Things to Do in Gatlinburg
In the kitschy Smokey Mountain town of Gatlinburg, the family-owned and operated Mysterious Mansion is a haunted dwelling that has delighted in frightening visitors year-round since 1980. The three-story Victorian mansion on River Road, a block from the entrance road to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, incorporates antique shop finds, fake bloody skulls, live actors, fog machines and strobe lights to catch visitors off-guard. Tours of the mansion are always self-guided and not recommended for very young children.
The labyrinthine interior includes secret passageways, creaking staircases and rooms of gore carefully curated by the descendants of the house’s original owners. Visitors rave about the frighteningly passionate live actors, but lament that the scares don’t last longer – tours take an average of 15 to 20 minutes.
Visitors to Gatlinburg have plenty of activities to choose from, but one that might not be immediately apparent is the Wild Bear Falls Water Park – because it's entirely indoors.
Head for the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa and you'll also find the water park, complete with two exciting water slides. There's a lazy river ideal for a relaxing float, hot tubs for soaking, and a pool set up for sports like water basketball. There are also kid-friendly water attractions. One has kid-sized slides and another is just a spray for toddlers only.
Because Wild Bear Falls Water Park is completely indoors, it's a great place to enjoy warm water even during a Tennessee winter. The temperature inside the water park is always warm. There is a retractable roof on the facility, however, for days when it's just as nice outside as it always is inside the park.
The Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre is known for Broadway-style shows, slapstick improv, and artistic talent you might not expect in the remote Smoky Mountains. Set in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and proclaimed a National Historic Treasure, the vaudeville theater combines one-of-a-kind jokes and 19th-century style to keep you laughing all evening.