Enjoying Gatlinburg TN in Winter
Enjoying Gatlinburg TN in Winter is a bustling town that offers plenty of fun even when the weather is cold. Winter is a great time to visit because you can see beautiful snow-capped scenery and take in all the holiday cheer.
If you like hiking, you can see gorgeous sights such as icicles on trails such as the Alum Cave Trail or Rainbow Falls. Also, you can visit museums such as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and other family-friendly attractions.
Whether you are a snow sport enthusiast or not, there’s no better way to enjoy winter than by skiing at Ober Gatlinburg! Ober is Tennessee’s only ski area, and the year round attraction sparkles even brighter in winter. The park is just a 10-minute Aerial Tram ride from downtown Gatlinburg and offers a variety of outdoor slopes that feature natural and manufactured snow.
During the summer, Ober offers an exciting activity called Summer Tubing! The activity is similar to snow tubing, but without the cold weather and winter attire. Simply step into a tube on one of the 250 foot lanes and race down the mountain. The Magic Carpet will carry you back up to the top to start all over again!
Other seasonal activities include the Mountain Coaster, Scenic Chairlift and Wildlife Encounter during winter; the Alpine Slide and Downhill Mountain Biking in spring, summer and fall. In addition, the Ice Arena is a great place to show off your skating skills and enjoy some time on the ice.
Draped in millions of twinkling lights, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg turn into an enchanted winter wonderland during the annual Winterfest Lights festival. This magical spectacle runs from November through February.
Visitors can walk around town and see the amazing displays for free. However, the best way to experience Winterfest Lights is by taking part in the Fantasy of Lights parade, which takes place on December 2 at 7:30 p.m. Featuring marching bands, incredible LED lighted floats and larger-than-life balloons, this is one of the most popular events in the Smokies.
The other main attraction for visitors during the Winterfest season is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The award-winning aquarium features two levels of underwater fun, including penguins and a glass bottom boat. This is a great activity for the entire family. Kids will also love seeing the fish and other wildlife in their natural habitats. They can even touch the fish and other animals at the aquarium’s interactive elements.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
With snow-capped peaks, cascading waterfalls and scenic overlooks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a breathtaking sight year-round. Featuring roaming wildlife, painterly landscapes and an ecosystem of diverse species the national park is a top attraction for visitors from around the country.
Winter is a perfect time to visit the Smokies and see its beauty without the crowds. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the area’s seasonal festivities like Winterfest Lights and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas!
Don’t forget to pack the essentials for your trip to Gatlinburg in the winter, such as warm clothing, sunglasses, a camera and a day bag. You’ll also want to bring plenty of water, snacks and a first-aid kit. If you’re visiting with kids, don’t miss Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter Celebration, a magical mountaintop adventure that features a plank walk, tube nets and log walks! This special experience runs through mid-February.
Winter in Gatlinburg is a special time to see the area. Downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are adorned with millions of lights for the season. It’s a truly beautiful sight to see and is an amazing way to spend the evening.
Ober Gatlinburg is also open in the winter and offers many fun family activities. You can try skiing or snowboarding on the slopes, go snow tubing, and enjoy the Cubbies Snow Zone for kids. If you’re looking for a thrill, you can ride the ski lift to see a mountaintop view of the area.
Ripley’s has a state-of-the-art haunted attraction that features animatronics and bone chilling effects. However, if you want to avoid the scares, there are several non-haunted exhibits that are sure to entertain the kids. There’s a two-trucked African Elephant, a rare albino giraffe and an amazing exhibit featuring a man who lost both of his legs and still travels the world wowing audiences with acrobatic feats.