Christmas time is one of the best times to visit East Tennessee. Not only are there beautiful winter landscapes, but there are also festive places that you cannot miss. East Tennessee is not only the home of Dolly Parton, but home to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Here are six things you cannot miss on your next visit!
Spend a Day at Dollywood
One of the most visited theme parks in the country, Dollywood has some incredible holiday-related events that you don’t want to miss. Located a short fifteen minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, you can easily spend a day riding some of the top coasters in the world, eat some amazing food, and partake in some fun holiday traditions. Running from November to January each year, the Smoky Mountain Christmas event has specialized shows, over four million lights, and a fifty-foot Christmas tree!
Head Up to Ober Gatlinburg
Even in the South you can still find places to enjoy the snow! Ober Gatlinburg is located up in the mountains from Gatlinburg, and features a ton of cold-weather related activities. You can ice skate, ski, snowboard, and even tube down the slopes. You can drive up to the mountain, but I highly suggest riding the aerial tram for some incredible views. You can even enjoy this attraction during the warmer months too!
Trolley Ride of Lights
Until mid-January you can hop on one of the famous trolleys that head through Gatlinburg to enjoy a tour of the Winter Light displays. Tours leave from 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 every night and the cost is $10 per person. It is a 45-minute guided tour that takes you to see traditional light displays featuring some of your favorite characters, as well as some of the most popular animals of the area. You even get a complimentary hot chocolate!
Rent a Cabin in The Smokies
Gatlinburg is basically the entrance to the Smoky Mountains, and you can rent a cabin for some of the most breath-taking views of the area. Many of these cabins are a perfect place to spend the holidays with friends and families, and some even feature indoor pools hot tubs, and amazing décor! A lot of the cabins are a good bit away from town, so you’ll be able to enjoy your privacy too!
Do Some Holiday Shopping
One of the very best things about East Tennessee is the amount of crafters that reside there. You can find handmade gifts ranging from gourmet chocolate to wooden sculptures pretty much anywhere you turn. The Village is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Gatlinburg and features a ton of stores with items you may not be able to find everywhere. You can also head into Pigeon Forge just a few miles away from more popular and mainstream stores too!
Spend Some Time in Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge is right next door to Gatlinburg, so it makes it a quick place to visit. You can find many attractions from mini-golf to full production theaters with some of the best shows in the country. Pigeon Forge also has Winterfest which features over 5 million lights that runs until February!