A drive from Knoxville to Gatlinburg sounds fantastic, and you can do many things while roaming on the roads. If you’re not quite sure what you should do during a terrific ride from Knoxville to Gatlinburg, don’t worry, we got you. This blog post will discuss the top 11 things on Knoxville to Gatlinburg drive. Let’s start diving into this article!

How Far Is Gatlinburg, Tennessee?

Before starting the adventurous ride, we got to know the distance between the two cities, so you’ll be able to manage your to-do list.

Knoxville to Gatlinburg Drive
Knoxville to Gatlinburg Drive

If you’re driving by a car, it would be 37.9 miles that’s roughly 60 kilometers. You can enjoy stunning scenes on your way to Gatlinburg, and we’ve compiled some of the best sights you would like to see. Let’s kick off the 11 best things to do on Knoxville to Gatlinburg drive with the famous Great Smoky National park.

11 Best Things to Do On Knoxville To Gatlinburg Drive

The Knoxville to Gatlinburg drive will include a lot of things that we’re not able to have all in this blog post, but here are the top 11 picks for you today:

1- Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This park has attracted several visitors every year and has rich animals such as Elks that look very charming with their horns.

Great Smoky National Park
Great Smoky National Park

You won’t have any problem here, as the rangers will actively help anyone who comes in to do training or trekking. You will love the hundreds of flowers with the most beautiful scenes we ever smell. All in all, we can go hiking, roaming, eating food, and playing with friends here!

2- Clingmans Dome Observation Tower

Another thing you would love to see in the national park is the Clingmans Dome observation tower. With an average height of 6,643 feet, you will enjoy all the nearby states, such as Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Caroline.

This point is one of the best spots for people who want to do photography and make amazing videos. Also, the dome will give you a view that you have never witnessed before. So, you must visit this place on your visit to Gatlinburg.

3- Drive the Cades Cove Loop Road

One of the best things you would love to do during your drive is the Cades Cove Loop road drive. It’s an 11-mile long runway from some distance from the national park and has many tourists every year.

The Cades Cove Loop Road
The Cades Cove Loop Road

According to one statistic, over 1-2 million tourists will be arriving each year for this road drive. Apart from this, these are the best things to see on your way to the Cades Cove Loop Road:

  • Abrams Falls Hiking
  • Black Bears
  • Browsing Deer
  • Churches, And 
  • Mountain Views
  • Pioneer Homesteads
  • Rural Meadows

4- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Are you ready for a marine drive in the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies? Well, we have a great place that will grab all of your attention with the unique creatures under the ocean. You will also have a chance to see the sharks and other animals of the sea, such as the stingrays and other fantastic fish that are not commonly seen in typical aquariums.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

One of the worth witnessing sights in the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the Penguin area that will stun you. So it would help if you did not miss this chance of visiting the Aquarium at any cost.

5- Anakeesta

If you’re a natural risk-taker, we suggest going to Anakeesta. It’s a Cherokee word that means high ground. It’s been one of the award-winning parks that will give you an exotic view, and you can do these activities and spend a whole day.

  • 70-Acre Rainforest. 
  • 880-Foot Skybridge
  • Rail Mountain Coaster (1600 Feet)
  • Riding Condole  (600-Foot Summit)
  • Treetop Skywalk

 There are a lot of famous food chains that you will love to eat at, and will find the best.

6- Ober Gatlinburg

If you want to go to a ski resort or an amusement park that’s open all the year, look no further and go to Ober Gatlinburg.

Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg

Of many things, you can expect the following recreational activities:

  • 30-Minute Chairlift
  • Alpine Slide
  • Ice-Skating Rink
  • Kiddie Land
  • Mini Golf
  • Ski Runs

It’s an under-rated park and will give you a whole thrilling experience of enjoying the Knoxville to Gatlinburg drive.

7- Walk the Gatlinburg Strip

If you want a thrilling experience like the Las-Vegas-Strip, we can suggest a better place that will provide you with the same enjoyment, but at a much lesser price. There are several places here that you can visit, and you will find them unique. These are as follows:

  • Arcades
  • Axe-Throwing Competitions
  • Candy Workshops
  • Carnival Rides
  • Craft Demonstrations
  • Escape Games
  • Gazillion Stores
  • Wax Museums

8- Gatlinburg SkyLift and Skybridge

Why don’t we tell you about one of the best Sky-lifts and Skybridge in Gatlinburg? The skylight park will offer a sky trail and a breathtaking sky bridge view. You won’t be more pleased to see anything, like the Gatlinburg Skylift scene from the 700-foot bridge.

Sky-lifts and Skybridge in Gatlinburg
Sky-lifts and Skybridge in Gatlinburg

One of the amazing things here that we find is the 60k bulbs that will illuminate the park like it’s daytime.

9- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

The roaring fork motor nature trail is one of the best things to visit in Gatlinburg. Here you will spend the best time of your tour, and this links to the loop road we have previously discussed, and you can also visit it. You will also find two waterfalls here, that are as follows:

  • Rainbow Falls
  • Grotto Falls.

10. Visit the Great Smoky Arts and Craft Community

If you want to see the artist community in Gatlinburg, we would suggest the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. There are several hundred shops in this area where you can find your favorite gifts for your bae and friends. So don’t forget to visit this place as well.

Great Smoky Arts and Crafts
Great Smoky Arts and Crafts

11. Book an Adventure at Nantahala Outdoor Center

At least, of many scenic drives in Gatlinburg, we will recommend going to the Nantahala outdoor center. Indeed, it will also keep you engaged with many beautiful scenes.

Final Verdict: Knoxville To Gatlinburg Drive

A Knoxville to Gatlinburg drive has several points to see but would be very difficult to find. We have collected some of the best things to do on your drive. So, please take a look at all these places, and tell us which of these your favorite was.

Drive to Gatlinburg
Drive to Gatlinburg


Have you ever driven from Knoxville to Gatlinburg?

Yes, I’ve made the drive a few times. It’s a pretty scenic route, and there are plenty of things to see and do along the way. I recommend it if you’re looking for a fun day trip or a weekend getaway. Just plan because the traffic can get pretty congested during peak tourist season.

What was your favorite part of the drive?

The drive from Knoxville to Gatlinburg is a beautiful one, and there are so many parts of it that I love. But if I had to choose just one, it would be the stretch along the river where the mountains loom in the distance. It’s so peaceful and serene, and it’s always a pleasure to take in that view.

Would you recommend driving from Knoxville to Gatlinburg?

Yes, I would recommend driving from Knoxville to Gatlinburg. The drive is very scenic, and there are plenty of places to stop along the way.

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