Along the main Parkway in Gatlinburg, you will find some of the most highly-rated attractions in the Smokies, including an excellent aquarium, a ski resort, and plenty of marvelous museums. If you would like to visit some of the lesser-known spots, there are plenty of incredible options nearby that your entire family can enjoy together. Here are 4 Gatlinburg TN attractions located off the beaten path:

1. Fowler’s Clay Works

family pottery class at Fowler's Clay Works in GatlinburgOne of the best things about Fowler’s Clay Works is that they are all about family. As a family-owned pottery studio, they host groups of all sizes and ages to their shop. Whether you want to watch how the pottery is made or pick up a unique Smoky Mountain souvenir, you can do it all at Fowler’s! They even have a fantastic pottery experience where you will be shown how to make your own small bowl or vase that you can personalize any way you want. The classes typically last 45 minutes to an hour and the price covers all the materials, shipping, and instructions. If you love art, this is certainly one of the Gatlinburg TN attractions you don’t want to miss!

2. Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

Did you know that the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest independent organization of artisans in the United States? During your visit to the community, you can browse through a variety of crafts that were all made by local artists. You can find everything from ceramic pieces to paintings that will blow you away. Along the 8-mile loop road, you can talk to the artists, purchase incredible masterpieces, and enjoy a ton of delicious restaurants. The Smoky Mountains are filled with a ton of artistic history, and you can get a glimpse of it when you visit the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.

3. Hiking and Picnicking in the National Park

family hiking together in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park When it comes to off the beaten path, you can’t get much better than the serenity of nature in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During your visit to the park, you can explore over 800 miles of marvelous hiking trails that lead to all sorts of natural beauty, including waterfalls, wildflowers, and stunning mountain views. Two of the best hikes for a family trip to the Smokies are Laurel Falls Trail and Rainbow Falls Trail. Both of these hikes are less than 5 miles long and they both display incredible waterfalls that everyone can enjoy! After your hike, take your family back to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area for a meal right by the stream.

4. Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

The goal of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is to enrich the lives of people through the power of art. On your next trip to Gatlinburg, you can take part in one of their community classes which are a great way to meet new friends in a creative and learning environment. The classes are taught by professional artists that are happy to share their knowledge and expertise. The best part is that the school has lessons and media that are suitable for all ages and skill levels so this is a unique experience the entire family can enjoy together.

Now that you know about some of the best off the beaten path Gatlinburg TN attractions, check out all the other amazing things to do in the Smokies during your next vacation! We look forward to welcoming you to the Smoky Mountains!