By Leif Palmer
Posted on May 3, 2022
On a recent trip to Nashville, we spent some time in the downtown area, wandering the streets and listening to all the live music blasting from the city's overwhelming multitude of venues. Just in the span of a single downtown block, it's not unusual to pass one honkytonk after another, each with its front doors open so that passersby can hear the sounds of some up-and-coming country music artist.
While Gatlinburg is certainly no Nashville, our little town has its fair share of venues when it comes to sitting down and enjoying live music, whether it's a solo singer-songwriter picking away at her guitar onstage or a full band raising the rafters.
Read on to find out some of Gatlinburg's favorite nightspots (and dayspots) when it comes to live music. And remember that with an abundance of downtown public parking, Gatlinburg makes it convenient to just leave your vehicle in one location and access multiple music venues on foot or by trolley.
Owned by country music superstar Blake Shelton, this venue hosts live musicians every day. Supposedly, the artists who appear on stage, usually at regularly scheduled intervals, are all handpicked by Shelton's Nashville-based restaurant team. In addition to the music, Ole Red offers full restaurant service, with a menu that includes burgers, sandwiches, entrée platters and much more. It's located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg.
This spot is popular with the locals. It has live, nightly entertainment as well as special performances by local songwriters and musicians. When it comes to dining while you listen, look for a menu that features steaks, seafood, ribs, chicken, signature Italian dishes, sweet dessert and more. You'll find Crystelle Creek outside downtown Gatlinburg, on East Parkway.
Also located on East Parkway, this venue's stage has hosted a wide range of acts over the years, from singer-songwriters to '80s cover bands. There's a full menu if you decide you want a bite to eat during the show, and they also have cornhole and karaoke, depending on the night of the week you visit.
This mountaintop adventure park features live musicians multiple days per week. The performances take place on the stage at Black Bear Village, where you'll also find Clifftop Restaurant. The live music is included in your general admission ticket to the adventure park.
Satisfy your cravings for south-of-the- border cuisine as well as live music at this downtown Gatlinburg eatery. The cantina showcases live music on the rooftop patio multiple times each month.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.