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3 Days in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains: Sample Itinerary

Breathtaking view of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
July 29, 2020

If you don’t have time for a full week-long vacation in Gatlinburg TN, a three-day escape is the next best thing! A long weekend is just enough time to experience the most popular attractions and restaurants in the Smoky Mountain area. To help you make the most of your getaway, we have put together a sample itinerary for spending 3 days in Gatlinburg and the Smokies.

Day One

1. Start Your Day at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

Crocketts Breakfast Camp is Gatlinburg’s most-buzzed-about breakfast spot! This restaurant is famous for its massive pancakes (a.k.a. “griddle cakes”), which are over 1 inch thick.

2. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg

Crockett’s is about a 15-minute walk from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies , which has been voted the nation’s top aquarium by the readers of USA Today for many years in a row. A highlight of the aquarium is the Shark Lagoon, which features an immersive underwater tunnel and moving sidewalk. With our Timber Tops’ Luxury Pass, you’ll receive one free adult admission to Ripley’s Aquarium!

3. Get Lunch at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

While you’re still in downtown Gatlinburg, we recommend heading over to Big Daddy’s Pizzeria for lunch. All of their mouthwatering pies are baked in a 550-degree brick oven until the crust is perfectly crispy.

4. Go Ziplining at Legacy Mountain

Next, drive over to Legacy Mountain Ziplines for an afternoon filled with thrills and breathtaking views of the Smokies.

5. Enjoy the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show is a hilarious show starring the world’s most notorious feuding families. Before the show, guests will enjoy a mouth-watering all-you-can-eat feast with home cooked Southern dishes. The Timber Tops Luxury Pass can be redeemed for one free adult admission to the Hatfield & McCoy show.

Day Two

1. Have Breakfast at Sawyer’s Farmhouse

Sawyer’s Farmhouse Restaurant cooks one mean breakfast! Guests will love Sawyer’s crepes, pancakes, omelets, french toast, and homemade peanut butter syrup.

2. Make the Most of Dollywood

After breakfast, head over to the Pigeon Forge Trolley Station and catch a ride to the world-famous Dollywood theme park. Featuring dozens of incredible rides and fantastic shows, it’s easy to spend the whole day at Dollywood. Highlights include the Lightning Rod wooden roller coaster, the Smoky Mountain String Band’s bluegrass show, and Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet.

3. Have Dinner at The Old Mill Restaurant

The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge

When you return to the Pigeon Forge Trolley Station, we recommend strolling over to The Old Mill Restaurant for dinner. This legendary restaurant is located adjacent to a historic grist mill that has been in operation since 1830!

4. See the Country Tonite Show

After dinner, you can enjoy some fantastic music at the Country Tonite Theatre . This popular show offers the perfect mix of modern and classic country tunes. Our Luxury Pass is good for one free adult admission to the Country Tonite show.

5. Relax at The Island in Pigeon Forge

The Island in Pigeon Forge is a wonderful place to relax in the evening. Located off of the Parkway, this shopping and entertainment complex features a beautiful show fountain, great snack shops, and one of the tallest Ferris wheels in America.

Day Three

1. Eat at the Log Cabin Pancake House

The Log Cabin Pancake House in Gatlinburg.

If you’re spending 3 days in Gatlinburg, breakfast at the Log Cabin Pancake House is a must! We’re big fans of the Pancake Royale, which is served with banana wedges, powdered sugar, and a house-made cream cheese sauce.

2. Go Shopping in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is an 8-mile loop road lined with galleries, studios, and shops. This is the absolute best place to find handcrafted souvenirs in Gatlinburg!

3. Have Lunch at The Wild Plum Tea Room

When you are done shopping, head on over to The Wild Plum Tea Room in the Arts & Crafts Community. This restaurant has unique food you’ll want to try, and it’s modeled after European tea rooms.

4. Explore Cades Cove

Horses grazing in a meadow in Cades Cove.

Located about 50 minutes outside of Gatlinburg, Cades Cove is the most frequented section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This breathtaking valley offers a variety of historic buildings, gorgeous mountain scenery, and incredible wildlife viewing.

5. Dine at the Applewood Farmhouse Grill

Located beside an apple orchard, the Applewood Farmhouse Grill is another can’t-miss restaurant in the Smokies. Meals at the Farmhouse Grill come with a complimentary fruit juice cocktail and a serving of fresh apple fritters with homemade apple butter.

6. Crack Up at the Comedy Barn

Incredible mountain views from the deck of the Bluebirds Over the Smokies cabin.

The Comedy Barn is the funniest show in town! Featuring clean, family-friendly comedy, this show will have you laughing until it hurts. Everyone from the kids to the grandparents love this popular show in Pigeon Forge!

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg

When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you will have the perfect home base for spending 3 days in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 15 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your escape. Not sure which city you want to stay in? Read all about the towns in the Smoky Mountains to help you decide! To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of Gatlinburg cabins!

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