Now is your chance to escape your daily routine and the winter blues and take time to relax and reconnect with nature. Any time of year, Tennessee is packed with perfect vacation spots. While we’re famous for our riotous fall foliage display, don’t sleep on the magic of winter in our magnificent state! From the snow-dappled Smoky Mountains and stunning state parks to the hustle and bustle of charming towns throughout the region, you’ll never run out of entertainment at these Top Winter Destinations in Tennessee.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Sugarland Entrance | 1420 Fighting Creek Gap Road | Gatlinburg
Cades Cove Entrance | Cable Mill Road | Townsend
Winter in the Great Smoky Mountains is breathtaking. The snow-capped mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, and rich wildlife make this iconic mountain range the quintessential Tennessee winter hiking destination. In addition to hiking, the mountains offer skiing and snowboarding opportunities, paths best tread in show shoes, and frigid waterways perfect for kayaking.
The most commonly used Tennessee entrances are those located in Sugarland and Cades Cove.
The Sugarland entrance in Gatlinburg will take you near the bustling and charming downtown area, where you can visit independent restaurants, souvenir shops, gear shops, and grocery stores.
The Cades Cove entrance, just 25 miles west of Gatlinburg and south of Townsend, is less hectic than Sugarland’s. If you plan to visit Cades Cove’s famously incredible wildlife areas or preserved historic pioneer village, this entrance is seven miles from your hiking destination and will serve you best. Head into Townsend to visit independent restaurants and outdoor outfitters.
Treehouse Grove at Norton Creek
475 Norton Creek Rd | Gatlinburg
If your childhood dreams, like most of us, featured a luxury treehouse straight out of your favorite stories, you will be delighted with the Treehouse Grove! This unique experience is located near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Perfect for relaxing during your Great Smoky Mountain adventures, the Treehouse Grove is surrounded by the forest and situated near a serene creek.
These charming treehouse cabins will help you remain connected to nature to completely recharge during your winter getaway. Take in the fresh forest air from your deck, cook up comfort food in your full kitchen, then head back out into the Great Smoky Mountains!
Ruby Falls Cave
1720 S Scenic Hwy | Chattanooga
Ruby Falls Cave offers guided tours of this unique, beautiful waterfall. You’ll enter the primordial stalactite crystal cave and begin a dark, winding, half-mile descent toward the falls. Enjoy crystal formations along the way and keep your ears open for the first echoes of the rushing waterfall. From Lookout Mountain overlook, views of the Cumberland Plateau this winter will be stunning, so prepare to take a ton of selfies and group photos!
The hour-long cave tour is quite popular, so we do recommend purchasing tickets online in advance to reduce your wait time. Please be advised that social distancing is not possible on the tour, and nonslip shoes are a must.
Harrison Bay State Park
7855 Bay Marina Circle | Harrison
Visit Tennessee’s very first state park this winter! Located near Chattanooga, Harrison Bay State Park features over 40 miles of shoreline at Chickamauga Lake, making this an ideal destination for nature lovers. Founded in the 1930s, this 1,200-acre state park encompasses Cherokee lands over which one of the last Cherokee Chieftains governed.
The woods here are beloved by hikers, campers, picnickers, and boaters from every bordering state. In the winter, just over five miles of nature trails through native botanical life is a serene, soothing escape into nature. Choose from easy or moderate hikes; there’s no wrong path through this historic state park.
1471 W Millers Cove Rd | Walland
This intimate luxury destination nestled within the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is perfect for discerning vacationers celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or birthday this winter. 80 years after its founding, Blackberry’s 4,200 acres have become famous for their four-star accommodations and incomparable guest services team.
Tended by traditional land use practices, this Appalachian farm serves world-class cuisine prepared with resources directly from their livestock, farmlands, forests, and surrounding waterways.
Revel in impeccable, sustainably harvested meals, hike through the surrounding lands, participate in farm activities, take part in a cooking demonstration, schedule a massage, visit the cheesemaker, and chat with the sommelier; each offered activity is a chance to embrace full immersion into this transportive, dreamy retreat.
Club Wyndham Smokies Lodge
1425 Old Knoxville Highway | Sevierville
Club Wyndham’s Smokies Lodge is the quintessential mountain escape into the wonders of nature. Located a short drive away from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, this resort offers recreation for the whole family!
Head into the mountain range for a hike, or stay at the Lodge and enjoy the indoor wave pool and slides, the video game arcade, laser tag, mini golf, ceramic painting, a yogurt bar, and the in-house restaurants and bars. If you’re looking for the ideal all-in-one vacation or staycation for your family, it’s hard to beat Club Wyndham!
James Lee House
690 Adams Ave | Memphis
A luxurious, gorgeous, and restored historic landmark, James Lee House is situated in the heart of Memphis. With only five perfectly appointed suites on offer, this exclusive getaway is rich with antique art and furniture, picture-perfect Victorian architecture, and a storied history of literature, art, and music. Travel + Leisure, Southern Living, Bon Appetit, and many others recommend this elegant destination anytime you stay in Memphis, and so do we!
WPA cabins at Chickasaw State Park
20 Cabin Ln #4128 | Henderson
Chickasaw State Park has newly renovated lakeside cabins for rent at Lake Placid! With accommodations for four, wood-burning fireplaces (wood included), a full-sized kitchen, and satellite TV, you can have the comforts of home as you enjoy the respite of the state park.
Nestled amidst some of West Tennessee’s highest terrain, the park encompasses over 14,000 acres of forest. Hike easy and moderate trails of about 4 miles, take a horseback ride, or head out on the lake for a peaceful rowboat adventure.
In addition to the lake and multiple children’s playgrounds, the state forest is located just outside the park’s boundaries. Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park, Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, and Big Hill Pond State Park offer a balanced blend of education and entertainment for the whole family! On clear nights, take time to stargaze; the distance from city lights will grant glimpses of our galaxy not visible to most of us where we live.
Has our guide helped you decide which Tennessee destinations you’ll explore this winter? Or, do you have a different spot in mind? If so, please leave us a comment with all the details; we always love to hear from our readers.
Your winter plans may also include house hunting and placing your current home up for sale. The team at Village is here to help; even during the sleepy winter season, we will market your home perfectly and snag you a qualified buyer as swiftly as possible.
Contact us directly to list your property, or explore purchasing your next dream home. Buyers and sellers alike who partner with Village are better equipped to find a new home or locate qualified, motivated buyers for their home quickly—or both!