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Rainbow Falls Trail in the winter

What to Do in Gatlinburg in the Winter: 8 Can’t-Miss Activities

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The winter months are some of the best times to visit the Smoky Mountains! The area is decorated with millions of twinkling lights and holiday displays, and snow-covered mountaintops aren’t hard to find. It’s a magical time of year to plan your vacation! Whether you want to end the year on a good note or kick off the new year right, we invite you to spend your winter vacation in the Smokies with us. When you visit, there are a few activities you can’t afford to miss! For help planning your trip, we’ve come up with 5 suggestions for what to do in Gatlinburg in the winter:

1. Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg Winter SignOber Gatlinburg is the best place to be in the winter! From skiing and snowboarding to snow tubing, you’ll love all the winter activities at this attraction. You don’t have to be experienced on the slopes to have fun at Ober. You can take skiing and snowboarding lessons from qualified instructors who will have you feeling like a pro in no time. After you have fun on the slopes, enjoy some of the other activities at Ober Gatlinburg, like ice skating, ice bumper cars and the mountain coaster!

2. Anakeesta

Anakeesta is a beautiful attraction to visit all year long, and it’s even more magical in the winter! When you’re wondering what to do in Gatlinburg in the winter, this attraction should be at the top of your list. Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter of Lights celebration lasts from the end of November through the end of February. When you visit Anakeesta Mountain, you can enjoy incredible light displays, do some holiday shopping, or gather around the fire pit with a cup of hot cocoa. You’ll love climbing to the top of the AnaVista Tower for panoramic views of the Smokies, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see the mountains covered in snow!

3. Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

Gatlinburg SkyBridgeThe Gatlinburg SkyLift Park has a celebration of its own in the winter. Lights Over Gatlinburg runs through the end of January and provides visitors with the opportunity to see the park decorated with over 40,000 lights. There’s a 300-foot tunnel of lights on the SkyBridge, a 30-foot tree with lights animated to music and more. If you visit after the event ends, don’t worry — there is still plenty of fun to be had. Walk across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in America, take in stunning views of the mountains and Gatlinburg, and ride the famous SkyLift!

4. Hiking in the National Park

Your trip to Gatlinburg wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you don’t mind the cold weather, winter is a great time to go hiking. There are fewer crowds, and you’ll have the opportunity to see gorgeous sights like icicles and the Smokies glistening with snow. Some of the best winter hikes near Gatlinburg are the Alum Cave Trail, where you’ll be able to see icicles hanging from the bluffs and mountain views, and the Rainbow Falls Trail, where you can see a gorgeous 80-foot waterfall. During long cold spells, you may even get to see an impressive icicle formation around the falls!

For more winter hikes, read our blog, “5 of the Most Popular Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains During Winter.”

5. Stay in a Gatlinburg Cabin

cabin rental in Gatlinburg TN during winterOf course one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in the winter is stay in a Gatlinburg cabin. We list a variety of gorgeous cabins in Gatlinburg with amenities like mountain views, hot tubs, game rooms and indoor pools. During the winter, you’ll love curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate, baking cookies in the kitchen, and enjoying views of snowy mountains from the deck. Whether you want to stay close to all the action or tucked away in the woods, you can find a cabin that is best suited for you. You’ll love being able to enjoy all the fun things to do in Gatlinburg in the winter before returning to your cabin to relax in the evening. You can even spend your whole trip in your cabin and still have fun! Cabins come with everything you need and more for a great vacation, whether you want to relax or have fun. Before you book your stay, be sure to check out our cabin specials for the best deals on Gatlinburg cabins!

What to Do in Gatlinburg

These are some can’t-miss things to do in Gatlinburg when you visit in the winter, but you’ll have plenty of other options for fun too! From indoor attractions to shops, the excitement never ends. Learn more about what to do in Gatlinburg, then plan your winter vacation.