming in April and Where to See Them

Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park will see columbine, bleeding heart, ten different types of trillium, lady slipper orchids, showy orchids, crested dwarf iris, fire pink, phacelia, violets, jack-in-the-pulpit, little brown jugs and many more flower varieties. Visit this page on the park’s website for recommended wildflower walks.

The Great Smoky Mountain Association’s 63rd Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage is your chance to enjoy the park’s abundance of wildflowers while you participate in any of 150 programs and classes. The Wildflower Pilgrimage will be held at W.L. Mills Conference Center, 303 Reagan Drive, & various venues throughout the area.

Botanists, hobby gardeners and people who love nature hikes all are welcome. Visitors will enjoy guided hiking tours, instructional walks, guest lecturers and demonstrations. While wildflowers are a major focus, plants, trees, shrubs, mosses and ferns native to the area will also be highlighted, as will native birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Most programs will take place outdoors, but several classroom sessions and evening entertainment activities will be held in W.L. Mills Conference Center downtown to round out the week.

For more information please call 865-436-7318; Toll Free: 800-568-4178, or visit for the 2013 activity brochure.

What are your favorite Smoky Mountain wildflowers? Discuss your thoughts with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Gatlinburg News, Special Events, Things to do | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Join us for Earth Week in Gatlinburg

visit Gatlinburg

Celebrate Earth Week with us in Gatlinburg!

Over 40 years ago the first Earth Day commemorative activities were held. That first Earth Day is remembered as one of the catalysts that started the green movement across the world. Today Earth Week festivities and educational programs help people learn more about how to protect the environment. Come celebrate Earth Week in Gatlinburg! Spring in Gatlinburg offers you a unique opportunity to enjoy the wonders of nature while participating in activities and programs to help the environment!

Attend a Go Green Seminar, Help in the Spur Clean-up,  Go to the Wildflower Pilgrimage, Run in the Earth Day 5K, Play in the Disc Golf Tournament,  and bring the entire family to the Earth Day Festival. You’ll learn about easy green practices while you enjoy music, food, activities, games, craft stations, and more!

Go Green Disc Golf Tournament

Sunday, April 21

Mills Park. Registration begins at 12:30 pm.  Awards ceremony at 4:00 pm. Registration will be on-site. $20, $15 for children (13 & under).

Gatlinburg Goes Green Breakfast Seminar

Monday, April 22

Please call the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information: Local Phone: (865) 436-4178 Toll Free: 800-588-1817

Spur Clean Up

Tuesday, April 23

The Spur Clean Up on Tuesday, April 23 offers participants an opportunity to help beautify The Spur, a stretch of the National Park between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  This event is a partnership between Earth Week and Keep Sevier Beautiful to pick up trash along this route. To participate, bring a pair of gloves and meet at Gatlinburg’s Spur Welcome Center at 9:00 am.

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

April 23-27

The Great Smoky Mountain Association hosts the 63rd Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage.  150 programs including instructional walks and tours, demonstrations and guest lectures await you.  To download the 2013 activity brochure and register online, visit

Wildflower Pilgrimage Welcome Luncheon

Wednesday, April 24

Presented by the Gatlinburg Garden Club featuring “Cherokee Plant Lore,” with Ila Hatter

W.L. Mills Conference Center $25 per person

For tickets & information, Call  Pat Willoughby 865-397-7355 or Juanita King 865-453-6101 ext 481 or cell 865-654-4393.

Earth Day Festival

3:00 – 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 25 at Mynatt Park.

Bring the family for free crafts and activities, educational displays, food and live entertainment by Boogertown Gap and Tuatha Dea.

Shred Day 

Friday, April 26

Anna Porter Library in Gatlinburg 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Earth Day 5K Run/Walk in downtown Gatlinburg

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 10:00pm.

The Second Annual Earth Day 5K Run/Walk in downtown Gatlinburg is a night race. Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to participate in this USA Track and Field sanctioned event.  Guarantee your shirt size with early registration. Race night registration begins at 9:00pm at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Race starts at 10:00 pm.

Race Cost:

Student/Youth: $15

Advanced (before April 12): $20

Regular (April 13-25): $25

Day-of: $30

For more information please contact Jennifer Burke at the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (865) 436-0505; Toll Free: 1-800-588-1817; or email or visit:

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Winefest

On Saturday, April 27, 1:00 – 6:00 pm

Sample wines from more than a dozen Tennessee Wineries at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Enjoy small dish fare from the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains.  Enjoy food pairing demonstrations and wine talks in the beautiful Jules Verne Room. Participants must be at least 21- years old and pay a $20 admission fee.

Discover Life in America Great Smoky Mountains Salamander Ball

April 27, 7-10 pm at Gatlinburg Convention Center

Live music with the Johnson Swingtet

Tickets $75 for adults, $50 for Wildflower Pilgrimage participants, Children 12 & under free

Children’s Planting Program

Sunday, April 28, 1:00 pm at Mills Park Pavilion

Children are invited for storytime and seed planting activity. This event is sponsored by Keep Sevier Beautiful.

Want to know more about Earth Week in Gatlinburg? Ask us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelGburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Gatlinburg News, Special Events, Things to do | Leave a comment

It’s a Spring Thing

visit Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is the place to be this spring. Be sure to join us!

Winter is a glorious season that attracts thousands of visitors to Gatlinburg. When the snow’s grip on the high country gives way to spring, we literally rejoice at the signs of life everywhere. Come share our salute to the new season by discovering the culture, beauty and tradition Gatlinburg offers throughout April. ‘It’s a Spring Thing’ is our theme, and it permeates every event this month and throughout the subsequent weeks as well. Join us as we celebrate Smoky Mountain SpringFest (March 12, 2013 – June 2, 2013) with a full schedule of indoor and outdoor attractions:

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

April 5, 2013 – August 10, 2013

Performers entertain passersby throughout the summer, beginning in April. They share themed presentations from as far back as the 1800s. The richness of storytelling, musical entertainment and artistry lend a picturesque charm to the streets of Gatlinburg.
14th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament

April 6, 2013 – April 7, 2013

Kids and adults alike enjoy a challenge at the annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament. For fourteen years locals and visitors have battled for trophy trout in multiple categories. For information, call 865-661-3474 or email

Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon

April 13, 2013 – April 13, 2013

If you’re 15 years or older and can bike, swim and run, try your hand at the 7th Annual Triathlon. This event pits entrants versus other competitors and each person against him or herself with the challenge of swimming one-half mile, biking twenty kilometers, and running five kilometers consecutively. Awards will be given in men’s and women’s divisions (multiple age categories), plus a mixed team relay event. The triathlon at the Community Center starts at 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required. Call (865) 436-4990 to find out more. Admission: Entry Fee

Smoky Mountain MABC Regional Bridge Tournament

April 15, 2013 – April 21, 2013

The Smoky Mountain Mid-Atlantic Bridge Conference Regional is the largest regional bridge tournament in the United States. This large tournament of the Mid-Atlantic Bridge Conference will be held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Players from around the U.S. and around the world participate in this annual event. Thousands of players will compete from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. each day. Contact (800) 568-4748 or visit for more information.

Food Ministry Fiesta

April 18, 2013 – April 18, 2013

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies hosts the third annual Food Ministry Fiesta at 6 p.m. The event benefits Sevier County Food Ministries and one hundred percent of the proceeds go towards their outreach programs and special projects. Entertainment and refreshments included. For ticket information, call 865-428-5182.

Mountain Man Memorial March

April 20, 2013

The Sixth Annual Mountain Man Memorial March is a 26.2-mile march in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee which will be conducted Saturday, April 20 in Gatlinburg as a tribute to our men and women in uniform. Initially held to honor local fallen hero Tennessee Army ROTC Cadet – 1LT Frank Walkup who was killed in action in Iraq, the event has grown to honor many other heroes who gave their lives unselfishly in the course of serving their country.

Today more than 20 ROTC units, active duty military, reserve and guard units, veterans of all services, family & friends of the fallen, JROTC units, and even Cub Scout Packs participate in this unique event that celebrates service and recognizes sacrifice. Runners and marchers representing the military and civilians participate in marathon and march activities, individually and as teams. Everyone covers the 26.2 mile course that goes through downtown Gatlinburg and then winds its way along Highway 321 and then into the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The run/march portion of the MMMM begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, 20 April 2013, in Gatlinburg.

For more information call (865) 974-5371 or visit

Earth Week

April 21, 2013 – April 27, 2013

Spring gives us signs of life, and Earth Week in Gatlinburg teaches us how to leave the world a better place. Bring the entire family to Gatlinburg to learn about easy green practices, enjoy music, activities and games, food, crafts and more! Enjoy the Gatlinburg Goes Green Breakfast Seminar, play disc golf, help pick up trash along a stretch of the National Park and participate in many more green activities.

For a full listing of Earth Week activities please visit:

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

April 23, 2013 – April 27, 2013

As winter fades and the colors of spring begin to sparkle throughout the Smokies, Gatlinburg blossoms into the center of all things botanical during the Great Smoky Mountain Association’s 63rd Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage. The Wildflower Pilgrimage will be held at W.L. Mills Conference Center, 303 Reagan Drive, & various venues throughout the area.

The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage offers over 150 programs. Participants range from botanists to hobby gardeners. Visitors can take advantage of guided hiking tours and instructional walks, guest lecturers and demonstrations. Flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, mosses and ferns native to the area will be highlighted, as will native birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Most classes take place outdoors, but several classroom sessions and evening entertainment activities are held in W.L. Mills Conference Center downtown to round out the week.

For more information please call 865-436-7318; Toll Free: 800-568-4178, or visit for the 2013 activity brochure.

Earth Day 5K

April 26, 2013

Earth Day 5K Run/Walk in beautiful Gatlinburg. Funds raised will benefit the Chamber Foundation’s initiatives in education and our green program. Begins and Ends at NOC Gatlinburg, 1138 Parkway

For more information please contact Jennifer Burke at the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (865) 436-0505; Toll Free: 1-800-588-1817; or email or visit:

Race night registration begins at 9:00pm at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Race starts at 10:00 pm.

Race Cost:

Student/Youth: $15

Advanced (before April 12): $20

Regular (April 13-25): $25

Day-of: $30

Awards will be given for best overall male and female in each category, and the overall group winner. Age categories: 12 & under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and 50 and over.

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Winefest

April 27, 2013

1 pm to 6 pm – On the Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Sample wines from Tennessee wineries and enjoy dishes from some of the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains. Enjoy food pairing demonstrations and wine talks in the beautiful Jules Verne Room. Participants must be at least 21 years old and pay a $20 admission fee.

Need more info on spring events in Gatlinburg? Ask us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!

Categories: Special Events, Things to do | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Fun Outdoor Activities for the Whole Family in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg, TN, Gatlinburg, TennesseeGatlinburg is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the US, and the area is best known for its surreal natural beauty, endless array of attractions, southern hospitality, and fantastic restaurants.  Gatlinburg offers so many opportunities for families to have fun outdoors together. If you are seeking an outdoor adventure to have with your family, Gatlinburg has exactly what you’re looking for. Take a look at all the Smoky Mountains has to offer and discover your next adventure in the Great Outdoors right here in Gatlinburg!


Hiking is one of the most popular ways to explore the Smoky Mountains. If you’re ready to experience the mountains from within, choose an exciting hiking trail and bring your family along! Some of the trails feature spectacular views, waterfalls, forests, and distinct species of plant and wildlife indigenous to the area. Before you choose a trail, decide what you would like to experience on your hike and review the National Park Trail Guide to find the perfect trail. Make sure to also take into account the length and difficulty of the trail so that you can choose one that suits the activity level of your family.


Bicycles are permitted on most roads in the park, so you can have a cycling adventure with the family virtually anywhere you choose in the Smoky Mountains! One of the most popular places to ride is Cades Cove, but there are also many other trails that are ideal for cyclists in Gatlinburg. Cades Cove is a great venue for cyclists because the one-way roads are much easier to traverse than many of the other roads in the Smokies. Before you begin your cycling excursion, evaluate the terrain to make sure that you and your companions can ride comfortably.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is offered in many areas of Gatlinburg and the National Park. If you prefer to ride in the park, there are a few areas that offer guided horseback riding. Check here to find a list of stables in the National Park. If you prefer to ride closer to the heart of Gatlinburg, head to the Sugarlands Riding Stables or Smoky Mountain Stables to take a guided tour through the mountains on horseback. Some stables also offer guided tours of the backcountry, which is one of the best ways to experience the Smokies and learn more about the area.

Gatlinburg; Gatlinburg, TN; Gatlinburg, TennesseeWhitewater Rafting

There are miles of rapids ripe for the riding here in Gatlinburg. Whitewater rafting offers you the chance to experience an exciting ride on the fresh, cool Smoky Mountain rapids. While whitewater rafting always feels great in the summer, you can also enjoy the adrenaline rush and exciting atmosphere in the spring!


For a true outdoor experience, Gatlinburg makes it easy. The area is home to campgrounds in town, in the park, and in the backcountry so you can choose your perfect paradise whether you are sleeping in a tent or parking your RV. Some of the campgrounds are completely equipped with restroom and show facilities, pools, recreational centers, and more. You can also find great camping opportunities in Elkmont and Cades Coves.


Zoom through the Smokies and see the beautiful mountain ranges from a new perspective when you take the family ziplining. Whether it’s the first time you’ve tried ziplining or you’re a seasoned veteran, buckle in for a wild ride in the Smoky Mountains at one of Gatlinburg’s ziplines! Check out our Family Guide and Outdoorsman’s Guide for more fun family friendly ideas to make your Gatlinburg trip one you’ll always remember!

What’s your favorite outdoor activity in Gatlinburg? Share it with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Google +!

Categories: Things to do | Leave a comment

Blog at