Architectural Digest has taken notice of something we’ve known for a long time: Gatlinburg is one of the most scenic spots in America! The magazine recently compiled a guide to “The Prettiest Town in Every U.S. State,” and we’re excited to report that Gatlinburg was their pick for Tennessee. In their profile of our charming town, Architectural Digest praised Gatlinburg for its “smoky sky and lush green hills” which they deemed “eye candy for nature explorers.” To help you make the most of your next getaway in the Smokies, Timber Tops Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to some of our favorite spots to take in Gatlinburg’s magnificent scenery.
1. Gatlinburg Sky Lift
When the Gatlinburg Sky Lift first opened in 1954, it made history as the first chairlift in the South. Today, the newly renovated Sky Lift continues to offer awe-inspiring views as it takes guests from downtown Gatlinburg up to the top of Crockett Mountain (and back down again). The Gatlinburg Sky Lift climbs 1,800 feet in the air for a round trip ride that lasts around 18 minutes.
2. Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Space Needle is another iconic attraction in the Smokies. Standing at 407 feet tall, this popular observation tower offers stunning panoramas of the city and the surrounding mountains. The Space Needle experience is enhanced by a glass elevator ride to the top of the tower and free viewfinders on the observation deck. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, be sure to visit the Space Needle at night so you can see all of the glittering lights on The Strip.
3. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is an incredibly scenic drive that is conveniently located minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg. This 5.5-mile, one-way loop road passes by a bubbling stream, well-preserved historic buildings, lovely mountain views, gorgeous foliage, and the trailheads for many of the national park’s best hikes. Please note that the Motor Nature Trail closes for the winter in late November.
4. Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook
Located right along the Gatlinburg Bypass, the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is one of the most photographed spots in town. The Overlook boasts a truly picturesque view of the Gatlinburg skyline and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What makes the vista so unique is the dramatic contrast in elevation between the city and mountains. While the city has an elevation of 1,300 feet, Mount LeConte (the highest point in the Smokies) is 6,593 feet tall!
Anakeesta is a theme park located on top of a mountain overlooking downtown Gatlinburg. When you visit this awesome attraction, you’ll have the chance to take in breathtaking mountain views while you enjoy shopping or dining at Firefly Village or a fun adventure on Anakeesta’s dueling ziplines. The only way to get to Anakeesta is via a chairlift or gondola ride, so you’ll also see plenty of beautiful scenery on your way to the top of the mountain.
6. Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway has been taking guests up to Tennessee’s only ski resort for over 45 years. One of only 17 running trams in the nation, the Aerial Tramway offers stunning vistas of the mountains during its 10-minute, 2.1-mile rides. In addition to its ski area, Ober Gatlinburg is also home to a great year-round amusement park, so you can ride the tram to Ober in any season.
7. Your Cabin’s Deck
When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you can enjoy picturesque views of the mountains right from your home away from home. There is nothing better than sitting out on your cabin’s deck in a rocking chair (or soaking in a hot tub) while admiring the majestic grandeur of the Smokies. To find your dream vacation rental, check out our listing of Gatlinburg cabins with spectacular views!