If one of your best friends has recently gotten engaged and chosen you to be his best man, you should know that with that great power, comes great responsibility.
Your buddy is entrusting you with planning his bachelor party, a shindig that should be a memorable romp that the crew isn't going to forget anytime soon. But how do you go about it? Many men thrust into this position have never even been to a bachelor party, much less planned one, so how do you go about it?
Some decide to go all out with a wild trip overseas, and some decide to keep it on the safe side with a quick and tame drink after work. The sweet spot is right in the middle: a weekend trip to a fun destination that isn't too far or too pricey. And a surprisingly perfect place for this just so happens to be Gatlinburg, TN - a small town of just over 4,000 people near the Tennessee-North Carolina border.
Nestled right next to the enormous Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this little municipality more than makes up for its lack of people with tons of awesome attractions that are absolutely perfect for bachelor parties.
Let's dive into some of the best options they've got to offer!
Head To The National Park
Gatlinburg's biggest draw is without a doubt the enormous, 520,000-acre National Park that's directly adjacent to the town itself. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is actually the most visited in the national park system, featuring over 800 miles of trails to explore. Beautiful plant life, intriguing wildlife, and even stunning waterfalls await you and your pals on a hike through this beautifully preserved patch of wilderness.
Have some beer and sandwiches on the river banks, maybe try going for a ride on horseback, and enjoy each other's company as you share countless laughs and stories along the Great Smoky trails.
Book A Cabin For The Boys
If you and your buddies want to get away and spend some time with just the groom and his groomsmen, renting a cabin in the beautiful Smokies is a can't-miss choice. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the main attractions and book a surprisingly affordable log cabin with lovely views of the surrounding National Park.
Catch up, tell old war stories, and play all your favorite games from back in the day in a charming cabin with the awesome Smokies being just steps away. Enjoy a frosty one on your deck as you look over the beautiful mountain landscape, kick back in the jacuzzi, or roast a nice slab of meat on the outdoor fire pit.
Go Whitewater Rafting
Gatlinburg also has tons of small rivers and rapids right nearby, so a trip out into the white water with your bachelor party could definitely be in the cards. See which of the groomsmen truly has nerves of steel by adding a little adrenaline-pumping action to the docket with an outing out on Pigeon River. No prior experience is needed, and it's actually a lot safer than people generally think, especially with an expert guide leading the way. Keep the gang on their toes with this exciting addition to your weekend in Gatlinburg.
Zip Line At Anakeesta
Outdoor physical activities are nearly always a part of the festivities during a weekend bachelor party, especially in beautiful Gatlinburg. Anakeesta Theme Park has a great array of awesome outdoor activities that will keep you and your mates busy for hours. One of their top attractions is their ziplines - the Dueling Zipline, and the Rail Runner.
A unique and exciting experience like this is the perfect thing to calm the groom's nerves and allow him to let his stress melt away as he flies through the sky. And if ziplines are a little over the top for you, their relaxing gondola rides which go up to 1,000 feet in the air add a nice contrast to the exhilaration of a ride on a zip line too.
Go-Karting & Mini-Golf
You've got to have some competitive activities lined up for the crew as well. After all, there's just nothing that beats the hilarious things that happen when good friends start getting competitive. One of the ways to get that competitive drive going but still keep it laid back is with a stop at Gatlin's Mini Golf, a beautiful little 45-hole course that is truly a sight to see.
You can also kick it up a notch with a trip to the local go-karting track where the groom, the best man, and the groomsmen can all let go of their stresses for a minute and feel like a kid again.
Snow Tubing At Ober
If your bachelor party happens to fall on a date during the winter, have no fear, Gatlinburg is here for you. Head over to the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park, where you'll find tons of options for exciting activities.
You can go skiing or snowboarding, or get the nostalgia going by hitting the snow tubing hill and seeing who can make it down the fastest. There will be no pre-wedding jitters while the groom is screaming down that snow-covered mountain.
Tour A Moonshine Distillery
Moonshine might bring sour looks to many a face, but it's an Appalachian favorite and has a history intertwined with that of Gatlinburg, so why not check out one of their downtown distilleries?
One of the best is the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, aka 'The Holler', which also just so happens to be America's most visited distillery. Have a taste of the varieties of moonshine they product, and learn about what goes into making the strongest of strong spirits.
Take A Scenic Helicopter Tour
Gatlinburg is certainly a place that is beautiful to see with a panoramic view, which is why the 400-foot Space Needle in downtown Gatlinburg gets so much foot traffic.
But the best way to really take in the beauty of the city and the adjacent National Parks is with a helicopter tour!
The views of the breathtaking Smoky Mountains that you and the boys will take in from one of the local helicopter tours will definitely be something you talk about long after the wedding.
Gatlinburg isn't a huge city like Vegas or Nashville, but it's got its own charm that just can't be replicated.
Come and absorb the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take in and taste the history of moonshine, and keep the blood pumping with some go-karting, white water rafting, or zip-lining. Whatever you're looking for when planning a bachelor party, Gatlinburg has definitely got a lot to offer!