From beer and moonshine tastings, to live entertainment and shopping, to adventure parks and whitewater rafting, there are tons of things to do in Gatlinburg for adults.
The Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg are known for their outdoor adventures and family fun. Did you know that many of these attractions and activities are perfect for couples and groups of adults too?
Keep reading to learn about all of the great Gatlinburg attractions and adventures that you can add to your next trip itinerary…
Enjoy Every View of the Smoky Mountains
One reason why many people visit the Great Smoky Mountains is for the picturesque, beautiful views of nature. While you’re in Gatlinburg, you’re practically surrounded by opportunities to get a good look and take awesome photos.
Smoky Mountain Landmarks in Gatlinburg
For instance, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is an iconic landmark that towers 407 feet over the city and has a glass elevator. An observation deck wraps around the top, giving you a 360-degree view of Gatlinburg and the Smokies.
You can get great photos from the top during the day and a romantic view of the city lights after sundown.
Another landmark with fantastic views is Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. The SkyLift there lets you ride 500 feet up to the top of Crockett Mountain. The park has a SkyDeck with a panoramic view of Gatlinburg, and the SkyBridge is a 140-foot-high, 680-foot-long pedestrian suspension bridge (the longest of its kind in North America) with glass floor panels in certain places.
Experience Gatlinburg Amusement Parks
On the other hand, you could visit the Anakeesta theme park, which has several ways for you to see the mountains. You can ride the Chondola or Ridge Rambler to the top of Anakeesta Mountain, climb the 84 steps to the top of the AnaVista Tower, explore the Treetop Canopy Walk, or zip-line through the trees.
Ober Gatlinburg offers even more scenic experiences. It has a chairlift to the top of Mount Harrison and a Ski Mountain Coaster ride with gorgeous views. There are spots to take photos while hiking the trails at the amusement park. Most popular, though, is the Aerial Tramway that soars more than 11,000 feet above Gatlinburg, making it the largest of its kind in the nation.
Sip on Craft Beer & Wine Tastings
As you experience the many things to do in Gatlinburg for adults, don’t forget to save time in your schedule for a beer or wine tasting. We’ve highlighted two of the best breweries and wineries below.
Smoky Mountain Brewery makes microbrews in small batches. The building is a cross between a Bavarian beer hall and ski lodge, and the enclosed deck overlooks Calhoun’s Village. In addition to microbrews, the brewery has a large food menu and nightly entertainment.
Locally owned, Gatlinburg Brewing Company is located at the fork of East Parkway and the Parkway. Alongside evolutionary craft beer, the brewery specializes in cutting-edge craft pizza. The food menu includes a few appetizers and salads as well.
Wineries Near Gatlinburg
Growing its own grapes on more than 30 acres of family-owned land, Goodwater Vineyards offers wine tastings at its downtown Gatlinburg location. If you visit the vineyard in Mosheim (northeast of Gatlinburg), though, you can get a tour of the facility and arrange for a catered picnic.
Part of the Gatlinburg Wine Trail, Little Bear Winery is located across from the Village Shoppes on the Parkway. One of its wines includes a blend of blueberries and blackberries. You can try the unique, vibrant wines for free in its tasting room.
Gatlinburg Moonshine & Whiskey Distilleries
With so many distilleries that produce moonshine and whiskey in Gatlinburg, there’s no doubt that the city is steeped in Southern heritage.
Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery might be the most well-known moonshine maker in the city. Established in 2010, it was the first federally licensed distillery in East Tennessee.
Ole Smoky uses moonshine-making processes and recipes that have been passed down for generations. The main production and touring facility is The Holler in Gatlinburg.
The guided tour includes 13 samples of moonshine and whiskey. But you don’t have to take a tour. You can stop by for seven flavor samples at any time.
Go Shopping at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
When you’re looking for artsy things to do in Gatlinburg for adults, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community won’t disappoint. It’s located on the 8-mile Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail, and you can either drive there or hop on a Gatlinburg Trolley.
The loop of galleries, studios, workshops, and other shops sell a variety of candles, jewelry, photography, wood carvings, and more. You’ll be amazed at the things that the talented carvers, casters, painters, potters, silversmiths, and weavers make.
Also along the loop are several restaurants in case you get hungry while shopping and taking in the scenery. Some of them even offer live entertainment and music.
Feast at Gatlinburg Restaurants for Romantic Dinners
If you’re traveling as a couple or just want to break away from the other adults in your group for a romantic meal, Gatlinburg has several options. However, two of them stand out to us.
Serving lunch and dinner, Bullfish Grill is known for its hand-cut Grand Champion Angus beef. The menu includes fresh seafood that’s delivered every day, as well as fine wines, ales, and lagers.
Built on tradition and quality, The Peddler Steakhouse serves flavorful food in a comfortable, intimate setting surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. The restaurant is pretty popular, so we highly recommend calling ahead.
Experience the Best Live Entertainment Things to Do in Gatlinburg for Adults
Do you want some live entertainment while you eat dinner with friends? There are three fantastic restaurants for that in Gatlinburg.
Near the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, Three Jimmy’s Good Time Eatery is a unique entertainment and restaurant facility with a dance floor, performance stage, and three bars. The restaurant makes from-scratch dishes. You can have a meal and drinks on the covered patio or reserve the banquet room for a large group.
The Ole Red Gatlinburg has only been open since 2019 but has quickly become a wonderful hangout for adults. The Ober Gatlin-burger and Champagne of Fried Chicken are two of its popular dishes. While you eat, rising stars in the country music scene perform on a state-of-the-art stage.
Serving good food and good fun in a relaxed atmosphere, Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill is nestled on the Parkway in the downtown area. You can listen to live music while you eat on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Enjoy Gatlinburg Horseback Riding
Horseback riding can be a fun activity for kids, but it’s also a relaxing and romantic activity for adults visiting Gatlinburg. Fortunately, there are a couple of riding stables in the city.
Sugarlands Riding Stables has well-trained horses to accommodate all riding skill levels. The guides take you through wooded areas and over mountain streams at a leisurely pace.
Similarly, Smoky Mountain Riding Stables has well-trained horses and offers 45-minute horseback ride guided tours through 3 miles of land within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Get Wet While Whitewater Rafting on the Pigeon River
Whitewater rafting is one of the most exciting activities and adventurous things to do in Gatlinburg for adults, especially groups of friends. You can choose different places to raft in the Pigeon River based on how adventurous you feel or your level of experience.
Our favorite whitewater rafting company in Gatlinburg is Rafting in the Smokies. In addition to rafting, it has a Family Adventure Island park with a ropes course and zip-lining.
More Things to Do Near Gatlinburg TN for Couples
If you’re not restricted to only exploring Gatlinburg, there are tons more things to do for adults in other parts of the Smoky Mountains.
For instance, Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood, the Rocky Top Wine Trail (the first in Tennessee), the 23-acre The Island in Pigeon Forge, and more moonshine distilleries, zip-lining parks, and horseback riding stables.
Or, you could take your outdoor romantic adventure even higher in the sky in a plane, helicopter, or hot air balloon — Scenic Helicopter Tours, Sevier County Choppers, Sky High Air Tours, Smoky Mountain Helicopters, and What’s Up Ballooning (New Market).