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How to Choose Between Dollywood and Gatlinburg for Your Smoky Mountain Vacation

Cabins situated in the Dollywood theme park

How to Choose Between Dollywood and Gatlinburg for Your Smoky Mountain Vacation Staff
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Dollywood has attracted millions of visitors in the past years. The principal reason for their popularity has been the 50+ rides and numerous attractions. Dollywood not only puts on a show with its attractions, but the shopping, restaurants, lodging, and showcases add to the adventure! It undoubtedly is that place in Tennessee that you can not miss out on when you are there.

In the heart of Smokie Mountain resides the vibrant city of Gatlinburg. A few miles away from Dollywood and you will enter a realm of joy like never before. With its numerous theme parks and restaurants to eat in, you will never run out of things to do there. It includes both indoor and outdoor activities that you can enjoy with your family.

Cabins Gatlinburg has it all, from amusement parks to aquariums, museums, and scenic trails. When you have a mix of Dollywood and Gatlinburg at your disposal, your Smokie Mountain vacation will only get a million times better! We will take a closer look at some of these tempting options to give you a better insight into Dollywood and all of Gatlinburg’s attractions.

What Does Gatlinburg Offer For Your Smokie Mountain Vacation?

Before we get into Dollywood, we will first discuss the mind-blowing adventure waiting for you at Gatlinburg. With various prime locations near Gatlinburg, this city aspires to provide you with an unforgettable experience. Go-karts, dinner shows, miniature golf, outlet shopping, and even the Dollywood theme park are just minutes away from wherever you will be in Gatlinburg. Here are some of the attractions you would love to attend.

Rowdy Bear Mountain

At Rowdy Bear, you can find two fantastic rides. The Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster is a gravity-driven coaster that lets you zoom through the Great Smokie Mountains while driving your coaster cart!

You have power over your speed up to 35 miles per hour. When you visit, you are in for a real treat. All because of the track, which is a mile long! You regulate your own pace as you ride around the loop, just like on the other mountain coasters.

Other than this ride, Rowdy Bear Mountain offers The Mountain Glider. It is a single-railed, elevated double racing coaster that incorporates free falls and hangs gliding into one thrilling, protected, and enjoyable experience. This coaster has a top speed of 25 mph and provides spectacular scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains as you fly through the tops of trees!

The Gatlinburg Trail

You can begin your hike from any of the ends of the Gatlinburg Trail because it is a point-to-point trail. You have the option of going backward or having someone pick you up at the other end whenever you finish with the hike.

Why would you not want to go for a stroll in the woods when it has so much to offer? This path will bring you to rivers, wooden bridges, and even waterfalls if you go further into the woods. The Gatlinburg Trail is one of only two tracks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that allows dogs. So, if you are bringing a pet, try to ensure it is on a six-foot leash. The trails in Gatlinburg are one of the few places where you can ride your bike. So, hop on one and ride through nature!

Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area

The Smoky Mountain area of Tennessee is home to much more than just picturesque scenery. Ober Amusement park is one of the many Gatlinburg theme parks that brings you into the mouth of adventure. Ober Gatlinburg is a mountaintop of fun for the whole family.

High above Gatlinburg, Tennessee, awaits you of fun, excitement, and beauty! It does not just include skiing and snowboarding but Ober is a year-round destination.

You can go for Summer Tubing, which is available at this family-friendly theme park. Scenic Cable Car, Ice Skating, Ice Bumper Cars, an Alpine Slide, and a Wildlife Encounter are only a few attractions.

Gatlinburg cabins

Tennessee makes it easy for you to find the best resorts and cabins to unwind after a day of rides and attractions. Gatlinburg is known for its cottages, in addition to the attractions in this lively area. It is the place to be on a family holiday or looking for a romantic getaway with your partner.

Gatlinburg cabin rentals provide a variety of facilities and amenities that are not easily obtainable in hotels. Some of the most common amenities for guests staying in these cabins include fireplaces, home theatres, jetted jacuzzi tubs, pool tables, and private hot tubs. It does not end there. So you can enjoy throughout your stay; these cabins have multiple living spaces, large game rooms, and private indoor pools.

What Does Dollywood Offer For Your Smokie Mountain Vacation?

Now, getting into Dollywood, this theme park offers jaw-dropping sailing excursions, as well as water slides, cruises, and roller coasters that will keep you enthralled for the entire day. Let’s get into some of the attractions you will find at Dollywood.

Splash Country

Due to its water-based activities, Dollywood is possibly the best theme park in the United States. After a long day of attractions and rides, you can unwind in the unforgettable, flabbergasting water rides and cool off in the sparkling pool. The wide and varied entertainment, and musical performances, make tourists want to come here to relax in the summer.

Dollywood Express

The Dollywood Express is one of Smokie Mountain’s many fascinating attractions. It features a vintage locomotive in which you get to experience a twenty-minute ride. You will be able to take in the breathtaking views of Smokie Mountain in an actual 110-ton coal-fired steam engine train.

The train’s open car gives it a light and airy feel. The green landscapes and clear blue skies of Knoxville only add to the charm. If you want to actively engage in the festivities and get the most out of this ride, get in line as soon as possible and take in the mesmerizing beauty of the Smokie Mountains.


The Thunderhead is the core of the Timber Canyon, and it is undoubtedly one of the park’s most extreme rides. The canyon’s old sawmill used to transport lumber out of the mountains at the Thunderhead gap.

Although wood processing continues, the massive ride is the canyon’s highlight. Its position is above the tree line as it runs between two tall mountains. The coaster dips into a 100-foot fall at a speed of 55 miles per hour due to its steep location.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain String Band

One of the most popular tourist attractions is Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain String Band. The upbeat bluegrass music has a certain ring to it that screams Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mountains.

The banjo, fiddle, guitar, and bass perfectly complement the voices of the band members. These talented musicians thrill the audiences by performing some of bluegrass music’s most famous hits!

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, it does not matter if you end up going to Dollywood or any one of the numerous Gatlinburg theme parks. With so much variety available for your holidays, you must have an unforgettable Smokie Mountain Vacation either way.

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