When most people think about going on vacation they think of Orlando and somewhere around 17 million people a year visit the Magic Kingdom alone. Tourism is a massive industry in Orlando because we also have Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, Animal Kingdom and several other parks including at least four water parks. But how does Gatlinburg stand up as far as a vacation destination?
When you actually start to do the comparison it’s not much different at all, it’s just on a different scale. Here are some examples:
Orlando has International Drive; Gatlinburg has its Downtown which is actually better than International Drive because you can walk to everything.
Gatlinburg has Ober Skiing and Amusement Park; Orlando has Blizard Beach and The Fun Spot.
Orlando has Highway 192; Gatlinburg has Pigeon Forge.
Both have outlet malls, Wonder Works, indoor skydiving, dinner theaters and Dixie Stampede.
Orlando has roller coasters, but you can find that at Dollywood which is just a short drive from Gatlinburg. A shorter drive in fact than from Orlando to Tampa which is where you would find Orlando’s nearest aquarium, similar to the one you can find in Gatlinburg’s downtown.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the closest National Park to both cities, or course Gatlinburg is closer than Orlando. But you can also see wildlife in Daytona Beach which is much closer to Orlando.
All in all I guess you could say that both destinations have about the same things to offer to keep you entertained, you just have to decide which things interest you more. (Of course if price is the issue, Gatlinburg is much easier on your wallet!)
What did we find unusual about Gatlinburg?