Gatlinburg, sitting as the gateway to the most visited National Park in America, the Great Smokies National Park, is a plethora of surprises. From the Space Needle to Hillbilly Golf, from the haunted Mysterious Mansion to the largest collection of Hollywood Star Cars - you won't believe this place for great tourist attractions. Rent a timeshare here, and after exploring a truly lovely National Park, hitch up your britches and head into Gatlinburg for a look around.
First of all you'll want to see the Gatlinburg Space Needle. This one is a 407-foot tall observation tower with an outdoor observation level that gives visitors an astounding 360-degree view of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. At the base of the tower is the Arcadia Family Fun Center, a 25,000 sq. ft. two-story playground.
The Gatlinburg Sky Lift has gorgeous views in spades. You'll have an exhilarating ride up to an overlook at an elevation of 1800 feet. On a clear day you'll see ridge after beautiful blue ridge as the Smoky Mountains seem to go on forever. The view at night is just as exciting as Gatlinburg spreads out in glittering lighted splendor.
When it' time to let loose, play some Hillbilly Golf. Leave it to Gatlinburg to offer a different kind of golf than you've ever experienced before. Just to get to this course you have to head to the hills, and ride up a 300-ft incline. For great family fun there are two 18-hole miniature golf courses from which to choose. Each one offers mountaineer hazards, from rocky walls to stills. Can you get the golf ball through the hole in the outhouse?
Hillbilly Golf a little tame for the teens? Send them to the Mysterious Mansion. This classic, turn of the century, haunted house is guaranteed to give them thrills and chills. There are all manner of frightening things that go bump in the night, including secret passageways, rooms with no exits, a dark, damp dungeon, and plenty of scary ghouls and ghosts. It is highly recommended that no one visits this haunted house alone.
A visit to Star Cars Museum (see photo) will make you think you're actually in Hollywood. For 50 years this museum has been collecting the best of Hollywood's movie and TV cars. For example, how about seeing the 1981 DeLorean time machine that was driven by Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future"? The teens will enjoy the Batmobile that was part of "Batman Returns." And for the little ones there's the Flintmobile from Universal's 1994 movie "The Flintstones." The museum's most recent acquisition is Michael Jackson's 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500, purchased at the November, 2009, Hard Rock Café auction of Jackson's life memorabilia.
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