Can’t Miss Summer Activities and Events in Gatlinburg

Explore outdoor adventure and unique activities in Gatlinburg for an unparalleled vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains this summer.

A Person And Two Children Playing In A Pool

Each season delivers a unique experience for Great Smoky Mountain National Park visitors. As the temperatures rise, scenic trails and serene waterways attract those looking for outdoor adventure. But step beyond the famous peaks during the summer, and you’ll find more to discover. When you visit Gatlinburg, you’ll find one-of-a-kind activities and events to make the most of your vacation in eastern Tennessee.

Take a Break at the Resort Pool 

Make a splash this summer when you stay at our Gatlinburg Resort. With waterslides and chaise lounges overlooking an expansive pool area, you can soak up the sun and enjoy a refreshing watermelon margarita before heading out on your next adventure. Accommodations are near the trolly line, so you can fully unwind before exploring more of eastern Tennessee.  

Float Through the Great Smoky Mountains

A vacation to the Smoky Mountains wouldn’t be complete without outdoor adventure. Warm temperatures in the summer provide the perfect opportunity to cool off in nearby rivers. Enjoy smooth sailing on a tubing excursion, or embark on a thrilling ride with a whitewater rafting tour. One of the park’s main entrances is only a few miles from Margaritaville Resort, making it an ideal home base for your aquatic getaway. 

Discover Museums and Activities

From penguin encounters to an extensive collection of pinball machines, there’s no shortage of obscure and exciting amusement in Gatlinburg. Step off the beaten path to experience sea life at Ripley’s Aquarium of The Smokies. During your visit, dive into the ocean's depths with immersive experiences at the hands-on touch tank. Or spend the night with aquatic residents during the Sleep with the Sharks experience. With dozens of museums to explore, you can view one-of-a-kind collections before your evening. Tour some of the most famous cars in Hollywood's history, or view 20,000 salt & pepper shaker sets for endless entertainment all afternoon.

Explore the Arts and Crafts Loop 

Gatlinburg is one of North America's best spots to shop for hand-made gifts. The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community boasts the country's largest group of independent artisans. Over 100 talented creatives occupy the 8-mile stretch with their custom creations framed in the windows of local storefronts. Encapsulate your mountain visit with a candle chiseled from the earth, or capture the vivid natural landscape with an original watercolor painting. With over 180 additional booths during the Craftsmen’s Fair each summer, you can watch artisans demonstrate their skills and ask questions before purchasing a unique piece.

Journey Through the SkyPark

SkyPark in Gatlinburg guarantees an unforgettable experience surrounded by the stunning Great Smoky Mountain landscape. Ride the chairlift into the clouds, and enjoy breathtaking views from the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America. Explore the picturesque landscape from a new perspective with trails, bridges and an observation center open year-round. With dining options in the SkyCenter, you can fuel up between adventures. 

Listen to Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales 

As the sun dips behind the Appalachian peaks, live music and enchanting tales fill Gatlinburg’s streets. Stroll on the Downtown Parkway to watch costumed performers and storytellers portray mountain life in different time periods. As you wander, peek inside local shops and restaurants before dancing into the night at Ole Red Gatlinburg. Daily performances allow you to enjoy live music all summer during Smoky Mountains Tunes and Tails.