Gatlinburg New Year's Eve 2022: Things to Do and Where to Celebrate

December 3, 2022

On the hunt for a New Year’s Eve retreat this year? We know an ideal spot to celebrate the upcoming year, nestled in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The city of Gatlinburg is a rustic ski town we can’t get enough of. Picture cozy cabins, delicate snow, and evergreen trees lit up by the lights and parties of Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve in the heart of winter.

It’s one of the smaller towns in Tennessee, but that doesn’t stop Gatlinburg from showing off with plenty of sights to see and things to do. As a bonus, it’s close to Pigeon Forge, which means there are even more opportunities for fun, just a short drive away.

Natural beauty and tourist attractions combine with fireworks displays to create a New Year’s Eve destination for the books! We’ve compiled the best of the can't-miss events taking place on Gatlinburg New Year's Eve.

New Year’s Eve Events in Gatlinburg

34th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show

Most Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve revelers will be heading to the base of the Space Needle in downtown Gatlinburg to spend the evening. As the location of an entirely spectacular fireworks show and ball drop, it’ll be the happening place.

This free New Year’s Eve event is one of the largest in Gatlinburg and the country! There's no better place to be on December 31st.

We recommend arriving early to secure your spot for the eagerly anticipated ball drop from the Space Needle and accompanying fireworks show at midnight! 

fireworks over gatlinburg for new years eve

Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations. Photo Credit: Gatlinburg Visitors Bureau

Gatlinburg Fireworks

Visitors can also get a good vantage point of the fireworks show from Park River Road if the party atmosphere isn’t for you.

No matter what you do, be sure to have a plan, as prime real estate along this road is occupied as early as possible in the day.

New Year’s Eve at Ober Gatlinburg

The charming Ober Gatlinburg serves as Tennessee’s only ski resort, so you know its standards are high. While there is no official party, this is the perfect place to cozy up for a relaxing New Year's Eve!

Take a trip on the Aerial Tramway ticket to end the year on a high note.

Close up view of the Aerial Tramway in motion at Ober Gatlinburg with the trees below covered in snow in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Ober Gatlinburg via Facebook

Buckhorn Inn’s New Year's Eve Fiesta

Pack your most colorful attire to attend this lively event at Buckhorn Inn! Upon your arrival, enjoy tequila tasting and take a shot at opening the piñata.

A delicious Mexican dinner by Chef Frank Downs will be the talk of the night! Ring in the New Year to the sound of live music.

Attractions Open on New Year’s Eve in Gatlinburg

So you’ve made your evening plans, but it’d be a shame to waste any time in a beautiful city like Gatlinburg during the day! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fill your daytime itinerary, too. 

Here are some of our favorite things to do while you’re there: 

The Best Eats on New Year’s Eve in Gatlinburg 

Wrangling a group full of varied tastes is never easy, but the myriad of great restaurant options in Gatlinburg certainly helps! Follow the flavors you’re craving to help decide where to go on New Year’s Eve for a taste of Gatlinburg.

Dining on New Year’s Eve means these excellent spots are bound to be bustling, so call ahead to ask about reservations and any holiday schedule changes.

Here’s where to go if you’re craving… 

Classic American cuisine

The restaurant Cliff Top in Anakeesta offers a mouthwatering dinner with a breathtaking view.

Wide shot of the Cliff Top Grill and Bar at dusk at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Anakeesta via Facebook

European fare

Our vote is Red Oak Bistro, which uses only the freshest locally-sourced ingredients.

Related Post: Gatlinburg Day Trips: Where to Go & Why

A juicy steak

One of our favorites is Crystelle Creek. This restaurant also offers many other cuisine options, like pasta, chicken, and seafood.

Fresh seafood

At Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar, they source the freshest seafood from the coasts.

Related Post: 14 Absolutely Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg

Hand-tossed pizza

Go to Smoky Mountain Brewery and thank us later.

Where to Stay on New Year’s Eve in Gatlinburg

Many Gatlinburg hotels also offer great views of the fireworks from their respective balconies. Just be sure you’re able to see the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle from your room!

If you can, you’ll be guaranteed a great view of the celebration. Make your reservations early, as hotels book up quickly on this holiday.

Book your hotel with Tripster to land a stay for a steal:

Pro Tip: Need help navigating Gatlinburg? Check out a map before you go! Keep in mind that Parkway and Historic Nature Trails are two of the main roads.

Snowfall on Cabin Outdoor SpaceCelebrate Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve With Glowing Parties and Events

Make your way to Gatlinburg this New Year’s Eve for a ski town retreat that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle a new year.

The city’s New Year’s Eve events will ensure you give the old year a proper farewell and start the new year off right! 

If one of your resolutions is to save more money this year, book your tickets and hotel with Tripster! The best deals are yours for the taking.

Which Gatlinburg New Year's Eve Celebration Are You Most Excited About?

Tell us your plans in the comments!

Avatar photo

Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

Want to write for Tripster?

Have something to add? Post it here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>