The Novelty of Gatlinburg

Someone once told me that Gatlinburg looks like a carnival.

Since then I have been curious that how can a town in America look like a carnival all the time?! Only when I went there last year, I could see that it indeed reflects the mirage of a carnival.

Primarily, I intended to savor the mightiness of the Great Smoky Mountains but was completely swept off by the charm of Gatlinburg. It’s nothing like any other city/town/village of America (as far as I have seen), Gatlinburg is a novelty.

And, when you have Great Smoky as the perfect backdrop along with a heavy overcast, nothing can match the charm.

There were creeks running behind the hotels, mini golf-courses adorning the shopping arcades, ghost houses scaring kids & adults alike, gazillion stores selling chocolates, among many other vibrant experiences in the town. Walking down the town center at any time of the day or night can brighten your mood instantly.


As much as I wanted to visit all the touristy attractions on the main street, I chose to head over to the mountains because I had limited time. What I didn’t miss was a chairlift ride to the top of a mountain overlook with heart-racing views of the town and mountain peaks.

If you are in Gatlinburg, the chairlift ride, known as the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, can be distinctly seen from anywhere on the main street. After contemplating a lot, I did the ride right before the closing time when it was raining so the whole experience was a little jittery in the beginning and serene towards the end. You have to get on that chairlift to experience the mesmerizing lit-up view of the whole town drizzled in rain.


The only thing missing from the place was decent options to eat, everywhere I looked I could just see pancakes! It does put me off in most of the situations but this time I was completely absorbed in the aura of mountains and Gatlinburg.



There’s a plethora of options to stay near the downtown area where you can find all the attractions and reach the Smoky Mountains by car in 5-10 minutes. I stayed at the Glenstone Lodge from where the town center was just a 2-minute walk and was located on a quiet street with creeks and trees around.

With so much to offer, Gatlinburg has made it to my list of places to explore again! More about the Smoky Mountains in another post.

8 thoughts on “The Novelty of Gatlinburg

  1. You would be surprised how many good restaurants are in town: Smoky Mountain Brewery, Best Italian, Cherokee Grill, Alamo Steakhouse, No Way Jose’s. I think sometimes that all some see and that’s understandable, but we have been pleasantly surprised at the great Southern cookin’ here.


  2. I suppose if there were a town that would qualify as a “guilty pleasure,” Gatlinburg would be it. During an Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 1985 I had the experience of spending two days there. Something about the atmosphere of Gburg is unlike any place I have ever visited, either in the U.S. or abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, the atmosphere is completely out of this world! You thru-hiked the Appalachian in 1985?! I am always in awe of hikers who complete the Appalachian or PCT, and you did that such a long time back!
      Thanks for reading!


  3. Hi Anu
    Such a pretty town this one! I love exploring these little places, they are bursting with charm!:)
    The chair lift ride must have been amazing & thrilling especially because of all the mountains. Lovely article:)


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