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A vacation to the Smoky Mountains is a trip you’ll never forget.  If you didn’t take photos though, did it even really happen?  Everyone loves sharing photos of their trip on social media, and if you want to Do it for the ‘Gram, we’ve got a list of spots ready and waiting for you.  Find out our favorite places to take Instagram photos in the Smokies. 

A woman stands on a deck at Anakeesta looking at Mt. LeConte at sunset

Best Instagram Spots in Gatlinburg

The Top of the Space Needle 

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a mainstay of the downtown strip.  This iconic landmark stands nearly in the middle of Gatlinburg. The 407 foot tall structure was completed in 1969 and is one of the few remaining pieces of Gatlinburg’s kitschy past.  

The outdoor observation deck provides stunning 360-degree views of the town, neighboring Gatlinburg SkyBridge, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Take one of two glass elevators to the top and you’ll be treated to a breathtaking experience. The free viewfinders around the platform really let you take it all in!  

history of gatlinburg

When you’re ready to come down, there’s still plenty of photo-worthy things to see on the ground level.  A 25,000-foot arcade with a redemption center is a great place to show off your gamer skills with a colorful backdrop.  Grab a huge piece of pizza and be the envy of your foodie friends at Slice Pizza. 

Gatlinburg SkyBridge

Does the world’s longest pedestrian bridge sound like your idea of a photo-worthy moment?  If you’re not sold yet, we can add in the glass paneled floor and the chairlift ride to the top!  Gatlinburg SkyLift is another staple of the strip. Originally opened in 1954, this piece of Americana sweeps you 500 feet straight up the side of Crockett Mountain.  Most recently rebuilt in 2017, the SkyLift to the top is now a three-seat chairlift with a smooth ride up the hillside.  

A view of Mt. LeConte and the Gatlinburg Chairlift

Arrive at the SkyCenter.  The first floor has a gift shop and snack bar, with the second floor boasting a seating area and bar with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Out on the SkyDeck, you can relax with a craft beer or a tasty snack while you take in the scenery around you and work up the courage to take a few steps out on to the bridge.  

A woman stands on the glass bottom Sky Bridge in Gatlinburg, TN

Out on the SkyBridge get ready for your 5 minutes of Instagram fame.  Whether you decide to take a classic shot, pose on the glass floor, or get a group photo, the surrounding hillsides are sure to make the perfect photo.  Lately, the area has seen a lot of proposals here, too!  

Best of all – your ticket is good all day long.  Start your day on the mountain, spend some time in town, and head back up for a sunset you’ll never forget!

Get all the info about Gatlinburg SkyBridge over on their website.


Recently voted Teneesee’s Best Attraction, Anakeesta is quickly becoming a must stop for vacationers and influencers alike.  This mountaintop playground offers a huge variety of activities, many of which are definitely insta-worthy. Guests enter the park from a one-of-a-kind Chondola system.  Whether your group chooses the open air chair lift or the enclosed gondola cabin, you’ll be whisked up the hillside 600’ to enter the park.  

Chondola at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN

Arrive up top and take a walk across the world’s longest tree-based bridge in North America.  Suspended in the beauty of nature, more than 60 feet from the ground, you’ll see how it feels to be amongst the treetops.  A treehouse adventure village allows kids of all ages to run, play and learn, in a miniature treetop environment.  

The Clifftop Grill & Bar or Pearl’s Pie in the Sky dessert shop both offer deck areas with unsurpassed views of the surrounding mountainsides.  Get your perfect shot with a craft cocktail or a slice of pie to make all your friends jealous! Of course, Anakeesta sees it’s fair share of proposals too.  They even offer professional photography services for your special moments.  


Best Places for Instagram Photos in Pigeon Forge

The Island

The Island in Pigeon Forge is a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family.  Whether you want the perfect family photo or a few drool-worthy shots, it’s a great place to stop.  Once at The Island you’ll see a multitude of shops and restaurants, including the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery & Yee Haw Brewing company.  

A drone photo of The Island in Pigeon Forge

Purchase an unlimited rides pass and take advantage of all the photographic opportunities that come along with the rides reminiscent of a county fair.  The carousel shows off with plenty of vibrant colors and the ropes course will allow you to show off your daredevil side!

At night, The Island really shines.  The vibrant lights of the attractions, the 200-foot Smoky Mountain wheel, and the dazzling fountain show will really add a pop of color to all those vacation photos.  

You could spend an entire day just looking around at The Island.  Check out our blog post about how to plan a day visiting this incredible theme park.

The Old Mill

Located at stoplight #7 in Pigeon Forge you’ll find the historic Old Mill District.  This small town square dates back to the founding days of the town and the quaint storefronts will remind you of days gone by.  The Old Mill General Store and Old Mill Restaurant really stand out though. Take your photos in front of the waterfall and grist mill.  Sit a spell on the porch before heading inside for a hearty southern meal.  

The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, TN

Afterward, head across the street to Old Mill Square and step back in time over 175 years.  Visit Pigeon River Pottery, the Old Forge Distillery, and the Old Mill Creamery for some fun souvenirs and tasty treats.  

Best Places to take Instagram Photos in Sevierville

Of course, no visit to Sevier County would be complete without a Dolly Parton sighting!  While you likely won’t catch a glimpse of the Queen of Country Music, you can definitely still see her all over town.  While Dollywood would be a logical choice for instagramming our favorite local resident, there’s another great spot you can visit off the beaten path. 

Sevierville, TN

Head to downtown Sevierville and park on Bruce Street or Court Avenue.  In front of the courthouse’s Court Avenue entrance you’ll find a life-size bronze replica of Dolly Parton perched on a rock, guitar in hand.  

While you’re in downtown Sevierville you’ll love the small town feel to our main street.  Why not take a walk around and get a few other fun pictures as well? Just across the street from Dolly’s statue you’ll find Courthouse Donuts.  This design-your-own donut shop quickly became a local favorite after opening back in 2013. Pick one off their menu or design a one-of-a-kind treat that will be sure to be the envy of your friends back at home.  

Visiting Sevierville can be a full day event.  Check out our favorite restaurants to visit while you’re in town.

The Great Smoky Mountains Best Instagram Spots

More than 12.5 million people can’t be wrong – the Smoky Mountains are stunning.  What better backdrop for your social media photos than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?!  Whether you want to stand alone on a breathtaking mountain peak or recreate Dolly’s “My Tennessee Mountain Home” album cover, you’ll find a place to take a few photos.  

The Mountain Peak

Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in Tennessee, the Smokies, and even along the entire Appalachian Trail, is one of the most accessible sites in the park.  It’ll be sure to wow your friends and family! A short and steep half mile walk from the parking lot will be more than worth the effort when you reach the observation tower.  The retro design is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Up top, stunning 360-degree views await.  

A winter sunset at Clingmans Dome

Stunning Sunrise & Sunset

If you’re looking for the best sunset in the Smokies, Newfound Gap and Morton’s Overlook will reward you.  Sunrise chasers arrive plenty early on clear mornings and set up to achieve the best shots. Sunset at Newfound Gap can be viewed by crossing the parking lot and looking to the west.  Morton’s Overlook is on your left side shortly after leaving Newfound Gap. This scenic overlook fills up fast for sunset, and many locals will tell you to get there plenty early. Take in the view of the valley while the sun sets.  The vibrant oranges and purples of a Smokies sunset will be worth the wait.  

Quaint Country Cabins

Historic buildings are found all over the Smokies, and the best collection can be found inside Cades Cove.  This 11-mile, one-way nature loop is an all-day event and provides plenty of photo opportunities. Pack a picnic lunch and start early.  In the morning, fog hugs the meadows. Since Cades Cove is known for wildlife, you may even get a great shot of a bear or deer in the vast open space.  Find a great spot to pull off the loop and visit the many farmsteads and churches along the way. Imagine a life gone by while posing for some great mementos.  

Instagrammable Spots at Your Cabin

The photo fun doesn’t stop because you’ve settled in for the night.  Your Smoky Mountain cabin is a great spot to grab some photos for the ‘gram.  Share a shot of you and your sweetie snuggled up in front of the fire. Take a few pictures relaxing in the hot tub.  Get an action shot playing a round of pool or foosball in the game room. And, of course, if you book a cabin with an incredible mountain view, the Smokies will be the most breathtaking backdrop!  No matter the season, a cabin photo is always a great way to remember your trip to Gatlinburg.  

A woman sits in a rocking chair on a cabin porch

Give American Patriot Getaways a call at 800-204-5169. Let our experts help you find the right cabin and all the right fun, food and entertainment for an adult or family vacation that will have you wanting to come back as soon as possible.

See our Pinterest board Cabins with Incredible Mountain Views. For more adventures, go to our Smoky Mountain Travel Guide

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