Nothing fires up the group more than having something fun to do together — and Gatlinburg, Tennessee truly has it all. From ski resorts and amusement parks to whitewater rafting and parkland explorations, there is no shortage of awesome things to do. So, check out this list and start planning your group adventures, confident that fun awaits at every turn.
Check Out Ober Gatlinburg
When you need mountaintop fun for everyone, Ober Gatlinburg is the place to go. As a hybrid ski resort and amusement park, this venue is jampacked full of amazing activities. You can treat yourself to rides on the two-mile aerial tramway, exciting mountain coaster, and chair swings. Or try out the ice bumper cars, water raft rides, and wildlife encounters. Ski and snowboard enthusiasts will love taking the scenic chairlift to the top, then racing back down across miles of trails. The freestyle terrain park is a blast as well, giving everyone a chance to perfect their favorite tricks.
Explore Downtown Gatlinburg
To experience the best of Gatlinburg, all you have to do is stroll through downtown along the Parkway. Along the way, you can check out all the stores, restaurants, and entertainment opportunities, noting your preferred spots. And if you want to speed up your sightseeing tour, just hop on the free trolley. During your explorations, you can fill up on footlong hot dogs and other fair time treats or sit down at a fancy restaurant. Your group can also catch a movie at the 3Dtheater, try mini-golf under blacklight, and play arcade games to your hearts’ content.
Picnic in the National Park
Just 30 miles outside of town is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering the perfect backdrop for a picnic. This park boasts a lovely combination of natural features and ecosystems, including forests, swamps, and caves. You can easily find a gorgeous spot to spread out a blanket and settle down for a tasty meal. While you eat, opportunities abound to capture a glimpse of elk, eastern box turtles, and everything in between. Afterward, work off the calories by exploring the miles of well-maintained trails.
If you are ever at a loss on what to do, mini-golf is there to save the day. As a staple of Gatlinburg, miniature golf courses cover the landscape along the Parkway and beyond. Nearly a dozen distinct venues offer their own take on this game, providing many different courses to enjoy. To explore the options in style, take your group out to conquer them all and crown the reigning champ week after week.
Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
As is tradition, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies provides a look at the weird and the wonderful — just underwater this time around. Across their two levels, they house an incredible array of sea creatures and much more, including African penguins. You can watch as divers swim with the sharks and stingrays, even letting them eat out of their hands. If you are brave enough, you can also get in the water with the stingrays, ride on a glass-bottom boat, and feed snappy sea turtles lettuce.
Go Whitewater Rafting
Beginners and enthusiasts alike can experience the ferocity of the local raging rivers by taking whitewater rafting excursions. Just choose your preferred tour company to lead the way, then book your trip down the river. When the time comes to go on the ride of a lifetime, your group will gear up and hop on the boat with your guide. They will lead you through the steps, allowing you to steer your way to greatness even as the waters become quite treacherous.
Tour Sugarlands Distilling Company
Whether you are in the mood for a tasting experience or want to go on a full tour, Sugarlands Distilling Company has what you need. They will happily accommodate your group 364 days a year to show off all their hard work and dedication to time-honored techniques. They offer basic tours of the still house for free and more immersive workshops for a small fee. If everyone just wants to kick back and relax, grab a table and ask for the seasonal sampler instead.
See the Holler at Ole Smoky Moonshine
Warmly known as, “The Holler,” the distillery at Ole Smoky Moonshine serves as the beloved landing pad for locals and tourists alike. Upon entering the doors, your group will receive the VIP experience from the distillers who proudly run the place. They will lead everyone along the moonshine stills where the smell of fermenting grains fills the air. As they tell their tales, you will learn all you have ever wanted to know about moonshine. Then, you can order up samplers galore to experience their dedication to producing amazing spirts for yourself.
Take in the Views at Gatlinburg Skylift Park
If you have ever wanted to soar high above the stunning treetops, then the Gatlinburg Skylift Park is calling your name. Make your dreams come true on the scenic chairlift, which promises to provide your group with unforgettable views of the breathtaking landscape all around. Then, test your mettle by walking across the ultra-long suspension bridge and gaze at the world below through the clear panel in the middle. Afterward, you can chill in the SkyCenter and observation deck, chatting with your group well into the evening.
Book an Adventure with A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods provides another way to take in the gorgeous sights all throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Your group can make the most of your day on guided hikes or commit to a full backpacking trip. They also offer driving and step-on tours, allowing you to experience the magic of the mountains from the comfort of your vehicles. Across all tour options, naturalists guide the way, pointing out all the amazing things to see and do.
Spend the Day at Anakeesta
At Anakeesta, your group can find a wide array of places to play, relax, and fill up on delicious food. You can race your friends along the dueling zipline or challenge each other to a friendly gem mining competition. Once your energy stores run low, recharge in the vista gardens or enjoy the memorial forest walk. Then, grab a bite to eat at the Cliff Top Grill and Bar or go straight to dessert at Pearl’s Pie in the Sky.
Try the Zipline at Climb Works
Climb Works offers another chance to soar high above the local landscape by hopping on their zipline tours. Your group can break away from your comfort zone as you zoom above the treetops. They have both solo and tandem ziplines, ranging from 600 to 1,600 feet in length. You will also have to cross a 200 to 700-foot sky bridge and traverse up to three staircases to make it to the end.
With all these awesome group activities in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you will always have somewhere amazing to go with your friends and family. Just pull out this list anytime you want to head out and start discussing the options to find your next adventure.