If you’re planning a trip (or two or three) to Gatlinburg this winter, you are probably doing it because you just can’t stay away from the fun holiday events, the sparkling lights, and the beautiful dusting of snow that the area often enjoys during the winter months. The Great Smoky Mountains seem to transform into a magical place as streams freeze, icicles form ornaments for the trees and snowflakes fall gently on the hiking trails and sidewalks. The snow and ice are two things that make Gatlinburg such a delightful place to be, but they are also two things that you should be prepared for. To avoid any possible issues, do plenty of planning ahead of time.
Temperatures typically top off in the 40s and dip down into the 20s, but in December and February, they can rise up into the 50s. With days and nights this cold, here are a few things that you can do to ensure that you have the best and safest Gatlinburg vacation possible.
Consider driving conditions – For driving into higher elevations, like winding your way up to that cozy cabin, consider using tire chains. Many local roads are very steep and curvy, so having this added traction is often a must.
Dress accordingly – Icy sidewalks and cold winds are no match for warm boots, comfy scarves and tied-up trenches, so pack for all kinds of winter conditions. When in doubt, layer, layer, layer! You can always take off any excess, but it’s best to be ready just in case.
It’s Gatlinburg –there will be traffic! –Traffic delays are often inevitable in Gatlinburg because it is such a popular and heavily traveled place. Add icy roads, and it could slow down even more, so arrive with patience and think about possible alternate routes. Do your research ahead of time and you won’t be caught off guard. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t forget to bring snacks and games for the car to prevent any potential meltdowns.
Stay snug inside –Many mountain cabins are equipped with fireplaces, so take the time to look around as you pick just the right place for you. A big wood-burning fireplace will heat up any weekend getaway. Each of our cabins also has a fully-equipped kitchen, so you can stay in and cook, watch TV, curl up on the couch or soak in an indoor Jacuzzi tub.
Take advantage of indoor entertainment – While much of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is enjoyed in the great outdoors, there are also a lot of great things to do inside. Enjoy shopping, Ripley’s attractions, movies, dinner shows and more. Whether you’re in the mood for action or relaxation, there is a little bit of everything in town.
With gorgeous views, numerous festivals and events, and tons of shopping and restaurants, a trip to Gatlinburg is certainly worth braving the cold. Just be prepared and bundle up, and you are sure to have a fabulous stay in the Great Smoky Mountains!