5 Things You Should NOT Do In Gatlinburg

Dec 16, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Travel

by staff

When you go on vacation, you must follow the guidelines of the place you are visiting. This is because every popular tourist spot has specific rules that visitors need to know. These are designed to keep you safe, prevent the property from being damaged, and ensure everyone has a good time. Gatlinburg is no different. This is a cozy mountain town in eastern Tennessee, also known as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Apart from breathtaking sceneries and nature spread across miles, Gatlinburg also has many museums and restaurants that you can visit. So while you’re here in the south, ensure you’re not doing anything reckless that can put you in danger. Similarly, be vigilant about all the reservations and bookings you’re making so you don’t mix up dates and miss out on all the good times you can have here. Hence, if you’re well on your way to Gatlinburg, read on what you should never do on your holiday:

1. Never Show Up Without A Reservation
Gatlinburg gets thousands to millions of tourists every year. If you’re visiting this town, you need to have your accommodations sorted to have a place to stay. If you go to Gatlinburg without making any bookings, there may not be enough room for you and your family. As a result, you may have to go back or find other places to stay.

Hence, make early reservations at least a few months before the tourist season. If you don’t want to pay premium prices, there are cheap cabins in Gatlinburg TN that can fit your budget. Additionally, these cabins offer you a range of amenities for an affordable cost, including large and spacious rooms. Ultimately, if you’re eager to enjoy your vacation with your family, ensure you make arrangements beforehand.

2. Do Not Splurge On Restaurants Every Night
Gatlinburg has various restaurants to explore, each with diverse and delicious menus. While it is advisable you try some of these southern delicacies, try not to go overboard. It will help if you list restaurants you want to eat at and try cooking in your cabin for the rest of your meals. Most cabins have a fully functioning kitchen, and even though you may not feel like cooking on your holiday, it can save you big money if you go grocery shopping and have a home-cooked meal. You can turn it into a family activity and have a cookout every other day. Take this as an opportunity to teach your young ones a family recipe or have an intimate dinner with your partner. If you eat every night, expect your budget to blow out by a wide range, and you may spend more than $600 weekly.

3. Do Not Get Close To The Animals
The Smokys is home to numerous animals. These include the giant bear, bobcats, deer, and even moose. On the surface, these animals may seem cuddly, but the reality is far from it. The Smoky national park has rules when it comes to interacting with animals. If you come across any wild animal, you cannot attempt to get closer to them or feed them. Every park has specific protocols you must follow if you see a wild animal. If you see an animal like a bear, try making yourself smaller, stay still, and don’t make sudden movements that can alarm the animal.

If you’re driving through Gatlinburg and come across an animal, don’t pull over and attempt to touch them. Intentionally getting close to animals, feeding them, or coaxing them to come close to you is illegal and can get you fined. Therefore, don’t try to do this. At the same time, never leave your trash outside your cabin. This can attract wildlife, and they can try entering your residence. This can make them dependent on you for food, which is dangerous for them and can endanger their well-being.

4. Show Up Unprepared For A Hike
Gatlinburg has access to 800 miles of trials. Each of these takes you down a different terrain, leading to mountains, cascading waterfalls, and hills, which is why if you plan on hiking or exploring the wilderness, you need to be prepared. Hiking and trekking are extreme sports. They are physically challenging and test your stamina. For this reason, never show up hiking wearing your flip-flops or not having the proper gear. You may dehydrate yourself on your journey, injure yourself horribly without the appropriate protection, and risk getting lost.

Falling sick while on a hike is dangerous. If you don’t know how to alert authorities or accidentally walk into a zone where there is wildlife sighting, you may not protect yourself on time. Forests can also get dense and hot. As a result, you may sweat heavily, get heatstroke, or faint. Therefore, always have a list of gear you need to take with you on your trip; consult online blogs to top up your research and pack plenty of water. You should also check the weather and dress appropriately to make it easier to weave through the mountains and the park.

5. Do Not Stick Your Hand In The Shark Tank
The Ripley’s Aquarium is a popular venue among those who want to see various marine life up close. Like penguins, you can see sea creatures here, from sharks to whales and birds. To make the aquarium more interactive, it is designed in a certain way that allows you to see all these creatures up close. This includes leaving an opening at the top of the shark tank to enable you to look down at them. However, this doesn’t mean you can stick your hand into the aquarium to catch a daring picture. Not only do you disturb their ecosystem, but you can risk hurting them too. You may also accidentally agitate a shark, which may cause them to attack you. So respect their space and boundary, and don’t mess around with the shark tank.

Final Thoughts
Gatlinburg is a popular tourist site for the right reasons. Hence, if you’re planning on visiting the south and getting a chance to be a tourist, follow the rules and try not to wreak chaos. For one thing, don’t show up without getting your bookings in order. This town is busy catering to millions of tourists that pass by every year, so they can’t cater to you. At the same time, you shouldn’t try eating out every night, no matter how tempting it may seem. If you have money to spend, save a few bucks by cooking in your cabin. Furthermore, make sure you follow all park guidelines in dealing with wildlife and try not to attract them to you. Lastly, when you go for a hike, complete all the necessary preparations, and if you happen to visit the aquarium, don’t mess around, especially around open tanks.

Paid Post


  1. We do NOT have moose we have elk!

    • Hey Judy… just read your comment. Nailed it. BTW…I’m Judy Thorman!

    • About 5 years ago I opened my back door and was looking into a elks eyes. Scared me at first, it just turned and stepped back, but kept looking at me. I called the guy i was renting from and he said oh it’s just a deer i said no it’s about twice the size of a deer, he came over and he said that’s a elk. I was shocked, I didn’t know that they were anywhere near where I lived. Animal control came and took him away. He was taken to where ever he was normally supposed to be. Not exactly sure where, but they said he would be safe and free to go roaming with the rest of them.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.