Gatlinburg, Tenn., is the perfect mountaintop getaway, complete with breathtaking views of the Smokies and endless fun. Surrounded by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is steps away from outdoor adventure no matter what time of year you visit. This spring, take a hike during the Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage or attend a variety of workshops with local artisans during Hands-on Gatlinburg.
Start your day with a visit to one of the town’s famous breakfast spots like Crockett’s Breakfast Camp or Log Cabin Pancake House to enjoy a stack of pancakes that will keep you full all day. Then, spend some time in the country’s most-visited national park for a morning hike. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is an all-time favorite with an old-growth forest, rushing mountain streams, well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and other historic structures. Those wishing to enjoy the park from the road can also drive the motor trail which invites you to slow down and enjoy the forest and the area’s historic sites.
On your way out of the park, make a stop at Ely’s Mill for a journey back in time to “Old Gatlinburg” where craftspeople and nature work in harmony. A rare mountain gem, Ely’s Mill is full of homemade wares that celebrate Gatlinburg’s local culture, right on the banks of Roaring Fork Creek.
When it’s time to refuel, end your day with dinner at The Greenbrier Restaurant, a food and spirit outpost sitting right on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. Then, head back downtown to end your night at one of the many famous distilleries, wineries, or watering holes.
Cover: Magnificent overlooks are within easy reach of Gatlinburg. Photos courtesy Gatlinburg