Planning a successful reunion travel experience has at least two very important requirements. There must, of course, be enough lodging space for everyone to have comfortable accommodations, and enough meeting space for them to mingle without claustrophobia setting in. But even more important than these two must-haves is getting people to come. And what better way to whet reunion travelers’ appetites than to host their event in a place that combines gathering space and rooming options with a potent mix of entertainment, dining, live shows, and natural beauty. In other words, with the town of Gatlinburg. Let’s explore some of the many Gatlinburg family reunion ideas.
As the gateway to the Smoky Mountains and the national park that bears their name, Gatlinburg is well-known as a tourist destination. But this is also one mighty popular place to hold reunions of all kinds.
Gatlinburg Family Reunion Ideas, Lodging and Meeting Spaces
With 12,000 rooms available, finding lodging for your entire reunion party is not a problem. Hotels, resorts, and large cabins are ready to host sizeable crowds, while rental houses, condos, cabins, and bed-and-breakfasts are set for smaller groups.
Many reunion-goers appreciate the convenience of staying at the same place their event is being held, and Gatlinburg has no shortage of hotels and resorts with onsite or adjoining meeting facilities. Popular choices include:
- Brookside Resort
- Clarion Inn & Suites
- The Lodge at Buckberry Creek
- The Edgewater at the Aquarium Hotel And Conference Center River Terrace Resort & Convention Center
- Greystone Lodge at the Aquarium
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Quality Inn Creekside Resort & Conference Center
- Park Vista by DoubleTree
- Glenstone Lodge
Gatlinburg Family Attractions
Not only does Gatlinburg offer reunion friendly properties and the meeting friendly Gatlinburg Convention Center, it’s also been named one of America’s prettiest towns! Plus Gatlinburg has the attractions that keep visitors happy – and coming back for more, year after year.
Guests could very well introduce themselves to Gatlinburg family attractions by means of the Downtown Parkway, which runs from one end of town to the other and highlights the variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities that the immediate areas offers. Or, for a quieter stroll, the River Walk promises relaxing views and the gentle rhythms of the Little Pigeon River. Connoisseurs of crafts will be drawn to the 8-mile, 100-store Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America, where visitors can both observe them using time-honored methods of production and purchase their unique, handmade wares.
And then there’s the most-visited national park in the United States. Nestled where Gatlinburg ends, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. No matter whether your travelers feel a yen to photograph birds and wildflowers or to zipline through the sky, there’s something for them in the Great Smokies. The mountains also contribute to another well-known Gatlinburg attraction: Ober Gatlinburg, the only ski resort in the great state of Tennessee. If nothing else, just taking the tram from the ski resort into town provides an outstanding birds-eye view of the town and its natural setting.
Gatlinburg also hosts its own mix of fine dining, casual eats, eclectic museums (everything from the Guinness World of Records Museum to a collection of salt and pepper shakers), live entertainment, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Rockies and other attractions of Believe-It-or-Not fame, breweries and distilleries, and Appalachian-made wine.
Getting Your Reunion Group to Gatlinburg
Despite its mountain-view location, getting to Gatlinburg is easy. If your group is driving in, Gatlinburg is within a 4-hour trek from many points in the southeast, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Lexington, and Nashville. The town is placed about an hour from the I-40/I-75 junction. For groups who prefer air travel, McGhee Tyson Airport is about 40 miles up the road outside of Knoxville. It is served by American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta, Frontier, United, and US Airways.
There are so many reasons to consider Gatlinburg for a reunion destination that it’s beyond the scope of one article to list all the details. Suffice it to say that Gatlinburg has it all, from what is arguably American’s most-loved scenery to what is the South’s most-loved meeting space. Check out Gatlinburg.com, the official tourism site, for more info, and definitely check out Gatlinburg for your next group travel experience.