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Visiting Gatlinburg: Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains

If your family loves country music, Southern comfort food and the cool vibes of mountain villages, a road trip to nearby Gatlinburg, Tennessee, home of the Great Smoky Mountains, is the perfect place to getaway for fun quality time!

Gatlinburg serves as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. With nearly 40 million visitors annually, entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is absolutely free. The 522,427 acre park includes 850 miles of hiking trails, 16 mountains over 6,000 feet and 2,100 miles of mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls.

Gatlinburg welcomes visitors year round but it is especially popular in the summer when outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy clusters of rhododendron, Galax, azaleas, wildflowers and cool mountain breezes.  In Gatlinburg’s Great Smoky Mountain National Park, families can participate in a variety of outdoor activities including backpacking, cycling, camping, hiking, or simply taking in the abundance of nature’s bounty while enjoying a scenic drive. A trip to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers opportunities for new experiences in a world where time and nature seem unchanged.

Luxury in the Great Smoky Mountains

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury while visiting Gatlinburg, consider Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort. Just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort offers spacious, updated suites with amazing balcony views of the mountains. With heated outdoor pools and cozy fire pits located throughout the various levels of the property, the resort has a rustic yet contemporary vibe.

The main lodge at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort includes an incredible bar and restaurant, the Southern Comfort.  The chef at Southern Comfort offers dishes that remind you of grandma’s country cooking, but be forewarned, you can get carried away with the richness of fried chicken, shrimp and grits, biscuits, mac and cheese, fresh greens and so much more!

The resort also offers Wild Bear Water Park, an indoor water park loved by kids and parents alike.  Parents enjoy the lazy lagoon while kids enjoy meeting other kids and exploring water fun safely on their own.  After a full day of hiking, backpacking and exploring, you’ll be looking for a way to relax and recover, try the Serenity Spa at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort. The sugar scrub and hot oil massage will leave you totally relaxed and feeling transformed.

Fun Things to do in Gatlinburg

After you’ve explored the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and enjoyed the luxury of Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort, visit Anakeesta, a mountain top theme park with an 880-foot treetop sky bridge.  Take the enclosed gondola or open chairlift to reach the mountain top while enjoying views of downtown Gatlinburg and nearby mountains.

A visit to Gatlinburg wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a moonshine distillery.  Enjoy a moonshine tasting at the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery and listen to country music from an outdoor stage with rocking chair seating. Ole Smoky Moonshine offers a wide variety of flavors from lemon lime to caramel and coffee.

A road trip to Gatlinburg is sure to appeal to those who love the mystery and magic of mountain culture, enjoy having new adventures, exploring new vistas or simply celebrating family fun.