When you stay with us, you’re probably looking for fun things to do that aren’t too far away. That’s why we’re recommending some Gatlinburg scenic drives you don’t want to miss experiencing! From gorgeous mountain views to unique historic spots you can explore on foot, there’s so much to see along these roads. Find out more about these scenic drives near Gatlinburg below.
1. Roaring Fork Motor Trail
One road that’s located right outside of downtown Gatlinburg is the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. This is a one-way, looped road that provides visitors with access to several hiking trails along Roaring Fork, as well as some incredible wooded views. You’ll come up on Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin where you can stop and stretch your legs as you take in an old homestead. There’s also The Place of a Thousand Drips, which is an incredible waterfall you can actually see from your vehicle! You may even get so lucky to see a black bear as you’re driving along this road!
2. Newfound Gap Road
A popular Gatlinburg scenic drive is Newfound Gap Road. This road travels from Tennessee all the way to Cherokee, North Carolina. It takes about 1 hour to complete, but this is dependent on traffic. Of course, there’s so much scenery to take in as you drive along Newfound Gap. Take advantage of the pull offs so you can take in the mountain views, or you can stop and hike one of the many trails along the road, including Clingmans Dome (when the road is accessible). This is a fun drive to take for a day trip to the North Carolina side of the Smokies, or if you just want to see the beauty of the area.
3. Gatlinburg Bypass
A short but fun scenic drive you may want to experience is the Gatlinburg Bypass! This road is almost 4 miles long and is a way around downtown Gatlinburg traffic. You’ll turn off of the Parkway and over the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. As you drive along the road, you’ll pass the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook, which is a popular pull off with a small parking lot where you can see downtown Gatlinburg with a backdrop of Mount LeConte. Once you’re back in the car, this road will bring you back to the Parkway in the national park.
4. Little River Gorge Road/Fighting Creek Gap Road
You probably won’t find this road on many lists when it comes to Gatlinburg scenic drives, but it’s one of our favorites! As you’re heading into the national park from downtown Gatlinburg, you’ll come up on Fighting Creek Gap Road on the right. If you turn down this way, you’ll be able to get to the Sugarlands Visitor Center and several trailheads. There are beautiful wooded views all along the road, as well as creeks and rivers. Eventually, this road turns into Little River Gorge Road, where there are several places worth stopping. You could see The Sinks, which is a huge cascade, have a picnic at Metcalf Bottoms, or continue all the way down to Cades Cove, another fantastic scenic drive!
You’ll love exploring the area with these Gatlinburg scenic drives. But what should you do if you want to stay a little closer to our hotel? Check out these fun things to do in Gatlinburg for some ideas!