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Smoky Mountains covered in snow

Top 6 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in January

Posted on January 3, 2024
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January is a magical time of year in the Smoky Mountains! Festive light displays are still illuminating the mountain towns, and the mountain peaks are blanketed in glistening snow. There are so many fun activities and beautiful things to see in the Smoky Mountains this time of year. Here’s a list of some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in January that you won’t want to miss!

1. Experience Smoky Mountain Winterfest

While December is most known for holiday cheer, there’s still plenty of cheer to be enjoyed in the Smoky Mountains in January! Smoky Mountain Winterfest light displays can be viewed through the entire month of January and into part of February. As you drive through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, you’ll get to see more than 15 million festive lights all around. You can stay in the holiday spirit well after Christmas in the Smoky Mountains!

2. Hit the Slopes at Ober Mountain

Ski lift and snowy slope at Ober MountainIf you’re looking for something exciting to do in the Smoky Mountains in January, make sure you visit Ober Mountain to try out some snowsports! You can spend the day skiing or snowboarding on slopes that range from beginner to advanced, providing snowy fun for all skill levels. If you’re new to the sport, you can take ski or snowboard lessons to learn all the necessary techniques. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the snow that requires less athletic ability, check out the snow tubing hill where you can race your friends and family on inflatable tubes!

3. Go on a Winter Hike

If you are visiting the Smoky Mountains in January, you need to go on at least one hike. There are a number of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and they range from easy to difficult, which means you will have no trouble finding one that suits your experience level. Some of the best winter hikes in the Smoky Mountains are Alum Cave Trail, Laurel Falls Trail, Abrams Falls Trail, and Porters Creek Trail.

4. Explore a Museum

Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon ForgeIs the weather outside a bit too cold for outdoor activities? No problem! There are plenty of ways to have indoor fun in the Smoky Mountains in January. One of the best indoor activities is exploring museums. There are a variety of educational and entertaining museums in the area, including Titanic Museum Attraction, WonderWorks, Alcatraz East Crime Museum, Hollywood Star Cars Museum, and more! These museums are great places to explore year-round and especially during the colder months.

5. Take a Scenic Drive

Do you want to see the beauty of the Smoky Mountains in January without being out in the cold? Go on a scenic drive! A scenic drive allows you to experience the natural wonder of the Smokies without leaving the comfort of your vehicle. Some of the best scenic drives you should check out include Cades Cove Loop Road, Newfound Gap Road, and Foothills Parkway. You may even get the chance to see snow during your drive!

6. Visit SkyLand Ranch

Ticket windows and The Wild Stallion at SkyLand RanchAre you looking for something unique to do in the Smoky Mountains in January? Check out SkyLand Ranch! This Sevierville attraction is open throughout the month of January and offers so many ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. You can ride the Horizon Skyride to get a bird’s eye view of town and the mountains in the distance. Then, visit the miniature animals and learn more about what life was like on The Ranch. Other things to do at SkyLand Ranch include walking the scenic Legacy Lookout, shopping, eating, gem mining, and riding The Wild Stallion Mountain Coaster!

Where to Stay in the Smoky Mountains in January

Now you know more about some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in January. If you want to stay close to all the action, book your stay at our Smoky Mountain condos! Our condos are conveniently located near all the fun things to do in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville and just a short drive from Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Browse through our condos and villa rentals to find the perfect place to stay for your next vacation!

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