Every year, thousands of people have some part of the Smoky Mountains experience on their list. But if it’s not part of your winter “must do” list, then you’re passing up a great time of year to experience the area’s attractions, outdoor, shopping and dining options.
Ski and Soak Up the Smokies’ Splendor. The winter wonderland of the Smoky Mountains offers the family fun of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg to great hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Don’t forget to take an evening driving tour featuring the millions of lights on display in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville as part of Smoky Mountain Winterfest, which continues through the end of February. You’ll travel through a wonderland of lights with so many options that you can tailor a tour based on your time.
Scrumptious Southern Dining. If it’s your tastebuds that brings you to the Smokies this winter, add a few of their great restaurants to your list of things to experience in 2017. From destinations that resonate for the most-seasoned traveler, like the Song & Hearth at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, the Park Grill and Hard Rock Café, the area also boasts of great local establishments that have been hosting families for years. The area features Tennessee’s first pancake house, Pancake Pantry in downtown Gatlinburg, as well as favorite The Old Mill Pottery House Café and Grille serving home-cooked comfort foods with all the fixin’s.
Shop. But if you’re not one to spend a lot of time sitting, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are home to some of the best shopping and entertainment you can find. With a variety of shops at The Island in Pigeon Forge, unique shopping in Gatlinburg including a working crafts community and name brand outlets at Tanger Outlets in Sevierville, anyone with a love of shopping will find plenty to fill their time.
Stampede, Set Sail or Sea Life? If it’s entertainment at the top of your must-do list, the Smokies’ wintertime options offer a mountain of variety. From the Gatlinburg Space Needle and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel in Pigeon Forge to the aquatic environments at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg and the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, there’s so much to do and see that your list might require you return many more times. And don’t miss Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, a unique dinner and show experience set in an 35,000-square-foot arena featuring 32 magnificent horses, live buffalo, music, a four-course feast and much more.
Stay and Snooze and Spa! With so much to do in the Smokies, you really need to stay overnight at one of the area’s variety of lodging options. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa is a luxurious Smoky Mountain retreat located close to many of the attractions in the area and offers families a peaceful retreat in the mountains at the end of a busy day. Or it can simply be a relaxing retreat in itself – with its own full-service spa, indoor pool, scheduled activities for kids and a family bedtime story each evening. You’ll never have to leave the premises to relax, rejuvenate and make great family memories.
So if you have fun, food, festivities and family memories on your 2017 “let’s do” list this year, it’s one stop shopping in the Smoky Mountains to make your winter wanderings uniquely yours and so much more.