10 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Gatlinburg, Tennessee - Updated 2021

non touristy things to do in gatlinburg

Visiting Tennessee for a short escape? It would be an excellent idea to head to Gatlinburg and spend a few days in the mountain resort city, especially for a nature lover. You would not want to miss the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a perfect spot for you to take a leisurely stroll or even hike. The mountain views are beyond compare. Ripley’s Aquarium is another must-visit attraction. The aquarium boasts a myriad of sea creatures. If you want to kill time, kill it by doing something fun like observing those water inhabitants. What if you prefer something non-touristy? Well, there are plenty of non-touristy things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as well. Keep reading to learn more about the top ones.

1. Hike to Cataloochee Valley

Cataloochee Valley
Source: Photo by user anoldent used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cataloochee Valley promises an unforgettable nature retreat. As you hike along the trail, you will see some historical buildings including outbuildings and two churches from the 19th and 20th centuries. Make sure to also visit the elk of Cataloochee Valley. The best time to visit the valley is during sunrise or sunset as you will get to marvel at the most perfect vistas of the valley.

Cataloochee Valley

Address: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm

2. Watch a Tennessee Smokies game

Are you a huge fan of baseball? This is your opportunity to watch a Tennessee Smokies game that takes place at Smokies Stadium. Go to the website and book your ticket in advance. You will have fun watching the game live. Even if you are not into baseball, you will still be entertained by the game and you’ll have a lot of fun with the crowd.

Smokies Stadium

Address: 3540 Line Dr, Kodak, TN 37764, USA

Website: Tennessee Smokies

Price: from 10 USD

3. Meet local artists at Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

If you are not a baseball lover, maybe you are an art lover. While in Gatlinburg, why don’t you spare the time to meet some local artists at Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community? You can enjoy a display of artworks, including ceramics, potteries and paintings. You can also discuss the artworks with the artists.

Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

Address: 668 Glades Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA

Website: Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm

4. Dine at Trish’s Mountain Diner

Before setting out for an adventure in Gatlinburg, you may want to stop by Trish’s Mountain Diner for a tantalizing and filling breakfast. Or, visit the restaurant during lunch time and your stomach will stop complaining after you savor the ordered dishes. Popular dishes include Grilled Pork Loin, Eggs Benedict and Country Ham. The best thing about this restaurant is that you can indulge in those dishes without having to spend more than 10 USD.

Trish’s Mountain Diner

Address: 336 Wa Floy Way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA

Website: Trish’s Mountain Diner

Opening hours: 7am - 2.30pm (closed on Sun)

Price: under 10 USD

5. Go white water rafting on the Little Pigeon River (from USD 43.0)

What do you think of water rafting? It sounds fun, doesn’t it? There is no place better than Pigeon River if you want to do this adrenaline-fueled activity. Paddle through the gorge, tackle the challenging rapids and swim in the river if you dare. Do not forget to enjoy the remarkable views of the Smoky Mountains as you are doing all those fun activities.

White Water Rafting Experience on the Upper Pigeon River

Duration: 3 hours

5 reviews

6. Enjoy serenity at Wears Valley

Make a stop at Wears Valley if you want to enjoy some serenity. There are plenty of activities you can do in this small community that promises stunning scenic landscapes. Walker Sisters Springhouse is perfect for outdoor recreation. Walk the path of Little Brier Gap Trail for a relaxing stroll.

Wears Valley

Address: Tennessee 37862, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours

7. Explore Pittman Center

Another small town that is worth exploring is the Pittman Center. Delve into the breathtaking natural landscape that will make you forget everything else around you. Many options of outdoor activities can be found here, including fishing, swimming and bird watching. As you set foot in Pittman Center, you will immediately understand when we say that the town is a charm in itself as it offers an excellent combination of natural beauty, culture and history.

Pittman Center

Address: 2839 Webb Creek Road Sevierville, TN 37876, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours

8. Catch a magic show (from USD 25.0)

Experience a magical time by catching a magic show at the one and only Iris Theater. Whether you are an adult or a child, this show will blow your mind away as master magicians perform their magic in front of the audience. If you are lucky, you may be invited to the stage and be part of the show.

Impossibilities Magic Show at the Iris Theater Ticket

Duration: 75 to 90 minutes

1 review

9. Enjoy wine tasting (from USD 65.0)

Since you have already traveled a long way to Gatlinburg, you should not skip a wine-tasting activity from Pigeon Forge. You will get the chance to taste some delectable wine and moonshine in at least six distilleries and wineries, and gain insights into the local breweries and distilleries. In addition to tastings, you will also get a free gift from the local wineries.

Gatlinburg Local Moonshine and Wine Tasting Day Tour

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

10 reviews

10. Buy jam at Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House

While on a vacation, you should not forget about the loved ones back at home. Give them something from Gatlinburg. One of the best shops you should visit is the Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House. You can choose from a selection of jams to bring home. Other things you can also buy include homemade jelly preserves, honey pickles and hot sauce. You are going to love this place.

Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House

Address: 458 Brookside Village Way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA

Website: Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm

Price: from 10 USD

Discover the best of Gatlinburg

With numerous attractions to visit and enjoy, Gatlinburg will certainly be your favorite city in Tennessee. If possible, do all the non-touristy things mentioned above, although you should also do the touristy things. Enjoy Gatlinburg!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Tenissa is a content writer, translator and editor. She enjoys being a globetrotter and has traveled to many countries around the world. So far, her favourite destination is Switzerland. She looks...Read more

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