Planning your first trip to the Smoky Mountains can be both exciting and stressful. Chances are there are a ton of places you want to visit, and only a short number of vacation days. Luckily, there are some must see places that we have found that you have to add to your itinerary to narrow down the list. Here are 4 Gatlinburg attractions for first-time visitors:
For some of the best views of the Smokies, you need to visit Anakeesta. This mountaintop theme park offers plenty of entertainment for the entire family, including the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg, the longest tree-based skywalk in North America, and a unique mountain coaster. While you enjoy all the fun, you will be surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of the Smoky Mountains, which makes this one of the most amazing Gatlinburg attractions! Anakeesta is also a great activity for kids, as they have plenty of things for children, including a challenge course and gem mining.
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Everyone in your group is sure to love a visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which is home to over 10,000 exotic sea creatures in 350 individual species. The neat thing about this aquarium is that they have dozens of hands-on activities, including the Touch a Ray Bay where you can pet a real stingray. There are also plenty of exhibits for kids, such as the Penguin Playhouse and the gigantic playground on the ground floor. For even more adventures, be sure to visit some of the other Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg!
3. Ober Gatlinburg
While Ober Gatlinburg is mostly known for its winter activities, it is a fun filled destination that your family can visit all year round. If you are lucky enough to check it out during winter, you can hit the slopes with all sorts of winter sports including snowboarding, skiing, and snow tubing. However, for those who like to stay warm, visit Ober Gatlinburg during the spring and summer to take part in some of their other excellent activities, including the Alpine Slide, Wildlife Encounter, and Summer Tubing. Of course, the fun begins with a ride to the top of the mountain on the Scenic Chairlift or Aerial Tramway!
4. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
For those looking to experience things you can’t find anywhere else, the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is the place for you! It is home to the longest pedestrian cable bridge in all of North America. The SkyBridge covers 700 feet and hangs at a height of over 500 feet in the air. The most exciting part of the bridge is the 30 feet section that is made of see-through glass. This enables you to look down to see exactly how high up you are. Throughout the rest of the park, you will find numerous ways to soak in the beauty of the Smokies, beginning with a ride on the iconic yellow chairlift.
Of course, no trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a visit to The Peddler Steakhouse. We provide an excellent meal with an incredible view and atmosphere. Check out our Gatlinburg restaurant menu to start planning your trip today! After your meal, you will be just minutes away from all the best Gatlinburg attractions. We look forward to seeing you soon!