Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are nestled among the spectacular beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Not everyone wants to hike into the mountains and to the top for the views but that doesn’t mean they miss the breathtaking scenery. Views from town and just above town make the heart sing.
In Gatlinburg, get to the Skylift and head 1,800 feet to the top of Crockett Mountain, looking down at forests, mountains and the town.
The chairlift has been taking visitors up the mountain since 1954. Visitors get off at the Skydeck, where they can sit outside and enjoy the scene, buy a beer and do some shopping.
Billed as North America’s largest pedestrian suspension bridge – Sky Bridge is 680 feet from tower to tower – with the most fantastic views.
A $20 ticket gets one adult a round-trip on the SkyLift and all-day access to the SkyCenter and the Sky Bridge. Tickets are available at the SkyLift ticket office in Gatlinburg or online in advance.
Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
Take the Aerial Tramway 2.1 miles from downtown Gatlinburg and a 1,500 foot rise in elevation. The two 120-passenger counter-balanced cars provides an amazing aerial experience and sites. The Tramway departs from downtown Gatlinburg and whisks riders up to Ober Amusement Park and Ski Area. You can ride up and back or hang out at the top – to take in the sites, eat and play – year round.
In the winter of 1972 an idea to provide a safer, more comfortable way to reach the ski area was needed and the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway was born. The tramway was completed August of 1973.
Departing regularly – every 20 minutes – from downtown Gatlinburg, The Aerial Tram station is located at Parkway and LeConte Street in downtown Gatlinburg (1001 Parkway).
Tickets are: Adults $17, children $14.
Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook
The Gatlinburg Overlook is located on the Gatlinburg Bypass which runs between the Gatlinburg Spur and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Bypass is open 24/7, year ’round except in inclement weather (snow and ice) and there are no admission fees.
The views are beautiful at any time of the year, especially when in the Fall months (October-November) when the tree leaves turn brilliant colors of red, orange, and gold. The views are truly outstanding during the winter months following snowfall. This is one of the most photographed areas in Gatlinburg. We stop every trip to the area.
There are four parking areas on the Bypass where visitors can exit their vehicles and take in the views.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
The iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle is a 407-foot observation tower that overlooks downtown Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Ride the glass elevators to the observation deck for a 360° view. Free viewfinders enhance the “unequaled panorama.”
Tickets are virtual and never shipped, redeem by name and ID at our Space Needle ticket booth. Adults: $12.95; Children: $7.95; Seniors, AARP members, military: $9.95
Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with mountain views and 70 forested acres of fun and relaxation, Anakeesta is a mountain playground for all ages. Check out our recent post all about Anakeesta!
Take the scenic open chairlift or the enclosed Chondola from Gatlinburg up the mountain to Anakeesta. Walk around, have a seat, enjoy the beauty. Buy tickets online.
Smoky Mountain Brewery – top floor
Watch your favorite spots via Gatlinburg Webcam Live Streams
Smoky Mountains History – And our blog post on history of the park.
Little River Road
Little River Road is a beautiful drive connecting downtown Gatlinburg to Townsend. On this drive, you’ll find many blooming wildflowers, rustic wooded areas, a scenic river, and waterfalls galore.
The route of Little River Road follows an old railroad bed. During the early 1900’s, this road was actually the route of a slow-moving passenger train. In some places, you can even see the old coal soot staining the rocks. Little River Road is certain to steal your heart.
Long before it became one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States, Gatlinburg was just a small mountain town called White Oaks Flats. The name came from the beautiful white oak trees that surrounded the area.
In 1854, when a man named Radford Gatlin moved to the area and opened the second general store in White Oaks Flats. A couple of years later, he opened a post office inside his store, which resulted in changing the name of the town to Gatlinburg.
Check out our blog post on Fast Facts: History of Gatlinburg.
Pigeon Forge Views
Nearby is another famous Smoky Mountain town – Pigeon Forge, beautiful views await.
Pigeon Forge History
Many, many years before Tennessee was a state, Pigeon Forge was a Cherokee Indian hunting ground located in what had come to be known as the “Lost State of Franklin.” Settlers first reached the area in 1788, when the area was governed by North Carolina.
Pigeon Forge was the site of an iron forge built in 1820 by Isaac Love. His son built the Historic Old Mill in 1830. The other half of Pigeon Forge’s namesake is the now-extinct passenger pigeon. By 1907, the town’s population had grown to just 154 residents. But, by the 1930s, the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains had begun to lure visitors to the area. In 1934, when Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established, the first guest cottages were built along the river.
Some of the best spots for scenic views are up high, as you can imagine.
Great Smoky Mountains Wheel at The Island in Pigeon Forge
At 200-feet, this is the centerpiece of The Island and one of the tallest features in the entire Southeast. It features stunning bird-eye views of the Smoky Mountains. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Adult tickets run for $14.00 with the option to upgrade to VIP status or day/night combos.
Adult tickets run for $14.00 and children 3-11 years old get in for $9.
Visitors can get an unlimited ride pass for all The Island rides for 48 hours for $30 or add another $10 and include the Ropes Course – a three-story explorer ropes course complete with suspension bridges, zip lines, and a free-fall jump! The course costs $15 on its own.
While you’re there, sit in a sweet rocking chair and watch the dancing fountain – coordinated to music all day and night
Play at Patriot Park
Patriot Park is a 16-acre park in the heart of Pigeon Forge is a tribute to wartime veterans. Like most parks, there’s a gazebo, plenty of open space and a walking trail that connects to the Riverwalk Greenway.
The gazebo and pavilion require reservations with the city if you’d like to picnic or gather there. Along the trail, you’ll see flags from all 50 states, as well as several memorials to the veterans from Pigeon Forge.
The Pigeon Forge Greenway system includes 6 miles of trails along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, around Patriot Park (see No. 5 on our list), around the old City Park behind the Pigeon Forge Community Center and throughout Wear Farm Park.
Included in the Greenway system is the Riverwalk Greenway – more than 4 miles of trails taking cyclists and walkers 1 mile around the old City Park loop behind the Pigeon Forge Community Center, along the river for 1 mile through the Island in Pigeon Forge, and then behind the LeConte Convention Center and along Butler St for 1.5 miles where it connects to the ½ mile trail at Patriot Park.
The paved trail begins by looping behind the Pigeon Creek Community Center, before it meets the West Prong of the river. Staying close to the river, the trail stretches south to The Island entertainment complex and then continues down to Patriot Park where it closes with a 1/2-mile loop around the park.
The trail is open for use 24 hours a day, thanks to the lighting provided. Benches are placed at intervals along the route. Pedestrians, cyclists, inline skaters, and users with leashed dogs are ALL welcome to enjoy.
Pigeon Forge Chairlift
In the works is Pigeon Forge’s first chairlift, which will be a wondrous place for scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Keep up with all the announcements on construction and creation of the chairlift here.
Find a Cozy Cabin
No matter what unique adventures you choose in the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll want a cozy place to relax, hang out lay your head. Whether you want a treehouse experience or one of our many beautiful cabins, American Patriot Getaways can help you decide.
Book a Gatlinburg Cabin with a hot tub so you’ll have the perfect place to unwind under the stars. Be sure you check out all our amazing featured deals so you can get the best price for your synchronized firefly vacation or your pancake extravaganza!
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 your perfect Smoky Mountains vacation.