Hollywood and the culture at large have given us an idea of what a bachelorette party is supposed to look like.
The truth is, like the people who host them, bachelorette or bachelor parties come in all shapes and sizes.
In particular, some prefer a calm, peaceful atmosphere in the days before they enter into married life.
Therefore, they may come to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stay in a rustic cabin and soak in the natural beauty of places like Cades Cove. Maybe their own bachelorette party is a quiet mountain affair.
For others, maybe they like a little more raucous time. And they might choose a crawl from distillery to brewery along the Gatlinburg strip
Is Gatlinburg a good place for a bachelorette party?
The good news is that Gatlinburg is a great place to host destination bachelorette parties in whatever form fits you best.
In and around Gatlinburg, there are plenty of options. In fact, there are potential bachelorette party activities on seemingly every corner.
An overnight bachelorette trip to Gatlinburg or even a simple bachelorette outing without an overnight stay is a great way to relieve the pent-up stress of wedding planning.
In particular, I think a Gatlinburg bachelorette party is better than a Pigeon Forge bachelorette weekend for a couple of reasons.
Not the least of which is that Gatlinburg is made to get around easily and on foot. So if your girl’s trip is going to include some imbibing, the easiest and safest options are in the Gatlinburg area.
Where should you stay in Gatlinburg?
There are a variety of hotels close to the strip in Gatlinburg for hitting the strip for drinks, dinner and adventure.
However, if you have a large group wedding party, one of the area’s large cabins may be best.
I would advise you to factor in transportation if you’re staying at a cabin with a large number of people. If there is going to be drinking, it might be best to plan more activities at the cabin.
Keep in mind that the twisting mountain roads can be challenging at night for drivers used to more level roads. It might be a good idea for the maid of honor and some of the bride’s best friends to go in together on a van service. Revelers can be ferried safely back and forth to the cabin.
Best things to do for a Gatlinburg bachelorette party
The options are really wide open. For some, it’s party time. Other brides may prefer a classy dinner and light drinks with friends.
Still, others might enjoy mini golf. It’s really up to the bride and her friends to decide what kind of experience they want to have.
Here are some of our favorite options to get you started:
8. Scavenger hunt list
One fun possibility is a bachelorette scavenger hunt. A bachelorette hunt can take many forms and can be a great way to loosen everyone up for the night’s activities.
You can make it Gatlinburg specific or more generic. The hunt can be a little bawdy or you can keep it strictly PG.
The concept is to identify ten or so challenges for the group. For example, get a picture with a stranger. Serenade passersbys on the main strip. Take a pic in a men’s restroom. Dance on the Parkway. Ask a random person to buy you an adult beverage.
The idea is to find the right level of fun and/or daring so that the guests will be challenged but not so risqué that they won’t participate. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to run the more outlandish ideas past the group.
7. Play a few games
Gatlinburg is full of games and activities that can liven up a group.
In particular, escape rooms are popular with groups as is mini golf or go-kart racing.
Axe throwing has also become a thing. Got someone in your bachelorette party who needs to work out a little aggression? Help her throw a hatchet before she buries one.
Another new possibility is Activate Games.
It involves a series of high-tech games designed to test the team’s physical and mental agility. Choose from a variety of challenges that involve jumping, dodging and climbing which means it might be best to do this prior to your pub crawl.
You will be divided up into teams and compete across hundreds of combinations of games and difficulty levels. It’s all neon lights and feeling like you’re inside a video game. It’s all very Tron. And the score is kept on your electronic wristband.
Activate Games is currently $25 per person. Walk-ins are welcome but it would be best to make reservations.
6. Get your drink on
Now we move into the more stereotypical bachelorette party planning.
Gatlinburg has a wide array of options from wine tours to pub crawls to moonshine tasting. And whatever spirits you and your friends imbibe, Gatlinburg and the surrounding area have options that fit your poison.
5. Rocky Top Wine Tour
The Rocky Top Wine Trail began in 2008 and now features five participating wineries in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. It’s also a perfect way to work in a little eating and shopping while tasting the best local handcrafted wines.
You can tackle the wine trail in a self-guided tour or you can book a VIP Wine Tour which includes a personal guide. The guide will take you to select wineries and deliver private, behind the scenes tours, premium tastings and a wine and food pairing lesson.
4. Moonshine crawl
The strip in Gatlinburg has multiple places where you can sample the local wares with a tasting.
In fact, if it was me, I’d book our rooms at the bottom of the strip.
I’d start our crawl at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and work the way back down. But certainly, you can do it happenstance. Order whatever strikes your fancy as you work your way to Sugarlands Distilling Company to the Ole Smoky Barrelhouse and down to the Tennessee Shine Company.
Or you can take a more scientific approach. In other words, order the same drink at each place and determine once and for all which distillery has the best apple pie shine on the strip.
If you’re a completest, you can even start at the very top of the strip with a wine tasting at Sugarland Cellars. But that adds a lot of walking to your crawl and this isn’t a marathon.
3. Breweries and more
If wine or shine aren’t you’re speed, maybe enjoy a nice craft beer and a good meal at Smoky Mountain Brewery. It is a great place for a good time.
A cross between a ski lodge and a Bavarian beer hall, Smoky Mountain Brewery might seem like a better fit for a bachelor party. But honestly, with its banquet accommodations, it’s a great place for any type of gathering.
At the other end of the strip is the Gatlinburg Brewing Company with its craft beers and artisanal pizzas.
You can also create your own brewery tours by starting the evening at Smoky Mountain Brewery and ending it at Gatlinburg Brewing Company or vice versa.
2. Live music
There are a lot of places to hear some live music along the strip. However, for Bachelorette party purposes, I would have to think Blake Shelton’s place, Ole Red, is the perfect place to have a great time.
Fully equipped with a private venue and banquet space, Ole Red has a top of the line video and sound system. In other words, it’s perfect for parties, VIP events and exclusive seated dinner events.
Heck, you could have the bachelorette party at Ole Red and the wedding in the same venue. If, in fact, that’s your thing.
1. Just chill out
What’s better to follow up all the dancing and pub crawling and celebrating than a spa day? A relaxing massage is just the thing to work out all the tension or the aches and pains.
In fact, if you want to go all out in this vein, consider Oak Haven Resort in Sevierville. It has a large resort complex with cabins where you can enjoy full spa services.
In Gatlinburg proper, there are several options. For instance, the best of which for bachelorette party purposes, is the St. Somewhere Spa at the Margaritaville Resort. It’s located at the bottom of the strip, not far from Anakeesta or Ole Red.
You can book your group in the hotel, plan all your events along the strip and then wrap everything up with the spa’s indulgent treatments.
Are you planning a bachelorette party in Gatlinburg? What are your favorite things to do? Let us know in the comments.