If you are looking to spend the new year in beautiful Gatlinburg, TN you may be asking yourself what kind of activities are available.
To help you decide things to do In Gatlinburg in January, we have outlined tours, events, and free activities for you to make the most out of the month.
Top Things To Do In Gatlinburg in January
- Best Tours
- Best Things to Do
- Go Moonshine Tasting Around Town
- Take the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
- Take a Ghost Walk around Spooky Town
- Hop on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster
- Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
- Visit Galintburg’s Best-Kept Secret, Cataract Falls
- See the Historic Ogle Log Cabin
- Get a 360 view from Gatlinburg Space Needle
- Ski on Ober Ski Mountain
- Enjoy the Stunning Winterfest Lights
- Best Free Things to Do
3 Best Tours in Gatlinburg, TN
Zipline Canopy Tour
The Zipline Canopy tour takes you on a zipline through the stunning views of the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon River, and Family Adventure Island.
You will be in the safe hands of skilled instructors so don’t worry about letting the kids have fun too. With soaring 2,400 feet above the ground, you will get lost in the tranquil nature of the Smokies.
The perfect tour for thrill-seeking adventurers!
Haunted Ghost Tour
This haunted tour will tell you about the dark and sinister origins of Gatlinburg and discover haunted sites and graveyards as you walk around town.
This one-hour walking tour will let you discover the haunting history of the apparent perfect town. If you get spooked easily, then you might want to stick with the canopy tour!
The Smoky Mountains National Park Self-Driving Tour
This tour is your chance to discover the Great Smoky Mountains and finally see for yourself why they are so popular for their beauty!
This narrated tour will take you through awe-inspiring views of Rainbow Falls, Clingmans Dome, and Ely’s Mill. Here you will deep dive (or drive in this case) into the rich Cherokee legends and timeless wonders of the Appalachian Mountains!
10 Best Things to Do In Gatlinburg
Go Moonshine Tasting Around Town
If you are a fan of moonshine and you are thinking of trying it for the first time, then you should definitely consider going to Gatlinburg.
The town is home to several distilleries that offer excellent tours and tastings. You can also find some great restaurants where you can taste their moonshine as well as sample some local delicacies.
The best thing about Gatlinburg is that it has many bars and pubs where people come together to enjoy their favorite drinks. The town offers something for everyone who wants to relax after a long day at work or school or even just wants to spend some time with friends and family.
There are several places in Gatlinburg where you can go for moonshine tasting throughout the year since it is one of the best tourist destinations in Tennessee.
Ole Smoky Moonshine is a local favorite and offers some unique flavors and moonshine-infused pickles and cherries. Another great spot is Sugarlands Distilling Company where you can try and see the making of premium quality liqueur in a variety of different flavors!
Take the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway
The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is a fun way to explore the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It’s a 2.1-mile scenic tram ride that takes visitors on a journey through the mountains, across streams, and past waterfalls. The tramway offers a bird’s eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains and offers an exhilarating ride from the top of the mountain down to the bottom, passing over Smoky Mountains’ peaks and valleys.
The best time to take this thrilling ride is during fall when you will be able to witness stunning colors of orange, red, and yellow from the shedding leaves!
The tram can fit 120 passengers at once and takes them to Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area within minutes. Tickets are $19-22 per person for adults (ages 12+) and $16 for children (ages 5–11).
The ride departs from downtown Gatlinburg and is easily accessible to tourists and goes as high as 2813 feet above sea level, providing breathtaking views from the top!
Take a Ghost Walk around Spooky Town
The Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg is a series of guided tours that give tourists an insight into the dark side of the fun town. It’s one of the most popular ghost tours in Tennessee and offers all kinds of horror tales about the history and legends of Gatlinburg.
You’ll learn about the ghosts that haunt this historic town, including the infamous Lydia, who hung herself in her wedding dress and has since haunted Greenbrier Lodge.
The walking tour starts at downtown Gatlinburg and follows an old dirt road down into the town’s residential neighborhoods. Along the way, you’ll encounter everything from haunted houses to abandoned buildings with stories of how they were once used or destroyed by fire or natural disaster.
If you’re a weak-hearted person, then you better not take this haunted walk!
At each stop along your journey, there will be a volunteer eager to tell you their ghost story or provide you with more information about what happened in that particular part of town before it was abandoned or burned down years ago.
Hop on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster
If you’re looking for a few hours of fun and entertainment, this is the place to be! Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for something to do with your family, there are plenty of rides to choose from at Gatlinburg amusement park.
Get on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster and see the Smoky Mountains in a whole new way! With the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, you can experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains at its best. This thrilling ride is perfect for all ages and offers an amazing view of the area.
Gatlinburg’s mountain coaster is a fun way to spend time with family and friends. The ride takes you through a twisty scenic route that winds its way up and down the mountainside.
The riders can control the speed whenever they want so the experience is more personalized to your family’s liking.
This incredible coaster will take you through the luscious greenery of the mountains and give a calm escape to adults and an adrenaline rush for the young ones!
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
If you’re looking for a place to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen in Gatlinburg. This candy store is a must-visit if you’re visiting the area. It’s located in downtown Gatlinburg, and it has been around since 1952.
The store carries a wide assortment of different types of candies and sweets, including gummy bears, taffy, licorice, marshmallow cream sticks, and more.
At Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen you can also find unique specialty items like peanut brittle and pecan. Their menu includes old-fashioned fudge, butterscotch pudding, and peanut brittle bars as well as classic cookies like ginger snaps, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and lemon meringue pies.
This family-owned place has a rich history and is the perfect place to start your family vacation to Gatlinburg!
Visit Galintburg’s Best-Kept Secret, Cataract Falls
The Cataract Falls are located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and they are one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the park.
The falls drop about 25 feet into a narrow gorge carved by Little River, an inlet of the Tennessee River. The falls are surrounded by forest, giving them a secluded feel. The Cataract Falls Trail is 1.1 miles round trip and takes you past many overlooks along the way.
If you’re in Gatlinburg for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, then Cataract Falls is a must-visit for you!
The hike is small and not challenging at all, so you can easily reach it and enjoy the tranquil landscape of the Great Smokies!
See the Historic Ogle Log Cabin
Historic Ogle Log Cabin is a great place to relax and unwind, especially in this rustic enclave tucked into the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
The cabin has been lovingly restored with old-fashioned charm and style. In 1802, William Ogle built this farm for his wife and children but unfortunately, he died before he could bring his family to this ‘land of paradise’.
The Historic Ogle Log Cabin is surrounded by nature in its prime location on a secluded path in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This makes it a perfect getaway for couples or families who want to be close to nature without having to travel far away from home!
If you’re feeling like taking a trip back in time, then don’t miss out on visiting Ogle Log Cabin which has been lovingly restored with old-fashioned charm and style.
Get a 360 view from Gatlinburg Space Needle
It’s a beautiful day in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The sun is shining, the temperature feels like it’s in the mid-50s, and the sky is clear. The only thing that could make this day even better is if you were at The Space Needle!
If you’re not familiar with The Space Needle, it’s a tower that offers 360-degree views from its location above Gatlinburg. It also has an observation deck that provides even more amazing vistas of the Smoky Mountains.
There are plenty of scenic photos to take here as well as a game arcade, restaurant, and theater!
If you’re looking for something else to do while visiting Gatlinburg or just want to get out of town for a while, I definitely recommend watching the sunset at the Gatlinburg Space Needle!
Ski on Ober Ski Mountain
The best part about visiting Gatlinburg in January is the snow, which brings about the opportunity of doing thrilling winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. What a perfect place to practice your beginner or expert-level ski skills at Ober Ski Mountain!
The resort features a variety of terrain options including groomed runs and beginner trails as well as some natural snowfall in a pristine forest. There are also plenty of activities to do when you’re not skiing including snowboarding, tubing, sledding, and more!
If you’re a beginner, then don’t worry because you can also get ski and snowboard lessons from the expert staff at Ober Gatlinburg!
Enjoy the Stunning Winterfest Lights
It’s time to get into the holiday spirit! Gatlinburg is home to some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in the country.
Spend a night under the stars at one of Gatlinburg’s premier attractions, enjoy a meal at one of our local restaurants or sip on a hot beverage at one of our many shops and boutiques!
The Winterfest Lights Festival is an annual event held from November to late February each year. The festival celebrates Christmas with over 1 million lights strung across downtown Gatlinburg and throughout Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
This event draws thousands of visitors from all over the country who come to see this incredible display!
Free Things to Do In Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg offers plenty of activities to keep you busy, whether you’re visiting the city with your family or want to spend some time on your own.
But what if you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg on a budget? That doesn’t mean that you can’t still have fun! Here are 3 things to do in Gatlinburg that won’t cost you a dime!
Hike in the Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mountains are a hiker’s paradise, and best of all, you can hike them for free!
There are hundreds of miles of trails to explore, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. And no matter which trail you choose, you’re sure to be rewarded with stunning views of the mountains and the valley below.
So grab your hiking boots and hit the trails!
Explore Downtown Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is teeming with things to do, and many of them are free! Start your day by strolling down the strip and taking in the sights and sounds of this unique mountain town. Then, head to one of the many local parks for a picnic lunch or a leisurely hike.
In the evening, take in a show at one of Gatlinburg’s live music venues or stroll through the quaint shops downtown.
Gatlinburg Trolley is the most convenient, inexpensive, and fun way to travel throughout the city and explore! In winter, the trolleys run from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
Visit the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community
The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is an incredibly talented community of local artists and craftspeople. You can find everything from pottery and paintings to hand-crafted jewelry and quilts.
This is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts or souvenirs. And best of all, it’s free to browse!