5 Best Smoky Mountain Towns for the  Holidays


Gatlinburg goes big for the holidays, starting with the Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies in mid-November.


Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is one of the top-rated light shows in Tennessee. A more rustic but equally impressive light show takes over SkyLand Ranch with over half a million lights. Sevierville’s Christmas Parade is over 60 years old and takes to the streets in early December.

Bryson City

This small North Carolina Smoky Mountain town is on track for a great Christmas. The Journey to the North Pole on the Polar Express offers the only train ride of its kind on this side of the Smokies.

Maggie Valley

If your holiday dreams come with a ski slope or a tubing hill, Maggie Valley’s Cataloochee Ski Area usually opens by early November. You can also get some of the best views of elk in the Cataloochee Valley.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We can’t forget the biggest gift in the Smokies: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Check the park calendar for upcoming events, but we know a Holiday Homecoming is held at two visitor centers.

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