Great Smoky Mountains two-day itinerary in Tennessee
Photo Credit: @austintheswan

2 Days of Fun in the Smokies

Experience the things to do in the Smoky Mountains. This vacation guide will help you discover the dining, shopping and attractions in the area.

The Great Smoky Mountains have long been a favorite vacation destination of people from around the world. Stunning views, decadent dining, a weekend of shopping and eye-opening entertainment are just some of the things to do in the Smoky Mountains. With this two-day itinerary, your next trip is sure to be one you’ll never forget.

Day 1

Pancake Pantry - Gatlinburg

As Tennessee’s first pancake house, Pancake Pantry is a must for anyone waking up in East Tennessee. Do yourself a favor and make time for one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg. This family-owned restaurant boasts 24 different pancake and crepe options ranging from traditional buttermilk pancakes to Sugar ‘N Spice pancakes and its signature sweet potato pancakes. And, because everything is made from scratch, you can guarantee your flapjacks are as fresh as can be each time.

The Island in Pigeon Forge - Pigeon Forge

The Island in Pigeon Forge features a promenade nestled in a beautiful mountain setting, one of the perfect things to do in the Smoky Mountains. Peruse more than 60 local and name-brand shops. When you’re done shopping, enjoy some of the Island’s numerous attractions like The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Be sure to catch the dazzling multi-tiered Island Show Fountain with shows at the top of every hour.

Wild Plum Tea Room - Gatlinburg

This Austrian-inspired team room is known for its relaxing atmosphere and a daily menu that features ingredients pulled from the tea room’s garden each day. The Wild Plum Tea Room is always a great idea for an afternoon tea on the outdoor patio or a seasonally-sourced lunch in the dining room.

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery - Gatlinburg

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, America’s most-visited distillery, provides a true Appalachian moonshine experience to every visitor. Take a tour to see the entire distilling process, including authentic working stills Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery uses to produce 30 different varieties of moonshine ranging from the classic Original to more exotic flavors like Huckleberry and Butterscotch.

Dolly Parton's Stampede - Pigeon Forge

One of the most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains is dinner and a show at Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Enjoy a four-course meal as you watch the friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse-riding stunts and special effects in a show that can please the entire family.

Day 2

Elvira's Cafe - Sevierville

Opened in 2012, Elvira’s Cafe immediately became a local morning hotspot. Along with classic Southern dishes like hot cakes and biscuits & gravy, Elvira also pulls from her Russian heritage to offer dishes like feta and spinach crepes and caramel apple crepes with sweetened ricotta cheese.

Robert A. Tino Gallery - Sevierville

A work of art itself, the building features stunning hand-carved wood ornamentation by master artisan Lewis C. Buckner. Inside the gallery you’ll discover Great Smoky Mountain-inspired paintings depicting the area’s natural beauty.

The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant - Sevierville

One of the best things to do in Tennessee is to treat yourself to a meal at The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, a Sevierville staple since 1986, at The Apple Barn. You'll love the family meals and Southern cooking served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll find old-fashioned chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie and southern fried chicken on the menu as well as country fried chicken with gravy and Cajun grilled catfish as well as pecan chicken salad and sides like fried okra, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and grilled corn on the cob. Afterwards, do some shopping in the General Store where you can purchase house-made cider, apple butter, mixes and spices, home decor and gifts. Sample wines inside The Winery and stop in the Candy Factory or The Creamery for a sweet treat.

Forbidden Caverns - Sevierville

Head over to the Forbidden Caverns to experience “The Greatest Attraction Under the Smokies.” Tour guides will take you on an educational and entertaining spelunking adventure past sparkling formations, numerous grottos and a crystal-clear stream. The underground trails are well-lit and there are handrails at all the necessary points, making this one of the best Smoky Mountain activities.

Cherokee Grill - Gatlinburg

For dinner, head back above ground to the Cherokee Grill. Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, this upscale lodge-style restaurant and “Gatlinburg’s Great Steakhouse” is the perfect place to relax and refuel after your cave adventure. Palettes will be pleased with the extensive menu containing fresh fish, seafood, sandwiches, salads and steak.

Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show - Pigeon Forge

End your day with the action-packed, high-flying adventure at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show. Join Blackbeard and his quartermaster, Calico Jack as they lead the Crimson and Sapphire crew in a battle on deck, on land, in the water and high above the full-sized pirate ships in the hideaway lagoon. Enjoy a four-course feast that includes creamy vegetable soup, pan-fried chicken or sugar-cured ham, butter corn, mac n' cheese, apple pie and a biscuit. Plus, arrive early for the 30-minute Animal Encounter program where you can interact with the incredible animals who call Pirates Voyage home.

With so much to do in the Smokies, squeezing the fun into only two days is a difficult feat; but with this itinerary, you’ll hit a lot of the must-see places. For more ideas on planning your trip to the Smokies, check out the area’s section on our website.

Places in this article

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