Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure that fits your busy lifestyle and pocket? Are you ready to commit to an extended vacation but still craving a change of scenery? Then a 2-day Itinerary to Gatlinburg is for you!

This beautiful Tennessee city boasts stunning mountain ranges and inviting attractions – all within just two days’ reach. Perfectly combining majestic nature sights with exciting activities and tasty restaurants, a 2-day itinerary in Gatlinburg promises something for everyone, from couples seeking romance to families living it up.

So, without further ado, let’s start charting the perfect 48 hours in this gorgeous southern town!

Nashville to Gatlinburg Drive

Before You Go

The secret to a successful vacation is all in the prep work. So, before you start, you’ll want to ensure everything is booked and sorted out. Here are a few things to do before you hit the road for your Gatlinburg trip.

Do Your Research:

As with any exciting getaway, make sure to plan and do your research. Start by looking for the best time of the year to visit. Weather and tourist flow can significantly affect the quality of your trip, so be sure to pick a good time for you. 

Gatlinburg is the most crowded during the summer, while winters can be pretty cold. Spring and early fall are almost always a safe bet.

Book in Advance:

Where you choose to stay is just as important as when. Fortunately, the itinerary to Gatlinburg offers many lodging options to fit all budgets and preferences. The much sought-after Gatlinburg cabins with pools are favorites among families and couples looking for a romantic retreat. 

Advance Booking
Advance Booking

Other amenities like fireplaces, game rooms, and hot tubs can also be found in select cabins. You must check the reviews and book your accommodation well in advance.

Decide on Your Budget:

Like most tourist destinations, prices vary significantly between different attractions and restaurants. If you want to save a bit more, aim for activities that require no admission fees. Lastly, look into special deals or discounts to get the best value for your money.

Day 1: Explore the Great Smoky Mountains

The great outdoors awaits! On your first day, you’ll want to explore the stunning Great Smoky Mountains: America’s most visited national park.

Take a leisurely drive along the Newfound Gap Road to enjoy all the beautiful views. Don’t forget to bring your camera, because there are plenty of spectacular photo ops around every corner.

If you’re a fan of hiking, then make sure to check out the numerous trails that can be found in the park. Make sure to pick one that fits your skill level, and watch for any wildlife you may encounter. Some of the most promising hiking trails in Gatlinburg include the Alum Cave Trail and the Mount LeConte Trail.

If you’re looking for something more leisurely, drive to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This scenic six-mile drive is dotted with numerous waterfalls and trails for hikers of all skill levels.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Once you’re done exploring the parks, stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center to get a souvenir or two. This facility offers free ranger-led programs, movies, exhibits, and more to capture the spirit of the Smokies.

End your first day with laughter and fun at the Comedy Barn Theater. This family-friendly show offers plenty of outrageous acts and side-splitting jokes that will leave you in stitches.

Day 2: Have Fun in Downtown Gatlinburg

It’s time to take a break from nature and explore the wonders of downtown Gatlinburg.

Start your morning with a visit to the downtown area, where you can find plenty of shops, restaurants, and attractions to keep you busy. Take a ride on the Sky Lift for breathtaking views of the Smokies, or make your way to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. 

This aquarium is a true gem, with an impressive array of sea creatures and interactive activities for kids and adults. You can also check out the Guinness World Records Museum or spend some time window shopping at the local stores.

After a busy afternoon, it’s time to slow down and have a delicious dinner at one of the many eateries on the strip. 

The local cuisine ranges from burgers to Mexican food – there’s something for everyone. After dinner, take a relaxing stroll along the Gatlinburg Riverwalk and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the riverfront.

Itinerary to Gatlinburg
Itinerary to Gatlinburg

No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a visit to the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. Whether you’re interested in skiing or snowboarding or want to take in the incredible views from the tramway, you can find something for everyone here. Check the hours of operation, as they may vary depending on the season.

By the end of your second day in Gatlinburg, you’ll have made lasting memories and experienced a true mountain paradise.

Places to Eat in Gatlinburg:

Of course, food is an integral part of any vacation, and Gatlinburg offers some fantastic dining options. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Pancake Pantry:

Mouthwatering pancakes, waffles, and crepes – what’s not to love? You can enjoy lunch and dinner items like sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Visit the Pancake Pantry for some of the best breakfast food around. 

Since the eatery is situated right in the heart of downtown, you can make a few stops before or after your meal.

Pancake Pantry
Pancake Pantry

Cherokee Grill:

This steakhouse offers some of the best cuts of meat in town. Whether you’re looking for a juicy ribeye or something more casual, like a burger, you can find it here. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of wine or one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails. This upscale restaurant is located on the Parkway and makes for a perfect dinner spot.


Gatlinburg is genuinely a destination like no other. From the breathtaking views of the Smokies to the lively downtown area, there’s something for everyone. Whether you spend two days or a week in this mountain paradise, you will have an unforgettable time. 

However, planning a trip to make the most of your visit is essential. We hope this two-day itinerary helps make your Gatlinburg getaway a memorable one!

Happy travels!

I hope you enjoy our article, do check out more of our amazing articles.