5 Things to Do in the NC Smokies this Winter

There’s nothing like a Smoky Mountain winter. The extra-crisp air and the crunch of snow beneath your feet are welcome reminders that the cold season is here—and it brought some friends along for the ride. If you’re ready to explore the NC Smokies this winter, start by checking these 5 adventures off your to-do list.

Ski or Snowboard

A pair of skiers riding the chairlift up to their slope at Cataloochee Ski Area.
You might call this our signature winter experience, but a couple of sessions shredding at Cataloochee Ski Area is well worth the trip to Haywood County itself. With 18 slopes of varying difficulties, there’s a run here for everyone—fresh novices and seasoned pros included! with one of the longest seasons on the East Coast, you’ll have plenty of chances to visit. They’ve also taken extra steps this year to ensure a safe and healthy experience for all visitors.

Snow Tubing

A father and daughter enjoying a snow tubing run at Tube World in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

A high-speed, snow-based alternative to skiing or snowboarding with a much flatter learning curve is snow tubing—and we know just the place to take on this adventure. Just down the mountain from Cataloochee Ski Area, Tube World offers a really high fun-per-square-foot ratio that all can enjoy. Tubers of all ages are welcome to race down their snowy lanes. Then, take in the mountain views on the ride up the carpet lift, before soaring back down again!

Enjoy our Events

Snow-covered trees adorned with soft-glowing lanterns hang above the icy streets of Downtown Waynesville in the winter.One thing you should know about us: we love a celebration. It’s a chance to share our unique, long-standing traditions and passion for our history. Although events might look a little different for the foreseeable future, we’ll take any chance we can get to safely share our love for this region with whoever wants to join!

Take a Winter Hike and Enjoy the Views

Family and dogs hiking Max Patch during the winter.There’s a rumor floating around that we have some of the best mountain views all year long. We’d like to address this head-on, right now: it’s true. In the winter, you can venture onto some of our favorite hiking trails to experience the magic of the season—the snow-dusted mountain tops, the sound of stillness, the refreshing air—for a whole new perspective on the Smoky Mountain wilderness.

Eat!

Like everything else about us, our dining scene has its own kind of NC Smoky Mountain flair. Our locally owned eateries bring their own take on Appalachian flavor to the table, and most of the time, they even source their ingredients from nearby farms and shops to ensure every bite is as fresh as possible. But what’s a delicious meal without a perfectly crafted drink to go with it? Our local breweries are pumping out a wide range of tasty brews to savor at many of our restaurants.

The best part about a winter trip to the NC Smokies is that you can make it your own. There’s no one true blueprint to enjoying your time here—we have adventures that are perfect for everyone. If you’re ready to take a trip, start by finding a cozy place to stay. See you soon!

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