5 Things We Love About Visiting Gatlinburg in the Summer

Sunrise in the mountains near Gatlinburg.

Summer will be here before you know it, and we couldn’t be more excited! Boasting beautiful weather and a number of special events, Gatlinburg, TN really comes alive during the summer months. To help you make the most of your vacation, Chalet Village has put together a guide to the top five things we love about visiting Gatlinburg in the summer.

1. Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales is one of Gatlinburg’s most beloved summertime traditions! During June and July, the city hosts free entertainment on The Strip every night of the week starting at 6 p.m. Talented musicians, storytellers, and craftspeople will line the sidewalks of downtown Gatlinburg for the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike. If you’re hoping to hear some of the area’s signature country and bluegrass music, you’ll definitely want to check out Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales!

2. Free Trolley Rides on the ParkwayA Gatlinburg trolley at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

Another wonderful perk of vacationing in Gatlinburg in the summer are the free trolley rides on the Parkway. From mid-June through mid-August, trolley rides in the downtown area don’t cost a cent. These open-air shuttles are very convenient when you need a break from walking up and down The Strip. The trolleys will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and a number of extra stops have been added along the Parkway for the summer months.

(See Also: Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg)

3. Outdoor Adventures in the National Park

The summer is a wonderful time to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether you’re an avid hiker or you usually spend most of your free time on the couch, you are sure to find an activity that you’ll love in the Smokies. The park is home to over 800 miles of trails, with everything from easy 0.5-mile strolls to 14-mile treks. If you’d prefer not to hike, you can enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains or a picnic beside a river. Here are six of our favorite things to see in the Smoky Mountains.

4. Independence Day Celebrations

No other city in the United States celebrates July 4th quite like Gatlinburg! At midnight on the 4th, Gatlinburg hosts the first Independence Day Parade in the nation, which includes festive floats, marching bands, and veterans. Other highlights of July 4th in Gatlinburg include the River Raft Regatta (an annual unmanned raft race) and spectacular fireworks during the evening.

A group of people white water rafting on a river.5. White Water Rafting

White water rafting is one of the most popular summertime activities in the Smoky Mountains. The Pigeon River, the third most rafted river in the United States, is just a 40-minute drive from Gatlinburg. When you sign up for a rafting trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors, an experienced guide will take you on an unforgettable journey over the rapids. Participants can choose from a mild, wild, or “extreme” rafting trip, so you can be as adventurous as you please!

When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be near all of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in the summer. Our cabin community borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on three sides and is just 10 – 15 minutes from all of the attractions, restaurants, and shops on The Strip. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins for romantic retreats to 8 bedroom cabins for family reunions, we are sure to have the perfect property for your vacation. To start planning your summer getaway, browse our selection of cabin rentals in Gatlinburg!