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Hotels in Gatlinburg - Pigeon Forge

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Heed the call of the half-tamed wild in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, "the Crown Jewel of the Smoky Mountains," has plenty to offer visitors, and its surroundings make it one of the most visually striking towns in all of America, let alone in the state of Tennessee . Over 11 million people visit each year to take advantage of the numerous nature trails, wildlife watching, museums, and leisure activities like mini-golf. An ideal place for taking a deep breath of fresh air, Gatlinburg is the essence of Tennessean charm in a single mountain destination.

Things to do
Gatlinburg outdoor activities

Each season brings a new opportunity for outdoor activity, from skiing in winter to fishing in spring. Other popular pastimes include zip-lining, snow tubing, bicycling and horseback riding.

Gatlinburg shopping

The Great Smoky Mountains are filled with unusual crafts. Along the eight-mile Arts and Crafts Loop, visitors can watch artisans fire pottery or design one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. Take home a jar of fresh preserves and enjoy the mountains every morning at breakfast.

Gatlinburg entertainment

Treat yourself to a wide variety of live song and dance entertainment, including the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre and Music Hall, which offers old-time comedy shows. The Iris Theater is an intimate 90-seat venue that features performing artists and magicians. Families will enjoy a visit to Gatlinburg after a trip to nearby Pigeon Forge's Dollywood, an amusement park that hosts numerous shows and events. Lovers of marine life can visit Ripley's Aquarium, where over 350 species of fish are on display.

Gatlinburg dining

Surrounded by local home cooking, guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast of stone-ground flour flapjacks, then proceed to a southern barbecued lunch, and end the day with an Italian dinner. Fast food, fine dining and everything in between are found in this town.

Park Grill is a family favorite, located in a contemporary lodge setting. The menu includes steaks, fish and chicken entrees and the best part is that a child under 12 eats for $1 times his or her age. Locally-owned Bennett's Pit Bar-B-Que boasts some of the best ribs in the area.

Where to stay

Take your pick from the many Gatlinburg hotels, including the popular Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa, which provides luxury among the mountains. Covering 70 acres of land, the experience is akin to a mountain lodge, with mountain views, a lazy river and barbecues. Average room prices throughout Gatlinburg are fairly moderate, and the accommodations themselves would suit a romantic getaway as well as a big family get-together.

Special events

The town is a place of perpetual celebration, filled with food festivals, craft fairs and other seasonal events. Smoky Mountain Wine Fest is a good time for wine lovers, who can sample wine from local vineyards along with small food items. The Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival is held each October and showcases artists of various talents. When winter rolls around, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is a sure-fire way to get into the holiday spirit.

Best times to visit

Fall is a beautiful time to visit and observe the changing colors of the leaves, especially when seen from the Ober Gatlinburg tram. Temperatures are comfortable in the 60s and 70s, though summer heats up into the 80s.

Gatlinburg attracts guests all year long. Since most families visit during the summer, on weekends or over spring break, these times tend to be the busiest. The slowest time of year is winter, and February and March see the fewest crowds.