Known as the Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a vacation mecca. Located a tad over six hours from Columbus, Ohio, this town will entertain, amaze and relax your wander’s spirit. From history and architecture to an amazing hands-on aquarium and 407-foot space needle, think of Gatlinburg as “the little town that could” – because it does. What other town could include a museum dedicated to salt and pepper shakers and retain a sky lift for half a decade? Don’t miss the eight-mile route through the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community to watch artisans from days-of-old hone their skills – and be sure to pick up a few treats along the way. With seven comfy campgrounds in the area, you’ll find a great home base for your Gatlinburg adventures. When moving about the city, we suggest using the Gatlinburg Trolley for stress free transit.
Start your Gatlinburg adventure by getting the lay of the land on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway and take in the view from above. Ride the Gatlinburg Space Needle 407 feet in the air to the observation deck with a 360-degree view of the city and surrounding Great Smoky Mountains—it is not to be missed. At the base, The Captured will challenge your intellect to use elements in the room, puzzles and clues to devise an escape. Continue the puzzle theme with ZipGatlinburg’s 27 obstacle Tree Trek – a combo zip line obstacle course. For more carefree, vintage-style fun, find your inner child at Arcadia – two stories and 25,000-feet of gaming fun. Or, follow your nose to Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine for a distillery tour to learn how spirits were made back in the day, then salute your trip with a free sample. End the day with a trip through Hollywood Star Cars Museum to see the likes of the Batmobile or the Furious 7 Aston Martin DB9 before heading back to your cozy Road Adventures trailer for the night.
AQUARIUMS AND WATER THRILLS
Start the day early at Ripley’s Gatlinburg Aquarium – 1.4 million gallons of water, more than 100,000 exotic sea creatures and a 340-foot underwater tunnel provide a below- the-sea adventure unlike any other. Continue with another Ripley’s attraction such as Ripley’s Moving Theater where 5D is defined or Ripley’s Odditorium, complete with a shrunken head and other unimaginable items. If you need to get out of Dodge for a bit, consider a raft trip on the Big Pigeon River. With names like Razor Blade and Vegamatic, the 12 Class III and three Class IV rapids guarantee an adrenaline rush. For the younger crowd, try Wild Bear Falls Water Park. At the end of the day, you will return, wet and pleasantly spent, to your comfortable Road Adventures camper trailer for a well earned rest.
When the sun goes down, Gatlinburg continues to play. Start the evening slowly by pausing to watch the sunset. We suggest at the top of the Space Needle – but arrive early and stay for a stunning look of the city at night. Stop at Smoky Mountain Brewery for a taste of local craft beer; if you are hungry the ale steak is a sure bet. Check out the live shows at Iris Theater for a sense of wonder, amazement and magic. Or, perhaps you are into the paranormal? Gatlinburg has a deep history and Appalachian Ghost Walks offer several options to explore a different realm – it will give shivers to the skeptic in you. Keep your heart rate up by riding the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster down along a partially lit track. Or, slow down by meandering through the 27 boutiques at The Village Shops (they stay open late) or riding the iconic Gatlinburg Sky Lift 1,800-feet over the city for a relaxing end to the day, then your cozy Road Adventures camper awaits your return.
Are you ready for an adventure?