Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns
Gatlinburg Ms

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Gatlinburg adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Photograph by Maureen Andersonnardini, My Shot

Pop. 5,555
GPS: 35°43'N 83°31'W

Tiny Gatlinburg manages to pack a lot of touristy kitsch into its 10 square miles—Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and mini-golf are mainstays—but it’s location at the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can’t be beat: More than 521,000 acres of peaks and forests covered with more than 800 miles of maintained trails are right out the door.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Gatlinburg adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

PLAY
Wake up early to pedal the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road, a favorite of experienced cyclists, and watch the sunrise over the Smokies (nps.gov/grsm); Cades Cove Campground Store rents bicycles for $6 an hour (explorecadescove.com). Or hike to the summit of Clingmans Dome, the highest point of the state and the Appalachian Trail, at 6,643 feet (clingmansdome.com).

EAT
Drive a few miles northeast on scenic Highway 321 to Cosby for dinner at The Front Porch, a BYOB Mexican restaurant that has live bluegrass shows on Friday and Saturday nights (423-487-2875).

SLEEP
Bed down at the cozy Four Sisters’ Inn, just a five-minute walk from downtown (doubles from $125; 4sistersinn.com).

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