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Gatlinburg

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Gatlinburg Nature & Adventure

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discover why it’s the most visited National Park in the country. Buckle up and prepare for a deep dive into the most famous stretch of the Appalachians. Enjoy a flexible route that allows you to take all the time you need to admire the timeless wonders of the mountains. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Drive through the scenic mountains and hear all about parts of Cherokee history, like the ancient Cherokee monarchy and the revolutionaries who fought against it. Get detailed accounts of Cherokee ancestral legends, from the great buzzard who shaped the Smoky Mountains from clay to the witch whose droplets of blood bloom into stalks of corn. Experience animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. Be pointed towards some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the park. Gaze at the majestic Rainbow Falls, the breath-taking 360-degree views atop Clingmans Dome, and hear about the deep-rooted history of the Elys Mill. Learn about the complex flora and fauna which call the mountains home. Get to know the creatures of Cades Cove and learn how wildfires form an integral part of the vast and interconnected ecosystem. As you drive, audio stories will automatically pop up and start playing, allowing you to keep your attention on the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Pigeon Forge: French Broad River and Lake Helicopter Trip

2. Pigeon Forge: French Broad River and Lake Helicopter Trip

Join a helicopter tour and fly alongside the French Broad River, across Douglas Dam and along the western shore picturesque Douglas Lake. As the flight turns southwest, see the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance, but it doesn’t end there. The tour continues southward and over the Sevierville and Dollywood areas. As you climb in altitude, you’ll follow the terrain up to the crest of Cove Mountain at the national park boundary line where you’ll be met with unbeatable views of the Wears Valley area. Continuing along the edge of Wears Valley, travel northbound between Pigeon Forge and the rolling foothills of the Smoky Mountains as you return to the heliport.

Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

3. Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains at your own pace with a self-guided and self-driving tour. Hike to Alum Cave, enjoy a panoramic view from Charles Overlook, and discover Cades Coves from the comfort of your own car. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one.. Drive to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to start your journey. After exploring the Visitor Center, head past the Mingus Mill, a remnant of a once-thriving town. As you drive to Beech Flats Quiet Walkway, hear accounts of the Cherokee people who once lived here. Learn about their legends and their struggle to hold onto their land. Once you arrive, enjoy a meditative stroll through nature. Hop back into your car and head to Charles Webb Overlook, which offers a panoramic view of the park. Once you’ve snapped some stunning photos, continue toward Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, for more unparalleled views of the mountains. Continue to the trail for Alum Cave, one of the most popular hikes in the park. If you wish, take the moderate 4.4-mile roundtrip trail for beautiful panoramas and fascinating rock formations. After your hike, drive to Chimney Tops Overlook, offering more stunning mountain views. Next, enjoy an easy wilderness walk at Balsam Point. As you continue past yet another incredible vista and another secluded walkway, hear little-known park history. Jump back in your car and drive towards Gatlinburg, stopping on the way to check out the pristine Cataract Falls. In Gatlinburg, pass the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Drive past Ogle Place, an old-timey homestead dating back to the 1800s, before arriving at Rainbow Falls. Continue your drive past several more waterfalls and the historic cabins of Ephraim Bales and Reagan Tub, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. Finally, finish your Great Smoky National Park tour with a visit to the old Ely’s Mill, which is still in operation today. Start the second part of your combination tour, discovering Cades Coves, just west of Gatlinburg. From there, continue west toward the scenic loop. The first landmark on your route is John Oliver Place, once home to some of the first homesteaders to make a living here. After that, pass 3 churches dating back to the 1800s and uncover the devastating impact of the Civil War on this community. Drive to Elijah Oliver Place, a beautifully-preserved homestead offering an authentic look at early pioneer life. If you wish to stretch your legs, hike to Abrams Falls, a secluded, powerful waterfall. Next, drive to Tipton Place. Finally, reach the Carter Shields Cabin, another idyllic homestead from a bygone era. Finish your tour at the start of the loop as you hear about the last family to call the cove home.

Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

4. Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

Experience the haunting vision of the Great Smoky Mountains, where colorful fog-rich forests surround majestic Appalachian peaks in Tennessee’s renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the thrilling, the dazzling, the absurd, the historic, and the adventurous with the Sightseeing Flex Pass, your all access pass to top attractions and tours throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the scenic Smokies. Take advantage of full admission to attractions and save up to 30% of total visitation costs. Let the Smoky Mountain Sightseeing Flex Pass take you into the great outdoors and see the natural splendor up close and personal: select between a 3 Attractions or a 5 Attractions Pass and choose what you want to enjoy when you arrive. Coast down whitewater in the Smoky Mountain Rafting. Turn a hike into the extreme with sights from the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Ride. Have your breath taken away from the top of Gatlinburg Space Needle. Partner Tennessee’s exciting outdoor marvels with family-friendly and group-friendly attractions. Play around at the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum or Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud. Learn the fascinating history of the world’s most famous tragic transatlantic ocean liner at the Titanic Museum Attraction, then catch a dazzling magic show at Wonderworks. Top Attractions Best of Smoky Mountain Special Tour - Rocky Top Tours Escape Game Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountain Rafting - Upper Pigeon River Titanic Attraction Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud Dolly’s Rags to Riches - Rocky Top Tours Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Gatlinburg Pinball Museum Rainforest Adventure Zoo Smoky Mountain Rafting - Lower Pigeon River Wonderworks - All Access The Best of Three Cities Tour - Rocky Top Tours Wonderworks

From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

5. From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

With your hands on your camera and your guide’s hands on the steering wheel, head toward a road where tour busses can’t go. The heavily forested Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a single lane road.  Along the way you’ll learn of the hardwood forest in the Smoky Mountains. A narrow, paved path through chestnut oak, white oak, magnolia, maple and tulip trees take you to the pinnacle, where stops at overlooks give you striking views. Historic structures dot the road’s edges. This was the American Frontier in the 1830s and 1840s.  From Roaring Fork, it’s one last pass through Gatlinburg on the way to a thrilling off-roading ride through a trail on private land. Your professional guide has been expertly trained to give you an experience unlike any other in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Pigeon Forge: Helicopter Tour of Gatllinburg

6. Pigeon Forge: Helicopter Tour of Gatllinburg

Climb aboard a helicopter and admire Gatlinburg from a new vantage point. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of downtown Sevierville, the Pigeon Forge Parkway, and downtown Gatlinburg on your way towards one of Tennessee’s highest mountains, Mount LeConte. As you fly over the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, your pilot will provide you with information about iconic landmarks and things to do such as Dollywood, Gatlinburg Sky Bridge, Gatlinburg Space Needle, Anakeesta, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. You'll be able to capture fantastic photos throughout to help you remember this unique experience.

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What people are saying about Gatlinburg

An absolute amazing experience!! It was our first time on a helicopter, the staff took their time to explain everything to us to make sure we felt safe and comfortable. Absolute great views and even better pictures!! Would definitely recommend and will definitely be back to do this when we go back to the smokey mountains !! Great find ⚡️

Our pilot was very knowledgeable about the area and overall just very friendly. It was our very first helicopter ride and he did a great job of making us all feel at ease. Great experience and would definitely recommend the 25 minute tour!

Without this app, we would not have had the information about the site or spot and would have bypassed sites by just driving by. It kept the kids amused and informed as well. It made for good conversation along the way in our vehicle!

We really enjoyed the narration, great history to the entire park. I wish they did this for other N.P. There were a couple times the narration cut off and started a new area, but you can go back on the app to complete that area.

Was very interesting. Nice drive work good information provided. Worth the money