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Nothing compares to visiting the Smoky Mountains during the holiday season. Millions of twinkling lights illuminate the towns, creating stunning sights that everyone will enjoy. This year, the lights are on through February 15, 2021. When you visit, there are plenty of ways to take in all of the light displays and get in the Christmas spirit. Here are 6 of the best places you can see the lights during Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.
1. Pigeon Forge Parkway
The Pigeon Forge Parkway is decorated in 5 million shining lights. You can take in the gorgeous sights from the comfort of your car. As you drive along the street, you’ll see falling snowflakes draped over light poles and displays of Smoky Mountain wildlife, like bear, deer, and fox. You will also get a view of the Old Mill Covered Bridge and Americana-themed displays at Patriot Park. You can even catch a glimpse of some of your favorite fairytale characters, like Mother Goose, Humpty Dumpty, and the giant clock from Hickory Dickory Dock!
2. Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Parkway is lined with millions of Christmas lights as well. To get the best view of all the beautiful lights, visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle. There is no better way see the town all lit up than from 400 feet in the air at the top of the Space Needle! You can see the lights as you ride up on the glass elevator and when you get to the top. Enjoy 360-degree views of the city and a Christmas tree that’s installed above the viewing platform.
3. The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a Christmas wonderland! There are sparkling lights, giant ornaments, and huge, decorated trees. One of the best things to do is ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which is lit up in red, green, and white lights. It provides the perfect opportunity to see the twinkling lights throughout Pigeon Forge from as high as 200 feet in the air. While you’re at The Island, be sure to do some holiday shopping and watch The Island Show Fountain!
4. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas introduced its largest Christmas expansion ever this year with the addition of Glacier Ridge. Glacier Ridge is a magical winter wonderland that has more than 1 million sparkling lights. There is a Christmas Light Show in The Plaza at Glacier Ridge, which has a 50-foot video motion Christmas tree, a beautiful canopy of lights that brings the northern lights to the Smoky Mountains, and a special arctic wonderland full of light displays. With the addition of Glacier Ridge, Dollywood has 5 million Christmas lights total!
5. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is a unique and exciting way that you can enjoy the lights during Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. It’s a fun, drive-through light show featuring dozens of visual displays that are synced to music you can listen to in your car. Enjoy the special North Pole-themed displays that include Santa and all his friends, then head into Santa’s Workshop for a visit with Santa!
6. Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is one of the best Christmas parades in the country! The holiday celebration includes marching bands, large balloons, dancers, and Santa Claus himself. It’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and admire all of the incredible light displays!
These are just some of the many ways you can see all of the beautiful lights during Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. For the best place to stay when you visit this holiday season, choose one of our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals. You’ll be close to all the fun, and some are even decorated for the holidays! Take a look at all of our Smoky Mountain cabins and find the best one for your stay.