Gatlinburg for Seniors
An increasingly popular resort town for visitors of all ages but especially for those older in age is Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg offers beautiful views of the mountainous landscape, the only ski resort in the state of Tennessee, and a very lively downtown area. Due to its serene environment and walkability, active seniors love Gatlinburg.
Of course, the town’s most famous attraction, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a variety of trails and pathways that vary in physicality needed to finish the trek. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is part of the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the more popular trails for seniors is called the Tennessee Heritage Trail, which includes three pathways. The Tennessee Heritage Trail is a trail that has received a great deal of support by the state to highlight the beautiful culture and arts of Tennesseans. Seniors have the option of electing one of three paths.
The Tennessee Heritage Trail Paths
1. The History Trail
The History Trail takes seniors through the history of Tennesseans through historic homesteads and buildings through the Great Smoky Mountains. On this path seniors should look out for the original homestead of Noah “Bud” Ogle, the oldest homestead in the state.
2. The Music Trail
The Music Trail takes seniors through the birth of folk, bluegrass, and acoustic mountain music, music genres that emerged from East Tennessee’s Appalachian region. On this path seniors should be on the lookout for: The Old Heidelberg Dinner Show, Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, and the Hillbilly Hoe-down variety show.
3. The Arts & Crafts Trail
The Arts & Crafts Trail will take seniors through the largest group of independent artisans and craftsmen in North America. On this trail, seniors will find hand-made pottery, sculptures, oak and willow baskets that tell the history of Tennessee. Seniors should be on the lookout for the shops, studios, galleries of over 80 independent artists in an 8 mile loop.
Gatlinburg Attractions Seniors Will Enjoy
1. The Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a 342 foot high observation tower that provides a remarkable 360 degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains and the city of Gatlinburg. While onsite, seniors can also enjoy entertaining shows at the Iris Theatre.
2. Ripley’s Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium is an attractive aquarium showcasing aquatic habitats from around the world as well as animal shows and exhibits. A fun fact is that there are over 10,000 sea creatures at this aquarium, which is more fish species than Gatlinburg residents. Some highlights of the aquarium include Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium, 5D Moving Theater, and the Marvelous Mirror Maze.
3. Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre is a must for musical comedy aficionados. Found on The Music Trail of Smoky Mountains National Park, this famous Victorian style theater puts on several shows a season.
4. The Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens
The Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens is one of the nation’s foremost Christian attractions. This attraction features lifelike scenes telling the story of Christ, utilizing life size figures, lighting, music and special effects. Seniors (whether Christian or not) will have the opportunity to walk through the story of Jesus Christ for good entertainment.
5. The Hollywood Star Cars Museum
The Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a unique museum in the town of Gatlinburg that features over 40 authentic vehicles that were featured in Hollywood movies as well as television shows.
There are a series of other activities and trails that seniors can partake in while visiting Gatlinburg including The Bent Creek Golf Village and The Chasing Rainbows Museum. The city of Gatlinburg is historical and very important to the people of Tennessee so enjoy!
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This article was written by Walter Godinez.