June in Gatlinburg means summertime has arrived and everyone is excited to get outside and enjoy the fresh mountain air! The Great Smoky Mountains help provide a break from the heat, so you can expect a trip to Gatlinburg in June to typically be in the 70s and 80s. These warmer temperatures make sightseeing and visiting local indoor and outdoor attractions the perfect combination for any group of family and friends. Here are the best 11 things to do in Gatlinburg in June 2021.
Dollywood theme park is just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and with the summer season upon us there’s no better “thing to do in the summer” than Dollywood. Our rides and attractions are open and we’ve got a lot in store for your visit.
1. Flower & Food Festival
Easily one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in the spring is driving the short trip to Dollywood (in Pigeon Forge). While every visit to Dollywood is whimsical, spring is the season for our Flower & Food Festival. With towering sculptures and every bloom you could imagine, the Flower & Food Festival is an attraction in and of itself. The first of June is the last time to experience this amazing spring value before next year. When the festival ends, there’s still plenty of world-class entertainment to enjoy. Dollywood is home to nine thrilling coasters, an authentic steam train, show-stopping live productions, daily craft demonstrations and award-winning menu options.
2. Dollywood’s Splash Country
Summer isn’t complete without a visit to the southeast’s premiere water park, Dollywood’s Splash Country. Located minutes from Gatlinburg in Pigeon Forge, Splash Country water park is open and we’re ready for you and your family to cool off on these hot summer days! Voted a Top 10 Outdoor Water Park by USA Today Readers, Dollywood’s Splash Country is 35 acres of water wonderland making it a must “to do” in June 2021.
3. Dollywood’s 3D Drone Show during Summer Celebration
A summer memory isn’t complete without a hazy summer night filled with fireworks and drones. Okay, the drones are a new twist on a long-standing tradition in the south of spending time with family and experiencing the lights of the night. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31) has later nighttime hours so families can ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters all day and well into the night.
4. Gatlinburg Trolley
All aboard the Gatlinburg Trolley! Take a ride through the town of Gatlinburg and scope out all the places you want to explore during your stay. There are tons of stops along three (free!) trolley routes that winds through town so you can be sure to catch all the best sites around. Hop on the trolley for a convenient trip to some of Gatlinburg’s hottest spots, like Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Elkmont Campground, or to some of the best shops in town.
5. Gatlinburg Space Needle
While you’re downtown, visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the entire town and the Great Smoky Mountains beyond. The glass elevators and 360-degree observation deck provide you with unlimited panoramic views of this gorgeous town nestled into beautiful mountain ranges. Sightseers and thrill-seekers alike will enjoy this experience 400 feet above the town of Gatlinburg.
6. Breakfast with a Mermaid
Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies on select dates in the month of June for Breakfast with a Mermaid! Enjoy a yummy breakfast and snap a few photos with a Ripley’s mermaid before strolling through the rest of the aquarium. Spot beloved clownfish, sea turtles, jellyfish and more in all the exhibits at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. And don’t forget to check out Penguin Playhouse and watch them dive into the water and even sign up for a one-on-one Penguin Encounter.
7. The Sinks (Waterfall)
There are plenty of scenic drives in and around Gatlinburg, including the Sinks on Little River Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Sinks is a beautiful spot where you can take amazing photos of a stunning waterfall and crystal-clear natural pools. Adventurous and advanced swimmers may also go for a swim in this area, while others may prefer the more gentle and shallow waters elsewhere in the park.
8. SkyLift Park
Want to tour the town of Gatlinburg from the sky instead? Check out Gatlinburg SkyLift Park where you’ll climb aboard skylift chairs that will give you a front-row seat to some of the best views in town. Trek across SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian bridge on the content, located right here in the heart of Gatlinburg! This bridge even has glass-floor panels interspersed throughout your crossing for an even more thrilling experience.
9. Ober Gatlinburg
Visit one of the top attractions in Gatlinburg for a one-of-a-kind amusement park and ski area. Summertime at Ober Gatlinburg includes attractions like a wildlife encounter, mini golf, the aerial tramway, a scenic chairlift, water raft rides, and even an alpine slide. One of the unique aspects of Ober Gatlinburg is its commitment to bringing you winter activities all year round like ice skating and ice bumper cars making it must see in the Smokies (after your visit to Dollywood, of course).
10. Elkmont Campground
June is one of the only times of the year you can experience the fireflies at Elkmont Campground, which locals call the Synchronous Firefly event. Stop by Elkmont Campground at nighttime during the first few weeks of June for some of the largest nighttime firefly displays. This coveted experience is lottery-based, so enter for a chance to see this once-in-a-lifetime event!