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Gatlinburg, Tennessee Guide

A picturesque mountain town full of fun-filled adventures for the whole family, Gatlinburg also boasts fine art and antiques, mountain crafts, world-class dining establishments, live entertainment and excellent lodging choices. One of the premiere year-round vacation destinations in the United States, Gatlinburg provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and serves as a principal gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Originally known as “White Oak Flats,” Gatlinburg took its name from Radford C. Gatlin, a prosperous merchant who allowed the postmaster to use space in his prosperous mercantile in 1860. In appreciation, the post office was renamed “Gatlinburg.” From its humble beginnings as a logging town, Gatlinburg, which was incorporated in 1945, has evolved into the perfect mountain getaway for family vacations, weekend escapes, romantic getaways, weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and corporate meetings.

The multitude of attractions in the Gatlinburg area include museums, aquariums, craft exhibits and galleries, amusement parks and rides, miniature golf, viewing towers and wildlife exhibits. Not-to-be-missed Gatlinburg attractions include Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park, Gatlinburg Space Needle, Guinness World of Records Museum and Christ in the Smokies Museum. Visitors to Gatlinburg can also view the work of master craftspeople at the Great Smoky Arts Crafts Community and the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. Championship golf, horseback riding, gardens, ski lifts, whitewater rafting, trout fishing in clear mountain streams, backcountry camping and miles of scenic hiking trails round out the wealth of recreational opportunities in the Gatlinburg area.

Driving tours through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are a popular way to view the area's beautiful spring wildflowers and spectacular fall colors. In addition, Gatlinburg boasts dozens of quality dining choices - from delicious mountain-style cooking to world-class cuisine. Whether you are seeking a secluded cabin or chalet with a wooded view, budget motel, full-service hotel with meeting facilities or family resort, Gatlinburg offers quality accommodations to suit your needs.

The City of Gatlinburg operates three Welcome Centers: The Spur Welcome Center on Highway 441, Aquarium Welcome Center at traffic light #5 and Parkway Visitor Center at traffic light #3.

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Distance to Gatlinburg from Major Cities:

Atlanta, Georgia - 197 miles
Birmingham, Alabama - 302 miles
Branson, Missouri - 677 miles
Charleston, West Virginia - 316 miles
Charlotte, North Carolina - 195 miles
Chattanooga, Tennessee - 71 miles
Chicago, Illinois - 580 miles
Cincinnati, Ohio - 291 miles
Columbia, South Carolina - 228 miles
Dayton, Ohio - 375 miles
Detroit, Michigan - 552 miles
Indianapolis, Indiana - 398 miles
Jackson, Mississippi - 533 miles
Las Vegas, Nevada - 2,010 miles
Lexington, Kentucky - 211 miles
Louisville, Kentucky - 286 miles
Memphis, Tennessee - 436 miles
Mobile, Alabama - 527 miles
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - 383 miles
Nashville, Tennessee - 223 miles
New Orleans, Louisiana - 661 miles
Orlando, Florida - 660 miles
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 495 miles
Raleigh, North Carolina - 325 miles
Richmond, Virginia - 438 miles
St. Louis, Missouri - 530 miles
Tampa, Florida - 647 miles
Washington, DC - 489 miles
Williamsburg, Virginia - 481 miles

Directions to Gatlinburg:

From Asheville, North Carolina - Take I-40 West to Exit 443. Follow the Foothills Parkway to Highway 321 South to Gatlinburg.

From Atlanta, Georgia - Take I-85 North to I-985 North to U.S. 23 to Highway 23/Highway 441 to Highway 74/441 through Cherokee, North Carolina to Gatlinburg.

From Chattanooga, Tennessee - Take I-75 North to Exit 81 and follow Highway 321 North to Gatlinburg.

From Lexington, Kentucky - Take I-75 South to I-640 East to I-40 East. Take Exit 435 to Highway 321 South to Gatlinburg.

From Virginia - Take I-81 South to I-40 East to Exit 435 (Newport). Follow Highway 321 South to Gatlinburg.

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