Christmas in the Smoky Mountains
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7 Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains

I’d like you to take a moment and imagine spending Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. You wake up on Christmas morning to the following scene:

After greeting the day, you walk into the kitchen of the stunning cabin your family rented for the holidays. You grab a cup of coffee, walk past the Christmas tree surrounded by presents and grab your coat. You walk out to the porch and spend the morning relaxing in a rocking chair, sipping your coffee while the sun rises over the picturesque Smoky Mountains, waiting for the rest of the family to wake up.

While you were reading that, I’ve already rented my cabin and packed my bags for Pigeon Forge. Aside from the marvelous views and warm holiday feelings, you simply cannot top Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.

Still need some convincing? Here are 7 reasons why you need to spend Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.

The view from Clingman's Dome in Winter - Trees dusted by snow in the Smoky Mountains
Clingman’s Dome in Winter, photo by Doug Kerr / flickr

1. The Pristine Weather

I was born and raised in New England. Therefore, I prefer my winter holidays on the colder side. I don’t need to be buried under a blizzard, but a few snowflakes or flurries will do the trick.

When you’re up that far in the mountains, you’re pretty much guaranteed a chilly morning while you open presents or gather around for breakfast. When you choose to celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, you’re bound for perfect holiday weather – not too cold, but definitely crisp. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll experience a bit of snow!

To enjoy this perfect winter weather, head to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for a hike. In the case of snowfall, watch your footing and follow all signs and/or regulations put in place by park rangers. Our trail guides will help you plan for a memorable holiday hike:

Santa's Workshop at Dollywood with larger than life toys, a Christmas tree with ornaments, and hundreds of holiday lights strung throughout the shop
Santa’s Workshop at Dollywood / Facebook

2. Outstanding Christmas Attractions in Pigeon Forge

Everyone knows that Pigeon Forge is packed with exciting attractions. From Dollywood to the Titanic Museum, there’s nonstop fun and entertainment for the whole family. But have you experienced these attractions and theme parks during the Christmas season? Visit these Pigeon Forge destinations for a memorable Christmas vacation.

When celebrating Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, you have to go to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. From November to early January each year, the park lights up with spectacular holiday shows, meet and greet opportunities with Santa and friends, moving Sunday worship services, and an over-the-top holiday parade. And don’t forget about the millions of lights strung throughout the park. Dollywood really knows how to celebrate the Christmas season!

Another magical Christmas attraction in the greater Smoky Mountain area is the Trolley Tour of Lights. Available in Gatlinburg, the trolley ride takes you through the most notable areas of town – all glowing with holiday LED displays. If this trolley ride doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will. When spending Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, riding the trolley and seeing the light displays should be at the top of your list. If you’d rather drive, take advantage of the Winterfest Lights Driving Tour.

For even more bright holiday fun, head to the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium for Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. While at the attraction, guests can marvel at the synchronized LED display and visit Santa’s Workshop for even more holiday excitement. Enjoying Christmas in the Smoky Mountains is not complete without a trip to this wonderland!

Person skiis down a mountain in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Experience the rush of skiing at Ober Gatlinburg

3. Play in the Snow

What Christmas in the Smoky Mountains would be complete without playing in the snow? Head to Ober Gatlinburg for extraordinary winter activities including:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snow Tubing
  • A Kids Snow Zone
  • Freestyle Terrain Park
  • Ski/Snowboard Lessons
  • And More

Ober Gatlinburg is great for those who want to experience the thrill of skiing/snowboarding and those who would rather go snow tubing. There’s something for everyone at the winter park. Don’t forget to ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway for jaw-dropping views of the Smoky Mountains in winter!

4. Reserve Your Tickets for a Christmas Show

All of your favorite Smoky Mountain shows transform for the holiday season. From hilarious comedy shows to mesmerizing productions with outstanding musical performances, there’s no better way to spend Christmas in the Smoky Mountains that at one of the top Christmas shows.

These holiday productions are extremely popular, so book your tickets for the following Smoky Mountain Christmas shows today:

You don’t want to miss these renowned Christmas shows this holiday season.

Christmas presents wrapped in holiday paper with red, gold, silver, and green decorations
Finish your Christmas shopping at the Tanger Outlets.

5. Finish Your Last Minute Shopping in the Smoky Mountains

If you’re like me, you’ve waited until the last possible minute to do your Christmas shopping. It’s not an ideal scenario, but it happens. Between the main strip in Gatlinburg and the Tanger Outlets in Pigeon Forge, you’ll have plenty of places to quickly finish up your holiday shopping.

6. Christmas Pancakes. Enough Said.

Gatlinburg is the pancake capital of the South. Don’t believe me? Watch this and you will! But be warned: your stomach will growl the entire time.

Celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains with the festive holiday pancake specials from Gatlinburg’s top pancake houses. I promise your stomach will thank you.

Smoky Mountain cabins rest on the mountainside surrounded by forests overlooking the town below
Spend your Christmas vacation in a Smoky Mountain cabin.

7. The Perfect Lodging Options

We’ve all seen the quaint cabins with a snowfall background illustrated in our favorite holiday books. I firmly believe these scenes were inspired by the cabins all across the Smoky Mountains.

Renting a cabin is the key to a memorable Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. Rental companies offer everything from magnificent cabins designed to fit large and extended families, to cozy cabins for the couple looking to get away for the holidays. There’s a cabin style and location for everyone.

Although, if you’re not a fan of cabins, I know just the place for your Smoky Mountains Christmas vacation. Why not stay where it’s Christmas all year long? The Inn at Christmas Place offers guests a holiday experience unlike any other. From the decor to the amenities, you’ll feel as though you’ve been plopped in the middle of the North Pole.

Reserve Your Christmas in the Smoky Mountains Vacation Today

The holidays will be here before you know it. Do you have your cabin reserved? Have you purchased Dollywood admission and show tickets? Let us help! After all, our savings are year-round, not just during the holidays.

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