3 Charming Off-Site Venues in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

By Caroline Cox, September 19, 2016

Planning a meeting or event in Gatlinburg, Tennessee? The charming mountain town works its magic on adults and children alike, especially when attendees have families in tow. Hold an event at one of these three spots, or turn your guests loose on open night.

1. Ober Gatlinburg’s Ski Mountain Coaster

The Gist: Opened in summer 2015, this record-breaking, year-round roller coaster is the tallest mountain coaster in Tennessee, measuring a whopping 3,000 feet. While the coaster is fun for groups that are both thrill-seeking and a bit more reserved, the five-and-a-half-minute ride is certainly an experience, covering about 3,700 feet and reaching speeds up to 25 miles per hour while riders turn, dip, zigzag and corkscrew along the track.

Cheese Factor (scale of 1-10): 3. It’s no Space Mountain, but it has great group activity rates. Plus, who doesn’t feel like a kid again watching their colleagues and family experience a thrill ride?

2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

The Gist: More fish live in this stunning aquarium than there are people in the entire town of Gatlinburg! Attractions include a shark lagoon, a touch-a-ray bay, a coral reef exhibit and a penguin playhouse (that can also be viewed online thanks to the aquarium’s new penguin live cam). Group and private events packages are available, and they recently opened a new million-dollar play structure with elaborate bridges, slides and jungle gyms for youngsters.

Cheese Factor: 4. Did we mention you can paint a one-of-a-kind piece of art—with a penguin?

3. Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion

The Gist: As the city’s oldest, and self-proclaimed scariest, haunted house, this eerie, three-story attraction invites visitors to take a self-guided tour through secret passageways, creepy corridors, winding staircases and dark chambers. Open seven nights per week from spring through Halloween, and on weekends all year long, the mansion completed major renovations last year to offer more authentic environs and frightening new scare tactics. Groups of 15 or more get a discount.

Cheese Factor: 7. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself a little jumpy hours after your visit is over.

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