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TripAdvisor recently put together a list of the best long weekend getaways that are perfect for the summer, and Gatlinburg made the top 15! If you’re planning a long weekend trip this summer, take TripAdvisor’s advice and come to Gatlinburg. Read on to learn more about why TripAdvisor recommends Gatlinburg and what to do on your long weekend summer getaway here.
TripAdvisor’s 15 Long Weekend Getaways
In its article, “15 Idyllic Long Weekend Getaways Perfect for a Summer Trip,” TripAdvisor named the best destinations throughout the United States for a weekend summer vacation. Gatlinburg was mentioned 12th in the article. The gorgeous scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the distilleries were two of the things TripAdvisor suggested doing during your weekend getaway. The article talks about spending the day chasing waterfalls, exploring the area’s history, and trying some of the authentic moonshine at Sugarlands Distilling Company.
Your Guide to a Long Weekend Summer Getaway in Gatlinburg
We’ve always known that Gatlinburg is the best spot to spend a long weekend, especially during the summertime! To help you plan your trip to the area, we’ve put together a guide of the best things to do, where to eat, and where to stay when you visit.
Things to Do
A long weekend won’t feel like nearly enough time to enjoy everything there is to do in Gatlinburg, but you’ll be surprised at how much you can fit in your schedule in such a short amount of time! Try some of these top summer activities:
Anakeesta – Anakeesta is an incredible outdoor adventure park that should be at the top of your list of things to do during your weekend in the Smokies! You can ride the scenic Chondola to the top of Anakeesta mountain, where you’ll enter Firefly Village. Browse the shops, grab a bite to eat, relax, or have fun. Anakeesta is home to ziplining, a mountain coaster, a treehouse-themed playground, a tree canopy walk, and so much more. This attraction also offers incredible sightseeing opportunities, so there’s something for everyone here!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – If you’re looking for a fun indoor activity, visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This isn’t just any aquarium, it’s the best aquarium in the country! Not only can you see all your favorite aquatic animals, but there are unique experiences that allow you to interact with some of them. You can waddle with penguins in their indoor/outdoor habitat, touch a stingray, and even feed a green sea turtle! Everyone from kids to adults will have fun at Ripley’s Aquarium.
Go Hiking – Summer is also a great time to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains! Hiking is the best way to see the natural beauty of the mountains up close. During the summer, you’ll have the chance to see cascading waterfalls, wildflowers, and even wildlife! Some of the most popular summer hiking trails are Laurel Falls, Ramsey Cascades, and Andrews Bald.
White Water Rafting – For another fun outdoor activity, go white water rafting! This fun adventure is great for families and groups. When you go rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors, you can choose a scenic float trip down the river that includes splashing and is great for kids. They also have an upper river trip that offers more of a thrill, with bigger rapids and lots of excitement!
Ziplining – Ziplining in Gatlinburg allows visitors to get a bird’s eye view of the Smoky Mountains! Nothing compares to the views you’ll have on a zipline tour. One of the best places to go ziplining is with CLIMB Works, which offers both a mountaintop and a treetop zipline tour. Both tours include stunning views, an ATV ride, aerial bridges, and more.
Where to Eat
There are plenty of delicious places to eat in Gatlinburg that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters! Check out some of our top recommendations.
Breakfast – Gatlinburg is well known for its breakfast, and one of the best restaurants to enjoy it is the Pancake Pantry. The Pancake Pantry is Gatlinburg’s oldest pancake house and is still one of the best today. If you’re in the mood for a fluffy stack of pancakes, that’s the place to go. Another great breakfast restaurant is Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. Make sure you bring your appetite when you go to Crockett’s! Their portion sizes are big, and it’ll taste so good that you’ll want to eat it all. Choose from omelets, breakfast skillets, pancakes, and more.
Lunch – For lunch, you’ll have endless places to choose from. For a casual meal, we recommend Parton’s Deli. This restaurant has been a staple in Gatlinburg for over 40 years. The menu includes a variety of deli sandwiches both hot and cold and their famous chili dogs. For a one-of-a-kind lunch, visit the Wild Plum Tea Room. All of the food served at this restaurant is made from scratch. Their lunch menu includes seafood specials, sandwiches, their famous chicken salad, soups and salads, and more.
Dinner – There’s not a bad dinner spot in Gatlinburg! One of the most popular choices is The Peddler, which serves tender steaks cut tableside and offers a view of the Little Pigeon River. This restaurant also has a fresh salad bar that visitors love. Another great option is Cherokee Grill, which has a mountain lodge atmosphere and serves mouthwatering steaks, seafood, and more.
Where to Stay
Of course the best place to stay for your long weekend getaway in the summer is a Gatlinburg cabin! Cabins range in size to accommodate everyone from couples, to families, to large groups. You’ll feel right at home in a cabin while getting to enjoy all the benefits of a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Cabins offer just the right amount of privacy while still being just a short drive from the best things to do in the area. And summer is all about fun, so choose a cabin with entertaining amenities like a game room, a home theater, or an indoor swimming pool! Many cabins come with resort swimming pool access too so you can soak up the summer sun. You’ll also love relaxing on your deck and taking in the gorgeous views.
Take a look at all the best cabins in Gatlinburg and plan your long weekend summer getaway today!