3 Fun Ways to Enjoy Winter in the Smoky Mountains
While most vacation destinations slow down during the winter season, the Great Smoky Mountains are more exciting than ever! When the last of the autumn leaves fall from the trees, the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN are transformed into winter wonderlands. Boasting beautiful decorations and a variety of seasonal events, Sevier County is the perfect place to take a winter escape. To help you make the most of your trip, Smoky Mountain Chalet Rentals has put together a guide to three ways to enjoy winter in the Smoky Mountains.
1. Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg
The Smoky Mountains are home to the state of Tennessee’s only ski resort! Located atop Mount Harrison, the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area offers excellent skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing throughout the winter months. Ober is home to some of the country’s most high-powered snow machines, so the slopes are always covered in fresh powder, even if there hasn’t been any snowfall recently. In addition to all of the winter sports, Ober Gatlinburg also offers an indoor ice skating rink, a mountain coaster, a wildlife encounter, an arcade, and even more fun activities to enjoy.
From early November through the end of February, the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are decorated with millions of beautiful holiday lights. These gorgeous displays depict traditional Christmas scenes along with local landmarks and Smoky Mountain wildlife.
The best way to see the displays in Gatlinburg is to take the Trolley Ridge of Lights. Running through the end of January, these special trolley rides take guests right to all of the city’s breathtaking lights for just $5 per person. Trolleys leave each evening at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 p.m.
While Pigeon Forge does not offer trolley rides, it does have a Driving Tour of Lights. Visitors to the area can stop by the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center or Pigeon Forge Trolley Office to pick up a free brochure and map with the locations of all the stunning light displays.
3. Attend Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival
Anyone spending winter in the Smoky Mountains should plan on visiting Dollywood! From early November through January 1, the theme park hosts its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival. Highlights of this wonderful holiday celebration include:
- Nightly Christmas parades with floats, characters, and more than a few surprises.
- Millions of beautiful holiday lights throughout the park.
- Visits with Santa Claus.
- A staged adaptation of “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
- Special appearances from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and all of his friends from the classic TV special.
- Christmas music performed by southern gospel singers, an a capella quartet, and a bluegrass band.
When you stay at one of our cabin rentals this winter in the Smoky Mountains, you will be just a short drive from all of the best things to do in the area. Offering mountain views and the very best amenities, our cabins have everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of Smoky Mountain cabin rentals!