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Area Attractions Near the Great Smoky Mountains

Fun, Family-Friendly Gatlinburg Attractions

Gatlinburg Trail

One of the Zoder family’s favorite nature walks, the flat, pedestrian-friendly Gatlinburg Trail stretches nearly two miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Along the trail, you’ll see old homesites and forests.

Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community

Located three miles east of downtown Gatlinburg, this eight-mile Arts and Crafts Loop features shops and studios of more than 100 independent Appalachian artisans, including painters, potters, woodworkers and whittlers.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

The oldest craft school in the state, the Arrowmont draws aspiring artists from around the world for workshops in everything from basket weaving to woodworking.

Cades Cove

The lives of the area’s earliest settlers come to life at Cades Cove, an 11-mile drive past age-old churches, barns and homesteads. You can also explore by bike, hike or horseback. Pack a picnic lunch for a fun full day.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Drive or hike this historic six-mile loop past mountain streams, well-preserved cabins and barns, and picture-perfect waterfalls, including Rainbow Falls, Grotto Falls and the Place of a Thousand Drips.

Space Needle

Take the glass elevator 400 feet up to an expansive observation deck with 360-degree views of the Smokies. Stay for pizza, laser tag and arcade games.

Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway

Climb aboard this 120-passenger aerial tramway for breathtaking views. The 2+ mile trip departs from downtown Gatlinburg.

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Guinness Book of World Records Museum

Interactive exhibits, themed galleries and games bring the book to life.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum

When cars steal the scene the wind up in the Hollywood Star Cars Museum, a tribute to more than 40 “car stars” from movies and television.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

From sharks to sea turtles to playful penguins, this top attraction gets rave reviews for its dive and feeding shows, exhibits and conservation initiatives. Don’t miss Ripley’s six other attractions, including the Believe It Or Not! Odditorium and Haunted Adventure.