A Brief History of Gatlinburg

Located in the heart of Tennessee's beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. Originally inhabited by the Cherokee, the area was later settled by European pioneers in the 1800s, and the town was officially incorporated in 1945. Today, Gatlinburg is a vibrant and bustling city, known for its unique blend of natural beauty, Southern hospitality, and array of attractions, making it a popular destination for visitors from all over the world.

FAQ for Gatlinburg

What is the best way to get there?

The easiest way to reach Gatlinburg is by flying into McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, TN, and then taking a car for the one-hour drive.

What is Gatlinburg famous for?

Gatlinburg is famous for its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, its beautiful mountain views, and the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort.

What are five interesting facts about Gatlinburg?

  • Gatlinburg is the gateway to the most visited national park in the US – The Great Smoky Mountains.
  • The city is home to the only ski resort in Tennessee, the Ober Gatlinburg.
  • Gatlinburg hosts the world's largest arts & crafts community, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.
  • Gatlinburg has one of the best New Year's Eve celebrations in the South.
  • The city is home to the famous Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.
  • How did Gatlinburg get its name?

    Gatlinburg was named after Radford C. Gatlin, a merchant who opened the town's first post office in his general store in the mid-19th century.

    What are some travel tips for Gatlinburg?

    Some travel tips include: planning your trip during the off-peak season to avoid crowds, booking accommodations in advance, exploring the outdoors as the city is home to numerous hiking trails and outdoor activities, and visiting the local attractions such as the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, Ripley's Aquarium, and the arts & crafts community.

    Do I need a visa?

    Visa requirements will depend on your country of origin. If you're traveling from outside the US, check your country's specific requirements for traveling to the US.

    When is the best time to visit Gatlinburg?

    The best times to visit Gatlinburg are fall (October and November) for the fall foliage, and summer (June to August) for outdoor activities.

    Are there local customs I should know for Gatlinburg?

    Gatlinburg is a welcoming city with no specific local customs. However, Southern hospitality is a big part of the culture.


    Drinking age in Gatlinburg, as with the rest of the US, is 21.


    A simple "Hello" or "How are you?" is a common greeting in Gatlinburg.

    Public transit

    Gatlinburg has a trolley system that is very affordable and covers most of the city.

    What is the time zone for Gatlinburg?

    Gatlinburg is in the Eastern Standard Time zone.

    What are the voltage/plug types?

    The standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type A and B.

    What is the currency?

    The currency used is the US Dollar.

    Are ATMs readily accessible?

    Yes, ATMs are widely available throughout Gatlinburg.

    Are credit cards widely accepted?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in most places in Gatlinburg.

    Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?

    Yes, most businesses in Gatlinburg accept ApplePay and Google Pay.

    How much do I tip in Gatlinburg?

    In Gatlinburg, tipping is customary. Here's a brief guide:


    Average tip is 15-20% of the total bill before tax.


    Average tip is 15-20% of the total bill before tax.


    A $1-2 tip per bag for bellmen, $2-5 per night for housekeeping.


    A tip of 15-20% of the total fare is customary for taxis.

    Tour guides

    A tip of $5-10 per person for a day tour is appropriate.

    Free Things To Do in Gatlinburg

    Embrace Gatlinburg, Tennessee's natural beauty and cultural charm without emptying your pockets. Known for its scenic landscapes and rich history,...