By Leif Palmer
Posted on January 7, 2022
Santa has come and gone, and the ball at Times Square has dropped, signifying the arrival of a new year. That means it's officially the off-season for tourism in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's true that visitation drops considerably from January to March, but that doesn't mean that there still aren't some really great reasons to visit Gatlinburg and the Smokies anyway. This week, we'll be sharing just a few of them.
We've already mentioned that the number of people coming to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville from all over the world plummets from its summertime and autumnal highs. That can actually be a good thing for travelers interested in avoiding huge crowds and long lines at attractions. You can expect shorter waits for restaurants and quicker service in shops as well. In the end, this all adds up to more time spent doing the things you enjoy most on your vacation while spending less time standing in lines and waiting for things to happen.
This one goes hand in hand with the first, but traffic on the main arteries like the Parkway and Veterans Parkway is so much lighter than during summer and fall. This means you can get from point A to point B a lot quicker than usual, again freeing up more time to do thing things you came to the Smokies for in the first place. And you won't have much difficulty finding plenty of spaces for your vehicle in our parking garages in Gatlinburg, TN. Pick the lot that's most convenient for you and enjoy the freedom of traveling by foot and trolley during your visit.
Across the board, most lodging providers offer lower rates in winter, whether you're planning to stay in a hotel or motel, rental cabin, mountain chalet, condo, campground or bed and breakfast inn. Paying less for accommodations puts a lot more money back in your pockets to do other things like see more attractions, spend more money on souvenirs or eat out an extra meal or two.
Most outdoor attractions, as well as places like Dollywood theme park, are closed for winter, but things are just getting into high gear at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. This attraction is open year 'round, but during winter, visitors can enjoy all kinds of outdoor fun like snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing as well as many of Ober Gatlinburg's other activities, including their Ski Mountain Coaster, scenic chairlift and ice bumper cars, to mention just a few. They also have indoor ice skating, a full-service restaurant, onsite shops and much more. You can drive up the mountain to get to Ober Gatlinburg, but in winter, especially if the road is snowed over and icy, it's easier and safer to take the Aerial Tramway from downtown Gatlinburg for a scenic ride to the top of the mountain.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.