Are you and your friends dreaming of an unforgettable girls’ weekend? If the idea of escaping to a mountain retreat sounds appealing, then Gatlinburg, Tennessee, should be at the top of your list. Nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, this charming town offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventure, relaxation, and local culture. With its beautiful mountain views, myriad of activities, and a rich tapestry of food and drink options, Gatlinburg has everything you could possibly want for a trip full of memories and bonding.
From scenic tramway rides to wine and dine evenings featuring local blueberry wine, Gatlinburg promises a versatile experience that can be tailored to suit all tastes and preferences. So whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a foodie, a nature lover, or someone looking for some good old-fashioned relaxation, you’re sure to find your slice of paradise here. Now, let’s dive into the 10 fun things you absolutely must do on your girls’ weekend in Gatlinburg!
1. Start with a Scenic Aerial Tramway Ride
When it comes to making an entrance, nothing beats the drama of floating above a sweeping landscape. The Ober Mountain Aerial Tramway isn’t just a way to get around; it’s a full-blown experience. As the tramway takes you and your girlfriends over the 2.1-mile stretch, you’ll be regaled with stories and facts about the area, narrated by knowledgeable guides. It’s the perfect way to get a geographical overview of the region and decide which spots you’d like to explore later. Get your cameras ready; these are views you’ll want to remember.
2. Enjoy a Wine & Dine Evening
If you’re a group of gourmands, Gatlinburg’s vibrant food scene is a paradise waiting to be discovered. One way to enrich your gastronomic journey is by tasting the local blueberry wine, a delightful regional specialty that captures the essence of the Smoky Mountains. Consider starting your evening at a renowned local winery, like Tennessee Homemade Wines, for a relaxed wine-tasting experience, making sure to ask for this local favorite. Following this, proceed to dine at a sumptuous restaurant where Southern culinary traditions hold sway. There are plenty of places where you can enjoy live music while dining, adding a layer of entertainment to your evening. Pair your dinner with a bottle of the local blueberry wine you tasted earlier, and your meal instantly turns into an unforgettable culinary event. And remember, no girls’ trip is complete without a sweet dessert to round off the night.
3. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without experiencing the sheer majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With over 800 miles of hiking trails to choose from, options range from gentle walks through wooded landscapes to more challenging climbs that reward you with panoramic vistas. Pack some snacks, plenty of water, and maybe even a bottle of wine for a nature picnic. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife; you might just spot deer, black bears, or a variety of birds!
4. Pamper Yourselves with a Spa Day
Spa days and girls’ weekends go together like champagne and strawberries. Gatlinburg offers a range of luxurious spas that provide a plethora of treatments to rejuvenate both body and spirit. Book a spa package that includes a variety of treatments like massages, facials, and body scrubs. Share life updates, reminisce about old times, or simply indulge in the present moment while you’re pampered from head to toe.
5. Try Your Hand at Outdoor Adventures
Gatlinburg offers an adventure playground that’s perfect for adrenaline junkies. Think zip-lining through dense forests, white-water rafting on fast-paced rivers, and horseback riding through scenic trails. Many adventure companies offer group packages, making it more affordable and more fun as you can all share the experience. A day of outdoor challenges can boost the collective energy of your group and provide plenty of opportunities for those candid, action-packed photos.
6. Discover Arts and Crafts in the Historic District
Immerse yourself in Appalachian culture by visiting the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Explore the 8-mile loop of shops and studios, where you can not only buy unique handcrafted items but also watch artisans at work. Some shops even offer hands-on workshops where you can create your own souvenirs. It’s an enriching experience that combines shopping with culture and creativity.
7. Go on a Scavenger Hunt Around Town
Scavenger hunts aren’t just for kids. In fact, they can add a dash of playful competition to your girls’ weekend. Use an app or craft your own list of Gatlinburg landmarks and must-see spots. Divide into teams, and may the best team win! Along the way, you’ll discover hidden gems that you might otherwise overlook. Document each find with photos to create a scavenger hunt scrapbook later.
8. Dive Into the Nightlife
Gatlinburg has a lively night scene that caters to various tastes. Whether you’re into dancing, live music, or simply lounging with a drink, you’ll find plenty of options. For a more laid-back evening, you can visit one of the local brewpubs that offer craft beers and casual settings. On the other hand, if you’re ready to turn up the volume, head to a live music venue or dance club and let loose.
9. Relish a Pancake Breakfast at a Mountain Lodge
Gatlinburg takes its breakfast seriously, and a mountain lodge is the perfect setting for the most important meal of the day. Imagine eating fluffy pancakes topped with fresh berries as you look out over misty mountains. Many lodges offer traditional Southern breakfasts, so you’ll have the chance to indulge in biscuits and gravy, country ham, and grits as well. It’s a hearty and communal way to start your day.
10. Conclude with a Sunset Photoshoot
End your weekend on a magical note by capturing the essence of your trip during the golden hour. Pick a scenic spot that offers a broad view of the landscape, get dressed in your favorite outfits, and take turns being the photographer. The Smoky Mountains at sunset provide a magical backdrop, making every photo look like it belongs in a travel magazine. It’s the perfect finale to a memorable girls’ weekend.
So, go ahead and start planning your ultimate girls’ weekend in Gatlinburg. With its unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural richness, this mountain town has all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience. All you need now is to set the dates and get packing!