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May 31st, 2023
Stunning view of downtown Gatlinburg, TN one of the top small cities in America

Gatlinburg Named One of the Top 10 Small Cities to Visit in America

February 10, 2015 May 31st, 2023

Gatlinburg, Tennessee was recently named one of the top ten small cities to visit in America by Bustle.com! For a population of just 4,000, our Smoky Mountain city has an amazing number of attractions and activities to enjoy, with everything from ziplining to white water rafting on the Pigeon River. Here are just some of the reasons why Gatlinburg made Bustle’s collection of 10 Small Cities to Visit in 2015 That Should Absolutely Be on Your Travel Bucket List:

Incredible Scenery

Gatlinburg’s unique location in the Smokies provides the city with some of the most spectacular scenery in America! Visitors to the area can enjoy more than 800 miles of hiking trails through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from short easy hikes to strenuous backcountry treks. If hiking isn’t you thing, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the region from one of the world’s largest aerial tramways, which takes customers from downtown Gatlinburg to the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort.

World Class Gatlinburg AttractionsSunrise over the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN one of the top small cities in America

Gatlinburg is home to several world class attractions, making the city a popular destination for families. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is must-see destination, featuring a unique underwater tunnel where guests can view sharks, sea turtles, and thousands of fascinating sea creatures. Climb Works offers amazing zipline canopy tours with bird’s eye views of the mountains. Gatlinburg is also just a short drive from the famous Dollywood theme park, which boasts over 40 awesome rides and shows.

Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers a number of great Discount
Gatlinburg Attraction Packages,  which let you combine a day of white water rafting on the Pigeon River with the attraction of your choosing.

Unique Accommodations

Due to Gatlinburg’s mountain setting, the town is home to a unique variety of hotels, cabins and campgrounds. There are accommodations to meet virtually any needs or budget, whether visitors are seeking a romantic getaway for two or a large group trip with family and friends. Traditional hotels provide comfortable rooms with swimming pools and other fun amenities, while cabins offer everything from hot tubs and fireplaces, to game rooms and home theaters. Local campgrounds are a great way to immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty.

Gatlinburg white water rafting on the Pigeon RiverGatlinburg White Water Rafting

Excellent white water rafting on the Pigeon River is one of the many reasons so many people visit Gatlinburg each year. With everything from class 1 to class 4 rapids, the Pigeon River offers something for beginners and thrill seekers alike.

To enjoy the best Gatlinburg white water rafting experience, reserve a trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors. We are conveniently located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, just a short drive from Gatlinburg. Guests can choose from our upper or lower river rafting trips, or they can select our combo trip to try both sections of the river. Our lower river trip is a 5.5 mile trip that is perfect for families with kids, as it is a gentle float through about 50 class 1 and 2 rapids. For a little more excitement, book our 6.5 mile upper river trip through a series of class 3 and 4 rapids!

You can learn more about Smoky Mountain Outdoors by visiting our White Water Rafting Frequently Asked Questions page!