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Tips on Avoiding Gatlinburg Tourist Traps

SmarterTravel

Gatlinburg Tourist Traps

Many visitors come to the Gatlinburg area to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you’re in town, these tips will help you avoid tourist traps and focus on the best attractions.

Tourist Traps Abound in Downtown Gatlinburg

Be careful of tourists traps downtown, which has a numbers of expensive things to do. Most of the shopping and activities downtown are overpriced. For example, tattoo shops will charge you $10 to apply a temporary tattoo you could buy and apply yourself for less than a dollar. There are lots of t-shirt and candy shops, carnival games, and “gem mines” of questionable quality.

Visitors can get so caught up in the rides, games, and shops that they miss enjoying the mountains. Avoid low quality activities and take the downtown sky tram, with beautiful views, instead. The aquarium and museums are also worthwhile, and some visitors enjoy the saltwater taffy.

Avoid Low Quality Activities in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville

Nearby Pigeon Force and Sevierville are also have many tourist traps. Pigeon Forge has carnival rides that aren’t very scary and shows like Comedy Barn and the Black Bear Jamboree. Sevierville is full of outlet malls and has a mini golf range. Keep in mind that the towns built these activities specifically to attract tourists. For a more authentic experience, spend at least half your visit hiking and picnicking in the mountains.

Visit in January to Miss Tourist Traps

Gatlinburg is very quiet in January. It’s a great time to relax in nature with fewer crowds and challenges with high-pressure tourist traps.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tourist traps in Gatlinburg.

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