The Christmas lights in Gatlinburg are amazing, to say the least. This Smoky Mountain city offers several different ways to enjoy the many holiday displays you’ll encounter. Area attractions provide a bird’s eye view while parades and festivals allow you to become totally enveloped in the experience. Even a simple walk along the city streets will be entertaining as you pass the numerous holiday window displays. While enjoying your visit to Gatlinburg, check out the following places for the most amazing views of the holiday splendor.
Gatlinburg Sky Lift
Nothing beats a bird’s eye view of the Christmas lights in Gatlinburg. The Sky Lift is the perfect way to experience this while enjoying a peaceful ride that takes you up 1,800 feet above the ground below. The lift is the city’s number one scenic attraction all year long for good reason. During the daylight hours you can see the breathtaking mountains stretching out all around you. Once the sun sets, you will be amazed by the city lights down below, but it is at Christmas time that this ride is at its best. From up above you will be able to view all of the amazing Christmas lights throughout Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. Best of all, you can have a souvenir picture taken of you and your family that is perfect for this year’s Holiday cards.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
If the height of the sky lift sounds a bit too intimidating, try Gatlinburg’s Space Needle. This attraction rivals the space needles found in cities such as Seattle by offering you a panoramic view from 407 feet above the city. Views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains along with the busy downtown area below are breathtaking, but during the holidays, this view takes on a whole new dimension. From the top of the needle you will have a front row view of Gatlinburg’s best Christmas lights. It is an image that you and your family will never forget.
The Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights
Back on the ground you can see the Christmas lights in Gatlinburg up close and personal. The Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights allows you and your family to enjoy the beautiful holiday displays from the warmth of a trolley car. The heated and totally enclosed trolley takes guests along the parkway where you will discover all of the amazing Christmas decorations and lights of the city. The numerous holiday scenes depict everything from the local wildlife to festive snowmen. Dancing fountains and window displays add to your enjoyment during this hour long adventure.
Festival of Trees
When the weather gets a little to chilly, you can still enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights by visiting the Gatlinburg Tennessee Festival of trees. Here you can wander among the many Christmas trees and wreaths adorned with bright lights and holiday decorations while inside a nice and warm ballroom. If all these trees put you in the mood to go home and decorate, you can shop for plenty of handmade ornaments here. The festival is fun for the entire family with a children’s craft and play area as well as an opportunity for photos with Santa. Weekly entertainment includes old fashioned carolers, and all of the proceeds go to help the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. This organization helps the youth of Sevier County build character and life skills that will benefit them throughout life.
Dolly’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival
Leave it to Dolly to prove that amusement parks are not just for summer vacations. Wander among the grounds to view a vast array of bright and cheerful holiday lights. Parades, sweet treats, hearty foods, and of course plenty of holiday music is just a part of the experience. Lights cover every building in the park, including the chapel where you are welcome to enjoy Christmas services. Along with the many musical performances such as It’s a Wonderful Life, people of all ages love the lighted Parade of Many Colors. It is held nightly and features several floats that are decked in glowing holiday finery.
Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Set against the backdrop of the decorated shop windows, this award winning parade draws in crowds every year. It is easy to see why more than 60,000 people come each holiday season to see the lighted floats travelling through downtown Gatlinburg. In addition to the amazing lighting displays, you will see equestrian units and marching bands perform and plenty of large balloons. Even Santa Claus makes an appearance. Admission is free so it is a wonderful way to enjoy an evening out along with dinner or some holiday shopping.
You will need more than one night to explore all of these wonderful holiday lighting displays. Take advantage of the many lovely accommodations available in Gatlinburg, and make a vacation out of your visit to this brightly lit Smoky Mountain city. Whether you take advantage of the bird’s eye views or wander through a forest of decorated Christmas trees, this will be an adventure you and your family won’t soon forget.