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aerial view of gatlinburg during summer

Top 4 Things That You Need to Do During a Gatlinburg Weekend Getaway

June 24, 2024

If you only have a weekend available to spend in Gatlinburg, you’ll definitely want to make the most of your time in the Smoky Mountains! Since it’s impossible to see everything in the Smokies in a weekend (or even a week), the best thing to do is focus on the highlights of the region! Here are the top 4 things that you need to do during a Gatlinburg weekend getaway:

1. Take a Day Trip to Experience White Water Rafting on the Pigeon River

Little girl smiling while white water raftingWhen it comes to the perfect weekend getaway to Gatlinburg, don’t miss the chance to take a day trip and experience our white water rafting trips on the Pigeon River! As the closest rafting outfitter to Gatlinburg, we offer several action-packed adventures where you’ll challenge the rapids with your family and friends! Our most popular trip is the Upper River Rafting trip, which features an exhilarating 6.5 mile ride through about 70 rapids ranging from class 1 to class 4! There is no need to worry, as our trips are for both experienced and inexperienced paddlers, and you’re in good hands with our professional guides! Keep in mind that on summer weekends, we only raft on Saturdays!

2. Go Hiking at the National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to 150 official hiking trails, offering everything from stunning mountain views to majestic waterfalls! While exploring many of the scenic trails, you’ll also have the chance to encounter some fascinating historical buildings and perhaps even spot some wildlife! Consider starting your day at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, which is located right at the Gatlinburg entrance into the national park. This excellent facility features a variety of natural history exhibits, seasonal ranger-led programs, a bookstore, gift shop, public restrooms and more! Not a fan of hiking? You’ll find lots of great scenic drives throughout the park too!

3. Visit the Anakeesta Theme Park

anakeestaAnother one of the top things that you need to do during a Gatlinburg weekend getaway is visit Anakeesta theme park! This mountaintop adventure park features an amazing selection of attractions for all ages, ranging from the Treehouse Adventure Play Area for the kids to the Rail Runner and Hellbender mountain coasters for thrillseekers! Your day starts with a scenic Chondola from Gatlinburg, which is the world’s only fixed grip transportation system where you can choose between a gondola and a traditional ski-lift style chair! When planning your trip to Gatlinburg, be sure to check out our Smoky Mountain Rafting plus Anakeesta package!

4. Zipline with CLIMB Works

Gatlinburg is home to all kinds of fun outdoor activities, and one of the best is ziplining! You can see some of the best views of the Smokies on a zipline tour. Visit CLIMB Works to experience nine world-class ziplines, three sky bridges, a 4-wheel drive adventure, and more. You’ll be surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on three sides, guaranteeing unmatched views of the area. We recommend taking advantage of our zipline and whitewater rafting combo — you can save $20 on your rafting trip with us and scenic zipline tour with CLIMB Works!

Check out all of the information about our Smoky Mountain white water rafting trips today to plan the perfect Gatlinburg weekend getaway! We look forward to seeing you this season!