The Ultimate 2-Day Gatlinburg Itinerary for Families


Gatlinburg, hidden in the Great Smoky Mountains, is a favorite place for family trips. It is also the main entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which gets over 12 million visitors each year, making it the most popular national park in the U.S.

There is lots to do here, so to make it easier, here’s a 2-day plan to enjoy this beautiful place. This article will focus on outdoor activities that families can enjoy together.


  1. Morning Walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Beginning your day with a walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes you feel refreshed. The park has many trails to explore, whether you want a short walk or a hike.

One excellent choice is the Laurel Falls Trail. This paved path, which is 2.6 miles long, is suitable for families, especially those with young children. As you walk, you’ll get closer to nature, and as you get to the end, there’s an 80-foot waterfall that comes into view.

This flowing beauty offers a picture-perfect setting, ensuring families can capture moments that will create fond memories for years to come. Such a trip not only excites the senses but also strengthens family bonds.


  1. Explore the Village Shops

Gatlinburg has unique finds and delightful flavors, especially at The Village Shops. Walking through downtown, you’ll find 27 shops and restaurants that show the essence of European charm.

Here, you can taste delicious pastries or find that perfect souvenir. And while you’re engaged in this shopping haven, remember to choose accommodation in the city’s heart. We suggest booking Gatlinburg condos for quick access to every corner of the town and its many attractions.


  1. Experience Whitewater Rafting in Gatlinburg

The thrill of navigating Gatlinburg’s rushing rivers is second to none. Whitewater rafting attracts adventure seekers and families alike, keen to experience nature’s power. With changing river grades, beginners and experts find routes according to their skill levels.

Professional guides ensure everyone is safe by leading rafts through thrilling rapids and calmer parts of the river.

This activity not only challenges one’s endurance but also strengthens family bonds. After the ride, telling stories about unexpected splashes makes memories that will last a long time.


  1. Ascend the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is more than just a ride; it’s a journey to the clouds. As you go up, the whole range of the Smoky Mountains gives you a stunning view of nature’s beauty. Then there’s the SkyBridge, an engineering marvel in itself.

Holding the title of North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, it offers visitors a unique perspective of the landscape below. Each step on this bridge feels like walking on air, with the world stretched out beneath.

Those who come here don’t just see a view; they experience a moment that will stay with them forever.


  1. Visit Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is a great example of a place that is fun all year, with the majestic mountains as a backdrop. Families flock here, drawn by various activities catering to varied tastes. Those passionate about skating can glide on the ice rink, feeling the cool mountain breeze.

Meanwhile, nature enthusiasts find their calling in the Wildlife Encounter exhibit, facing native animals in a safe, controlled environment. Even without the snow, the mountain-top amusement park rings with life and laughter.

Skiing or sledding, watching animals, or just taking in the ambiance, Ober Gatlinburg ensures that every visitor finds their niche.


  1. Savor the Sunset at Clingmans Dome

Gatlinburg’s Clingmans Dome stands as the highest point in the Smoky Mountains, attracting visitors eager for unmatched views. Families can take a moderately challenging half-mile paved trail to reach its observation tower.

As you climb, the panoramic vistas unfold, offering a 360-degree spectacle of the surrounding mountains. Parents and children bond over the climb, each step filled with anticipation. Upon reaching the top, the reward is breathtaking, especially during sunset.

The sky and the mountains blend their colors, making a lasting impression on everyone. Don’t forget to wear cozy shoes and a jacket, as it gets colder at night.


  1. Enjoy Gatlinburg’s Delicious Food

Gatlinburg is more than a sight to behold; it’s also a delight for the palate. With restaurants that welcome families along its roads, there are plenty of food adventures for visitors.

Picture yourself with your family, having a plate of tasty barbecues, the flavors exploding in your mouth with each bite. And if you like sweets, the desserts will take you to a world of sugar and warmth. Whether you want filling meals or light snacks, Gatlinburg’s food scene has it all.


  1. Explore Anakeesta, Gatlinburg’s Outdoor Family Theme Park

With the gorgeous Smoky Mountains as a backdrop, Anakeesta is an outdoor paradise that offers family fun and relaxation. The view reveals itself in a stunning panorama as you go up the mountain on the scenic Chondola rides.

When you reach the top, you can walk on treetop skywalks with your family and feel the wind as you wander the hanging paths. The treehouse village playground gives hours of happiness for the little ones, with creative play structures that inspire exploration and imagination.


  1. Relax at Mynatt Park

After days full of excitement, Mynatt Park is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the time spent in Gatlinburg. With its calm streams, this park invites families to appreciate the simple joy of listening to the water’s gentle flow.

Whether you picnic by the shore or soak in the peace, it’s a reminder of nature’s eternal beauty. For those who still have some energy left, the basketball courts call for a friendly game.

Meanwhile, children can run free, laughing and playing on the well-kept playgrounds. As the sun goes down, gather your loved ones and talk about your adventures, treasuring the bonds formed and the memories created during your visit.



Gatlinburg is full of unmatched experiences. From scenic mountain walks to rich historical tours, the city charms everyone. Families connect over delicious food, discover themed parks, and admire panoramic views.

Unique shops in the city center offer varied finds and tempting treats.

Choosing central lodgings enhances the joy of your trip, ensuring easy access to attractions. Gatlinburg, with its diverse options, provides lasting memories. It’s a haven for every traveler, waiting to be explored and loved.

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