Winter is a magical time in Gatlinburg. With falling snow, sparkling icicles, frozen fountains and glittering lights, the city is a winter wonderland set in the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains. Winterfest, Gatlinburg’s celebration of the season, offers the best of Gatlinburg for the holidays – lights, music, food and fun! The $1.6 million LED display features lighted candy canes, Christmas trees, reindeer, foxes and more along the Parkway and Highway 321. Winterfest also brings a packed calendar, full of festivals, parades, craft fairs, art shows, cooking contests and visits from Santa.
At Ober Gatlinburg, one of the city’s most popular winter attractions, winter sports are in full swing. Hit the slopes for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, or lace up for indoor ice skating. Along with winter sports, Ober Gatlinburg has restaurants, shops and other activities. The alpine slide and aerial tramway are both open during winter, along with the chair swing, carousel, Wildlife Encounter and Kiddie Land. You can even get homemade fudge from the Fudge Shoppe!
And although it’s cold outside, you can bundle up for a hike on one of the many trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or enjoy amazing views from the lookouts along a scenic drive. Check road closures ahead of time, but if they are open, try the Cades Cove Loop, Newfound Gap Road, or Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
If you’d rather play inside, shop at the Tanger Outlets or check out some of Gatlinburg’s indoor attractions. Get inspired at Christ in the Smokies, putt around at Treasure Quest Golf, play some games at Fannie Farkle’s, or visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, America’s number one aquarium! You can even splash around at the 60,000 square foot indoor water park, Wild Bear Falls. Nearby Pigeon Forge also has tons of great indoor attractions, including Flyaway Indoor Skydiving, Hollywood Wax Museum, and Magiquest. You can brush up on history at the Titanic Museum Attraction, go for a strike at Pigeon Forge Bowling Center, race indoor go karts at Star Tracks, or be amazed and excited at WonderWorks. From getting a great deal to having a great time, you can do it all in the Great Smoky Mountains!
Of course, you can always stay cozy in the cabin while curling up by the fire or playing some games. Many of our cabins have a pool table, Foosball table, air hockey, darts or arcade games. You can also bring your favorite board games or a deck of cards and spend some quality time inside with the family. If you have a DVD player or a big screen TV, watch the game or have a movie marathon while staying toasty.
You can stay inside or venture outside, but no matter what you do, stay safe! The weather in Gatlinburg can change rapidly during winter, so always be prepared. Before you hit the road, check weather reports and road closures. Pack an emergency kit in the car (winter boots, an extra jacket and gloves, blankets, jumper cables, etc.) so you’ll be ready for unexpected conditions, and always have snacks on hand! If you’ll be staying at a cabin with a steep drive, four wheel drive is recommended. At the cabin, be sure to have some food stocked and don’t brave the curvy roads if it’s not necessary. Bags of salt are provided for cabins that need it, and while Cabins For You cannot provide tow trucks or transportation to rental units due to insurance reasons, we are happy to help guests any way that we can!