Top 10 Things to Do in Gatlinburg this July

Summer is Gatlinburg’s best season, and it’s nearly upon us! There’s a lot to do in Gatlinburg year-round, but in the summertime, the town’s special character really comes out to play. Here are ten things you can do in Gatlinburg during the middle of the year. 

1. Independence Day Parade

The 4th of July is big in Gatlinburg, and they’ve got one of the oldest Independence Day parades in the nation. Accompanied by a concert and fireworks, this is a fun midnight event you won’t want to miss. 

2. Fireworks over Downtown

Celebrate Independence Day in Gatlinburg! Admission to the fireworks show is free so if you’re looking for a fun activity to add to your itinerary that won’t tip your budget, look no further. 

3. Ice Skate at Ober Gatlinburg

This is an enormous, family-friendly indoor ice arena. Whether you’re a triple salchow-ing pro or a complete beginner, you’ll have a lot of fun here.

4. Explore the Deep Sea at Ripley's Aquarium

Ripley’s has more than just a museum, there’s an aquarium, too. And like everything down south, it specializes in big. While you’ll still find plenty of cute penguins and colorful starfish, their big attraction is their sharks. You can even sleep with them!

5. Walk the Streets of Downtown

Sometimes the best things to do are unscripted. When you plan your trip to Gatlinburg, be sure you leave at least one free afternoon to wander the streets of downtown at your own pace. Here you’ll find museums, theatres, one-of-a-kind shops, aquariums and more. Start your walk with no plans and see what you stumble across!

6. Visit the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

From July 10-19, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair reigns supreme. Nowhere else will you find such expertly crafted music and art. Come to look, come to network or just come to meet fellow art lovers. 

7. Take in the Views at Anakeesta

If Gatlinburg knows one thing, it’s outstanding mountain views. There’s so much to do up high in the sky in this town. Anakeesta is a fun place to play and relax from some really great heights. Looking for something calm? Take a stroll through the gardens and check out the restaurants. Looking for more adventure? Zipline right through the Smoky Mountains!

8. See a Show at Sweet Fannie Adams

Visit the Smokies’ oldest purveyor of onstage musical comedy. No two shows are ever quite the same!

Sweet Fannie Adams is basically Gatlinburg’s answer to Broadway. All the glitz, glamor and fun without the outrageous ticket prices. Don’t worry about dressing up with monocles and binoculars! Gatlinburg musical comedy theater is welcoming to all ages and provides a very laid-back experience. 

9. Dine on the Roof at Loco Burro

One of summer’s greatest benefits is that you can eat outdoors. Enjoy a house-made margarita along with some mesquite-grilled Tex-Mex. All with a great outdoor view and a lot of fresh, July air.

10. See Live Music at Ole Red

Live music is a big part of Southern culture. This music venue gets its name from one of Blake Shelton’s first hits, and they do their best to recreate Shelton’s laid-back, genuine feel. This is the place to be if you’re interested in seeing some of country music’s newest rising stars (and maybe some yet-to-be-discovered superstars, as well!).