Atlanta, GA to Gatlinburg, TN is a 4-hour, 200-mile road trip through America’s Appalachian countryside. Seasoned motorists say it’s best to take State Highway 23, which connects Atlanta with Eastern Tennessee, for a drive that’s both faster and more scenic than sticking to the interstates!
Pack up the family and enjoy your drive to Gatlinburg from Atlanta – it can be accomplished in style. Check out these new discoveries waiting for you, no more than 1-2 miles off the highway.
Animals Galore in Gainesville, GA
If you like zany animal statues, you’ll enjoy lots of them along this route. There’s a red elephant (1850 Thompson Bridge Rd), a 20-foot tall rabbit (2415 Old Cornelia Hwy), the Chicken Monument and Poultry capital of the World (Grove Street), and the world’s largest Tiger Statue (Green Street). If that isn’t offbeat enough, why not throw in a giant scale model of our solar system (Bradford St. S.). There are photo opportunities galore.
Elvis in Cornelia, GA
If you love everything Elvis, just outside Cornelia, GA, there’s the “Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis” (271 Foreacre St.). Here you’ll find treasures big and small, and some people may even be enthralled by the “Elvis Wart,” cradled in red velvet and preserved inside a vial. It was allegedly removed from Elvis’ wrist by a Memphis doctor. Elvis facts and artifacts abound here, and there’s plenty more to make an interesting and unforgettable experience.
Goats on the Roof in Tiger, GA
Tiger has a great place called Goats on the Roof for taking an ice-cream break and enjoying a free exhibit that will really delight the kiddos. It’s not your average country store – it has goats known to travel roof-to-roof via suspension bridges (3026 Hwy 441 South).
Cherokees in Cherokee, NC
Once you cross over the state line into North Carolina along Hwy 23 (which turns into State Highway 441), you enter the Cherokee nation and encounter roadside attractions, museums, and hotels. It’s the last stop before winding through the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here, they promote all things Cherokee. There’s the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee Bear Zoo, and several historical markers signifying famous Cherokee chiefs.
As you enjoy the scenic views of the majestic Smoky Mountains, you’ll pass over the Tennessee/North Carolina state line headed to Gatlinburg, TN, in what visitors call the exciting side of the Smokey Mountains. Plan a full week or a weekend to take it all in.
Enjoy your journey!
TRAVEL TIP: It’s a short and fun journey from Atlanta to Gatlinburg, so keep an eye on our last-minute cabin deals on the Specials page. We frequently offer weekend getaways at Half-Price! And call us anytime at 855-91-SMOKY.