Blog
View of Smoky Mountains with sun setting

  • Come to Gatlinburg for a Great Ghostly Time

    Autumn in the Smoky Mountains is always glorious, but Halloween is a must-see-do-and-experience here! Whether it’s your first or your thirty-first Halloween in Gatlinburg, we’ve listed a few suggestions for activities that practically guarantee you and your family will have a frightfully fun time. First, ask some of the locals about the Gatlinburg Witch, or any of our other “spirited” former residents. Then, check out Ghost Tours in Gatlinburg for eerie nightly tours of some of the spookiest places in town. Next, for blood-curdling screams at one of the town’s best haunted houses, explore Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion....

    Also, don’t forget Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and their Fright Nights shows through October 31. For a fun, family-friendly alternative to ghosts and goblins, visit the Kyker Farms Korn Maze in Sevierville. Kids of all ages will have a ball navigating the daytime, non-scary maze, along with the pumpkin patch, hayrides, and more. Lastly, don’t miss the annual Trick or Treat Kickoff Karnival at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza. There will be plenty of fun, candy, costume contests, pumpkin carving, and more.

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  • Gatlinburg: A Year-Round Vacation Destination

    September is here, bringing with it the end of summer and the beginning of the fall and winter season. But, here in Gatlinburg, the fun is always an all-season event, with local and regional attractions and activities that are available to our guests year round. As the air grows cooler, the area’s greenery dons bright autumn colors, ideal for a local fall foliage tour. This month, our guests can also take advantage of two fun and highly-anticipated activities. First, don’t miss Gatlinburg’s 21st Annual Taste of Autumn on September 13 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center....

    Savor delectable dishes from area restaurants accompanied by outstanding music from Abbey Road Live, a renowned Beatles tribute band. Proceeds will benefit the United Way of Sevier County. Also, this year’s Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival will be happening September 7-November 25, and the streets will be beautifully done up with pumpkins, straw, scarecrows, and other fall decor. For more information about any of the Gatlinburg activities mentioned here, call us at (800) 568-4748.

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  • August Brings Mermaids, Balloons, and the Gatlinburg Gathering

    The month, the City of Gatlinburg offers its guests a variety of events and activities, and we have selected three of the best for your consideration. First, come and be uplifted at the annual Gatlinburg Gathering on August 15-18. Featuring some of your favorite gospel singers and famous speakers, this promises to be a weekend of pure inspiration for the entire family. Next, don’t miss the spectacular Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival on August 18....

    An array of brightly-colored hot air balloons will be inflated and will add their brilliance to the majesty of a summertime Smoky Mountain sunset. The balloons will not launch, but tethered rides will be offered, weather permitting. Next, don’t miss out on Mermaid season at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Through Labor Day weekend, these mystical beauties will perform live underwater shows. They will also be available for meet and greets, and photos. For more information on all of Gatlinburg's goings-on, call us at (800) 588-1817.

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  • A Fabulous Gatlinburg Fourth

    A spectacular midnight parade, the area’s best live Appalachian music, a dazzling fireworks display, and a craft fair featuring the finest artisan-crafted items – you’ll see and hear it all this month in Gatlinburg. Listed as one of the “Top Ten Parades to See in the U.S.” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine and one of the “Five Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities” by Livability.com, our Independence Day Parade begins at 12:01 on July 4. Featuring a stunning combination of lights, marching bands, and floats; it’s also a stirring tribute to our military heroes, veterans, and those currently serving....

    Next, don’t miss the fireworks finale. Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, you’ll have optimal viewing almost anywhere in downtown Gatlinburg and much of the surrounding area. Street musicians and other performers can be found during casual strolls around town. Also, be sure to stick around July 13-22 for the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. Browse while enjoying live music, and watch demonstrations of skilled artisans creating their work at almost 200 booths. For more information, call (800) 588-1817.

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  • Give Dad a Smoky Mountain Father’s Day

    Want to give Dad the best Father’s Day ever? Then, come to Gatlinburg and treat him to a special staycation in the Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg and its surroundings offer something for everyone’s taste, so even the pickiest father will find much to love. If Dad is an avid golfer, treat him to a day on the green at any of the area’s excellent courses, such as the Gatlinburg Golf Course, or the River Islands Golf Club. If he’s more of an angler, Dad will be thrilled by fishing in any of the 2,900 miles of streams in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park....

    A wide variety of musical shows are available throughout the area, and June 22 – August 11 will feature the summer presentation of Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales. Held in downtown Gatlinburg every Friday and Saturday night, Tunes and Tales will present live mountain music and folklore of the Smoky Mountains. Also, be sure to check out many of the area’s additional attractions – take Dad to the Hollywood Star Cars Museum, Dollywood, or Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. No matter what Dad likes to do, he’ll find it all right here! For details, call (800) 588-1817.   

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  • 3 Fantastic Reasons to Spend May in Gatlinburg

    Join us in scenic Gatlinburg for a real Smoky Mountain springtime experience. Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas offer so many events and attractions that it’s often difficult to choose from them all, so we’re offering a list for you this month of three of the very best. First, don’t miss the ever-popular Gatlinburg Beans n’ Cornbread fest on May 11. Buy a spoon and sample all the beans and cornbread you want, and join in the Corn Hole Tournament to benefit the Humane Society. For details, call 800-588-1817....

    Next, check out the opening day of the Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market on May 13, and every Saturday after that through October. Among the many offerings available will be hot coffee, local produce, herbs, and flowers, along with buttermilk ice cream, jams, honey, and bluegrass music. For details, click here. Lastly, be sure to stick around for Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28) which will feature the 28th Annual Family Fest in the Smokies, a 3-day musical event by the Gaither family. Call (800) 406-4224 for details.

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  • Join Us This April for a Gatlinburg Earth Day Celebration

    Come to beautiful Gatlinburg for fun, family-friendly activities in honor of Earth Day 2018. From April 26-27, our visitors can participate in a variety of entertaining and educational community gatherings with an ecology theme. Celebrate with us at our downtown Earth Day Festival on April 26. Free crafts, face painting, demonstrations, games, and other activities, along with food and music, can be enjoyed by the entire family. Learn about green practices and lifestyles with local green businesses, and be sure to pick up a special Earth Week t-shirt featuring local student artwork. For details, call 800-588-1817....

    Next, stick around for one of the most popular night-time road races in the country – the Gatlinburg Earth Day 5K. Open to runners, walkers, and athletes of all ages, the race is scheduled to begin at 10:00 p.m. Proceeds from the race and t-shirt sales will go to the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation to provide local scholarships, school donations, the Gatlinburg Goes Green Program and educational events for the community. For registration and details, call the number above or click here.

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  • March on the Titanic, and the Easter Arts & Crafts Show

    This month, we’re featuring two family-friendly ideas, just in time for two special holidays. First, celebrate all things Irish with a visit to a famous lady of the sea. March is Irish Month at the Titanic Museum – honoring the fact that the ship was built from the ground up in Belfast, making her a true native of Ireland. The entire family will love the “on board” experience and the four hundred-plus fascinating personal artifacts, and this month the museum features Irish music, step dancers and storytellers. For more details about Irish month and other information, call (800) 381-7670, or click here....

    Also, watch whittlers, weavers, painters, quilters, silversmiths, and many other artisans in action as they demonstrate the art of creating their wares at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Easter Show. Held March 29-31 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, the show will include both local and guest artisans and craftspeople from all over the country. Browse for unique, hand-crafted gifts, collectibles, and other items, including baskets, pottery, candles, and jewelry, art, stained glass, and photography. You’ll find much to love here, and it’s an ideal way to get an early start on your holiday gift list.

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  • Valentine’s Day Selfies: Your Romantic Gatlinburg Getaway

    This year, surprise and delight your special someone with a “couples selfie” staycation in beautiful Gatlinburg. The city offers an abundance of entertainment, events, and attractions, many of which are ideal backgrounds for your photos! Included here are just a few of the best places to make romantic memories and fun selfies. ...

    First, Gatlinburg’s Winter Magic is ongoing through Feb. 28, with millions of lights in dazzling downtown displays, some of which are added in January just for Valentine’s Day. Next, get a shot of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, both from the outside and from the observation deck for a panoramic view of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains.

    Afterward, check out the Gatlinburg Skylift for more scenic views of Little Pigeon River, Crockett Mountain, Gatlinburg and the mountains. Also, be sure to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to observe over 350 species of marine life, including sting rays, horseshoe crabs, and a Shark Lagoon. Finally, for a truly unique photo op, don’t forget a front of the resort shot with our own big, beautiful, metal bear. Say cheese!

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  • Get Your Winter Sports on at “Ober Rocks”

    Imagine the thrill of schussing downhill, snow flying up from your skis as bracing, wintry air invigorates and energizes you. Sound like your idea of fun? Then get ready to hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg on January 26th for the “Ober Rocks” evening ski session. This memorable event will feature awesome skiing, tubing, boarding, and music. Skullcandy jams, starring INOV8 Studio’s DJ Godzson and DJ Nightlife 305, will be rocking the slopes, while the Coveralls perform inside on the big stage, and 103.5 WIMZ will provide live slope-side coverage....

    For those whose palates are inclined to the fiery side, the Pepper Palace will host a Hot Wing Eating Contest on Ober’s world-class slopes. Lessons, including a tubing session, and rentals will be available, along with skating inside the rink, and specials on eats and drinks in the restaurant and lounge. This is going to be one epic party, so don’t miss it! For more information, call (865) 436-5423, email: fun@obergatlinburg.com or click here.

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  • Join Us This Season for Gatlinburg Winter Magic

    This December, spend the holidays in glorious Gatlinburg and savor all the delights of a Smoky Mountain Christmas. Dozens of dazzling displays will illuminate the city with millions of LED bulbs, giving the area a warm wintertime glow. For a snug and toasty tour of the displays, hop on the trolley for “The Ride of Lights.” Don’t miss out on Winter Magic Tunes and Tales, featured on Friday and Saturday evenings on December 8-9 and 15-16. The Parkway will be filled with carolers, characters, and seasonal storytellers. It’s always one of the city’s most popular events, and one of the reasons that so many come to Gatlinburg for the season....

    Be sure to stick around until December 31 for the “Best New Year’s Eve show in the South.” Join us at the Gatlinburg Space Needle for the 29th annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Show and Ball Drop. The Parkway area will be rockin’ with some fabulous live entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks show will begin just after the ball drops at midnight. Party on! For more information, call (800) 568-4748.

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  • A Veterans Day Tribute, and Christmas Comes to Town

    This November, join us in Gatlinburg for one of the most patriotic Veterans Day celebrations in the country. Designated an official Regional Site for the Observation of Veterans Day by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the city’s 16th annual tribute to our nation’s heroes will take place at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza. The program will begin at 11:00 a.m., feature special musical selections, band performances, and acknowledge attending veterans. ...

    Later this month, don’t miss the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees. An ideal kickoff to the holiday season, the festival will be held from November 22-27 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center's W.L. Mills Conference Center. You’ll feel as if you’re walking through a winter wonderland while gazing at the dazzling array of Christmas trees bedecked with all their finery. The event will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Finally, stick around until December 1st for the 42nd annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, featuring lighted floats, balloons, bands, and much more. The parade starts at 7:30 p.m. For details on both of the above events, call (800) 568-4748.

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  • The Dazzling Colors of Gatlinburg in October

    October is one of the best months to visit the Smoky Mountains. Guests come for a variety of reasons – the famous attractions, and the popular events and activities. Many visitors come to Gatlinburg to enjoy its spectacular scenic beauty, which features some of the most gorgeous fall foliage in the county. Autumn colors reach a vibrant peak here between September 15 – November 15, moving gradually down the mountainsides to the lower elevations, and some of the season’s most brilliant shades can be seen in October....

    From the bright red hues of sassafras, dogwoods, and maples, to the varied shades of yellow, orange and gold of ferns, forget-me-nots, and tulip poplars, the hills are alive with variegations of rich autumnal color. Fall foliage lovers will especially enjoy the scenery of Newfound Gap Road, and the drive leading to Clingmans Dome, which is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. If you’d like to scope out the brightest colors before you go, check out the park’s webcams here.

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  • Fall is Old Mill Heritage Time

    Join us for the 17th annual Old Mill Heritage Day at Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge. This year’s Heritage Day will be celebrated on Saturday, September 23rd, and will provide demonstrations of what day-to-day life was like for the residents of historic Appalachia. Experienced artisans and crafts people will show first-hand how to make lye soap, apple butter, and sorghum, iron cooking over open fires, and the making of quilts, baskets and wheel-thrown pottery. Antique engines and farm equipment will be exhibited in our 187-year-old mill, and guided tours are free. ...

    Old Mill Heritage Day will also feature music, food (including a farmers market), games, and family-friendly fun for all ages. The little ones will love the petting zoo and the train rides, and a special arts and crafts tent just for them. Additional activities include pumpkin painting and bingo. Enjoy live bluegrass music and folk songs, along with cloggers and twirlers, and all are welcome to join in the fun during the line dancing and square dancing. Old Mill Heritage Day runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and admission is free. Be sure to bring chairs and blankets for seating during the live entertainment. For more information, call (865) 428- 0771, or visit.

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  • Celebrate the Music of the Mountains

    Join us August 16th – 20th for the 6th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival. Open to all, this event brings together songwriters, fans, and industry pros to celebrate the craft of songwriting. Singers and songwriters will perform, and the songs themselves and the stories behind them are also in the spotlight. Over 125 free live concerts will be performed throughout downtown Gatlinburg, in addition to some ticketed events. Featured events include a song competition, a workshop series, and an opportunity to co-write with hit writers and network with some of Nashville’s finest....

    Don’t miss the #1 Hit Songwriters Showcase featuring over 30 singers and songwriters, all of whom have written songs that were either #1 on the Billboard Charts, or were the recipient of a Dove Award. The 2017 lineup includes such industry luminaries as Tony Arata, Victoria Shaw, and Pat Alger, whose respective songs “The Dance,” “The River,” and “Thunder Rolls” became #1 hits for Garth Brooks. Also featured are Larry Cordle, whose “Highway 40 Blues” boosted Ricky Skaggs to the top of  the charts, and Leslie Satcher, whose song “Troubadour” was a hit for George Strait. For more information, call (865) 604-9066 or email: info@smswf.com.

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  • A Midnight 4th of July Parade

    This Independence Day, the air will be filled with the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling on grills, blaring horns and crashing cymbals will accompany bands marching to the sounds of Sousa, and a dazzling array of fireworks will illuminate night skies nationwide as we come together to celebrate our most American holiday. July 4th is also when Gatlinburg pays tribute to our military heroes, veterans, and those currently serving, during the annual Gatlinburg Midnight Parade....

    Thousands of cheering spectators will line the streets of downtown Gatlinburg at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4th, as this 42nd annual tradition of the first Independence Day parade in the nation begins. Named as one of the “Top Ten Parades to See in the U.S.” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine and one of the “Five Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities” by Livability.com, this nationally-recognized event stretches for more than a mile. Previous year’s attendance has reached as many as 80,000, so all visitors are advised to come early for an optimal viewing spot.

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  • Celebrate National Great Outdoors Month in Gatlinburg

    This year, forget the ties, the after-shave, and the campy boxers, and give Dad something he'll remember for years to come – a Smoky Mountain getaway. The natural splendor of the mountains in June make Father’s Day an ideal time to visit, and there is so much to see and do in beautiful Gatlinburg. ...

    Dad can hike the trails, go zip-lining or mountain biking, and still enjoy the sights and activities downtown, such as Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales. This popular event is now in its 12th season, and will take place from June 9 - July 29. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. every evening, musicians, artisans, and various street performers in period costumes will arrive in the center of downtown. Guests will be treated to portrayals of characters from olden days, as far back as 1800. This seven-week period focuses on the rich culture and heritage of the area, and offers the city’s visitors an entertaining, interactive, and educational experience. We suggest booking a family getaway, and visiting additional local and regional attractions. For information on reservations and special getaway packages, visit: http://www.brooksideresort.com/specials, or call (865) 213-2228.

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  • An Appalachian Culinary Tradition

    A primary source of sustenance for early Appalachian dwellers, humble bowls of beans and cornbread were often considered to be the poorest of fare. Of course, native Southerners have always known that this savory combination is one of the most delectable examples of regional cuisine, and over the years, these two dishes have gained widespread popularity....

    Beans and cornbread now occupy a place of honor on countless tables across the country, and heated discussion about cornbread recipes, particularly regarding the addition of sugar or honey, are still raging. The beans are usually pintos, but navy, black, kidney, and chili beans are also popular and often paired with cornbread flavored with ham, bacon, jalapeños, corn, and cheeses.

    To honor this traditional combination, Bush Brothers & Company is presenting the Gatlinburg Beans ‘n Cornbread Festival. On May 11, the parkway between traffic lights six and eight will be the site of some of the best beans and cornbread you’ll ever eat. Area caterers, restaurants, and other businesses will be serving from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The festival is free, but visitors can purchase a spoon for $10 and sample any and all recipes. For details, call (865) 430-4148, or 1-800-588-1817.

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  • Have a Blooming Good Time in Gatlinburg

    This April, guests of the Brookside Resort can enjoy two traditional and seasonal events: the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, and the Easter Craft Show....

    Love wildflowers? Join us from April 11-15 for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. This annual event features professionally-guided walks, photographic tours, evening seminars and programs by nationally-known experts in botany and Appalachian wildlife, culture, and history. This year’s event will offer visitors the rare opportunity to examine the recovery of wildlife from last year’s fires. For details, call the Mills Conference Center at (865) 436-7318.

    Hand-made quilts, pottery, carvings, and woven goods are just a few of traditional Southern Appalachian crafts on display at the 2017 Easter Craft Show. Admission is free for this event at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, and the show will feature the work of many of the region’s artists and crafters. You can meet and visit with second-, third-, and even fourth-generation artisans from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 12-15. Email Jann Peitso at: ajannart@aol.com, or call Carolyn Mikles at (865) 436-6805 for details.

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  • Make Your Getaway One That Gives Back

    After the fires of 2016 swept through our region, almost 18,000 acres were burned, with over 11,000 of those acres within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was a tragedy, but Mayor Mike Werner and the good folks of Gatlinburg and Sevier County have taken to heart the phrase, “Mountain Strong,” and are pulling together to repair the damage and breathe new life into these mountains we call home. ...

    Here at the Brookside, we made a promise to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and your stay allows us to help keep that promise. Every month, we donate a portion of our room revenue to the Friends of the Smokies, and these funds are used for building, trail improvement, educational projects, and maintenance. We are family owned and operated, and offer comfortable and convenient accommodations, along with a hot continental breakfast on the house every morning, and all the modern amenities. We hope you’ll choose us for your Gatlinburg getaway, and help us give back. Call (865) 213-2228, or visit:  http://www.brooksideresort.com/.

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  • Wines of the Great Smoky Mountains

    If Gatlinburg isn’t one of the locations you associate with good wine, then a visit to the Smoky Mountain Winery will change your mind. Since they began production, their wines have received hundreds of regional, national, and international awards. ...

    Like many wineries in the region, they produce sweet fruit wines such as Muscadine, Blackberry, Raspberry and Peach, but also bottle a large variety of drier reds, whites, and blush wines. Oenophiles will be pleased to find that over 20 of the Winery’s labels are award-winners, and all are available for tasting during their free tours.

    The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and if you’re hungry they make a mean brick-oven-fired pizza. You’ll definitely want to take home a few bottles from the on-site gift shop. The Smoky Mountain Winery is open year-round, except for Christmas Day. For reservations and details, call (865) 436-7551, or toll free at 888-SMKWINE. Or visit: www.facebook.com/SmokyMountainWinery/.

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  • Shine On in Gatlinburg

    In the past, movies and television portrayed making moonshine as an illegal profession that was practiced by quaint, and often dangerous, mountain folk. They brewed their handed-down recipes in bubbling, copper stills carefully guarded from outsiders and federal agents. In today’s downtown Gatlinburg, the copper stills are used for brewing, but moonshine-making has become a legal and profitable celebration of the centuries-old spirit. ...

    The folks at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery have taken this to an even higher level with the development of new flavors that could be termed “craft shine.” Located in downtown Gatlinburg, the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery offers over 25 flavors of moonshine, including Butterscotch, Chocolate Cherry, Huckleberry, Moonshine Peaches, Apple Pie, Lemon Drip, Sweet Tea, and Hunch-Punch Lightnin’. Self-guided tours are available for all ages, along with food and candies. Free samples are offered to those of legal age. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is open year-round and pets are welcome. For more information, call (865) 436-6995, or visit: http://olesmoky.com/

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  • Two Terrific Ways to See the Holiday Lights

    All aboard the trolley for "The Ride of Lights" - a magical evening tour of the City dressed in all its holiday finery. No jostling for a good view or walking around on tired feet - you’ll ride in comfort and see all the beautiful decorations and millions of Christmas lights from a seat on our specially designed trolley. Tours begin and end at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center, and tour times are 6:30, 7:30, or 8:30 PM daily. Tickets are $5 each, and sell out quickly, so we advise you to snag yours ASAP from the official tour vendor....

    After the trolley tour, don’t miss the view from The Gatlinburg Space Needle. This 407-foot tall structure has 360-degree views of the town and the surrounding mountains, making it an ideal place to scope out the town’s holiday lights and spectacular winter scenery. For details, contact the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at (865) 436-4178 or by emailing: info@gatlinburg.com.

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