The Smoky Mountains are beautiful any time of year. That said, the springtime is a favorite for the blooming, budding and bountiful activities the outdoors present. Read my top five reasons to visit the Smoky Mountains in spring and you’ll be convinced to travel to the Gatlinburg. Right now.

Smoky Mountains in Spring

1) Fewer Crowds
April and May are prime time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as crowds are small. This makes hiking and viewing wildlife more enjoyable. Plus, the scenic views offered during the Smoky Mountains in spring are even prettier when they’re private.

2) Wildflowers in Bloom
The Smokies host an annual Wildflower Pilgrimage April 23-27, but the entire months of April and May are beautiful times to see the Smokies in bloom. Blossoms include orchids, irises, violets, and 1,500 other wildflower species.

3) Seasonable Weather
Temperate weather in the 70s makes trekking the great outdoors of the Smoky Mountains comfortable. Summer weather can sometimes get fairly warm, so April and May are the perfect time to visit.

???????????????????????????????????????????????4) Black Bears
The Smokies are known for their black bears and during the spring time, they come out of hibernation. Now is a wonderful time to see cubs in the wild.

5) Fishing
Fishing is an angler’s dream during the spring, especially in May. You’re sure to reel in a catch, with brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout biting.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Hiking to Grotto Falls is a unique experience as it’s the only waterfall in the Smokies you can stand behind.  Plus, the location of Grotto Falls trail is minutes out of Gatlinburg off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, so make it the first stop on a day trip into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Ready to learn more about hiking to Grotto Falls?  Read on.

Grotto Falls Trail

Trailhead

To access the trailhead for the Grotto Falls trail, turn onto Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road at Traffic Light #8 in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Make your way to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  The parking lot for the trail is located on the left hand side of the road, about 5 miles from Traffic Light #8. 

The Hike

The length of the hike is relatively short–2.6 miles roundtrip–and is considered an easy one as the elevations gains are minimal.  To reach Grotto Falls you’ll follow the Trillium Gap Trail for most of the way.  Many large hemlock trees can be seen during this hike, which meanders though a beautiful old-growth forest.  Well-worn and easy to follow, the trail to the falls crosses four small streams (without any foot bridges) so be sure to wear waterproof shoes.  Around mile 1.2 hikers will notice a small cascade, with Grotto Falls coming into view just beyond this point. 

Grotto Falls

Once you reach Grotto Falls, climb behind the waterfall and bask in the shady and cool retreat the waterfall provides.  Tumbling 25-feet, the falls are an enjoyable place to visit not only for the views but for the exploration available.  Where else can you walk behind a waterfall and enjoy the perspective from the other side?  It truly is a unique experience and well worth the short hike.

Springtime Surprise 

If you visit in May, you’re in for a real treat.  A variety of wildflowers will be in bloom, including white violets, yellow trillium and Dutchman’s breeches.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

When the weather starts to warm up in Gatlinburg, flowers starts to bloom, the trees turn green and a whole lot of events spring up. During a Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring, visitors can enjoy an array of special events, unique things to do and plenty of activities the whole family can enjoy. Read on to find out what’s happening in April and May 2017.

Events included in Gatlinburg’s Smoky Mountain Spring include:

Fishing in the SmokiesSmoky Mountain Trout Tournament
April 1-2
Attention all anglers! The 18th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, open to both adults and children, is happening this spring. Challenging for locals and visitors, with multiple categories to be contested, this tournaments is the largest in the Smokies. All Gatlinburg and state fishing regulations will be observed. For information, call 865-661-3474 or email rockytopoutfit@aol.com.

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest
April 7-8
Attend the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts for the second annual Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest. More than 10 wineries from across Tennessee will offer samples of their best and most popular labels. The Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest will also feature food samplings along with educational talks regarding Wine Making, Pairing Wines with Foods, Cigar Appreciation, and more. This event is for those 21 years of age and older.

 

Butterfly on flower

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
April 11-15
This Smoky Mountain Spring event is perfect for nature lovers and hikers, especially as an abundance of wildflowers will be in bloom.  Hosted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the University of Tennessee Botany Department and the Gatlinburg Garden Club, the five-day Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage public program offers more than 150 different hiking tours of trails ranging from easy to strenuous, exhibitions, demonstrations, classroom lectures and delightful motor excursions into the wonderful season of spring in the Smokies.

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show
April 12-15
Unique handcrafted gifts and products produced by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are placed on display and offered for sale as they host their annual Easter show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

Gatlinburg Sunrise iStock_000001375259XSmallEaster Sunrise at Ober Gatlinburg
April 16
Join in the local tradition and attend Ober Gatlinburg’s 18th annual Easter Sunrise Service enhanced by the beauty of the Smokies. Free tram rides to the mountain top begin at 5:45 a.m. and continue at 15-minute intervals until the service begins at 6:30 a.m. Complimentary parking at the resort is provided for those who prefer to drive. A breakfast buffet is available and waiting at the Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant from 7:15am until 10:30am.

Earth Week
April 17-21, 2017
A week of family-oriented events created around Earth Day Celebration. The week features fun and entertaining community activities designed to educate people about adopting easy green practices.  The Earth Day 5K happens during Earth Week, on April 24 at 10:00pm. The night race departs from Nantahala Outdoor Center.

Gatlinburg Beans and CornbreadGatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Blast
May 11, 2017
During a Smoky Mountain Spring, Gatlinburg will celebrate its Appalachian culinary past with a new festive, fun-filled event – the Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Blast presented by Bush Brothers & Company.  The street festival in downtown Gatlinburg features a beans and cornbread cook-off, Smoky Mountain music, fun and games like Corn hole, and lots of beans and cornbread!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Did you know Gatlinburg is the pancake capital of the South?  There are so many pancakes houses in Gatlinburg it can be hard to know which place to choose to get your flapjack fix.   We’ve picked five pancake houses in Gatlinburg that stack up above the rest. 

Award-winning pancake creations, towering stacks, and secret syrup recipes make this one of the best places to fill up on everybody’s favorite breakfast food.  We’ve picked five of the best pancake houses in Gatlinburg.  Stop by one of these restaurants for breakfast and you’ll some of the best pancakes in the South.

blueberry_pancakes_1-wikimedia Pancakes Houses in Gatlinburg

The Pancake Pantry typically has a wait, and it’s easy to see why.

1) Pancake Pantry

Location: 628 Parkway, Gatlinburg

The Pancake Pantry has been serving pancakes in Gatlinburg for over 50 years. It’s such a popular option more than 4,800 pancakes can be flipped on a busy day at the Pancake Pantry.  Their made-from-scratch menu items include not only pancakes but blintzes and crepes too.  In total, there are 24 varieties to choose from.  The Wild Blueberry Pancakes win my vote, but the Austrian Apple Walnut Crepe is a close second choice.  Fluffy and flavorful, pancakes of any variety come in portions large enough for two.  Slather on homemade syrup and whipped butter and you can’t go wrong.  
apple-pancake-cc-rsz

These apple pancakes are like having apple pie for breakfast! Yum!

2) Atrium Pancakes

Location: 432 Parkway, Gatlinburg

As far as pancake houses in Gatlinburg go, this one gets rave reviews from locals and visitors alike! Featured in “Taste of Home Magazine” and “Food Network,” Atrium Pancakes is known for their specialty pancakes.  There are over 25 varieties but my favorite is the Baked Apple Pancake.  A crisp crust and fresh granny smith apples create a pancake masterpiece that could easily pass for apple pie.  One of the crowd favorites is the Caribbean Pancake.  Topped with bananas, walnuts, and coconut, then slathered with whipped butter, this pancake selection is a tropical treat.

pancakes-flickr

stu_spivack/flickr

3) Log Cabin Pancake House

Location: 327 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg

A top secret sauce is the signature of the Log Cabin Pancake House.  The recipe for their special Royale Sauce is such a top secret, only three people are entrusted with it.  The sauce, which has a cream cheese base, makes their mouth-watering French Toast Royale oh-so-good.  Pour it over an order of silver dollar pancakes for a delightful change from the standard maple flavors.  You can order silver dollar pancakes in groups of 4, 8 or even 15, but take note these hot cakes are much larger than your usual silver dollar cakes.  

flapjack-pancake-fb1

Flapjack’s/Facebook

4) Flapjacks Pancake Cabin

Location: 146 Parkway; 956 Parkway; and 478 E. Parkway
Flapjacks Pancake Cabin is so popular there are three locations in Gatlinburg.  Over 10 types of pancakes are available on the menu, each created to highlight the homemade batter use to whip up each batch. Of all the pancake houses in Gatlinburg, you can really indulge at Flapjacks.  Reese’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Sticky Buns Pancakes put the sweet back in breakfast. I’m usually torn between the Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes or the Wild Berry Pancakes. 
1024px-pancakes_with_strawberries_and_cream

Strawberries make everything better!

5) Little House of Pancakes

Location: 807 E. Parkway

Looking for a tall stack of flapjacks?  Then head to Little House of Pancakes.  They use 20 ounces of buttermilk batter used to make a foot-wide All You Can Eat flapjack that’ll put your breakfast hunger to the test.  Plus, it’s only $7.95.  That’s a price you can’t beat!  Blueberry, pecan, peach, strawberry and chocolate chip are just a few of the flavorful pancake concoctions on the menu.  Try the all you can eat stack if you dare.  My go-to order is the blackberry pancakes.  


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the most visited attractions in Gatlinburg and for good reason. It is literally teeming with aquatic life, with over 10,000 exotic sea creatures comprising more than 350 individual species. Diverse sections of the aquarium highlight coral reefs, sting rays and even local creatures like catfish.

There’s so much to see and do at the Aquarium of the Smokies, it’s easy to spend several hours here exploring all of the exhibits and displays. However, the most popular exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg is the Shark Lagoon. Visitors travel along a 340-foot long glidepath, winding their way through an underwater tunnel while coming face-to-face with snappers, tarpons, grunts, squirrelfish, a green sea turtle, giant stingrays, sawfish and very large sharks.

Take a look at what the Shark Lagoon is all about:

The Ripley’s Aquarium Shark Lagoon is so impressive, I recommend going through the tunnel several times to fully experience the immersive environment.

Voted One of the Top 5 Aquariums in the USA & the World by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice, the Ripley’s Aquarium is a must-visit for any family vacationing in Gatlinburg. At this amazing aquarium, not only can you marvel at 12-foot sharks, giant sea turtles, thousands of exotic sea creatures, you can also view playful penguins swimming in the Penguin Playhouse exhibit. Moreover, their are interactive activities you can add to your day that make the trip to the aquarium that much more engaging.

Purchase Ripley’s Aquarium tickets today to experience the Shark Lagoon, and many more exhibits, in Gatlinburg Tennessee.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

If you’re the type to try local cafes before chain restaurants, these four unique places to eat in Gatlinburg will appeal to you. Off the beaten path and infused with southern hospitality and charm, visitors savor eating at these restaurants because the service is good, food excellent and atmosphere picturesque. Stop in for a meal any time of day to be rewarded with some of the best flavors this side of the Mississippi.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes at the Pancake PantryPhoto Credit: Pancake Pantry/Facebook

Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Pancake Pantry/Facebook

Pancake Pantry
628 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

You’ll notice a lot of pancakes house lining the Parkway’s of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Most are pretty good, but only one takes the cake: Pancake Pantry. Operating since 1960, the Pancake Pantry started the pancake craze in the Smokies and continues to be a tradition for breakfast-goers. The massive pancakes, made from scratch and served with real butter and fresh whipped cream, fill up the hungriest-of-hungry visitors. Choose classic buttermilk pancakes or try a pancake combination unique to the Pancake Pantry like pecan pancakes; orange-walnut pancakes; wild blueberry pancakes; and banana pineapple triumph pancakes.

Dinner is served at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant

Dinner is served at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant/Facebook

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant
220 Apple Valley Road, Sevierville, TN 37862

The postcard-perfect setting of the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant makes it a favorite for both locals and visitors. White and green rocking chairs on the front porch and a brook cascading nearby add to the down-home feel, and makes it one of the most unique places to eat in Gatlinburg. Of course, the real reason people rave about Applewood is the southern cooking. Dinners are served with signature apple fritters, homemade apple butter, Applewood Julep and homemade farmhouse soup. Some of the most popular orders include their famous fried chicken, old-fashioned chicken dumplings and country meatloaf.

Fried Green Tomatoes served at Smokin' Joes BBQ

Fried Green Tomatoes served at Smokin’ Joes BBQ, Smokin’ Joes BBQ/Facebook

Smokin’ Joes Bar-B-Que
7753 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882

This local, family-owned barbecue joint serves the tastiest ‘cue in town. Slow-cooked over an open pit, the meat has a succulently smoked flavor that melts in your mouth. The ribs are raved about, as they fall off the bone, and the giant pork sandwich is a go-to order for many locals. Add a side of coleslaw, fresh fried green tomatoes, corn nuggets, or baked beans for a full meal. You’ll need a drink to wash it all down with, so order some sweet tea, served in a mason jar, for a true taste of the south.

Unique Places to Eat in Gatlinburg

Have a seat at Buckhorn Inn, Buckhorn Inn/Facebook

The Restaurant at Buckhorn Innn
2140 Tudor Mountain Road, Gatlinburg TN, 37738

Most people overlook this gem as they think meals are served only to people staying there. Not true! Book a reservation for dinner and enjoy unique culinary concoctions. The rustic lodge has sweeping views of the mountains, making your meal even more memorable. Regional cuisine with a twist is the signature of The Restaurant at Buckhorn Inn, which serves a four-course feast each night at 7pm. The menu changes frequently, but some dinner favorites include Pecan-Crusted Smoky Mountain Trout and Grilled Pork Chop with Peach Chutney.

the-wild-plum-tea-room_yelp

The Wild Plum Tea Room, Hotfive D./Yelp

Wild Plum Tea Room
555 Buckhorn Road, Gatlinburg TN 37738

The Wild Plum Tea Room, with a location at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, is one of the most unique places to eat in Gatlinburg for several reasons. First, it is inspired by Austrian tea houses and decorated with charming, mismatched decor. Second, it’s natural setting in the woods creates a natural ambiance that visitors and locals alike love. Thirdly, fare is made fresh daily with seasonal ingredients. To top it off, the Tea Room’s outdoor patio garden is pet-friendly so if you feel free to bring Fido with you to lunch. The menu changes daily, but you can always have a cup of wild plum tea, which I highly recommend!

IMG_3296 Crockett Camp RSZ

Crockett’s is so good, you can expect to wait for a table.

Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
1103 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Gatlinburg is famous for its pancake houses. However, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is putting a new spin on breakfast in Gatlinburg. The frontier-style restaurant is named after David C. “Crockett” Maples, who served as a private and corporal in Company H, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, from October 1, 1863, to June 8, 1865. With an interior formed from rough-hewed logs and walls lined with cast iron skillets and sepia-toned pictures, the camp feel of the restaurant is real. However, the real draw is the absolutely delicious food on the menu. Favorites include the giant, ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls, fresh-squeezed strawberry orange juice, the Cathead Stacker and the Black Bear Camp Skillet.

The Peddler Steakhouse

The Peddler Steakhouse/Facebook

Peddler Steakhouse
820 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

One of the most unique places to eat in Gatlinburg is the Peddler Steakhouse. This restaurant was originally a rustic pioneer cabin built by one of the Smokies first families – The Ogles. It has since been transformed into the popular Peddler Steakhouse, although you can still see the facade of the home in the front dining room. On top of that, the restaurant has beautiful views of the Little Pigeon River. However, these seats are very popular so a reservation is highly recommended. When you dine here, you best bet is to order one of their signature steaks. You get to hand-select your meats, which are then grilled over real Tennessee hickory charcoal. Save room for dessert, though, as their blackberry cobbler is legendary!

At these unique places to eat in Gatlinburg you’re guaranteed a memorable, satisfying meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Get ready for mountains of winter fun at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. The Gatlinburg attraction is your home for all ski sports. With tubing and skiing available, plus an on-site ski rental shop and instructors on site, Ober Gatlinburg caters to every visitors needs ensuring they have a spectacular time on the slopes.

Put on your snow bunny suit and hit the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. Activities include:

Skiing and Snowboarding
Ski and snowboard one nine trails, serviced by two quads, one double and one surface lift. The set-up means you hardly ever have to wait in line and can spend more time on the slopes. Various trails also appeal to an array of skill levels, from beginner to expert. Full day ski and lift tickets range from $30-$55, while special twilight tickets are available for $25-55.

Snow Tubing
If you or your family members aren’t up for skiing, try snow tubing. It’s an easy yet enjoyable activity for ages 3 and older. At Ober, you’re allotted a 1 hour and 30 minute session. During this time, you can tube down the mountain as much as you please. It’s as much fun as sledding, without the hassle of having to walk back up hill. Tickets for this activity do sell out. Reservations aren’t accepted so be sure to get to the mountain early! Should the session you wish to tube be sold out when you arrive, you may purchase a session for later in the day or the next day if space is available. Cost ranges from $20-25.

Ice Skating
When you’re ready to warm up, make your way inside for ice skating. For only $9, you can skate to your heart’s content for three hours. Grab a cup of cocoa, a snack, then lace up your skates on Ober Gatlinburg’s Ski Resort huge indoor ice arena.

Thanks to a state-of-the-art snowmaking system, this winter sports headquarters has snow as soon as the temperatures drop. All slopes are coated with artificial snow until Spring 2016. If the real stuff falls, even better!

Don’t have any snow gear? Don’t worry about it! Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort has a full rental facility. Almost 2,000 pairs of skis and 400 snowboards, as well as ski pants, jackets and helmets are available to rent. Plus, the trained staff can help gear you up so you’re ready for winter fun!

Before you take to the slopes at this unique attraction in Gatlinburg, get a birds-eye-view of the area by taking the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. The tram departs every 20 minutes for the 10-minute journey up the mountain.

Please note: On average, the slopes are open early to mid December and close in early to mid March. Exact opening and closing dates for the ski slopes are determined by Mother Nature.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

It won’t be long before we say goodbye to 2016 and say hello to 2017. In Gatlinburg, they greet the New Year in grand fashion with the 29th annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Show. To be a part of Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve celebration, plan to be at the base of the Space Needle on December 31 in Downtown Gatlinburg.

Get to Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve festivities early as live entertainment will be on hand creating a lively party atmosphere. Plus, party favors will be available so you can look the part with festive horn and hat. Highlighting the event is the ball drop from the Space Needle. Afterwards, there’s a spectacular fireworks display set to music. It all happens at the stroke of midnight when the red glow of the space needle is highlighted by an illuminating, musical fireworks show choreographed by Pyro-Shows.

Gatlinburg's New Year's Eve

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

The entire city of Gatlinburg gets in on the New Year’s Eve fun, with restaurants and attractions staying open late and offering special celebrations.  Before the night starts have dinner at downtown Gatlinburg restaurants. Both Loco Burro and Smoky Mountain Brewery are excellent places to enjoy end-of-the-year drinks and a good-time atmosphere.  You could also stop in a some of the distilleries along the Parkway. For example, Sugarlands Distilliing Company and Ole Smoky Moonshine let you sip samples for only $5. Plus, the charge is good towards any purchase so you can get some ‘shine to go!

Gatlinburg hotels offer great views of the fireworks from their respective balconies. Just be sure you’re able to see the top of the Space Needle. If you can, you’ll be guaranteed a great view of the celebration. Make your reservations early, though, as hotels book up quickly on this holiday.

Visitors can all get a good vantage point 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 is occupied soon.

Make Gatlinburg a part of your New Year’s Eve plans to see why this event is voted one of the “Best New Year’s Eve Shows in the South!”


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Be a part of a grand tradition by celebrating Christmas at Biltmore Estate.  Located just an hour or so from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the estate is aglow with Christmas cheer, decorations and special holiday events during this special time of year. A Biltmore Christmas includes both day and nighttime activities, so you can experience the full spectrum of this holiday tradition. 

Biltmore Christmas FB2

Biltmore/Facebook

America’s largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows and poinsettias, as well as miles of evergreen garland and thousands of ornaments. Furthermore, a massive 35-foot Fraser Fir tree is adorned beautiful ornaments and presents. All of this combines for a truly stunning Christmas celebration. 

Christmas at Biltmore is included with regular Biltmore admission and includes access to Biltmore House, the Gardens and Antler Hill Village and Winery. During your visit, take a complimentary guided tour. Afterwards, you can enjoy a free wine tasting. Keep in mind, The Antler Hill Village Barn hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus each weekend during the Christmas event. Visit with him from 1pm-5pm and be sure to bring your wish list.

Biltmore Christmas FB3

Biltmore/Facebook

Nighttime activities at the Biltmore House include a Candlelight Christmas Evening. With the purchase of a Candlelight Biltmore Christmas Evenings ticket, guests can enjoy a reserved evening visit of Biltmore House. In addition, enjoy daytime access to Biltmore Gardens and Antler Hill Village and Winery.

Your daytime visit to Biltmore House includes a self-guided tour. The tour features displays of vintage clothing and period pieces. Each showcases what it was like to live in America’s largest home. Of course, original art from masters like Renoir, 16th century tapestries, Napoleon’s chess set and a library with 10,000 volumes are highlights if the tour. Additionally, a banquet hall with a 70-foot ceiling , 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley and treasured antiques wow visitors as well. 

All things considered, a visit to this stunning estate is worth the drive time.  Take a day or an afternoon to revel in all there is to see and do at Biltmore Estate.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Can hear those sleigh bells ringing? The holidays are right around the corner, and you can celebrate with festive things to do in Gatlinburg during Christmas. To discover all that’s happening in this Smoky Mountain town this season, read on.

Things to Do in Gatlinburg during Christmas

Trolley Ride of Lights
Through January 31, 2017, you can hop aboard a Gatlinburg Trolley to see the Winter Magic Light displays.  The guided, enclosed excursions leave from traffic light #5. Then, they travel through downtown and Highway 321. Multiple tours leave nightly at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm. Cost is $5 per person.

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Bundle up for the 41st Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Downtown Gatlinburg. The larger-than-life parade features dozens of marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, George and Alabama, whimsical balloon characters, more than 100 floats, and, of course, Santa Claus. The parade is held December 2 at 7:30pm. Generally speaking, it’s best to arrive early for a prime viewing spot.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival
Over four million lights decorate Dollywood. Accordingly, park goers can enjoy a breathtaking display of holiday lights, along with spectacular holiday entertainment. During your visit, watch Carol of the Trees, which dazzles with synchronized lights and holiday music to transform Rivertown Lake into a seasonal symphony. Then, enjoy The Parade of Many Colors. Featuring floats adorned with bright lights and interactive characters, this nightly parade quickly wins over the heart of visitors.  You can also meet Rudolph and Friends at Holly Jolly Junction, and watch spectacular shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Known as the “world’s largest drive-through, fully synchronized, LED Christmas light and music show,” this experience is a highlight of the Christmas season. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium at 3540 Line Drive. The light display is open from November 4, 2016 through January 8, 2017 from dusk to 10pm every night (later on weekends).

Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings
Experience the grand tradition of the holidays at Biltmore Estate. The Christmas at Biltmore Celebration is scheduled for November 4, 2016 through January 8, 2017. America’s largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows and poinsettias, as well as miles of evergreen garland and thousands of ornaments. In addition, there is a massive 35-foot Fraser Fir tree will be adorned beautiful ornaments and presents.

Christmas Shows
Get into the spirit of the season with Gatlinburg Christmas shows. Family-friendly productions like Dixie Stampede ChristmasChristmas at Lumberjack Adventure and Hatifeld & McCoy Christmas Dinner Disaster are all popular holiday dinner shows. Likewise, Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry is a stunning show featuring the area’s largest living nativity, dancing elves, flying sugar plum fairies, Santa Claus and so much more. However, these are only a few of the shows that will delight your family this holiday season in Gatlinburg.

Ober Gatlinburg
Visiting Ober Gatlinburg is a an easy choice for things to do in Gatlinburg during Christmas. The Gatlinburg attraction is your home for all ski sports with tubing and skiing available. Furthermore, there’s an on-site ski rental shop and instructors on site. As a result, Ober Gatlinburg is able to cater to every visitors needs ensuring they have a spectacular time on the slopes.

Make these things to do in Gatlinburg during Christmas part of your holiday plans. The Smoky Mountains are waiting!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.