With summer already well underway, we’re putting together our list of things to do in Gatlinburg in June, and we couldn’t be more excited! You’ll find that your favorite attractions and hotspots are getting into the summer spirit. Many businesses and organizations in Gatlinburg offer fun perks during summertime while others dedicate the entire season to staying open a little later or offering some free fun. Learn how to take advantage of all the summer excitement below:
1. Tour Gatlinburg on the Free Parkway Trolley
Starting in mid-June and lasting until mid-August, the Gatlinburg trolley system offers free rides on specially painted “Free Parkway” trolleys. These open-air trolleys run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and are operating on a route with additional stops, bringing the total number of stops to 40 along the Gatlinburg Parkway, so you’ll be able to visit and see plenty of exciting attractions throughout Gatlinburg.
A typical trolley pass is $2 for a day of unlimited access to the majority of routes. You can start your Gatlinburg trolley travels by taking a look at the Gatlinburg trolley locator to find to closest one to you!
2. Listen in on Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales
Take a stroll along the Gatlinburg Parkway to experience one of the most popular things to do in Gatlinburg in June – Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales. This tribute to the spirit of Appalachia features local musicians, costumed street performers, and artisans sharing elements of Smoky Mountain culture that date all the way back to the 1800s.
You’ll have a wonderful time strolling through downtown Gatlinburg as you’re surrounded by sights, sounds, and people of the historic Smokies. The performers arrive every evening and set up their camps all throughout downtown Gatlinburg. The fun and educational show is free and family-friendly.
3. Chase a Breathtaking View
The Great Smoky Mountains are especially lush and green right now, and we can’t think of a better way to soak up the warm summer sun than by exploring the Smokies. It’s even better if you make an adventure of it, so we challenge you to a quest of finding the most gorgeous and interesting views you can. You could hike, climb, and swim for years and not see all the beauty our Smoky Mountains have to offer, so you should get started now!
We’ve picked out a couple of views that may be of interest to you. See how many you can see by the end of June!
Clingmans Dome – This point of interest is the highest Smoky Mountain view in the national park at 6,623 feet – and the highest point in all of Tennessee.
Abrams Falls – While these falls aren’t particularly tall at 20 feet high, the power behind the fast-moving Abrams Falls makes it a sight to be seen.
Tricorner Knob – This resting stop on the Appalachian Trail is one of most isolated points in the Smoky Mountains. If you can get to it, you will have conquered a great feat with a history-steeped hiking story.
Mount LeConte – As the third highest peak in the Smokies, Mount LeConte is a tough climb at 2,763 feet tall, but the view from the summit is remarkable.
Want to learn about other great sights to see in the Great Smoky Mountains? Read about 5 Unbelievable Smoky Mountain Views You Have to See.
4. Enjoy Dollywood’s Summer Festival
Every year, from mid-June through early August, Dollywood takes advantage of the extra daylight to indulge in a little bit of summer fun during Dollywood’s “Summer Lives Here” festival. The event lengthens the park’s hours, allowing you and your family to enjoy thrilling rides like the Tennessee Tornado, Mystery Mine, Wild Eagle, and Thunderhead under the glow of moonlight – what an incredible view! Park goers will also enjoy Dolly’s Night of Many Colors, a fireworks extravaganza like you’ve never seen before, to conclude the evening. We can’t think of a better way to spend a day and night in June. To purchase Dollywood tickets, click the green box below:
5. See a Firefly Light Show
We all already know that we’re pretty lucky to have the beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery so close, but you’ll feel extra fortunate when you see nature’s light show put on by the Elkmont fireflies that can only be seen right here in the Smokies. As one of the most exciting things to do in Gatlinburg in June, the Elkmont firefly viewing event is held every year when the most fireflies are projected to be on display – or flashing. Their display is unique because they’re the only fireflies that flash synchronously, resulting in a spectacular natural light show for us.
To attend the official firefly viewing event with the National Park Service, a Sugarlands Visitor Center parking pass is required. The passes are distributed via a lottery system in the spring. If you didn’t get a pass, don’t worry! You can still see the fireflies on your own by camping at Elkmont or visiting the area a day or two before or after the scheduled event dates. For more information, check out our blog with everything you need to know about the synchronous Elkmont fireflies.
For more information about all the fun and exciting things to see and do in the Smokies in June and the rest of the year, check out our Smoky Mountain events calendar!