Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg, TN This Summer

If you're planning a family vacation in Gatlinburg, TN this summer, the one thing you won't find is a shortage of things to do in Gatlinburg. Nestled in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains, this entire area of Tennessee is filled with places to hike, go rafting, ride bicycles, and of course plenty of attractions worth taking a look at. Here are three of the most popular attractions to visit.


Ripley's Aquarium


If you have kids, then this may be one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg for you. Ripley's Aquarium offers everyone a chance to see a wide variety of marine life up close and personal. Your kids (and you, of course) can take out a few minutes to pet one of the many penguins who live here. You can go over to Touch a Ray Bay, where you can splash around in the water with the rays who call the Bay home. There is a people mover that takes you through a glass-lined, water-filled tunnel where you can watch the sharks, tarpons, sea turtles, and big snappers swimming around.


The Gatlinburg, TN Space Needle


If you want a spectacular view out over Gatlinburg, TN and the Smokies, you simply have to go to the top of the Space Needle. At 407 feet tall, the observation deck has viewfinders and numerous exhibits covering the history of the city to enjoy. This area is also home to Arcadia, a 25,000 sq. ft. arcade that has plenty of the latest video games for your kids to enjoy, the Iris Theater where you can catch a show, and Slice Pizza where you can satisfy your family's never-ending need to eat. The cost of going to the 360-degree observation deck also includes a second visit that lets you see the city by night.


The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway


If you want a bird's eye view of Gatlinburg, TN, and the Smokies, there is no better way to do so than take a ride on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. You catch your ride in downtown Gatlinburg and ride it for 2.1 miles to the top of the mountain which sits at 11,088 feet. Once you arrive, you will find places to eat, shop, a small zoo, an ice-skating rink, and an amusement park.


 Some of these activities have their own fees, but you get to choose which ones you visit. If you want to reach the mountain peak, you can ride the vertical chair lift for even more spectacular views. However, you will have to pay a little more for tickets to this ride. The tram runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6:40 p.m. during the week. On the weekends the hours are 9:30 until 8:40 p.m. all year round.


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