The Gatlinburg Space Needle is, without question, one of the most iconic attractions in Sevier County and Smoky Mountain history; if not for any reason other than you can see it from much of the city towering over the skyline even above the mountains. Similar to the other famous space needle in Seattle, Washington, Gatlinburg’s famous observation tower is a 407 ft. tall engineering masterpiece that is a foundation for a number of attractions located directly in the center of downtown Gatlinburg. It was built in 1969 and this year is actually the 50th anniversary of when construction first started. Can you believe such an architectural wonder high up in the Smoky Mountains has been here and provided over 1,000,000 people with incredible sights for half a century? Neither can we!
Just one of many vintage pictures where you can see The Space Needle has been a major part of the city of Gatlinburg for decades. It should be quite obvious why it’s been and continues to be a major draw – even today with ziplining and other modern attractions that have offered elevated views of the Smokies, few of them have offered a combination of height, degree, affordability and reliability that the Space Needle has. Guests interested to see if need to go to the Arcadia building on Airport Road (which is just seconds off of the main parkway) and enter one of two elevators that go straight to the top. Each elevator holds a maximum of 20 people at any time and is surrounded by glass so you can get to see the views on the way up. At the top of the observatory, guests get to see 360 degrees of Smoky Mountain wonder at any time of the year (the Space Needle is open 365 days a year) which means you get lush greens for miles in Spring and Summer, the world famous Autumn colors during, well, Autumn, and snow-filled summits and mountains during Winter. There are SeeCoast viewfinders at the top for those who want to see the mountains with high-powered binoculars and there is also a “Higher Learning” element to the Space Needle which their Space Needle describes as “the newest feature at the Gatlinburg Space Needle, provides view-seekers with an educational experience steeped in local history and geography—a beautiful view combined with an education in Smoky Mountains 101.”
Want to get a preview of what’s going on from the view of the Space Needle now? There is a webcam mounted on the tower that overlooks the Gatlinburg Parkway, the local ski lift and more. This is a free service offered by the city of Gatlinburg and you can find it here: SPACE NEEDLE WEB CAM CLICK HERE
And that’s just the tower itself, there are multiple attractions that are at the base of the Space Needle to enjoy as well. The aforementioned “Arcadia” is a 25,000 square foot arcade and play area for families to enjoy and earn tickets to redeems for prizes. There is also a pizza-by-the-slice cafe onsite, the Iris theater where entertainers Chris Collins and Erik Dobell perform their “Impossibilities” magic and mindreading show. Finally, “The Captured” Live Escape Experience is also housed here as well.
See more on the Gatlinburg Space Needle and their attractions CLICK HERE