winter in the smoky mountains- aerial view of snowy gatlinburg

5 Things You’ll Love About Winter in the Smoky Mountains

Are you planning a family vacation during the colder weather months? You won’t regret experiencing this season in the beautiful Smokies, since there are plenty of exciting winter activities in Gatlinburg to participate in. Keep reading to find out 5 things we think you’ll love about winter in the Smoky Mountains!

1. Winterfest

dollywood sign at christmasOne of the best things about Christmas in Gatlinburg is the Winterfest light displays around town! Popular attractions such as Anakeesta and SkyLift Park go above and beyond putting on Christmas events and adding their impressive displays to light up the night sky. Winterfest in Pigeon Forge is also an exciting time of year! Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas draws in families for its beautiful Santa village, uplifting musical performances, delicious food, and more. If a dinner show is more your style, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud puts on a great Christmas show, complete with a holiday-themed supper!

2. Snow Tubing at Ober Mountain

Ober Mountain is the perfect location for all of the thrilling winter sports activities, including snow tubing! Be sure to grab your tubing tickets well in advance, as the 90-minute sessions sell out quickly. But snow tubing isn’t the only thing you can do! Ober Mountain offers skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, ice bumper cars, and a massive snow zone. The snow zone is suitable for kids of all ages to play in the snow, but those under 6 must be accompanied by an adult.

3. Ripley’s Indoor Attractions 

ripley's mirror maze gatlinburgEveryone knows about Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, but there are several other places that you should add to your vacation itinerary! Walk through the Believe It or Not! Odditorium, find your way through the amazing Mirror Maze, release your screams at the Haunted Adventure, or play laser tag and mini golf at the Super Fun Zone. The options for family fun and entertainment are nearly endless at one of Ripley’s indoor attractions!

4. Hiking in the Smoky Mountains 

Just because the weather is a little colder doesn’t mean you can’t get out and explore the national park! While some areas like Clingmans Dome and Roaring Fork are closed during the winter, many trails are still accessible, such as The Gatlinburg Trail, the Alum Cave Trail, Porters Creek, and Laurel Falls. Cades Cove is another section that’s open for year-round exploration, as well as the hike to Abrams Falls. If you’re looking for scenic drive recommendations that are not Cades Cove, we suggest taking Newfound Gap Road or the Gatlinburg Bypass Road instead!

5. Amenities at our Gatlinburg Hotel 

Indoor heated pool at Black Bear Inn & Suites in Gatlinburg TNThere are many reasons why we are a favorite among families! Black Bear Inn’s amenities include a heated enclosed pool, cozy balconies and blazing firepits, a hot continental breakfast every morning, and 24/7 coffee service in the lobby, just to name a few. Plus, our hotel is in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, so you’re within walking distance to many great restaurants and attractions, as well as being just a few steps away from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

These are just a few things we know you’ll love about winter in the Smoky Mountains! Find out more about why you should spend your winter vacation at our hotel in Gatlinburg