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Photo of the skyline taken near our Gatlinburg cabin rentals close to the downtown Gatlinburg attractions.

Top 5 Gatlinburg TN Attractions You Have to Try

With an area that offers so many options for your entertainment it can be hard to decide how you are going to spend your time! To help you decide what to do when you’re in town, we’ve made a list of the top 5 Gatlinburg TN attractions that you have to try.

1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the SmokiesRipley's Aquarium of the Smokies, a gatlinburg attraction has been voted the best aquarium in the United States, and it’s really no surprise why! The aquarium has areas organized by types of interest, including the Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Coral Reef, Shark Lagoon, Discovery Center, Penguin Playhouse, and more. One of the things that you will not want to miss at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the underwater shark tunnel that you can walk through! You’ll be able to see as 12-foot sharks glide above you, as well as a variety of fish, eels, and a green sea turtle. The aquarium also has a number of unique experiences that allow you to get up close with the animals. Touch a stingray or jellyfish, waddle with penguins, or feed a sea turtle!

2. Ober Mountain

Ober Mountain is Tennessee’s only ski resort, but it’s so much more than just that. In the winter, snow skiing & snowboarding are the main attractions, whether you are participating or just observing. If you’re not already a pro, don’t worry, there are beginner slopes to advance and instructors are available if you want to take lessons first. And if you want to enjoy the snow without displaying your coordination skills, snow tubing is a great option. With ice-skating inside, the feeling of winter sports can be enjoyed all year long at Ober Mountain. This Gatlinburg TN attraction has plenty of fun throughout the rest of the year too, like an alpine slide, the Aerial Tramway, a mountain coaster, a wildlife encounter, and more. In the summer, keep cool on water slides and rides!

3. Gatlinburg Space Needle

Photo of the Gatlinburg Space Needle from the Parkway.Located in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg, the Space Needle stands 407’ tall with a glass elevator to take you to the top of the observation tower. From the observation tower, there is a 360-degree view of downtown Gatlinburg and the mountains in all directions, including the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the best photo spots that you will find! It even offers educational opportunities with its Higher Learning activity. Once you’re finished taking in the sights, ride the elevator back down and experience the fun at the base of the needle, like the arcade, the pizza restaurant, or the magic show!

4. CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains

CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains offers two incredible zipline adventures for you to enjoy, as well as a mountain biking trail! Both zipline adventures include an ATV ride to the top of the mountain, sky bridges, and rappels. The Treetop Zipline tour has you soaring through the trees over 9 ziplines and crossing 3 sky bridges. The Mountaintop Zipline Tour lets you experience higher vantage points than ever before right beside the person of your choice. If you want to explore the Smoky Mountains National Park with a feeling of adventure, take time to Challenge, Learn, Inspire, Master, and Believe at CLIMB Works.

5. Anakeesta

Anakeesta at nightAnakeesta is another one of the best Gatlinburg TN attractions that you have to try. This mountaintop adventure is full of fun for the whole family. Those looking for a thrilling experience can ride the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster or try the Dueling Zipline Adventure, and those looking for a calmer experience can stroll through the Vista Gardens or grab a bite to eat at Cliff Top Grill & Bar. There is something for everything at Anakeesta, not to mention the stunning views you’ll see everywhere you turn! You don’t want to miss the opportunity to explore this outdoor attraction.

Free Tickets to Gatlinburg TN Attractions

When you stay with us, not only will you be close to all the best Gatlinburg TN attractions, but you will get free tickets to some of the best! All of our guests are given a Smoky Mountain Adventure Pass that provides one free ticket per paid night stay to attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the Titanic Museum. Learn more about our Smoky Mountain Adventure Pass and start planning your vacation!

While you’re enjoying these exciting Gatlinburg attractions, you’re going to need a place to stay! Check out our blog, “Top 5 Cool Places to Stay in Gatlinburg TN for Your Next Vacation,” to see some of the best options.