The iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle is a 407-foot observation tower located in Gatlinburg that overlooks downtown and the Great Smoky Mountains. Its glass elevators take you to an observation deck that provides a 360° view of the surrounding area.
The Space Needle is a Gatlinburg landmark that was finished in 1969 and opened to the public in 1970. It has some age on it, having been open for 50 years, and it looks and feels historic. No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a trip to the top of this historic and unusual structure.
We thought it would be fun and informative to take a ride to the top of the Space Needle and take some pics so you can get an idea of what it’s like.
To get to it, you walk through a 25,000 square foot amusement center that houses the largest selection of video games, simulators, and activities in Gatlinburg. It’s a fun, bright, noisy place. If you have kids, they’ll go crazy there. It’s easy to find your way to the Space Needle elevator because it’s located very near the front of the building.
As you go higher and higher in the glass-walled elevator, you begin to realize…this thing is way up in the air!
One thing that is great is that your ticket is good for two visits within a 24-hour period. This allows you to go up in the daytime, when you can get a nice clear view of the town as well as the mountains that wrap around it; and in the nighttime, when you can see the town all lit up. We suggest you do both.
The night that we went, the elevator operator was a pleasant gentleman named Gary. He was knowledgeable about the Space Needle and happy to answer any questions. He was also a little bit of a character.
The temperature was cool on the day we went up, and downright cold at the top. So dress accordingly. If it is a windy day, you’ll really feel it from the observation deck.
The facility also contains a pizza bakery, escape rooms and a theater that features a magic show. You can easily spend a half-day without leaving the building.
A ticket to the Space Needle is about thirteen bucks (eight bucks for kids), so it is an inexpensive and fun way to get a great aerial look at Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Recommended.
Here are a bunch more photos taken from the top or around the Space Needle.