Gatlinburg is a resort town located in eastern Tennessee. It is a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Downtown Gatlinburg may come as somewhat of a shock for those on their way to a nature getaway in the national park - from the Space Needle to the amusement rides, the town hasn't necessarily chosen to embrace its "nature" side. That said, there is plenty of lodging, restaurants, and other amenities to make this town a useful base for exploring the park.
Gatlinburg is best reached by the north by taking I-40 to TN 66 SOUTH. Follow TN 66 to US 441 in Sevierville and follow US 441 through Pigeon Forge and into Gatlinburg.
From the south US 441 passes through the heart of the Smokies, bringing in traffic from Cherokee, NC. It is about 35 miles from Cherokee to Gatlinburg, but the high volume of tourist traffic on the road can make the trip at least an hour long.
Gatlinburg offers a trolley that takes tourists around the town without fighting the traffic. There are several park-and-ride locations. The Gatlinburg By-Pass allows traffic heading into the National Park from the north to bypass the Gatlinburg business district. There are scenic vistas along this road as well.
Most visitors to Gatlinburg are here due to the close proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but for those who want to escape from nature there are a vast number of attractions in town, ranging from interesting to educational to tacky & bizarre.
* Cooter's Place - Dukes of Hazzard store and museum.
* Gatlinburg Sky Lift - Ride up Crockett Mountain for panoramic views
* Gatlinburg Space Needle - Observation tower and arcade.
* Guinness World Records Museum - 1200 incredible exhibits.
* Hollywood Star Cars Museum - World's best star cars collection.
* Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.
* Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum - 500 exhibits of incredible artifacts.
* Smoky Mountain Winery - Complimentary tour and wine tasting.
* Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre.
* Hollywood Wax Museum, 903 Parkway.
* Ober Gatlinburg - Includes an aerial tramway, alpine slide, bear habitat and ski resort.
* Wild Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark.
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