The Best Things to Do In Gatlinburg in July

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is home to a broad array of tourist attractions, including the Alcatraz East Crime Museum, the WonderWorks Interactive Experience, the RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo, and unforgettable wildlife and nature excursions.

There are miles of trails that are suitable for hiking, biking, and horseback riding; there are also historical exhibits and cabins; and visitors have the opportunity to see black bears, elk, deer, and other animals in their natural habitat.

It is not hard to understand why it is such a popular destination; it features miles of trails that are suitable for hiking, biking, and horseback riding; there are also historical exhibits and cabins.

If you choose to go here for your summer vacation, you can be certain that it will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

In this article, we will take a look at 8 great things to do in Gatlinburg in July that will make for an unforgettable visit.

Things to Do In Gatlinburg in July – Best Tours

Gatlinburg sees a large number of tourists throughout July due to the city’s popularity. It is an excellent time to go on vacation since all of the city’s attractions are operational, the atmosphere is laid-back because the children are not in school, and the weather is pleasant.

You won’t have to pay to enjoy some of them, like the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook, for example, which is free for all.

This offers a spectacular view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as the surrounding community. Mount LeConte, which is the third highest peak in the park and provides an exciting experience for those who are interested in nature, is the most visited attraction in the park.

You can also enjoy attractions inside the city, so continue reading to find out which ones to add to your holiday itinerary.

The Mysterious Mansion Tour

the mysterious mansion tour
Image: Todd Fowler

With an ever-increasing focus on attention to detail, the Mysterious Mansion was planned and furnished to depict an elderly Victorian who lived in the early 1900s, lending it a truly enigmatic aura.

They started as a spooky fun house, but over the years they have transformed into Gatlinburg’s oldest and scariest haunted house.

The house recently underwent several significant renovations, during which antique shops and other eerie places were scoured to provide a far more genuine and spooky ambiance, which you can enjoy in the most unsettling of ways.

Each year, the haunted home strives to top itself with fresh and horrifying twists and turns, so be sure to check out their newest additions.

Visit this mansion when you’re on vacation in the Smoky Mountains, and prepare to have the most terrifying experience of your life!

You can find them a bit off the usual route on River Road, which is a calmer area, but they are still quite near to all of the activity on the main street.

Self-Driving Tour of the Great Smoky Mountain

self-driving tour
Image: Matthew Paulson

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the least disturbed natural landscapes in the eastern United States, spanning over 800 square miles in total, and perfect for a July vacation.

A drive through the park provides visitors with the opportunity to take in a range of sights and sounds, such as panoramic vistas, rushing mountain streams, weathered ancient structures, and expansive hardwood woods that reach the horizon.

In the Great Smoky Mountains, you can pick from one of the 384 available miles of road. The vast majority are paved, and even the gravel roads are kept in a state that is sufficient for regular passenger automobiles to travel on. On the park’s paved roads, the average speed limit is 35 miles per hour for cars, so it is important to be mindful of it.

However, before making plans for a road trip, it is important to verify whether any roads are closed due to the season or the weather. Additionally, you should get further information on how to be safe when traveling and navigating traffic.

Gatlinburg Wine and Shine Walking Tours

gatlinburg wine and shine walking tours
Image: daveynin

During a moonshine walking tour in July, you will have the opportunity to sample moonshine at several locations across Gatlinburg. The liquor, the production of which was formerly shrouded in secrecy, is now available in upscale distilleries located throughout the city.

To sample the once-prohibited beverage, follow the directions provided by your guide to establishments in the area that are now permitted to produce it. Listen to some fascinating stories about its history in between drinks, starting with its roots in Tennessee and ending with its triumph in the commercial market today.

During this moonshine tasting trip, you will have the opportunity to visit distilleries located in Gatlinburg. Find out how moonshine is traditionally made, and if you’re lucky, you could even get a peek behind the scenes with a distiller.

In addition, be sure to taste lots of samples. You will get a special discount on the purchase of a bottle to take with you at the end of the tour if you want to do so.

Things to Do In Gatlinburg in July – Outdoor Activities

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a city that offers a diverse range of options for outdoor activities. This region offers a wide variety of exciting activities, from mountain coasters to ziplining.

While you’re in Gatlinburg, try outdoor activities and you will be glad you didn’t miss out. Just remember to make preparations in advance so that you don’t miss anything!

Clingman’s Dome

clingman’s dome
Image: Jim Brekke

Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an elevation of 6,643 feet.

The “Dome” is the name of the mountain peak, not the observation tower. Although technically located in North Carolina, The Dome is the highest peak in Tennessee. It is possible to see as far as 100 miles with good weather and a clear day.

Clingmans Dome Road is closed from December through March when circumstances become bad due to ice and snow, however, the dome itself is accessible year-round.

Parking at the visitor center and the start of the route to Clingmans Dome are all located at the road’s endpoint. The hike up to the park’s highest point is barely a half-mile long, and it’s all paved.

Nonetheless, the trail’s moderate-to-difficult rating is mostly based on the steepness of its inclines. Clingmans Dome has a paved, but very steep, half-mile route up to the top. This short trip has a rise of 332 feet, making it a challenging ascent.

There are a few benches scattered along the Clingmans Dome trail in case you need to rest along the way.

Multiple additional hiking pathways, including the Appalachian Trail, the Forney Creek Trail, and the Forney Ridge Trail, cross paths with the path to Clingmans Dome. You can avoid Dome Road and the cramped parking lot at Clingmans Dome by taking one of these routes instead.

Clingmans Dome parking lot fills up by the afternoon, thus visitors are advised to be there as early as possible (before 8:00 AM) to ensure a spot.

At the peak, you can take in stunning vistas in every direction of the Great Smoky Mountains. A tower that soars above the canopy of trees provides breathtaking views and excellent picture ops. When the sky is clear, you can see for miles.

Rafting on the Little Pigeon River

rafting on the little pigeon river
Image: Valley Independent Sentinel

One of the most exciting things to do in the Smokies is to go rafting down the Pigeon River. The journey is 5.5 miles long and passes through the beautiful Pigeon River canyon.

This trip is perfect for families and groups of all ages looking for an exciting experience they won’t soon forget. Though river rafting poses a little real risk, each passenger will wear a helmet and life vest at all times.

To enjoy this thrilling adventure, you don’t need any prior expertise with rafting. Mild rapids and stunning mountain scenery await you, and your knowledgeable guides will lay it all out for you before you go off.

When compared to the Upper Pigeon River, the lower Pigeon River ride is considerably more tranquil, with moderate waves and a wonderful perspective of the stunning Tennessee landscape. Don’t just sit and watch the kids play while you’re there; go out to enjoy something exciting as a family.

Trips down the Lower Pigeon River are great for novice kayakers and families with young children, so it might just be perfect for you.

Explore the Forbidden Caves

explore the forbidden caves
Image: Valley Independent Sentinel

Forbidden Caverns are a fantastic destination for taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Gatlinburg region. The history of the cave and the science underlying its formations will be an important part of your guided tour.

Despite the constant 58 F in July, it is fairly chilly in the summers and winters are quite warm in the tunnels. If you can walk inside for a few minutes, the cavern air will make you forget about the oppressive heat and humidity outdoors.

According to history, the Eastern Woodland Natives called the Forbidden Caverns their home. They served as a place to rest and a reliable supply of water. They were thought to have originated in the lake that lies under English Mountain, where the spring water is famous throughout the region.

From the 1920s to the early 1940s, the caverns were utilized for moonshine manufacture. The water in the cave was so clean that it tested at a high purity level. The still used by the moonshiners was destroyed by the government in 1943, but remnants of the still may be seen on the tour.

You should wait at the end of the queue and have your camera ready if you want to take photographs throughout the tour. Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing if you plan on exploring the Forbidden Caverns for the day.

Fourth of July Fireworks

fourth of july fireworks
Image: Ted Abbott

The fireworks show in Gatlinburg is unlike any other and sure to leave a lasting impression. One of the most anticipated events of July in the Smokies is this annual festival. To accommodate the influx of spectators, the city sets out seats along the parkway.

The fireworks show at the Space Needle is one of the most exciting parts of the 4th of July celebrations in Gatlinburg. The spectacle lasts around twenty minutes and is visible from the Gatlinburg Trolley or any other location in the city.

This festival was selected as one of the best summer events by the Southeast Tourism Society. All of Gatlinburg, including the parkway, the free shuttles, and the Gatlinburg Trolley, provide excellent views of the fireworks so no one misses the incredible display.

Enjoy Live Country Music at Ole Red

live country music at ol red
Image: OlE Red

Live music fans should visit Ole Red in Gatlinburg. This huge restaurant has American and Southern cuisines, in addition to a wide variety of alcoholic beverages.

Live music keeps the mood light and entertaining, and the cuisine is just as good as the rest of the restaurant. American food is available for anyone who would rather not listen to live music.

The new Ole Red Gatlinburg offers everything a country music fan might want. There are several performances, as well as a restaurant and a shopping area. Local musicians will play at the restaurant every day.

Here, you may spend the day sipping cocktails, eating burgers, and listening to live music. Enjoy the Clingmans Dome Burger, for a memorable local meal.

If you’re looking for anything more than just a loud bar, the Ole Red has you covered. Even sitting on a bar stool, you will feel like you are part of the show because of the stage’s layout.

The eatery has a history of breaking new artists into the country music world. The eatery acts as a kind of talent scout, seeking for and promoting the next big thing in country music.

Ole Red Gatlinburg offers an extensive variety of musical genres. On the Classic Country Roadshow, you could encounter the next big thing in country music or get a peek at Elijah Wise or Bailey Callahan.

Renting the space for exclusive use is also an option. There are plenty of other local country music venues worth checking out.