The Ultimate Gatlinburg Itinerary: 1 Day in the Smokies

28 May 2018 / By parksidecabins
Gatlinburg surrounded by the smoky mountains
May 28, 2018 Gatlinburg attractions

While we hope that you can spend a full week with us, it is still possible to fit a ton of vacation fun into just one day in Gatlinburg, TN. If you only have time to spend a single night in the Smoky Mountains, Parkside Cabin Rentals has put together the ultimate Gatlinburg itinerary for your trip. Of course, everyone has their favorite attractions and restaurants, but we hope that the following schedule provides a helpful template as you plan your 24 hours in the Smokies.

1. Start Your Day at Crockett’s Breakfast CampCrockett's Breakfast Camp in Gatlinburg TN.

A meal at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is guaranteed to provide you with all the energy you need for a full day of fun in Gatlinburg. Boasting a charming mountain lodge theme, this popular restaurant serves heaping helpings of all of your favorite breakfast dishes. We highly recommend Crockett’s griddle cakes, which are more than an inch thick!

2. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

After breakfast, you can enjoy a pleasant 15-minute walk over to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Voted the #2 aquarium in America by the readers of USA Today, Ripley’s offers a variety of unique experiences, such as a glass bottom boat tour of Shark Lagoon and a new exhibit about shipwrecks.

Old Dad's General Store in Gatlinburg.3. Pick Up Sandwiches at Old Dad’s General Store

No Gatlinburg itinerary would be complete without a picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! We suggest stopping by Old Dad’s General Store, which is conveniently located near the entrance to the park, and picking up freshly prepared sandwiches or deli supplies.

4. Have a Picnic at Metcalf Bottoms

Once you have your food, you can drive roughly 20 minutes inside the national park to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. Located beside the beautiful Little River, Metcalf Bottoms is a wonderful spot to dig into a sandwich amid the splendor of the Smokies.

5. Take in the Natural Beauty of Cades CoveHorses grazing in Cades Cove.

When you have finished up your lunch, continue on to Cades Cove, which is about a half hour’s drive from Metcalf Bottom. Attracting over 2 million visitors each year, Cades Cove is the most popular area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This breathtaking valley is famous for its mountain views, well-preserved historic buildings, and exceptional wildlife viewing.

6. Play Putt-Putt at Davy Crockett’s Mini Golf

Putt-putt is a classic vacation activity, so we would be remiss if we did not recommend Davy Crockett’s Mini Golf. Once you have returned to downtown Gatlinburg from Cades Cove, head over to Davy Crockett’s for 18 holes of pure fun. Kids will love the course’s cartoon animal characters and sound effects!

The outside of The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg TN.7. Enjoy Dinner at The Peddler

The Peddler is the perfect destination for an upscale dinner in Gatlinburg. Since 1976, this legendary restaurant has delighted vacationers with its mouthwatering charcoal-grilled steaks. Be sure to ask for a seat with views of the Little Pigeon River, which flows beside the steakhouse.

8. Listen to Live Music at Tom and Earl’s

If you still want to stay out and about after dinner, we recommend heading to Tom and Earl’s Back Alley Grill to get some drinks or dessert. On Friday and Saturday nights, local musician Denver Evans performs country music on the restaurant’s patio. Denver has been known to take requests, so don’t be afraid to ask for your favorite song.

9. Relax at Your CabinTwo bedroom log home in Gatlinburg Tennessee

After enjoying an action-packed Gatlinburg itinerary, it’s time to head back to your cabin for some well deserved R&R. What could be more relaxing than kicking back on your deck in a rocking chair or hot tub and breathing in that fresh mountain air? With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 7 bedroom cabins, we are sure to have the ideal accommodations for your getaway. To start planning your vacation, browse our complete selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!