Top 10 Things to Do in Gatlinburg During the Summer

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Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a popular summer destination for families and couples seeking adventure, relaxation, and fun. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, this charming town offers diverse activities that cater to various interests, from nature lovers and adventure seekers to foodies and families.

Summer is the perfect time to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which holds the record as America's most visited national park. Let’s take a closer look at the top summer attractions in Gatlinburg that you'll love for the ultimate Gatlinburg family vacation!

Enhance your Gatlinburg getaway with our comprehensive guide on things to do in Gatlinburg in the summer.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

#1. Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a prominent 407-foot observation tower that offers panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg. Ascend in glass elevators to the top, where free viewfinders and the "Higher Learning" experience enrich your visit, making it unforgettable for nature enthusiasts and families.


  • Thrilling, Local Attraction

    Ober Mountain Aerial Tramway

    #2. Ober Mountain Aerial Tramway

    Experience breathtaking vistas on the Ober Mountain Aerial Tramway, which stretches 2.1 miles from downtown Gatlinburg to Ober Mountain Adventure Park and Ski Area. This aerial journey offers stunning year-round views from two 120-passenger counter-balanced cars, making it a thrilling adventure for all ages.


  • Scenic, Must Do

    Gatlinburg SkyPark

    #3. Gatlinburg SkyPark

    Experience the thrill of the Gatlinburg SkyPark, home to North America's longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Enjoy breathtaking views from the SkyDeck, explore scenic trails, or relax in the SkyCenter. Whether you're crossing the SkyBridge or shopping, the SkyPark offers unforgettable Smoky Mountain vistas.


  • Adventure, Popular Attraction

    Wild Bear Falls Water Park

    #4. Wild Bear Falls Water Park

    Wild Bear Falls Water Park in Gatlinburg ensures year-round aquatic fun with its enclosed quarters and heated waters. Spanning 60,000 square feet, this indoor oasis features a lazy river, giant water slides, and an interactive treehouse, making it an essential stop in your Smoky Mountain adventure.


  • Water Park, Must Do


    #5. Anakeesta

    Anakeesta offers a unique mountaintop adventure right above downtown Gatlinburg. This 70-acre park provides an immersive nature experience, celebrating the Smoky Mountains' spirit. With breathtaking views and diverse activities, Anakeesta promises fun for all ages, making it a must-visit for families seeking adventure and beauty.


  • Thrilling, Must Do

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    Gatlin's Escape Games

    #6. Gatlin's Escape Games

    Take a break from the heat and experience the thrill of Gatlin's Escape Games, where you and your team have 60 minutes to overcome puzzles and challenges in one of five uniquely themed rooms. Test your wits with adventures like the mysterious Legend of Atlantis or the eerie Haunting of Hyde House. Escape if you can!


  • Games, Family Fun

    4th of July Parade & Fireworks

    #7. 4th of July Parade & Fireworks

    Experience Gatlinburg's Annual Fourth of July Midnight Parade at 12:01 a.m. Celebrate with sparkling floats, patriotic bands, and giant balloons as the parade marches downtown Gatlinburg. Named a top parade by National Geographic Traveler, it's a festive start to America's birthday.


  • Celebration, Event

    Gatlinburg’s Farmer’s Market

    #8. Gatlinburg’s Farmer’s Market

    Visit Gatlinburg's Farmers Market every Saturday from May through October for a taste of local life. Located at 1222 East Parkway, this vibrant market, open from 8:30AM to 12:00PM, features fresh produce and homemade products in a friendly community atmosphere.


  • Seasonal, Local

    Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales

    #9. Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

    Experience Gatlinburg's Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales, a summer-long street festival, from 6PM to 10PM daily. Enjoy live performances by costumed musicians, dancers, and storytellers who bring the rich history of the 1800s to life right on the streets!


  • Festival, Must Do

    Ober Mountain Raft & Ziplining

    #10. Ober Mountain Raft & Ziplining

    Just 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, make the trip out to Ober Mountain Raft & Ziplining for an epic adventure. Suitable for first-timers and experienced adventurers, these family-friendly ziplines offer a unique and exhilarating way to explore the area's natural beauty. Take advantage of this unforgettable aerial adventure!


  • Seasonal, Adventure

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    Find the Best Summer Activities in Gatlinburg Today!

    Gatlinburg offers an array of summer attractions perfect for families seeking adventure and fun. From the thrilling rides of Anakeesta to the breathtaking views from the Gatlinburg SkyBridge and the excitement of ziplining at Legacy Mountain, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant mountain town.

    Are you looking for ways to save even more money for you and your family during your upcoming Gatlinburg adventure? If so, check out the great deals we offer at our Gatlinburg resorts. If you're in search of a more intimate stay, enjoy these romantic things to do in Gatlinburg.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    There's so much to do in Gatlinburg in July that you may not know what to do with yourself! Enjoy seasonal festivals, local and tourist attractions, delicious dining, and plenty more during this month and for the entire summer.

    Gatlinburg in the summer can get pretty busy as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a bucket list for many during these months. But with so many Gatlinburg summer activities, even if it is busier than usual, there's endless experiences to consider. You can easily find space away from crowds.

    The summer months are where it's at. There's plenty of things to do in June, July, August, and September and the weather is known to be beautiful. At Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort, you can visit year-round, including the best Gatlinburg indoor water park.

    Because there's more than 50 things to do in Gatlinburg, it's best to plan ahead if you're staying for 3 days. Look for affordable deals that offer you both accommodations and attractions so you can do more and spend less, such as our 2-night vacation package with Dollywood tickets.

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