ober tram iconic attractions in gatlinburg tn

Top 4 Iconic Attractions in Gatlinburg TN That You Need to Experience

While innovative new things to do are always opening in Gatlinburg, there are certain iconic attractions in town that have truly stood the test of time! These are classic attractions that generations have enjoyed for years and will hopefully continue to entertain visitors for many more decades to come! Here are 4 iconic attractions in Gatlinburg TN that you need to experience:

1. Gatlinburg SkyLift

gatlinburg skyparkThe Gatlinburg SkyLift is the longest-running attraction in Gatlinburg, and it was the first four-season scenic chairlift in the South when it opened in 1954! This relaxing chairlift ride transports you from the heart of downtown Gatlinburg up 1,800 feet above sea level to the top of Crockett Mountain. While today’s SkyLift is a smooth and comfortable three-seat chairlift that was built in 2017, it still offers the same phenomenal views from 70 years ago! One big change is the activities on top of the mountain, as you can now disembark to cross the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America! 

2. Aerial Tramway

Another one of the iconic attractions in Gatlinburg TN that you need to experience is the Aerial Tramway, which dates back to 1973! For many old-timers, just the thought of Gatlinburg conjures up images of this classic tramway that has carried millions of people to Ober Mountain! This incredible feat of engineering features a 2.1-mile ride from downtown Gatlinburg, starting at 1341 feet and reaching a high point of 2813 feet above sea level! The journey takes place aboard two 120-passenger counter-balanced cars, which reach a high point of 300 feet off the ground during the trip up the mountain!

3. Gatlinburg Space Needle

gatlinburg space needleThe Gatlinburg Space Needle rises to over 400 feet above downtown Gatlinburg and features an observation deck with 360 degrees of the Smokies! When the tower was completed in 1969, it was the second tallest tower in Tennessee. Glass elevators provide a ride to the top, where you can step out to enjoy the free viewfinders and explore the educational Higher Learning exhibits. Take the elevators up to enjoy the daytime views of the Smokies, then come back up at night to see the lights of downtown Gatlinburg sparkle below! Along with being the tallest structure in town, the Gatlinburg Space Needle offers a huge arcade at its base with video and redemption games.

4. Hillbilly Golf

Although many flashy new miniature golf courses have appeared in the Smoky Mountains over the years, no course is as iconic as Hillbilly Golf! As one of Gatlinburg’s oldest attractions, this miniature golf course has been in operation for over 50 years and continues to draw big lines of putt-putt fans! Your experience starts with an incline railway ride about 300 feet straight up a mountainside, then you play downhill by selecting one of the two 18-hole courses! During the gameplay, you’ll encounter many “hillbilly” themed obstacles such as outhouses and stills.

These are the most iconic attractions in Gatlinburg TN, but they aren’t the only exciting things to do in the area! Learn more about popular attractions in the Smoky Mountains for help planning your visit.