New, Unique & Unusual Places
In Gatlinburg

Wondering what is new and fun in Gatlinburg? Are you searching for unique, unusual or off the beaten path ideas for your vacation or trip?  Maybe it's a quick weekend getaway.  Well here is a great list with pictures and descriptions to get you started!

Also See What Is New Unique & Unusual in Pigeon Forge

Cabin Connections

Kid Friendly Hotels in Gatlinburg

Kid Friendly Hotels in Pigeon Forge


1.) Treehouse Grove at Norton Creek

475 Norton Creek Rd, Gatlinburg, TN   865-988-1864

I could not be more excited about this one. 

Designed by Pete Nelson from Animal Planet's "Treehouse Masters", this resort features a collection of unique treehouses will be located in a secluded backwoods area of Gatlinburg, but also convenient to Pigeon Forge. The location is perfect for those who want to get away from it all but also those who want to hop back and forth between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. 


All treehouses will have unique floor plans, including lofts, decks, and screened porches, and a nearby creek. If you would like to rent one of these beauties, you can see availability here:

The Dogwood

The Magnolia

The Cedar 

The Willow

2.) Observation Tower at Anakeesta

576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-325-2400


Anakeesta is making its largest expansions since it opened.   It's hard to pick a favorite, but one of the most exciting, is a one-of-a-kind observation tower, known as AnaVista Tower at Anakeesta's highest point. One can only imagine the gorgeous views that await!

They have also added The Ridge Rambler, a military style vehicle that gives visitors yet another option to get to the top of the mountain. A family play area with a splash pad, waterfall and wading stream are also being added, along with new glass-enclosed Smokehouse and brewery expansion.


Click here to see some highly rated cabins near Anakeesta and the downtown Strip in Gatlinburg.

3.) 7D Darkride Adventure

903 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-277-0247

Get your lazer gun, put on your glasses, and let's go kill zombies! (or wolverines) These interactive games keep score, have seats that move (but if you get motion sick, they can fix your seat to stay in place), and gets rave reviews.  This adrenaline rush is fun for all ages and is a great family activity and ride.

4.) Tennessee Cider Company

611 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-412-500

Opened in 2019, Tennessee Cider Company is the first Cidery established in Gatlinburg.  Apples are pressed daily and you can try samples of their cider in a relaxed atmosphere, right off the Parkway, not far from Ripley's Aquarium.

If you 've not familiar with hard cider, it is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples.  Some of the flavors you will find here are Spiced Apple, Caramel, Golden Apple, Blueberry, Pineapple, and Watermelon.



5.) Ruby Sunshine

105 Reagan Drive, Gatlinburg, TN   865-xxx-xxxx

This New Orleans style eatery is mainly open for breakfast and lunch, or Brunch, as we say.

If you 'd like to try Roasted Sweet Potato Cheesecake and Salted Caramel Stuffed French Toast,

a Morning Margarita, Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict, Bbq Shrimp and Grits, or Grilled Fish St. Peter, then is is your place.  These are only just a few of the interesting selections from the menu.

6.) A Walk in the Woods

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN   865-436-8283

Want to go exploring in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Or do you want to go hiking, but not sure where to start?  You can reserve a spot on this award winning, guided hiking tour, ahead of time. 

They offer guided nature walks, day hikes, overnight trips, camping and backpacking trips, shuttle service, driving tours and a wealth of information from experienced guides. They even offer classes on things like edible plants, medicinal, primitive skills, navigation and scout badges.

Check Availability of:

A Walk in The Woods Tours

7.) Rocky Top Adventure Rentals

544 E. Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-412-1125

Wether you want a 2, 4, or 6 seater to ride in, you can take your pick of fun vehicles here.  Rent a Slingshot, a Jeep or a UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) and take a ride out to Roaring Forks, Cades Cove, or maybe even The Dragon.

Rent by the hour or by the day.  Most are equipped with high end stereo systems and GPS, and this company makes the list for its high marks in for customer satisfaction.

See my Guide to Recreational Vehicle Rentals in the Smokies here.

8.) The Rhythm Section

611 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-436-4342

This is one of those unassuming little gems you find walking around Gatlinburg. You will find it packed with an amazing collection of T-shirts, stickers, concert posters, hard to find vinyl records and albums, cds, and movies, all from many genres. 

This store has been here since 1978 and is a treasured old school landmark in Gatlinburg!

9.) Guy Fieri's, "The Chicken Guy!" Restaurant
727 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 

"The Chicken Guy!" Guy Fieri's restaurant is now in Gatlinburg.  

Guy Fieri is known for his many TV series on the Food Network and he is, what you might call a "Celebrity Chef".  Known as "The Boss of Sauce", his restaurants feature 22 specialty sauces, and hand breaded chicken tenders like none other. 

10.) Gatlin's Fun Center

716 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-436-2326

Lazer Maze, Atomic Rush, Bumper Cars, Escape Rooms, Mini Golf, Ropes Course, and Blacklight Golf are all here in one spot, right on the Parkway. The kids will never be bored, and it's just as much fun for the adults!  The "Fun Pass" gives you all the options and the flexibility to do what you like best.  Great variety of activities for everyone.

11.) Ripley's Believe It or Not! $5 Million Renovation

800 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN   865-436-5096

The iconic landmark downtown has been completely renovated over a 9-month span, and as you will see, the exterior has been totally redone in a new Smokies theme.  The inside has been expanded with all new exhibits, along with 3,000 more sqare feet of exhibit space.

With the new layout, you will ride an elevator to the top and make your way down through the many interactive experiences of the odditorium. Fun for all ages, and things you won't see anywhere but Ripley's!

12.) Cookie Dough Bliss

651 Parkway, Suite 104, Gatlinburg, TN   865-253-1604