There are many great aspects to going on vacation to or just taking a weekend trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. There are beautiful mountains, fun attractions and shops galore. But let's be honest here: Another highlight of any getaway is indulging in the local cuisine. Even those who are normally diet- or health-conscious have to loosen the reins when enjoying some time away from home and take a few liberties when it comes to mealtime (and snack time).
Gatlinburg has long been known for having some of the finest restaurants in the Smokies, and in 2021, we're seeing even more eateries added to that list. Sometimes, it seems there are so many new-restaurant openings that it's hard to keep up with all the names and styles of cuisine. But read on, and we'll give you some thumbnail introductions to just a few of the many food-service businesses that have decided to make Gatlinburg their new home this year.
If one of your favorite things about being on vacation is not having to cook meals, you're definitely going to like visiting the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. From Interstate 40's exit 407 on the north end of the county to the southern end of Gatlinburg near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our area has hundreds of restaurants to choose from.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has set out plans for state businesses to start reopening on May 1. Until then, however, restaurants in the Smokies are still operating on a drive-through, carryout, curbside pick-up or delivery basis only. For now, that's still good news for those living, working or visiting the Smokies on some level. Cooking at home can be less expensive and good for you, but let's face it; there are some days, you just don't want to mess with preparing a meal. And if you're visiting from out of town, unless you're staying in a rental property with kitchen facilities, eating out is sometimes you're only option.
We're all about helping folks find Gatlinburg parking, but for most visitors, that's one of the very first things they do when they arrive in town. After that, there's a lot of time to fill, and most of our guests find plenty of ways to have fun, whether it's visiting a local attraction or shopping in one of our many retail or craft destinations.