While Gatlinburg is beautiful at any time of day or night, there is nothing quite like the spectacular sunset over the Smoky Mountains! As the sun slowly disappears below the horizon, the sky turns into a stunning display of colors that has to be seen to be believed! Here are the top 4 places to watch the sunset near our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg TN:
1. Gatlinburg Space Needle
The key to watching the sunset in the Great Smoky Mountains is to get up high, and there is no better place to accomplish that mission than at the Gatlinburg Space Needle! This 407 foot tall observation tower offers 360-degree views of the Smokies and downtown Gatlinburg, as well as free viewfinders to get a closer look. To access the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, climb aboard one of the two safe and comfortable glass elevators that can hold up to 20 people each. Be sure to bring your camera to capture a picture of the sunset from the observation deck!
2. Clingmans Dome
Another fantastic place to watch the sunset near our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg TN is at Clingmans Dome! At 6,643 feet, this is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers sweeping views of the park on clear days. While you can watch the sunset from the parking area, you can take a short but steep hike up to the observation tower on the summit for an even better view! The view is well worth the drive to this spot. To access Clingmans Dome from the Sidney James Mountain Lodge, simply take U.S. 441 South from Gatlinburg and look for the Clingmans Dome Road just south of Newfound Gap.
3. Anakeesta Summit
One of the newest and best locations to watch the sunset in Gatlinburg is at the summit of Anakeesta! This Gatlinburg theme park offers a variety of family-friendly attractions such as a Tree Canopy Walk, Gem Mining and a Treehouse Village Playground. The highlight of Anakeesta is the breathtaking views at the summit where you can find your favorite spot to watch the sunset and enjoy the twinkling lights of Gatlinburg as they come alive below! To reach the summit of Anakeesta, hop aboard the scenic Chondola, which includes enclosed gondola cabins and open-air ski lift style chairs with a safety bar.
4. Morton Overlook
Plan to arrive at least one hour early to get a parking spot at the Morton Overlook, one of the most popular spots for viewing the sunset in the Smoky Mountains. This overlook is unique in that the setting sun is often framed directly between a series of mountain ridges! The Morton Overlook is located on a small pullout off of Route 441 that will be on the right hand side when you are driving from Gatlinburg. Start looking for the parking area as soon as you pass through the second tunnel outside of Gatlinburg, and the Morton Overlook is the second one on the right.
Check out all of the rooms at our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg today to plan your vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains! We look forward to seeing you soon at the Sidney James Mountain Lodge!