Gatlinburg, New Year's, Space Needle
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8 Romantic Ways to Celebrate New Years’ Eve in the Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg, New Year's, Space Needle
Gatlinburg’s Space Needle at New Year’s (photo courtesy of

After Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve is arguably the most romantic holiday on the calendar.  From the beginning of the night at a casual party or a formal ball to a kiss at midnight, you and your beloved can celebrate the coming twelve months and enjoy some quality moments together.

Thinking about making resolutions?  Well, we suggest the only one you need to – and would be easy to keep – is coming to the Smoky Mountains.  The wintery rural landscape, twinkling holiday decorations and good times all around make for a memorable getaway that will keep the two of you coming back for more to ring in the new year.  You’re sure to find one of the following events will suit your celebratory style best:

1.) New Year’s Even Ball Drop and Fireworks Show

At the base of Gatlinburg’s Space Needle, you’ll get the thrill of a Times Square-style ball drop without the massive crowds.  After you’ve welcomed in the New Year, stick around to thrill to the colorful fireworks display in the crisp winter sky, complete with synchronized music.

2.) New Year’s Eve at the Island

In Pigeon Forge, you can take in the food, fun and other holiday festivities, which begin early in the evening and keep going strong through the night.  Music and light shows keep you entertained until the ball drops and fireworks explode at the stroke of midnight.

3.) Moonshine (and more) at midnight

What’s great about being the Smokies for New Year’s?  You don’t have to settle for regular old champagne for toasting.  Instead, try celebrating with locally made wine, craft brews or even moonshine. If you just can’t do without the bubbly, then have one of these as a nightcap.

4.) Fine dining parties

Several places around Gatlinburg offer a touch of elegance to a year-end bash.  Crystelle Creek, the Lodge at Buckberry Creek, Three Jimmy’s and the Kennedy Concepts Restaurants all host NYE parties that have dinner and cover charge options.

5.) Aerial tramway at Ober Gatlinburg

Soar high above the sparkling lights of the town when you take this ride up the ski resort’s mountainside.  As one of the largest in the country, the tramway affords breathtaking views from its surrounding windows and incredible heights.  It also sets an undeniably romantic atmosphere.

6.) Fantasy of Lights Parade

Christmas decorations will still adorn the streets of Gatlinburg, so take full advantage of the opportunity and step aboard this old-fashioned transportation car.  The tour heads down the Parkway, River Road and Highway 321 and shows off beautiful holiday displays wherever you turn.

7.) Arts and Crafts Loop

If you or your sweetheard didn’t get exactly what you wanted for Christmas, go ahead and look for it in downtown Gatlinburg, before your New Year’s reveling.  You just might find it among the dozens of unique artisan shops lining the Parkway, ranging from pottery to instruments to clothing to home décor.

8.) Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

In Sevierville, take a spin in your car in this drive-through holiday lights display, where you can listen to music on your radio that’s synchronized to the show.  You’ll often find an unexpected rendition of your favorite Christmas carol sometime during your drive.

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