If you’ve only got one summer day to spend in Gatlinburg, make it perfect! Here’s our guide to your ideal day in this Smoky Mountains town.
1. Fuel Up with Breakfast
Ruby Sunshine dishes up eight kinds of eggs Benedict, pancakes, and specialties from old-fashioned biscuits and gravy to trendy avocado toast. Pancake Pantry is a tradition for the past 60 years, serving fluffy pancakes, waffles, French toast, and omelets. At Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, enjoy yummy bacon waffles (with bacon cooked right into the batter!), sweet corn pone, griddle cakes, and more.
2. Walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Start at Sugarlands Visitor Center to pick up a map and see a short film about this magnificent park. Two easy walks start at the visitor center--try one or both. A trail less than a mile long takes you to the tumbling 40-foot-high cascade of Cataract Falls. The 1.9-mile Gatlinburg Trail follows the river from the visitor center to the outskirts of Gatlinburg. Either is a lovely way to stretch your legs after brunch while enjoying the great outdoors.
3. Shop for Local Crafts
The Smokies are famed for Appalachian crafts. Spend part of your summer day watching artisans work and buying unique souvenirs. The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community features an eight-mile loop lined with workshops where you can find everything from weavers and potters to painters, silversmiths, and woodworkers.
4. Experience a Museum
Cool off with an indoor stop. Gatlinburg boasts one of America’s best aquariums, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, where you can see 10,000 sea creatures. Plan ahead for a special experience like painting with the penguins or feeding the giant turtle! If your taste is whimsical, visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, a collection of more than 20,000 pairs of shakers with every theme imaginable!
5. Grab a Sweet Treat
Pick up homemade candies, plus honey, jams, and syrups, at Aunt Mahalia’s Candy Kitchen, or try tasty fudge and taffy at Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen.
6. Enjoy a Show
Thrill to magic and mind reading at “Impossibilities” at the Iris Theater. The theater is in the Gatlinburg Space Needle, so end your summer by taking the elevator to the top of the Needle for late-night views of the town sparkling far below!