Nestled in the valley of the Little Pigeon River’s West Fork and surrounded on three sides by the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, population 4,400, has evolved from a rural hamlet to a thriving gateway community. Settled in the early 1800s, it was first named White Oak Flats for the abundant native white oak trees covering the landscape.
Gatlinburg is a walking community, especially along the Downtown Parkway , which runs from one end of town to the other with hundreds of things to see and do in between. Within the walking community are family attractions and things to do in Gatlinburg at nearly every turn. Enjoy downhill snow skiing, rafting Class IV whitewater, golf, hiking options from 600 miles of trails, and fishing in hundreds of miles of streams: the entertainment of the Great Smoky Mountains is both exhilarating and close by. Explore other great attractions at one of the unique museums, craftsmen fair, miniature golf courses, or motion simulators, or enjoy go karts or bumper cars, Ripley's Aquarium, haunted houses, or ride the sky lift up the mountain. Everywhere you turn, you'll find plenty of things to do.The adjacent Great Smoky Mountains National Park, now boasting over nine million visitors annually, has transformed Gatlinburg into a mountain resort destination, packed with accommodations of every sort, dozens of local-to-national restaurants, and attractions galore. Gatlinburg prides itself in its mountain heritage, and the arts, crafts, and retail shops of the area reflect that heritage to a large extent.