We love the Smokies regardless of what season it is, but there’s just something about that warm Smoky Mountain sunshine that makes summer extra special. And from exploring the terrain of the Smokies by foot or bike to shopping downtown, there is no end to the fun to be had in Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. That’s why we’ve put together a list of three things to do in Gatlinburg in the summer to get you started. Check out all the fun details below.
1. Gatlinburg Stream Fishing
Since the reopening of Lynn Camp Prong after a seven-year native, brook trout restoration project, all 2,900 miles of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s streams are open for fishing for the first time since the park’s establishment in 1937.
The park and surrounding area boasts some of the most diverse fish populations in the country, making Gatlinburg fishing streams a destination for fishermen of all ages and skill level. So if you’re looking for a relaxing and cooling to get into during your Gatlinburg getaway, grab your waders because the freedom of the Smokies’ open streams are calling your name.
Be sure to cast a line in a couple of our favorite fishing spots below:
- Anthony Creek Watershed – Rainbow Trout
- Abrams Creek Watershed – Rainbow Trout
- West Prong of the Little River Watershed – Rainbow Trout
- Middle Prong of the Little River Watershed – Rainbow and Brown Trout
- East Prong of Little River Watershed – Rainbow Trout
- West Prong of Little Pigeon River Watershed – Rainbow and Brook Trout
- Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River Watershed – Rainbow and Brown Trout
- Cosby Creek Watershed – Rainbow and Brook Trout
2. Live Shows in the Smokies
What better way to escape the heat than stepping inside for a couple hours to enjoy phenomenal entertainment. The Smoky Mountain area is renown for its live shows and dinner theaters, so be sure to see a couple during your stay. They’re certainly a staple on our list of things to do in Gatlinburg in the summer. We’ve listed a couple popular picks below:
Country Tonite – Voted best show in Pigeon Forge time and time again, Country Tonite will dazzle your entire family with your favorite country tunes, choreography and comedy.
Comedy Barn – Featuring magicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, comedians, live country and gospel music, experience why The Comedy Barn Theater is voted the best comedy show in the Smokies time and time again.
Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud – With 11 competitive lumberjack events, high-energy axe throwing, chopping, sawing and more, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud promises to provide incredible entertainment for the whole family. There is even a special intermission event just for kids!
Dolly Parton’s Stampede – In search of excitement and adventure during your Pigeon Forge vacation? Look no further than the feast and fun of Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Enjoy a delicious 4-course feast while watching a showdown between the North and South unfold.
Looking for more fun to be had in the Smokies? Check out our complete list of Smoky Mountain attractions.
3. Waterfall Hikes in Gatlinburg
Experience the beauty of the Smokies while staying cool in the mist from a Smoky Mountain waterfall. Bring your sense of adventure and a camera, and you’ll be all set for a day hiking alongside natural beauty. Not sure where to start? Visit a couple of our favorites below:
- Middle Prong Trail (strenuous) – 8.3 miles – Flowers as well as waterfalls are featured on this trail. In the first two miles you may see foamflower, toothwort, violets, wood sorrel and trilliums.
- Hen Wallow Falls (moderate) – 4.4 miles – This 90-foot-high waterfall begins as a 2-foot-wide creek that fans down to a base that is 20 feet wide.
- Mingo Falls (moderate) – 0.4 miles – At 120 feet tall, the waterfall is one of the tallest and most beautiful in the southern Appalachians.
- Grotto Falls (moderate) – 3 miles – Trillium Gap Trail runs through an old-growth hemlock forest, running behind the 25-foot-high waterfall.
- Ramsey Cascades (strenuous) – 8 miles – Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the park and one of the most impressive. Water drops 100 feet over rock outcroppings and ends in a small pool.
We know you’ll have a vacation to remember with all these fun things to do in Gatlinburg in the summer. For more vacation know-how, read our about three perks to keep in mind during your Gatlinburg cabin getaway.