Thousands of visitors pour into Gatlinburg every day, especially during the summertime. Skip the traffic with FREE rides along the Parkway of downtown on this special summer-only Gatlinburg Trolley! From now until August 16, this awesome open-air trolley operates daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for visitors to hop on and off as much as they would like as they visit and sight-see the beautiful historic city of Gatlinburg in the Smokies.
Travel out of the trees from your peaceful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee cabin while hosting a family reunion in a large lodge, enjoying a last family vacation with the kids before the school year returns, or while relaxing with incredible mountain views from your romantic getaway lodge and park your vehicle to begin exploring all your options along the Gatlinburg Free Summer Trolley!
But first… where to park the car.
You have plenty of options here with over a dozen designated parking decks and lots throughout the Gatlinburg area. All the parking areas are found along the Gatlinburg Trolley route; download their handy map here! With the free trolley operating from Traffic Light #1 to Traffic Light #10, one of the easiest parking spots is at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center where you can pick up maps and tons of other helpful information before hopping on the Trolley at the Gatlinburg Park and Ride pickup.
However, if you would love nothing more than to not even bother with driving for the day, Uber and LYFT both operate in the area (just be sure to check your app!), perfect for a group of friends planning on a tour of the Rocky Top Wine Trail or a wedding party celebration with a night on the town.
Our Favorite Stops Along the Route
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies | Light #5
This award-winning aquarium boasts 9 incredible exhibits and multiple unique experiences (for an additional price) and offers guests up-close encounters with over 200 aquatic and artic species. Watch the waddling penguins, pet a sting ray, nervously watch sharks glide right in front of your eyes, and so much more!
Sweet Fanny Adams Theater | Between Lights #2 and #3
As the area’s oldest professional theater experience in the Smoky Mountain area, you are in for a real treat when this 1890s-style show begins! It’s an intimately comedic experience you will remember for the deep-belly laughs and possible embarrassment of you and your comrades when dragged onstage to join the show in between the Dancing Trench Coats and other famous acts of hilarity.
Smoky Mountain Angler | Light #3
Over 2,000 miles of streams crawl throughout the Smoky Mountains, and as one of the Eastern U.S.’s last natural habitat for trout, it’s a premier fishing locale! At Smoky Mountain Angler, guests can rent or buy all the equipment they need for a laid-back day of fishing. Ask about their guided tours to all the best fishing spots, too!
The Village | Light #6
It’s everything retail you could want in the Smokies: hiking gear, handmade crafts and jewelry, coffee, sweet treats, toys, and more! Designed to replicate the architecture of the Swiss Alps, this cute shopping area is like perusing a dreamy mountain town while sipping on hot cocoa, throwing pennies in the fountain, and picking up the perfect souvenirs.
Gatlinburg Sky Lift | Light #7
After the installation of an all-new Sky Lift, this relaxing ride scoops you up and carries you right to the top of Crockett Mountain providing breathtaking views of the thick surrounding forestry and majestic mountains before turning back down the mountain and lending picturesque views of the city of Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg Space Needle | Light #8
Want more incredible views of the city? One ticket for the Gatlinburg Space Needle affords guests 2 rides on the glass elevator to the top, perfect for enjoying views from the 407-foot observation tower during the day and at night, when the whole city lights up amidst the dark shadows of the surrounding mountains.
Smoky Mountain Brewery | Between Lights #9 and #10
Mouthwatering wings, lots of large flatscreen TVs to watch your favorite teams, and smooth, micro brewed beers varying in style and flavor…it’s the Smoky Mountains’ premier brewery! Taste all their current beers on tap or sip on your favorite style of IPA, lager, or ale before taking your own mini-keg or growler back to the cabin.
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure | Light #8
Test your bravery and wits with a tour of the area’s scariest haunted house! It’s 10,000 square feet of all your most-feared nightmares and horrors along multiple floors of terror as you fight to escape this hair-raising exhibit…before you become part of it!
The Park Grill | Light #10
This gorgeous log cabin is home to the freshest cuts of steak, fish, pork, and chicken you can sink your teeth into while visiting Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Luxurious dining rooms and room for large parties nestled right at the front door of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a dining experience you won’t soon forget!
Gatlinburg Convention Center | Light #8
Home to the area’s largest festivals celebrating artisanship and handmade crafts, there is always something happening at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, such as the Tennessee Square and Round Dance Convention from July 31, 2018 – August 5, 2018!
There are more stops and hundreds of things to do along the Free Gatlinburg Summer Trolley, just look for the specially painted, open-air trolleys and begin your Gatlinburg adventures!