Top 5 Reasons to Spend Winter in Gatlinburg

Smoky Mountains Scenery
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For good reasons, Gatlinburg has been a famous tourist destination for a long time. This lush mountain town serves as the gateway to some of the most renowned national parks in the US. Given its rich history, jaw-dropping scenic views, mesmerizing landscapes, and abundance of fun activities, tourists love vacationing in this town. 

It is a spectacular town to visit at any time of year. But the winter season offers the most incredible weather, natural beauty, and engaging outdoor activities.

If you are looking for a place that provides plenty of entertainment and attractions, then Gatlinburg is worth considering. Whether vacationing with friends or family or going on a solo trip, Gatlinburg is the place to be this holiday season. 

Here are some convincing reasons to spend winters in Gatlinburg.

Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains
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  1. Affordable Accommodations 

Gatlinburg is an economical and affordable place to visit. The most obvious reason to visit Gatlinburg is the opportunity to enjoy winter vacations in a beautiful and low-cost place. 

Gatlinburg has been praised as one of America’s best-kept secrets, thanks to its inexpensive lodging options and excellent public transportation system, including free parking. The city is so popular with tourists that it can be difficult to find accommodations during peak season.

Nonetheless, you will come across affordable places to stay in Gatlinburg that offer everything needed for a relaxing vacation.

You can also rent some of the most beautiful cabins in the Smoky Mountains. They range from rustic log cabins to modern luxury homes and everything in between.

  1. Beautiful Winter Weather and Snowfall

Another convincing reason to vacation in Gatlinburg during the winter is to witness its snowy and serene natural landscape. The average temperature here in winter is 43-45 degrees, while the average snowfall is 2-3 inches. The rainfall during this time ranges from 8.5-15 inches per month. The humidity levels are also low, making it perfect for spending time outdoors when you need fresh air. All these favorable weather conditions make this place more attractive and enjoyable.

The city has an average of 8-9 inches of snowfall annually and boasts more than 200 days of winter weather between December and March.

The Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort in Gatlinburg offers downhill skiing and snowboarding during winter when temperatures are below freezing point. This ski resort also has an aerial tram lift.

Other worth-seeing hiking destinations in Gatlinburg are:

  • Clingman’s Dome
  • Gatlinburg Tunnel 
Aerial Tramway to Ober Gatlinburg from downtown Gatlinburg in Tennessee
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  1. Gatlinburg Attractions

Some of the great attractions and reasons why people like to visit Gatlinburg in winter are:

  • The Gatlinburg skyline is visible from every corner of town, which makes it an award-winning tourist destination over the years.
  • The renowned Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an enchanting place in Gatlinburg. The park is home to over 800 miles of trails, including many hiking, biking, and horseback riding routes. You can also explore the picnic areas and campgrounds within the park boundaries.
  • The Space Needle is a tower that has been there for over 50 years. It was initially built as an observation tower for tourists. But today, it serves as a restaurant on top of one of the most famous buildings in America: The Space Needle.
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies happens to be the largest in the Southeast, with over 10,000 aquatic animals representing over 1 million gallons of water. The aquarium is over four stories tall and has a 4D theater that allows you to swim alongside your favorite sea creatures as they do their daily activities.
  • Anakeesta Adventure Park is also a great place to enjoy with your family. The park has zip lines and other activities for kids of all ages, including a climbing wall and an obstacle course. It is a magical theme park that will leave your kids in awe.
  1. Gatlinburg Restaurants

If you are looking for a vacation packed with scrumptious meals and mouthwatering desserts, Gatlinburg is the place to visit. The best thing about food restaurants is that they are clean and open all days of the week, including weekends.

Here is a must-try list of some of the most popular restaurants in Gatlinburg:

  • Delauder’s BBQ: All barbeque lovers will smack their lips with the exceptional southern-style barbecue available here. Plus, all the items are at reasonable prices.
  • Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg: Another great option for those who enjoy Southern comfort food like pork chops, baked chicken with mashed potatoes, or macaroni & cheese made by hand daily. This place specializes in fried chicken; however, they also offer other items.
  • Red Oak Bistro: This restaurant is one of the best in America. It is known for its impeccable food and service, which has earned it many fans over time. The menu includes items like chicken pot pie made with locally sourced ingredients, steak fries, rotisserie chicken salad, and more.
  • Timber’s Log Cabin Restaurant: Gatlinburg’s famous restaurant that offers southern-style food. It is a woodsy, cabin-style restaurant that offers casual American eats on patio tables.
Big brown bear lying in grass with friendly expression
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  1. Outdoor Winter Activities

There are plenty of options available for outdoor activities in Gatlinburg in winter. Here are some of the many experiences you can enjoy during the winter months:

  • Snowmobiling (groomed trails or off-road): Snowmobiling is one of the most popular and fun winter activities. While snowmobiling, you can see amazing views of this scenic area.
  • Cross-country skiing: Gatlinburg has many cross-country ski paths throughout the town. These paths are perfect for beginners or advanced skiers who prefer fresh air while practicing their skills simultaneously.
  • Snowshoeing: If you want to experience something more challenging than cross-country skiing, why not try snowshoeing?
  • Hiking: You can also go hiking on famous trails such as the Appalachian Trail, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the Cherokee National Forest.
  • The Smokies: This spot should top your priority list when visiting Gatlinburg. You will get to experience mesmerizing views and spot some fascinating wildlife too. 
  • Water Activities: Gatlinburg has many lakes and rivers where you can go fishing or boating. You can also do water sports and land-based activities like biking etc.

Final thoughts

snow covered mountains and trees

For travel enthusiasts who love being surrounded by nature but also crave adventure, Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a place that will not disappoint. The town offers many recreational activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking trails, and mountain biking. There are also several places for shopping and dining; the list goes on and on. And visiting Gatlinburg during the winter is an experience you will cherish for life. 

In short, there is a lot to do in Gatlinburg. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and are craving a unique experience, consider visiting Gatlinburg.

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