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9 Unmissable Things To Do In Gatlinburg In Winter

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Looking for the best things to do in Gatlinburg in winter? This mountain town is an idyllic part of Tennessee to visit during winters. Let’s find out about all the fun things to do in Gatlinburg in winter.

Gatlinburg is a mountain town in eastern Tennessee. This small town is as unique as its name and is generally known for its adventurous sites and scenic views. No matter the season, the views of the city take a new color every season and every month. Gatlinburg is specifically known for its winters. As it has been considered to have two winters; the first one is before Christmas and the second one is after Christmas. Once the snow falls in this city, the entire town gets soaked in the milk like white snow, adding to the fun of the visits of all the visitors who get astonished after seeing the beauty of the place.

Here are some of the things that you can do while visiting the town so that you can have all the fun that you want without missing anything this magical town has to offer.

Things To Do In Gatlinburg In Winter

Gatlinburg in winter offers fun activities and a buffet of adventurous activities that you can enjoy amongst the snow capped Great Smoky Mountains. Here is a cheat sheet of all the adrenaline-filled fun activities that you can do in Gatlinburg during your winter visit.

Gatlinburg Downtown
Gatlinburg Downtown

1. Go On A Thrilling Downhill Mountain Coaster

One of the best attractions that are accessible in Gatlinburg is the Great Smoky Mountains. It is very rightfully also known to be the Gateway To The Smokies. Descending a Downhill Mountain Coaster is one of the best adventurous activities to be a part of amongst the snowy Great Smoky Mountains.

This coaster trail goes through the green regions of the mountains and you would thoroughly enjoy it once the fresh air and the views unfold during the ride. All you will see would be the incredible mountains, the horizon and the lush green areas of the city. If you are lucky, you can also see how beautifully the sunrays crystallize the freshly fallen snow. This vision and the feel of this exhilarating experience is going to be memorable for you.

You can find these adventurous Downhill Mountain Coaster rides in Anakeesta, Ober Gatlinburg and Moonshine Mountain Coaster.

2. Enjoy Indoor Ice Skating In Ober Gatlinburg Tramway Mall

Though there are many open arenas available for ice skating, you can also opt for indoor ice skating Gatlinburg. The ice-skating arena is a part of Ober Gatlinburg Tramway Mall which is equally available to people throughout the year. You can use it to get rid of heat during summers and winters are always fun here. The area ranges around 140’ X 75’, which is perfect for beginners as well as trained ice skaters. All you need to do is to get your skate shoes on and just go on with the ride.

3. Go Snow Tubing

One of the most in demand activities in Gatlinburg in winter is snow tubing. It is considered the most fun activity by everyone who experiences it. Children who are aged 3+ can do it with an adult of age 18 years or older. It is considered the safest activity as well. One of the most splendid tubing hills is located in Ober Gatlinburg. Here an outdoor escalator allows you to ascend uphill quickly from where you can spend as much time as possible tubing. Since this activity is very popular you might find the tubing hill busy during weekends or holidays.

4. Try Out Skiing And Snowboarding

ski and snowboarding - things to do in Gatlinburg
Ski and Snowboarding – Things to do in Gatlinburg

If you are a lover of skiing in the snow, Gatlinburg is the perfect place for you to explore this hobby. As it is the only place with a ski resort in the entire Tennessee, where people can enjoy such sports at their leisure. If you are an advanced level person in the art of skiing. You can always head towards Great Smoky Mountains National Park to try out some natural and difficult routes while you ski through the mountains’ top and narrow lanes made by the trees.

If you are scared of the technicalities of skiing, then a more fun activity for you would be Snowboarding. Similar to Skiing, the perfect time for snowboarding in the city would be mid-December when the fresh snow settles in. Though Ober Gatlinburg is considered the best resort for skiing and such activities, you can also check out the Blue Lift routes.

5. Explore The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A beautiful home to over 20,000 species of plants, fungi, wildlife and a UNESCO world heritage site. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited location in Gatlinburg. Many tourists from around the world visit the park to experience the angelic swoon-worthy beauty of the park. You can enjoy a lot of fun activities in the park. You can go on a winter hiking trip as well since many hiking trails are led through the park.

Once you reach the top of the mountains, the scenery is more than what you could have imagined. Every snowflake turns into a diamond as soon as the sun’s rays touch it. You can relax among the clouds for a while. The lower regions remain warmer in winters but snow increases as you move further. The nights are spiking chilly in the park during winter. To explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you can either take a guided tour or a self driving tour.

6. Have Fun At The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

Gatlinburg SkyLift park is another fun destination for visitors. Though there are many rides available here, the open-air chair-lift ride is the most famous one. People visiting the park often ride the chair to view the Great Smoky Mountains. The snowy scenes are a sight to behold. The sky lift travels 1,800 feet from the Strip to the top of Crockett Mountain. The ride to the mountain is 9 minutes long and the ride back to the park is also 9 minutes long.

The Gatlinburg bridge in the park is another major attraction here for visitors. Because of the landscape and the swinging wooden bridge, this place makes for the most Insta-worthy location for many visiting the place. At night, the bridge gets lit up with many lanterns and fairy lights. The strings of lights hung from the bridge make the place more gorgeous to visit. To avoid paying more for the ride, make sure you book your tickets in advance.

7. Cozy Up With Some Wine

The temperature in Gatlinburg can go as low as -18 °F during the night. It can become difficult for you to survive during these hours. You can’t have as much fun as you want if the cold gets stuck to you. Gatlinburg has some arrangements for that as well. Around the downtown area of the city, you are going to find a lot of locations to have the local delicacies and check the chills that are running through your spines with some freshly brewed beer and other ails.

If you explore food along with interesting travel spaces then, you must make a stop at this area of the town, you would not be disappointed. Here’s an amazing wine and shine walking tour that will take you to the best distilleries for wine tasting in Gatlinburg.

8. Visit The Anakeesta Park

Anakeesta Park is another fun park in the province of Gatlinburg. To reach the park is an adventure in itself. It is located 600 feet above the Anakeesta mountain. A scenic sky lift ride from Gatlinburg’s downtown takes you to the Anakeesta summit. The ride lasts from 10-15 minutes. Once you reach it, you will have all-day park access and you can explore and relax at the park as much as your heart desires. You can walk along the 14-bridge treetop skywalk with over 880’ of connected bridges hanging in the air at the height of 50-60’.

Apart from the captivating views and whimsical experience in nature, closest to the clouds, you can have delicious food here. Relax for a while in nature’s garden and see for yourself how the clouds take different formations in front of your eyes.

9. Make Your Cozy Winter Dreams Come True

A warm fire at the fireplace is enough to keep the surroundings warm. A cozy bed in the room, and sprinkles of tiny snowflakes that keep dripping from the sky floating in the air so delicately that you can just see them and not touch them. Thus, making a scenic view outside your window. If you are a mountain person and prefer snow over beaches, then we are sure a dream like this would be in your mind.

This can be made true by staying in a rented cabin in Gatlinburg. Yes, a wooden cabin on the mountain slope among the forest. You can spend a night or as many days as you want and enjoy the true nature of the winter in Gatlinburg.

There are many hotels near the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area. Hampton Inn is the closest one to both Ober Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You must surely check it out for a convenient accommodation in Gatlinburg.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Gatlinburg in winter? Let me know in the comments below!

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Anjali Wadhwa (cheerfultrails) is a travel consultant and enthusiast who has traveled to 15+ countries. She shares about her explorations through her writings. You will find detailed itineraries, best travel tips and well experienced recommendations for food, transportation and hotels on her blog.

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