13 Best Downtown Gatlinburg Attractions

Walking down the downtown Gatlinburg strip offers not only breathtaking mountain vistas and charming tourist stores, but also some of the most thrilling activities you’ve ever seen! Check out these ten family-friendly activities in downtown Gatlinburg. We are recommending only the best Downtown Gatlinburg attraction, to help you with preparing a perfect itinerary.

1. Anakeesta Adventure Park

Anakeesta is an adventure park in the Smoky Mountains, located above downtown Gatlinburg. You may play, buy, dine, and relax while enjoying the greatest mountain views. Ziplines, a treetop skybridge, a mountain coaster, gem mining, and a treehouse town experience for kids of all ages are just a few of the activities available.

The chondola trip to Anakeesta, an outdoor adventure experience situated above the main parkway, is one of the newest things to do in Downtown Gatlinburg. You may buy a ticket to ride the Chondola, an enclosed gondola-chairlift that provides stunning views of the forest and the Smoky Mountains as you go to Anakeesta. You may visit the lovely Firefly Village, a cluster of stores and eateries near the peak, after you arrive. Mountain vistas, a tree-canopy walk, gem mining, a mountain coaster, and Anakeesta’s magnificent, dual-racing zipline are all available from here.

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2. The Shops in the Village

The Village Businesses’ unique shops will take you and your family back to a simpler period, complete with local shops, delicious handmade cuisine, and a lovely fountain in the middle. For a leisurely morning or afternoon, stroll around the stone streets and peruse the 27 shops.

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3. The Smokies’ Ripley’s Aquarium

At Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you and your family may easily spend the whole day there! You’ll meet new species and learn more about the ocean than you ever imagined, from caressing penguins to swimming with stingrays. There’s something for everyone on their schedule of events, which is jam-packed with fresh and interesting activities and exhibitions.

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4. Golf for Hillbillies

Miniature golf is a fun sport for the whole family. Hillbilly Golf offers 18 holes of putt putt golf on a course constructed into the side of a mountain. It’s one of Gatlinburg’s oldest attractions, and it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Read: 11 Fun Things To Do In Gatlinburg For Adults In 2024

5. Ole Red Restaurants in Gatlinburg

After a long day of events, Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant will not disappoint. Amazing cuisine, live music seven days a week, and a gift store await you! Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind eatery, whether it’s on your bucket list or you’re wanting a decent burger. Who knows who could appear while you’re there!

6. Attractions by Ripley’s

People of all ages appreciate the Ripley’s attractions. The Believe It or Not Odditorium, the Haunted Adventure, and the Marvelous Mirror Maze are among the eight Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg. Whatever Ripley attraction you select, your whole family will be astounded by what they see! You may even save money by purchasing one of their combination passes, which combine aquarium admission with admission to any other Ripley attraction of your choosing.

7. The Space Needle in Gatlinburg

Seeing the Gatlinburg Space Needle is an unforgettable experience. From almost 400 feet in the air, this panoramic picture showcases Gatlinburg’s splendor! At the summit, you’ll learn about Gatlinburg’s history and the Smoky Mountains’ history while admiring the breathtaking vistas.

The 407′ tall observation tower, located at 115 Historic Nature Trail in Downtown Gatlinburg, is a great site to take in views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. This observation tower provides a stunning 360-degree panorama, day, or night. There are various more attractions within the structure at the foot of the Space Needle, including an arcade, a laser tag game, and the Iris Theater, which hosts magic and illusion acts.

8. Mountain Coaster: Rowdy Bear

The Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster is an exhilarating mountain attraction. You have complete control over the pace of this coaster, which can reach up to 35 miles per hour! They’ve also opened the world’s first mountain glider, which will securely transport you above the trees.

9. Gatlin’s Escape Games

Gatlin’s escape rooms are exciting family activities that take interactive entertainment to new heights! With three distinct themes to pick from, your family will like the challenge and may wish to repeat it. Book your own private escape room party for your group if you want the venue to yourself!

10. Museum of Hollywood Star Cars

Take the automobile enthusiast in your family to the Hollywood Star Cars Museum. Several gems from your favorite films! Your children will enjoy viewing all of the old and modern automobiles. In addition to reliving Hollywood history, the gift store offers artifacts and an in-car picture!

11. Visit the Donut Friar for Donut Perfection

Stop by the Doughnut Friar for an out-of-this-world, melt-in-your-mouth, freshly baked donut, which is another of the finest things to do in Downtown Gatlinburg. Since 1969, when it first opened its doors in the Village Shops in Gatlinburg, this local institution has been making the best donuts in the Smoky Mountains. These amazing doughnuts have received wonderful reviews from tourists from all over the nation.

Even better, the donuts from this little store are priced between $0.99 and $1.19, making it difficult to resist a deal this fantastic. Even better, this charming small café serves some of Gatlinburg’s greatest coffee. If donuts aren’t your thing, they also offer bear claws and cinnamon bread, which are usually sold out. This restaurant, like the Pancake Pantry, only takes cash.

12. Go on a Haunted House Tour

The Mysterious Mansion are two haunted attractions in Gatlinburg that are open all year. This place is fantastic for having a scary good time! After all, there aren’t many sites where you can experience a haunted house at any time of year, so these adrenaline-pumping attractions are definitely worth visiting.

There are Downtown Walking Ghost Tours that take you to the most haunted spots in Gatlinburg if you want to seek for actual ghouls and ghosts during your vacation.

13. Take a tour of the historic Ogle Cabin

A modest, primitive cottage from Gatlinburg’s early days may be seen near the Gatlinburg Welcome Center on the east side of Downtown. The Ogle Cabin, built in 1807, was home to the first permanent European residents in this region of the Smoky Mountains.

This historic site is open to the public and provides an opportunity to experience what life was like in these lovely mountains before modern comforts and technology. A vintage old cottage nestled just off the Gatlinburg Parkway may seem strange. This cabin has been relocated multiple times to make space for new construction and to ensure its preservation for future generations. This old building may be seen near the McMahon parking garage at 520 Parkway. You may explore free art exhibitions at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, which is just a short walk away, for additional local culture.

Final words

The activities in downtown Gatlinburg will have you laughing and having a good time. Start your family trip now by booking one of the cabins. In the meantime, make sure that you come up with a proper plan, so that you will not get lost while trying to explore these attractions. 

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