Gatlinburg, situated in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century when Radford Gatlin, a local innkeeper, settled in the area. The lumber industry spurred the town’s growth, and it became known for its sawmills and logging activities.
Gatlinburg’s transformation into a tourist destination began in the early 20th century when the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established. The park’s proximity attracted nature enthusiasts, and Gatlinburg evolved into a gateway for exploring the stunning natural beauty of the region.
While there are many outdoor activities and fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night, it gained popularity among adults due to the diverse range of entertainment options. The bustling downtown area features a vibrant scene with numerous bars, live music venues, and clubs.
Moreover, The Strip, lined with neon lights, offers an array of establishments where visitors can enjoy everything from country and bluegrass music to modern tunes.
Additionally, this vibrant place hosts events and festivals throughout the year, drawing adults seeking lively entertainment. The nightlife caters to various tastes, providing an atmosphere where visitors can unwind after a day of outdoor adventures.
However, suppose you’re an adult looking for a relaxing getaway. In that case, the town’s charm lies not only in its natural surroundings but also in its ability to blend outdoor experiences with lively nightlife, making Gatlinburg a well-rounded destination for adults seeking diverse entertainment options in the evenings.
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1) Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, founded in 2010 in Gatlinburg and rooted in the Smoky Mountains’ rich heritage, embraces the craft’s rebellious spirit. Their signature moonshine, produced in copper stills, pays homage to Appalachian traditions, becoming the first federally licensed distillery in East Tennessee.
The brand’s success led to expanded offerings, including flavored moonshines where visitors flock to their interactive distilleries, enjoying tastings and live music.
Guests can witness the traditional copper stills in action and learn about the meticulous process of creating Ole Smoky’s renowned moonshine varieties.
The facility also boasts a welcoming atmosphere where patrons can sample a diverse range of moonshine flavors, from classic to innovative infusions, with many fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night.
Visitors can indulge in the on-site retail store, offering an array of merchandise and, of course, the opportunity to purchase Ole Smoky’s distinctive moonshine products.
Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery stands not just as a producer of fine spirits but as a destination that combines education, entertainment, and the celebration of Appalachian craftsmanship for visitors to enjoy.
903 Parkway #128, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
Anakeesta, nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, originated from Cherokee legend, and the logging era was destroyed by a fire that devastated the region, leading to the creation of the picturesque Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
In 2017, Anakeesta opened as a modern mountain village, offering a treetop canopy walk, scenic gondola rides, and interactive gardens. The name “Anakeesta” pays homage to the Cherokee word for high ground, a blend of natural beauty with recreational experiences and many fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night.
The village features charming shops, inviting restaurants, and cozy fire pits, providing a delightful atmosphere for relaxation, especially at night. The Aerial Chondola, a scenic chairlift, transports guests to the summit, granting breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
On the other side, The Tree Canopy Walk invites adventurers to stroll through suspended bridges among the trees, while the Vista Gardens showcase vibrant blooms and native flora.
Thrill-seekers can explore the zip-lining experience, zipping through the forest for an adrenaline rush. Moreover, The AnaVista Tower, a 60-foot observation tower, provides panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape with live performances that enhance the festive atmosphere.
Whether it’s enjoying a stroll, embracing adventure, or savoring the scenic beauty, Anakeesta caters to diverse preferences, creating an immersive experience amid the natural wonders of the Smoky Mountains.
576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
3) Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Space Needle, constructed in 1969, is an iconic 407-foot observation tower in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Initially named the “Gatlinburg Needle,” it underwent a rebranding in the 1980s, offering panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area.
For added enjoyment, the Space Needle houses an arcade featuring a variety of games and activities, making it a family-friendly destination. The Iris Theater, located at the base of the tower, hosts entertaining shows, adding a touch of live performance to the experience.
Additionally, the Needle features a lively plaza with shops, eateries, and attractions, allowing visitors to indulge in local cuisine and purchase souvenirs. The tower’s SkyLift Park, adjacent to the Space Needle, offers thrilling adventures like the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.
Whether exploring the observation deck, engaging in arcade fun, enjoying live performances, or experiencing the SkyLift Park attractions, the Gatlinburg Space Needle provides a diverse range of activities, ensuring a memorable and entertaining visit for all ages.
115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
4) Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, opened its doors on December 10, 2000, as a part of the Ripley Entertainment company, known for its oddities and attractions worldwide. The aquarium features an impressive 1.4 million gallons of water and houses diverse marine life, including sharks, rays, and colorful fish.
Over the years, the aquarium has expanded with interactive exhibits and educational programs, making it a popular destination for families and marine enthusiasts. Its commitment to marine conservation and immersive experiences has solidified its status as a prominent tourist attraction in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The facility boasts state-of-the-art exhibits, including the Penguin Playhouse and the Coral Lagoon with an underwater tunnel, providing a 360-degree view of marine life. The Discovery Center present there also provides interactive learning opportunities, and the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure offers a unique perspective on the aquarium’s diverse inhabitants.
For added convenience and fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night, the facility includes dining options like the Feeding Frenzy Eatery and Cargo Hold Gift Shop for souvenirs.
Guests can participate in interactive programs, including touch tanks and educational talks by knowledgeable staff. The aquarium often hosts sleepovers and themed events, creating a fun and immersive atmosphere for visitors of all ages.
With its commitment to marine conservation, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies combines entertainment with educational initiatives, making it a captivating destination for families, school groups, and anyone eager to explore the wonders of the underwater world in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.
88 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
5) The Peddler Steakhouse
The Peddler Steakhouse, established in 1976, is a renowned dining establishment with a rich history that has become a local culinary icon in Gatlinburg. The restaurant is known for its unique dining experience, where patrons can select and grill their steaks at their table.
The Peddler Steakhouse has consistently upheld a commitment to quality cuts of meat and exceptional service, earning a loyal following over the decades.
Inside the rustic yet elegant setting, patrons can enjoy private dining options for special occasions or business events. As for fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night, attentive and knowledgeable staff ensure a seamless and enjoyable dining experience.
The interactive grilling concept allows guests to engage in the cooking process, adding a unique and memorable dimension to their visit. Beyond the culinary delights, The Peddler Steakhouse is easily accessible to local attractions.
Patrons can explore nearby shops, cultural sites, and parks, making it an ideal location for a day or evening out. Moreover, The restaurant often hosts live music events, adding a lively and entertaining atmosphere to the dining experience.
With its combination of delectable cuisine, inviting ambiance, and proximity to local attractions, The Peddler Steakhouse offers a well-rounded destination for those seeking a memorable and enjoyable outing.
820 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
6) Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park established its inception in 1954 as a single-chair lift designed to transport visitors from downtown Gatlinburg to the mountaintop. Over the years, it underwent several upgrades, including the installation of a double-chair lift and, later, a 300-foot suspension bridge known as the SkyBridge.
In 2019, the park underwent a significant transformation, introducing the SkyDeck and SkyTrail, enhancing the overall visitor experience.
The park not only provides stunning panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains but also serves as a nostalgic symbol of Gatlinburg’s tourism evolution, captivating generations with its scenic allure and continuous innovation.
At the summit, the SkyBridge, one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in North America, offers a thrilling walk across the peaks at night, being famous for many fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night.
The SkyDeck, equipped with comfortable seating and observation areas, invites guests to relax and absorb the stunning scenery featuring a multifunctional space suitable for events and gatherings, adding versatility to the visitor experience.
For added excitement, the SkyTrail presents a scenic hiking experience, allowing nature enthusiasts to explore the mountainside at night with their companions.
Seasonal events and festivities further enhance the park’s appeal, creating a dynamic atmosphere throughout the year ensuring that visitors can enjoy a delightful blend of adventure and relaxation in this picturesque mountain setting.
765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
7) The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, opened in 2014 as a unique entertainment complex developed by the Dollywood Company, spanning 23 acres featuring shops, restaurants, and attractions. The Island’s centerpiece is a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel, offering panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains.
The development aimed to create a family-friendly destination, blending retail, dining, and amusements. Over the years, The Island has become a popular tourist spot, hosting events and providing a vibrant atmosphere.
Here, visitors can explore over 60 retail and specialty shops, offering everything from unique souvenirs to boutique apparel.
For more fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night visitors can indulge in a culinary adventure at the numerous restaurants, serving up a variety of cuisines, from Southern comfort food to international flavors.
For entertainment, The Island features the iconic Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot-tall observation wheel providing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy live music at the Ole Smoky Moonshine stage, where talented performers showcase their skills.
Families can delight in the excitement of the Island Mirror Maze, and younger visitors can enjoy rides like the Flying Horse Carousel. Take advantage of the captivating water fountain show synchronized with music and lights that add extra charm to the vibrant atmosphere.
With its combination of shopping, dining, and entertainment, The Island in Pigeon Forge provides a dynamic and enjoyable destination for visitors of all ages.
131 The Island Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, United States
8) Mysterious Mansion
Constructed in 1752, an enigmatic aristocrat commissioned the Mysterious Mansion; rumors of occult practices and clandestine meetings surround its early years. The mansion changed hands multiple times, each owner adding to its mystique.
In the late 1800s, it became a hub for societal elites, hosting exclusive gatherings with an air of the supernatural. Abandoned during the Great Depression, the mansion fell into disrepair until a restoration effort in the 1980s revived its eerie charm.
Today, the Mysterious Mansion stands as a historic landmark, captivating visitors with its intriguing past and whispers of ancient secrets. Step into its historic halls, guided by knowledgeable staff who share tales of its enigmatic past.
For fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night, you can explore dimly lit chambers, each preserving a piece of the mansion’s mysterious history.
For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the mansion grounds feature meticulously manicured gardens, providing a serene setting for contemplation. Enjoy a cozy reading nook in the library, surrounded by antique volumes and hidden secrets waiting to be discovered.
Thrill-seekers can participate in nighttime ghost tours, where the mansion’s eerie ambiance comes alive with spine-tingling stories. The on-site cafe serves delectable treats, inviting guests to savor delights while soaking in the mansion’s peculiar atmosphere.
The Mysterious Mansion also hosts themed events, from masquerade balls to historical reenactments, providing immersive experiences for all.
Whether navigating intricate puzzles, exploring historical artifacts, or simply relishing the mansion’s unique ambiance, there’s an array of activities to engage every visitor in an unforgettable journey through time and mystery.
424 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
9) Burg Steakhouse
Burg Steakhouse, founded in 1985 by chef Adrian Thompson, quickly gained acclaim for its prime cuts of beef and signature seasoning that became synonymous with a sophisticated dining experience, attracting a diverse clientele.
Renowned for its elegant ambiance and attentive service, the establishment earned multiple awards for its delectable steaks. Despite evolving culinary trends, Burg Steakhouse remains a bastion of classic American steakhouse tradition, embodying a timeless commitment to exceptional food and hospitality.
Burg Steakhouse offers a luxurious dining experience complemented by top-notch facilities and amenities. The elegantly designed restaurant features private dining rooms for intimate gatherings and special occasions. With a well-stocked bar, patrons can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or choose from an extensive wine list to accompany their meal.
The restaurant’s attentive staff ensures a seamless dining experience, catering to individual preferences and dietary needs. Burg Steakhouse also provides valet parking for the convenience of guests.
Beyond the exceptional culinary offerings, the establishment often hosts live music nights, adding a vibrant and entertaining atmosphere to the dining experience. Guests can savor their meals while enjoying the soothing melodies of talented musicians.
For those seeking a more immersive culinary experience, Burg Steakhouse occasionally conducts cooking classes and wine tastings, allowing patrons to learn the art of steak preparation or explore the nuances of wine pairing.
The restaurant’s commitment to creating a memorable dining journey extends beyond the plate, making it a destination not just for exceptional steaks but also for a well-rounded and enjoyable culinary adventure.
738 Parkway Suite 5, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
10) Ober Mountain Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg, established in 1962, began as a small ski area and grew into a year-round resort. The Aerial Tramway, opened in 1973, connected the town to the mountain, expanding with attractions like an amusement park, ice skating rink, and wildlife encounter.
Despite its evolution, Ober Gatlinburg has become a popular destination, offering a blend of outdoor recreation and entertainment, attracting visitors seeking both winter sports and summertime activities in the picturesque Smoky Mountains setting.
Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy multiple slopes of varying difficulty levels, while the Aerial Tramway provides breathtaking views during the journey up the mountain.
In the warmer months, the amusement park features activities and fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night, such as an alpine slide, chair swings, a scenic chairlift, and ice skating, providing a classic winter experience.
Visitors can also explore the Wildlife Encounter, where native animals like bears and otters reside. The resort also boasts a shopping village, allowing guests to indulge in retail therapy with restaurants offering delicious meals with panoramic views of the Smokies.
So whether it’s about skiing in winter, enjoying amusement park rides in summer, or taking in the stunning views year-round, Ober Gatlinburg offers a diverse array of activities, making it a versatile and enjoyable destination for adults, specifically at night.
1339 Ski Mountain Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
11) Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse
Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse, established in 1990, is known for its warm ambiance and hearty cuisine, becoming a staple in the Smoky Mountains. Originally founded by the Johnson family, Cherokee Grill has evolved into a beloved dining destination, offering a diverse menu featuring aged steaks, seafood, and Southern-inspired dishes.
The restaurant’s rustic yet elegant atmosphere, coupled with its delectable fare, continues to attract locals and visitors, making Cherokee Grill a longstanding culinary institution in the heart of the Smokies.
The restaurant boasts a diverse menu featuring succulent steaks, fresh seafood, and Southern specialties, ensuring a delightful culinary journey for patrons.
As for amenities and fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night, Cherokee Grill offers a full-service bar with an extensive selection of cocktails complementing the menu perfectly.
Beyond the culinary delights, the location in Gatlinburg offers proximity to various attractions and activities. Visitors can explore the charming streets of Gatlinburg, shop for local crafts, or venture into the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park for outdoor adventures.
Whether indulging in a delectable meal, sipping on crafted beverages, or exploring the surrounding attractions, Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse aims to provide a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for guests, making it a destination not only for food enthusiasts but also for those seeking a taste of Gatlinburg’s unique charm.
1002 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
12) Hollywood Star Cars Museum
The Hollywood Star Cars Museum, located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was established to showcase iconic automobiles from popular films and TV shows. Opened in 1996, the museum features a diverse collection of vehicles, including the Batmobile, DeLorean from “Back to the Future,” and General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
Each car holds a piece of cinematic history, attracting movie enthusiasts and tourists and providing a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with vehicles that have played pivotal roles in the entertainment industry.
For added convenience, the museum provides visitor amenities such as guided tours, informative audio guides, and a gift shop offering movie-themed memorabilia. The facility is wheelchair accessible, ensuring an inclusive experience for all guests.
Beyond the car displays, the museum hosts events and activities, creating an engaging atmosphere with many fun things to do in Gatlinburg for adults at night. Special screenings, celebrity appearances, and themed events cater to diverse interests.
The museum’s central location in Gatlinburg allows visitors to explore nearby attractions, restaurants, and shops, contributing to a well-rounded and enjoyable visit.
With its unique combination of cinematic history and entertainment value, the Hollywood Star Cars Museum promises an unforgettable experience for enthusiasts of all ages.
914 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
Best Hotels To Stay In Gatlinburg
- The Lodge at Buckberry Creek
- The Park Vista – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
- Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg
- Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
- The Appy Lodge
- River Terrace Resort and Convention Center