From Blues City to Country Music heaven, you’ll find Tennessee has loads of exciting opportunities for music lovers – and outdoors adventure seekers – all along the way.
Before you head from Memphis to Gatlinburg, though, you’ll want to plan your route and get the skinny on the best things to do along the drive. So, just how far is Gatlinburg from Memphis?
What is the Drive Like from Memphis to Gatlinburg?
To get a flavor of the adventure you’ve got ahead, check out some videos on YouTube like this road trip video. You’ll see some of the sights that await you and get a feel for the roads, route, and sights along the way.
How Long is it From Memphis to Gatlinburg?
Memphis is about 730 miles from Gatlinburg. That means, by plane, it’s about a 3-hour flight, and a drive is between 6 and 3/4 hours and 7 and 1/2 hours, depending on the route you choose.
If you’re driving, you’ll want to make sure you account for a fuel stop, rest stops, any attractions you want to see along the way, and meals.
If you’re taking it easy and planning to stop along the way, you may want to plan the trip to take place over two days. If you’re not feeling the roadside attractions so much, you can probably make the trip easily in one day.
Which Route is Better?
There are two main routes most folks take when they drive from Memphis to Gatlinburg.
Route 1: The Faster Way
The more direct, faster route between the two cities is taking I-40 for 6 hours, then turning off at TN-66 S/Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville.
This road takes you right into Gatlinburg, past Dollywood, and all the excitement of Pigeon Forge.
Route 2: The Long Route Via Chattanooga
If you’re in it for a relaxed road trip and want to see as many sights as you can, taking the southern route through Chattanooga is well worth the extra 45 minutes on your drive. You’ll see all sorts of exciting things along the way, plus the beautiful scenery.
Take I-40 to I-840, then I-24 South to I-75 North in Chattanooga. Take I-75 back up to I-40, just north of Eaton, and take I-40 to TN-66 S/Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville. This road takes you through Pigeon Forge and down to Gatlinburg.
What Are Some Things to Do and See On the Route?
Depending on which route you choose, there are a number of things you could see and do along the way. There are some scenic overlooks through the mountains and, of course, the various cities have some great attractions and offerings.
Either route will take you through Pigeon Forge with all its exciting attractions, including
- Wonderworks Interactive Experience
- Country Tonite
- Moonshine Mountain Coaster
- Rainforest Adventure Discovery Zoo
- Hillbilly Golf
- Pirate’s Voyage Dinner & Show
- The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour
- Anakeesta Mountain Sightseeing Chondola
- Titanic Museum
- Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf
- Smoky Mountain Jeep Tours
- Smoky Moutain Outdoors Rafting
How Far is Gatlinburg From Memphis – Conclusion
As you make plans for your Tennessee tour via the Great American Highway, be sure to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time for a comfortable pace along the way.
You may want to
- Plan for specific attractions – allowing enough time to thoroughly enjoy them
- Plan for bathroom breaks along the highway
- Plan for fuel stops at interesting roadside attractions
- If you’re on a deadline for arrival, give some time buffer for any potential road construction or accidents
- Stop and enjoy the view every now and then!