Gatlinburg at Night: 5 Things You Won’t Want to Miss

The beauty of Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smoky Mountain setting is indescribable during the day, but the fun shouldn’t end when the sun goes down. In the evening, the town takes on a whole new vibe that’s worth witnessing if you’re not too tired from your daytime adventures.

The restaurants and bars are wonderful, of course, but if you’re really looking to amp up your nightlife experience in Gatlinburg, you’ll want to check out the following destinations:

Views from the Gatlinburg Space Needle

space needle and gatlinburg night lights

As the site of the annual New Year’s ball drop and fireworks show, Gatlinburg’s Space Needle clearly enjoys its best moments at night. While it’s also worth checking out during the day, this attraction really excels in the evening, when it provides the perfect vantage point for enjoying Gatlinburg’s twinkling lights.

Price Range: $12.95 – $15.95
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During your journey on this unique observation tower, you’ll rise to new heights in a glass elevator before taking in a magnificent 360° view atop its expansive deck. You’ll definitely want to bring a camera, but don’t forget to also enjoy the moment, as no photo can do this experience justice.

Riding the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

people riding on gatlinburg skylift park in the smokies

Offering another gorgeous view of Gatlinburg at night, the SkyLift Park experience begins with a ride in an open-air chairlift. This journey would make visiting the park worthwhile in and of itself, but the fun continues with the SkyBridge. As North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, the SkyBridge stretches an impressive 680 feet, reaching a height of 140 feet at its midpoint.

Price Range: $0 – $33.95
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Lights guide the way along the bridge at night, granting it a beautiful glow. The real visual treat, however, arrives when you view the lights of downtown Gatlinburg. The views from the SkyDeck are just as gorgeous. This leisurely space beckons you to relax as you take it all in. End the fun with a glorious return trip.

The Anakeesta Sunset

sunset view and red carriage overlooking gatlinburg at anakeesta

Typically thought of as a daytime destination, Anakeesta is arguably even more enjoyable at night. The outdoor theme park is often open until 10 pm. If you visit on a Friday or Saturday evening, plan to ride the gondola up around sunset, when you’ll enjoy a spectacular view.

Price: $0 – $34.99
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After you’ve made the ascent, you’ll enjoy access to a variety of activities and experiences. If you’re lucky, you’ll visit during one of the destination’s live music events — or better yet, for Movies on the Mountain.

Thrilling Adventure at Ripley’s Bear Mountain Coaster

mother and daughter riding a silver coaster in the mountains

Another attraction worth visiting after sundown, Ripley’s Bear Mountain Coaster delivers plenty of thrills on its alpine coaster. While the views from this attraction are breathtaking during the day, many enthusiasts prefer the experience at night, when the ride comes alive with beautiful lights.

Price Range: $12.99 – $24.99
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Even with these lights, the visibility is limited, making for a far more exciting ride. Every twist and turn feels exaggerated when you’re unable to anticipate what comes next.

Hiking at Cades Cove

tipton place in cades cove during the day

Cades Cove is a popular location for night hikes and starry skies. Get your fill of nighttime bliss and full moons when you join in on a guided hike in the area. This is great for all those nature lovers and astronomy fanatics as you walk along Cades Cove and look up at the ever-gleaming sky.

Price: $50 per person
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With that being said, however, make sure that you heed all warnings and watch out for bears, snakes, and other animals. This is why it’s best to usually go with a ranger or guide.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a beautiful view, a thrilling coaster ride, or a musical show, you’ll have no trouble finding memorable ways to keep entertained after the sun goes down in Gatlinburg. Hit the town for a night out — you’ll treasure the views, the vibes, and the memories.