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Helicopter Rides in Gatlinburg are Breathtaking

Helicopter rides in gatlinburg with children


There is nothing better than seeing a beautiful city from above. On your next trip, plan to take one of the amazing helicopter rides in Gatlinburg for an incredible view of the majestic Smoky Mountains. As one of the most exciting Gatlinburg attractions, this is definitely one experience you don’t want to miss.

Scenic Helicopter Rides in Gatlinburg

  • Scenic Helicopter Tours
    Since 1972, Scenic Helicopter Tours has been flying over the Smoky Mountains and showing off the breathtaking views to visitors. Awarded the coveted TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for outstanding customer service, these tours are geared to accommodate you with your desires, price point, and time frame. Scenic Helicopter Tours offers 12 different rides for you to choose from. Their tours range in price from $28 to $1230, depending on the length and location of the trip. The Gatlinburg Tour is approximately 35 to 40 miles and will fly over the incredible foothills and mountains of the beautiful Sevier County. Although reservations are not required to take a tour with this company, they highly recommend it. Their helicopters hold approximately 4 people and have had passengers as young as 20 days old and as old as 102 years old. Scenic Helicopter Tours is also handicapped-accessible. Whether you want to see something specific or just the Smoky Mountains, in general, they can accommodate your wishes.
  • Smoky Mountain Helicopters
    If you’re looking to fly the Smokies, this is the helicopter company for you. Smoky Mountain Helicopters has been offering tours of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and the surrounding areas since 1964. Whether you are ready for a first-time helicopter ride or wanting an amazing view of the area, you will find a tour to fit your needs. 
  • Sevier County Choppers
    With helicopter rides ranging from 4 to 60 minutes long, you’re bound to find one that fits your schedule at Sevier County Choppers. Located at the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Airport, they offer free headsets and amazing views for all of their passengers. Their Gatlinburg tour lasts 18 minutes and flies over the Wears Valley and the 4,007 foot tall Cove Mountain so close that you could practically touch it.

Plan a Trip to Gatlinburg, TN!

In addition to exciting helicopter rides, Gatlinburg, TN, has a wide range of outdoor activities ranging from scenic drives and informative nature walks for the more sedentary to hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting for the more adventuresome. After one of the amazing Gatlinburg helicopter tours check out some of the other Gatlinburg attractions and then relax in your Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg cabin. We offer many different cabins from pet-friendly to authentic and everything in between. Here at Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg, we want to make sure your visit to our favorite city is ideal. Whether you want to be in the heart of downtown or have an amazing view of the Smoky Mountains, we can accommodate you with the perfect rental. We look forward to booking your stay at one of our amazing properties.

The 22 Best Places to Go Hiking Near Gatlinburg, TN

Woman hiking near Gatlinburg TN


There is no better way to experience Gatlinburg, TN, and the surrounding areas than hiking the beautiful trails. Whether you are looking for a scenic hike or a physical challenge, there are many places to go hiking near Gatlinburg, TN. Here is a roundup of the 21 best hiking trails in the area.

Your Guide to Hiking Near Gatlinburg, TN

  1. Grotto Falls
    Difficulty: Easy
    Miles: 2.6
    Features: Waterfalls

  2. Laurel Falls
    Difficulty: Easy
    Miles: 2.3
    Features: Waterfalls

  3. Abrams Falls
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 5.2
    Features: Waterfalls

  4. Chimney Tops
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 3.8
    Features: Scenic views

  5. Ramsey Cascades
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 8.0
    Features: Waterfalls and forest

  6. Alum Cave
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 4.4
    Features: Scenic views

  7. Baskins Creek Falls
    Difficulty: Easy
    Miles: 3.0
    Features: Waterfalls

  8. Brushy Mountain (Trillium Gap)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 6.8
    Features: Scenic views and waterfalls

  9. Bullhead Trail
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 5.9
    Features: Scenic views

  10. Huskey Gap (Newfound Gap Rd)
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 4.2
    Features: Forest

  11. Rainbow Falls
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 5.4
    Features: Waterfalls

  12. Andrews Bald
    Difficulty: Easy
    Miles: 3.5
    Features: Scenic views

  13. Porters Creek
    Difficulty: Easy
    Miles: 4.0
    Features: Waterfalls, historical sites, and forest

  14. Charlies Bunion
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Miles: 8.1
    Features: Scenic views

  15. Mt. Cammerer
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 11.1
    Features: Scenic views and historical sites

  16. Gregory Bald (Gregory Ridge)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 11.3
    Features: Scenic views and forest

  17. Gregory Bald (Parson Branch)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 8.8
    Features: Scenic views and forest

  18. Rocky Top
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 13.9
    Features: Scenic views and Mt. Laurel

  19. Mt. LeConte (via Alum Cave)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 11.0
    Features: Scenic views

  20. Mt. LeConte (via Bullhead)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 14.4
    Features: Scenic views

  21. Mt. LeConte (Rainbow Falls)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 13.8
    Features: Scenic views and waterfalls

  22. Mt. LeConte (via Trillium Gap)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Miles: 13.9
    Features: Scenic views and waterfalls

From the beautiful scenic views to the majestic waterfalls, hiking near Gatlinburg is the perfect way to experience this gorgeous city. Whether you choose to do a short, easy hike like Laurel Falls or a longer more strenuous hike like Rocky Top or Mt. LeConte via the Trillium Gap, you will have the perfect place to rest your tired feet at one of Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg’s beautiful cabins.

Immerse yourself right into the area by renting one of our cabins overlooking Mt. LeConte or the Smoky Mountains. Kear’s Mountain cabins and chalets, which offer Mt. LeConte views, are located on a ridge bought by the Kear (pronounced “CAR”) family when they moved out of what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 1930s. Though they have retained an old Mount LeConte View feeling, all of the rentals are located just a few minutes from downtown Gatlinburg supplying you with the best of both worlds. If you prefer a Smoky Mountain view, enjoy the beautiful and majestic sights during your stay at any of our Gatlinburg cabins with mountain views.

Taking in the scenery from your balcony or front porch while sipping your morning coffee is an experience like no other. The Great Smoky Mountains are a breathtaking sight that will make your vacation one to remember from start to finish. Choose from any of our Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain cabins and experience unparalleled views, relaxation, and endless fun.

Visit the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Gatlinburg, TN

Tourist Attractions in Gatlinburg TN Downtown


The tourist attractions in Gatlinburg, TN, are unbeatable. From the beautiful scenery to the fun activities, this will be one vacation you’ll remember forever. Gatlinburg, TN, has it all from the vast amusements at Ober Gatlinburg tothings to do in Gatlinburg for couples.

Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Gatlinburg, TN

There is an abundance of great tourist attractions in Gatlinburg, TN, for everyone. Here are some of the most popular attractions in this wonderful city.

Ober Gatlinburg

From skiing to an animal exhibit, you are sure to have an event filled day at Ober Gatlinburg. Some of Ober Gatlinburg’s most popular attractions include the Ski Mountain Coaster, the Aerial Tramway, and their Wildlife Encounter. The Ski Mountain Coaster is a year-round attraction that just recently opened on August 31, 2015. This coaster is approximately 3,750 feet long and a 5 ½ minute ride that can get up to speeds of 25 mph. The first 1,000 feet of the ride is a serene trek up the mountain, once riders reach the top they are met with fast speeds, turns, dips, corkscrews, and more.

For a less adrenaline-pumping ride, check out the Aerial Tramway. As one of the top Gatlinburg attractions for couples, the Aerial Tramway is a 2.1-mile ride up to the Amusement Park & Ski Area from downtown Gatlinburg. During this ride, you will be able to see beautiful views of the mountains and a great site of the city below. Back on August 5, 2013, the Aerial Tramway celebrated its 40th anniversary and is still delighting guests to this day.

Finally, the Wildlife Encounter is the perfect stop for everyone in your family. Here you can find a family of black bears, river otters, raccoons, bobcats, owls, flying squirrels, skunks, and local reptiles! This is a great way to see animals local to the Smoky Mountains.

Space Needle

The Space Needle in Gatlinburg, TN, is where you can arguably get the best view of the city. With its multiple events, including a rocking New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show, the Space Needle is one of the best places to visit in Gatlinburg, TN. Begin your trip in a glass elevator that rises 400 feet above the city. Once you reach your destination, step out to a picturesque 360-degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains and the city of Gatlinburg. You can’t get this incredible view anywhere else!

Complete your visit to the beautiful Gatlinburg, TN, with a stay at one of Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg’s beautiful cabins. Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg has been providing high-quality vacation homes and cabin rentals since 1985. All vacation rental properties are individually owned and available for nightly rentals in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. With a multitude of specials and packages, we offer a cabin for every need. We believe that your time is valuable, your experience should be superior, your memories should be fond and though you are visiting – Gatlinburg should feel like home. We look forward to booking your stay in one of our amazing cabins!


Gatlinburg Shopping is Some of the Best in the World

Couple Enjoying Gatlinburg Shopping

People come from all over the country to Gatlinburg to take advantage of the shopping bargains that can be found here. Gatlinburg shopping has replaced crafts as the second biggest reason families come to the Smokies on vacation. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park still holds the No. 1 spot. No matter what your shopping needs may be, shopping malls, discount shops, country craft shops, and factory outlet stores are plentiful in Gatlinburg.

  • The Village Shops
    There is no shopping quite like the shopping at The Village Shops. Located just past traffic light No. 6, you will find 27 unique shops and eateries throughout this area. Designed to make you feel like you’re walking through a quaint European village, you will not only find one-of-a-kind trinkets, but also a remarkable atmosphere.
  • NOC
    Get your outdoor on at NOC, Nantahala Outdoor Center located downtown just a few steps away from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From tents to specialty hiking gear, you will find everything you could need for an outdoor adventure. Stocked with some of the most popular adventure brands, this is one store you do not want to miss.
  • Alewine Pottery
    For a more creative shopping experience, head over to Alewine Pottery. The heart of this store is the Alewine family, which has loved pottery and creativity for as long as they can remember. Whether you want to pick up a beautiful baking dish or some home decor, you will find unique handmade pottery here.
  • Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
    Founded in 1950 by Dave and Peggy Dych, Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen is for everyone with a sweet tooth. Taffy, chocolate, fudge, and more, this Home of Delicious Candies will leave you with a sugar high and ready to take on the rest of your day.
  • Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community
    Plan to visit the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community at any time because they are open year-round! This community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Walk this historic 8-mile loop and see all kinds of arts and crafts.
  • All Sauced Up
    A must-see by Gatlinburg standards, All Sauced Up is your one-stop-shop for all gourmet foods, kitchen gadgets, and “good ole’ Southern hospitality.” While you’re busy shopping, stop here to sample some of their barbecue sauces, salsas, jams, jellies, and more!
  • Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey
    For everyone who is of legal drinking age, make sure to stop by Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey flagship store. Here you are able to not only take some of their full-flavored whiskey home but you can also try it in the store.

After a full day of shopping ‘til you drop, head back to one of our properties at Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg. Whether you’re looking for a place to accommodate 20 people or just two, we have a rental for you! Check out some of our other favorite shops as well as the rest of the Gatlinburg area. We can’t wait to book your stay at one of our beautiful cabins.

How to Have the Best Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve

Gatlinburg New Years Eve


The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time. With all of the festive events, there is no better way to spend this holiday than a Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve. Whether you are looking for a ball drop or just a fun night on the town, Gatlinburg has it all.

Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show

The Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show is hosted at the famous Space Needle. Starting early in the evening, folks from all over start to gather downtown to see the New Year’s Eve show. With fireworks leading up to the main ball drop event, visitors can also check out the local food vendors while they are waiting. As soon as all guests ring in the new year, fireworks will shoot from the top of the 400-foot-tall Space Needle. With choreographed music and special LED lighting, this is one sight you cannot miss this coming New Year’s!

As one of the most family-friendly events for New Year’s Eve, many restaurants and businesses downtown like to partake in the celebration by offering specials throughout this time. Grab the kids and head downtown to get a good spot to view the amazing show come midnight. If the party atmosphere is not for you, there is a great vantage point on Park River Road where you can catch all the action without the large crowds. Last year set a record of attendees reaching more than 60,000 guests celebrating 2015. This year will not disappoint as they plan on hosting even more people at this festive event. Known as the South’s Biggest New Year’s Eve celebration, this is an event you must attend.

New Year’s Eve at Blaine’s

Another popular celebration is the downtown party, New Year’s Eve at Blaine’s. Located at stoplight #8, Blaine’s Grill & Bar is always bustling this time of year and offers four different packages for those who want to celebrate! All packages include party favors and a midnight confetti drop, but depending on the one you choose, you might get more. Their first package, Premier Dining, includes a choice of dinner, a bottle of champagne (per couple), and reserved seating for the entire evening with full service. The second package, Dance Floor, includes a choice of dinner and bottle of champagne (per couple). The third package, Sports Bar, includes one glass of champagne per person and an appetizer buffet in their Sports Bar overlooking the dance floor. Their final package, General Admission includes one glass of champagne per person with a later entrance of 9 p.m.

Whether you’re looking for a family friendly celebration, a night out on the town, or just a relaxing evening in, this area has plenty of options for a wonderful Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve. Complete your visit by staying at one of our beautiful properties. We offer everything from large group cabins to authentic log cabins. You can spend the perfect New Year’s Eve you have always dreamed of right here in Gatlinburg, TN, with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg.

Celebrate the Holidays at the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

Gatlinburg Christmas Parade


Holidays in Gatlinburg are always beautiful and festive. One of the most popular holiday activities is attending the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade. With over 100 parade entries including marching bands, floats, helium balloons, and performers, this is one night guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade, also known as the Fantasy of Lights, is an event that many people and families look forward to every year. The 2015 parade is expected to bring in over 80,000 spectators spread throughout downtown Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade route lasts about an hour and a half and starts at traffic light #1A on Highway 321 and ends at traffic light #10. To see the full route, check out the city’s map. Throughout downtown Gatlinburg, the parkway will be closed for the parade. It is recommended that you arrive into town early in the day so you are able to find parking before the parade begins. Prime but limited parking can be found along River Road. However, if you cannot find an open spot there, you can find a few privately owned parking lots along River Road that typically charge a flat fee. You can also find city-operated parking garages near Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and traffic light #3.

Making History

Last year the town of Gatlinburg, TN, set out to make history by taking the Guinness World record for most people wearing Rudolph red noses at a single event. From the city’s determination and acquisition of 20,000 Rudolph red noses, they were able to steal that title. Each participant received a Guinness World Records record holder certificate and claimed their place in history.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic

Beginning in November, the town of Gatlinburg is lit up with Christmas lights galore. Through February, you can enjoy these beautiful light displays throughout town. Every year the event becomes more popular, and they have recently made it environmentally friendly with LED lighting. Since 1989, this light display has been mesmerizing hundreds of thousands of people in Gatlinburg.

Kickoff & Chili Cookoff

Every year since its debut, Gatlinburg’s Winter Magic has kicked off with a chili cookoff! On November 11th, all in attendance will be able to taste mouth-watering homemade chili from amazing local chefs. The kickoff starts with the lighting of all the beautiful displays throughout downtown Gatlinburg. The kickoff is also on Veteran’s Day, so the town plans to honor all servicemen and women in a special ceremony. Participants in the chili cookoff will be competing for the People’s Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation, and Best Apron. Street events are always free and you can taste as much chili as you want for the low price of $10.

Gatlinburg is the perfect place to spend your holidays. Whether you come for the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade, or one of the other many winter attractions, you will enjoy this festive season. While planning your trip, make sure to check out our fabulous amenities at Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg. You can stay in a beautiful home that can fit the whole family or an authentic log cabin. No matter which property you choose to stay in you will enjoy the beauty of Gatlinburg around you. We look forward to booking your stay this holiday season!

Photo credit: Basheer Tome / Flickr


4 Gatlinburg Winter Attractions Your Family Will Love

Gatlinburg Winter Attractions


Finding the perfect activities for the entire family can be tricky; factors such as age difference or varying preferences might get in the way of each family member enjoying themselves during a vacation.  Fortunately, Gatlinburg has the solution!  This popular town in Tennessee offers a wide spectrum of things to do to keep a family of all ages, boys and girls, entertained.

Gatlinburg Winter Attractions

With so many fun winter attractions in Gatlinburg, complete your trip with a stay at one of our properties from Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg. Browse this list of the top 4 Gatlinburg winter activities to discover the best ones for your family this holiday season.

  1. Gatlinburg Winter Magic
    Nothing is more festive than Christmas lights!  Gatlinburg Winter Magic is a spectacular display of Christmas lights more dazzling than you’ve ever seen before.  Head to Gatlinburg’s downtown Parkway and watch as it illuminates with millions of colorful lights and displays.  Trolley rides are offered as well to give visitors a more comfortable view of the show.  Many displays feature animals that frequent the Great Smoky Mountains, such as deer, squirrels, and rabbits. This attraction begins November 11th and will run until the end of February.

  2. Ober Gatlinburg
    From sledding down a snowy slope to watching otters splash in a stream, Ober Gatlinburg will keep you and your family smiling all day long!  This enormous park offers several rides to get your adrenaline pumping, such as their ski mountain coaster, alpine slide, and chair swing; they also offer a carousel, aerial tramway, and chairlift.  Their snow tubing slope, only available during the winter, ranks high on the list of Gatlinburg winter attractions; children as young as 3 can join this thrilling slide down snowy hills.  Other Ober Gatlinburg winter activities include skiing and ice skating!  Explore further and also catch glimpses of animal friends in the Wildlife Encounter, play a game of mini golf, or keep the younger ones entertained with a variety of kiddie rides.

  3. Pigeon Forge Winterfest
    Countless Smoky Mountain businesses and organizations team together to create Winterfest, one of the biggest Gatlinburg winter attractions.  This event kicks off November 9th and spans all the way through February.  You’ll make unforgettable memories with your family by attending this monumental festival, filled with live music, dances, parades, shows, and more!

  4. Ripley’s Believe It or Not
    This mind-boggling attraction has been a hotspot ever since it was established in 1918.  Ripley’s Believe It or Not draws countless curious visitors to experience sights and sensations they would never have believed possible.  Complete with an aquarium, moving theater, mirror maze, and mini golf, Ripley’s provides an entire day of fun that will entertain visitors of all ages.  If you want to escape the winter chill for a bit, explore this museum brimming with oddities, optical illusions, and brain-benders.

  5. Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community: Christmas Craft Show
    If you’re curious how the many handmade treasures of Gatlinburg are made, the Christmas Craft Show hosted by the Great Smoky Arts and Craft Community will open your eyes!  Held in the downtown Convention Center in downtown Gatlinburg, this show features many local artists from the area; you can watch as they assemble and produce their own creative pieces in front of your very eyes.  The best part about this show is that it’s completely free!  After attending the show and meeting some of the local artists, you and your family can stroll through downtown to view the countless handmade arts and crafts Gatlinburg artists have created for display and purchase.  Your whole family will love this behind-the-scenes look at Gatlinburg Christmas crafts and will enjoy selecting a souvenir of their memorable trip from downtown as well.

Plan Your Trip

Make plans to stay with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg during your winter getaway to Tennessee!  We have a variety of comfortable cabins with different sizes and features guaranteed to satisfy the whole family.  

Photo credit: Jim R Rogers / Flickr

Enjoy an Exciting Day of Skiing in Gatlinburg

Skiing in Gatlinburg


You may be surprised, but Ober Gatlinburg is the only ski resort in the entire state of Tennessee. Open from December to March, this is one winter experience you don’t want to miss!

Skiing in Gatlinburg

On the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg, you will find terrain for all ages and skill levels. There are a total of 9 trails so whether you’re a beginner or prefer a challenge, you will find something to suit your skiing needs here. The slopes boast two quad lifts, one double lift, and one surface lift so you are able to spend most of your time having fun rather than waiting in line.

First time on the slopes? No problem! Ober Gatlinburg offers classes as well as rental equipment and will get you slicing down the slopes in no time. Beginners should spend their time on the Ski School Slope and Club Way. Intermediate skiers should head more toward Ober Chute, Bear Run, Castle Run, and Alpine Run Trails. Finally, for those advanced skiers looking for a challenge, head on over to Grizzly Trail and Mogul Ridge. Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean your fun has to stop. After dusk, all of the trails are lit for night skiing.

For the Non-Skiers

Skiing not your thing? Don’t worry! Ober Gatlinburg has plenty to offer everyone. From the Ski Mountain Coaster to the Aerial Tramway, you can find fun for the whole family!  

Ski Mountain Coaster

Sitting high atop Mt. Harrison, just below the peak, the ski mountain coaster is a year-round attraction at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area. As a new attraction that just opened August 31st, 2015, the coaster is approximately a 3,750 feet and 5 ½ minute ride. The attraction was built by a partner of Ober Gatlinburg who is the leading manufacturer of mountain coaster and slides throughout the United States. You can enjoy the first 1,000 feet of the ride calmly heading uphill through the woods. Once reaching the top, riders speed down through turns, dips, corkscrews and more up to 25 mph!

Aerial Tramway

From downtown Gatlinburg, take the aerial tramway, a 2.1-mile ride up to the Amusement Park & Ski Area. While this is a means of transportation to the fun that awaits, this is fun for the whole family. The beautiful views of the mountain as well as the ride or much more than just a way to get up the mountain! Before the aerial tramway was built in 1972, skiers would have to drive up a winding road to get to Ober Gatlinburg. The aerial tramway celebrated its 40th anniversary on August 5, 2013.

Wildlife Encounter

Take a look into the surrounding wildlife at Ober Gatlinburg’s Wildlife Encounter. Here you can find a family of black bears, river otters, raccoons, bobcats, owls, flying squirrels, skunks, and local reptiles! The black bear exhibit houses Ober Gatlinburg’s two-generation family including Minnie and BJ, and their grown 3-year-olds, Holly and Chief. After viewing the bears, head on down to the underwater viewing area at the otter exhibit. See what these river otters are up to both above and below the waterline. The Wildlife Encounter features a special Nocturnal House that is home to animals native to the Smoky Mountains, such as raccoons, skunks, flying squirrels, turtles, and snakes.

Plan Your Trip

With great skiing and other activities to do right here in Gatlinburg, TN, make sure to plan your trip with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg today! We offer many properties close to Ober Gatlinburg making it even easier for you to spend your day on the slopes!

Photo credit: Brent Moore / Flickr


The Fascinating History of Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Photo Credit: Carl Wycoff / Flickr

The history of Gatlinburg began around the year 1800 when the Ogle family, followed by a small group of other families, settled into what they called the “land of Paradise” now known as Gatlinburg. This beautiful and fertile land tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains was not simply a resourceful place to live, but it echoed the Creation of the God in whom these settlers believed.

The history of Gatlinburg did not develop much in the first 100 years as these families established themselves through multiple generations, taming the land to suit their needs and discovering trade routes for themselves. However, considering the well-established attraction Gatlinburg has become, there is obviously some rich history to how this sleepy mountain settlement became accessible for the whole world to explore.  

The Ogle Family

Reported to have come to the area in 1801, the Ogles began calling the area White Oak Flats for the white oak tree covered landscape. Martha Jane Huskey Ogle was a middle-aged widow who, upon her husband’s passing, came to the area to start a new life. With five sons and two daughters, she selected this area because her husband had indeed named in the “land of paradise.” The famous Ogle Cabin was erected by 1802 and is an attraction visitors to the area can still see today. Ogles lived in this cabin right through to Martha’s great Grandson, Andrew, who abandoned it in 1910, moving just a short distance away.

How Gatlinburg Got Its Name

After the Ogles settled successfully in White Oaks Flats surrounded by the Smoky Mountains on three sides, other founding families started showing up, including the McCarters, Reagans, Whaleys, and Trenthams who nestled in among the streams and hollows of the area. Radford C. Gatlin opened the area’s first general store, and was also a mighty Baptist preacher in the area, and was known for his Democratic views that did not fit in amidst this conservative community. He was eventually banished from the area for offending too many people, yet most likely because of his store, the name Gatlinburg stuck.

The Tennessee Heritage Trail

The best way to learn about the history of Gatlinburg when visiting is by the exploring the Tennessee Heritage Trail, which consists of historic sites, trails, music, and arts that tell the story of over two centuries. The Tennessee Heritage Trail is divided up into three sections to give visitors more ease as they learn about the area through the mediums that are most meaningful to them. There is the Arts & Crafts Trail, the History Trail, and the Music Trail. Whichever one sounds most interesting to you as you tackle understanding the romantic history of Gatlinburg, you can grab a map at many locations in the area and follow these trails to dig in!

The history of Gatlinburg is full of intrigue and art, which was an integral part of the area’s development as it is such a beautiful place. Whether you have a creative mind or are more of a history buff or woodsman, the great thing about Gatlinburg is that it attracts people of all different backgrounds with its diverse history and natural landscape that established its contemporary culture.

4 of the Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN

best restaurants in gatlinburg tn

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the ideal Smoky Mountain destination for many reasons. Aside from being tucked away in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, it is also full of family-friendly attractions and an endless list of delicious restaurants at which to eat. The best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN come in all different varieties, so you’ll never get bored of the food here! Not only are these big draws, but the entire area is covered in charming country vacation rentals that offer the perfect environment for a group of any size to getaway to the mountains in an affordable and more private way than staying at a big hotel.

4 of the Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN


  1. Cherokee Grill
    Known far and wide at Gatlinburg’s Great Steakhouse, the Cherokee Grill is a real Smoky Mountain treat when you are visiting the area. Enjoy the luxury lodge setting of this great restaurant with its beautiful masonry and woodwork while you sample their lunch or dinner menus of mouthwatering sandwiches, and steaks that will blow your mind! It is located in the heart of town in Calhoun’s Village so is easy to get to with lots of other things around to enjoy!
  2. Smoky Mountain Brewery and Calhoun’s
    One of the area’s most highly acclaimed microbreweries is paired up with one of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN for a winning combination of food and drinks. Known for their handcrafted beers throughout Eastern Tennessee, and their delicious southeastern style menu, you’ll love spending time here. Whether you’re just looking for a beer to pair with their delicious menu items, or want to take a case home with you when you leave, these refreshing beverages are always a treat, whether you like ales, porters, reds or trying something delicious and seasonal. This is a great place to come and catch a game while you enjoy the Calhoun’s classy menu that will far exceed your expectations!
  3. Log Cabin Pancake House
    This is hands down the best place in town for breakfast. They serve eggs any way you can imagine them prepared, crepes, pancakes of all shapes and sizes, and the southern staples like biscuits and gravy and country ham. They also have an extensive lunch menu with an all you can eat buffet and other great staples like patty melts and burgers. The Log Cabin Pancake House is comfort food at its finest!
  4. No Way Jose’s Cantina
    If you’re in the mood for traditional Mexican fare, there’s no better place to find it than at No Way Jose’s Cantina, one of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN. Voted Best Mexican food in Sevier County you can look forward to everything from their delicious soups and salsas, their famous steak, and sizzling hot fajitas piled high and made fresh to order! You can always count on Jose’s to use the freshest ingredients for an even more satisfying meal.


There is certainly no way you’ll go hungry surrounded by the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN. Be sure to hit at least a few of these while exploring the area as you’ll certainly need some serious refueling with all the great things to do here!