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Are you looking for a way to escape all the crowds in downtown Gatlinburg? We can help! While there are so many great attractions, restaurants and shops along the main Gatlinburg Parkway, you can have just as much fun away from all the hustle and bustle. Take a break from all the action on the Gatlinburg Strip to explore some of the other places in the Gatlinburg area! Here are 5 things to do in Gatlinburg TN off the beaten path:
1. Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community
The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is an 8-mile loop that features work from over 100 local artists and craftsmen. In fact, it’s the largest independent organization of artisans in the country! Escape the traffic on the Parkway to explore this loop road that is home to a variety of shops that offer plenty of free parking! You can find a wide assortment of items, from stuffed animals, to homemade jewelry, to ceramics. All of the artists are happy to talk with visitors about their work and the history of their craft. The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is also home to some of the most delicious restaurants in town, including the Fox & Parrot Tavern, Timbers Log Cabin Restaurant and Red Oak Bistro.
2. Sugarlands Riding Stables
If you’re looking for a different way to explore the Smokies, pay a visit to Sugarlands Riding Stables for a fun horseback riding adventure! Sugarlands Riding Stables offers guided horseback riding tours that are perfect for everyone from beginners to experienced riders. You’ll get to explore the Smoky Mountains on the back of a well-trained horse, with a guide who will tell you more about the Smokies along the way! The tour takes you through beautiful wooded scenery and past mountain streams. You’ll even have the chance to see wildlife, like black bears and white-tailed deer.
3. Taste of Italy
For a delicious and authentic Italian meal, stop by a Taste of Italy. This Gatlinburg restaurant is located on East Parkway, so it’s not in the middle of all the action. Taste of Italy combines old world Italian cooking techniques with unique recipes for some of the best Italian dishes in the area. From pasta dishes to gourmet-style pizzas, you’ll fall in love with the menu at this Gatlinburg restaurant. You can even bring your favorite bottle of wine with you to enjoy with your meal!
4. Ely’s Mill
Visiting Ely’s Mill is one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg TN off the beaten path. This historic old mill sits beside the Roaring Fork creek and features local crafts, antiques and honey! The mill itself was built in 1925, and the mill and showroom was used for weaving crafts, making wood furniture and selling antiques. The water wheel was almost 30 feet in diameter and 8 feet wide and powered the machinery in the furniture shop. A second mill was 800 feet downstream to grind the corn and wheat. The place continued to grow, and by the 1940s, there were almost 20 buildings at Ely’s Mill. Visitors love stopping by the shop at Ely’s Mill to browse the many books, maps, snacks, drinks and more. You can find Ely’s Mill at the end of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail!
5. Baskins Creek Falls
One of the most underrated waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Baskins Creek Falls. This waterfall in Gatlinburg is part of a 3-mile round-trip hike. Along the hike, you’ll have mountain views and get to cross small creeks. Baskins Creek Falls is a two-tiered waterfall that stands 40 feet tall and is a beautiful sight. We recommend packing a picnic lunch to enjoy once you reach the waterfall!
More Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN
We know you’ll love exploring all of these fun things to do in Gatlinburg TN off the beaten path! For more ideas of what to do during your Gatlinburg vacation, check out these other things to do in the area!