Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Time in Gatlinburg

Beautiful photo of the city of Gatlinburg at sunrise.

Rocky Top Sports World boasts one of the very best locations in the United States! Our 80-acre athletic campus is located minutes away from the heart of Gatlinburg, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you visit Rocky Top Sports World for a tournament, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the area’s breathtaking natural beauty and world-class family attractions.

Although many athletes are only in town for a few days, it is still possible to have a blast in Gatlinburg when you’re on a tight schedule. To help you plan your trip, we have put together five tips for making the most of your time in the Smokies.

1. Beat the Traffic Using These Tips

When you’re only visiting for a little while, you don’t want to spend any precious time stuck in traffic! Here are a few tips for avoiding bumper to bumper slowdowns:

• Exit 407/TN 66 from I-40 East can get very busy around peak travel times like summer vacation season or the month of October. To skip this traffic, you can take Exit 432 A towards Sevierville or Exit 435 towards Newport/Gatlinburg from I-40 East.

• If the downtown Parkway is backed up, try taking the quieter River Road instead.

• The Gatlinburg Bypass is a great way to travel from one side of town to the other.

2. Drive the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trailhe Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg TN.

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a great way to see the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park without straying too far from civilization. Located a few minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, this scenic 5.5-mile loop road features historic log cabins, mountain views, lovely foliage, and a rushing stream. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is open from early April through late November.

3. Take These Short Hikes in the National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a number of excellent hikes that won’t eat up an entire day. Here are a few of our favorite short hikes:

  • Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail – 0.5 mile loop hike, 20 minutes
  • Fighting Creek Nature Trail – 0.9 mile loop hike, 30 minutes
  • Gatlinburg Trail – 2.6 miles round trip hike, 1 hour and 45 minutes

Delicious Southern fried chicken.4. Grab a Quick Meal at Mama’s Chicken Kitchen or J.O.E. & Pop’s Sub Shoppe

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious grab-and-go meal, it’s hard to beat Mama’s Chicken Kitchen and J.O.E. & Pop’s Sub Shoppe! These two restaurants share a single location at 1244 East Parkway, so your family can order off both menus when you stop by for lunch or dinner. Mama’s offers buckets of mouth-watering fried chicken and J.O.E. & Pop’s serves irresistible homemade sandwiches.

5. Make Team Reservations at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Making reservations for your team meals in advance saves time and ensures that you won’t miss out on eating at Gatlinburg’s best restaurants. One of our favorite places for large group dining is Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which offers mouthwatering seafood in a fun atmosphere. To reserve a table for your team at Bubba Gump, call the restaurant at (865) 430-3034 and ask about their group sales.

About Rocky Top Sports WorldAn outdoor field at Rocky Top Sports World with beautiful mountain views.

Rocky Top Sports World is the ultimate tournament destination. With seven fields, six basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, team rooms, and an onsite grill, our athletic complex has everything you need for an incredible sports event. To see a complete listing of our upcoming tournaments, check out the Rocky Top Sports World Events Calendar!