Non-Touristy Things to Do in Gatlinburg: Unveiling Hidden Gems

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Gatlinburg
Non-Touristy Things to Do in Gatlinburg

Are you tired of the typical tourist spots in Gatlinburg? Do you crave unique experiences that allow you to explore the city like a local? If so, you’re in luck! In this guide, we’ll unveil a curated list of non-touristy things to do in Gatlinburg that offer a fresh perspective on this charming city. From hidden gems to local delights, get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Gatlinburg

Exploring the Artsy Side

Discover Gatlinburg’s vibrant arts scene by visiting the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. This lesser-known enclave features a variety of local artisans’ studios and galleries, where you can witness the creation of beautiful handcrafted goods. Immerse yourself in the creativity and passion of Gatlinburg’s artists, and perhaps even take home a unique piece as a souvenir.

Connecting with Nature

Escape the crowds by taking a peaceful stroll through the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This scenic drive offers breathtaking views of lush forests, historic buildings, and cascading waterfalls. Embrace the tranquility of nature and keep an eye out for local wildlife along the way.

Savoring Local Flavors

Indulge your taste buds at The Local Goat. This hidden culinary gem offers a farm-to-table dining experience that showcases the best of Appalachian cuisine. From locally sourced ingredients to inventive dishes, this restaurant is a must-visit for food enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste of Gatlinburg.

Chasing Waterfall Wonders

Embark on an off-the-beaten-path adventure to Grotto Falls. Unlike some of the more popular waterfalls in the area, Grotto Falls offers a quieter and more intimate experience. The trail leading to the falls winds through lush forests, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Unwinding at Local Breweries

Escape the tourist traps and unwind at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. This local favorite offers a selection of handcrafted beers in a laid-back atmosphere. Enjoy live music, friendly conversations, and a true taste of Gatlinburg’s local culture.

Admiring Mountain Beauty

For panoramic views without the crowds, make your way to Clingmans Dome. This hidden lookout point offers stunning vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hike the short trail to the observation tower and be rewarded with breathtaking scenery that will leave you in awe.

Exploring Quirky Museums

Step into the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, a delightful and unique attraction in Gatlinburg. With an astonishing collection of over 20,000 salt and pepper shaker sets, this museum is a testament to human creativity and imagination.

Getting Lost in History

Discover Gatlinburg’s history at the Historic Ogle Log Cabin. This historic site provides insights into the early days of the city and the lives of its original settlers. Immerse yourself in the past and gain a deeper understanding of Gatlinburg’s roots.

Embracing Outdoor Adventures

Escape the tourist crowds by exploring the Trillium Gap Trail. This hidden gem offers a moderate hike through lush forests and beautiful wildflower displays. The trail leads to the Grotto Falls, providing an opportunity to cool off under the cascading water.

Seeking Tranquility

Find serenity at the Zen Garden tucked away in the heart of Gatlinburg. This peaceful oasis offers a place for quiet contemplation and relaxation. Escape the hustle of the city and reconnect with your inner self in this hidden gem.


Q: What are some lesser-known attractions in Gatlinburg? A: Some lesser-known attractions in Gatlinburg include exploring the artsy side at the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community, indulging in farm-to-table dining at The Local Goat, and discovering the hidden Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.

Q: Are there any peaceful hiking trails in Gatlinburg? A: Yes, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Trillium Gap Trail offer peaceful hiking experiences, surrounded by nature’s beauty and away from the tourist crowds.

Q: Where can I enjoy panoramic mountain views in Gatlinburg? A: Clingmans Dome is the perfect spot for panoramic mountain views. The observation tower at the top provides breathtaking vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Q: What’s unique about the Smoky Mountain Brewery? A: The Smoky Mountain Brewery offers a local and laid-back atmosphere where you can enjoy handcrafted beers, live music, and immerse yourself in Gatlinburg’s culture.

Q: How can I explore Gatlinburg’s history? A: Visit the Historic Ogle Log Cabin to delve into Gatlinburg’s history and learn about its original settlers. This historic site provides valuable insights into the city’s heritage.

Q: Are there any hidden waterfalls to discover in Gatlinburg? A: Yes, Grotto Falls is a hidden gem that offers an intimate waterfall experience. The trail leading to the falls takes you through serene forests, making it a peaceful escape.


Gatlinburg is not just about the popular tourist attractions; it’s also a city that holds a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be explored. By stepping off the beaten path, you can immerse yourself in the authentic charm of Gatlinburg, connect with its local culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime. From serene nature trails to quirky museums, there’s something for every traveler seeking a unique and non-touristy experience. So, the next time you visit Gatlinburg, make sure to uncover these hidden treasures and make your trip truly unforgettable.

trevor harvi

Trevor Harvi is an experienced digital marketer and writer with over a decade of experience in writing and marketing for startups. Trevor also runs his own business as a freelance editor and virtual assistant for other business owners.