Does winter's first snowfall have you itching to strap on your skis and hit the slopes? In the Great Smoky Mountains, ski season offers a chance to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of the Southeast's favorite winter vacation destination.
Family members of all ages will find plenty to do, whether they're experienced skiers or new to the sport. Slopes for every age level are scattered throughout the area, but you'll also find snowboarding, tobogganing, and a host of other family friendly winter sports as well.
Gatlinburg's Most Famous Ski Resort
No Smoky Mountain ski trip is complete without a day or two spent at Ober Gatlinburg, the area's premier winter fun resort. Skiers of all skill levels will enjoy gliding along the groomed runs that crisscross the mountain, and the four lifts that service the trails ensure you'll spend more time on the slopes than off.
Beginning skiers of any age can take advantage of the professional ski instruction available on site. You'll learn the proper techniques for turning, slowing, and stopping, so you can truly enjoy your ski vacation. More advanced family members can take a snowboarding lesson, or hit the freestyle terrain park where virtually anything goes, and there are plenty of moguls, rails, and other features to thrill any extreme skiing fan.
Remember those cold winter mornings you spent at the local sledding hill when you were a kid? Well grab a tube and head for Ober Gatlinburg's tubing area for a sledding adventure that will bring back many happy memories. It's a heart-stopping plunge to the bottom as you cling to your tube and plummet along the snowy track. Unlike that sledding hill from your childhood, though, there's no trudging back to the top – just hitch a ride on the lift for your next race down the mountain.
When it's time for a break in the action, you can warm your hands around a cup of hot chocolate from one of Ober Gatlinburg's eateries, or spend a few minutes mastering a new game in the indoor arcade.
In addition to the fantastic skiing and all-day family fun, Ober Gatlinburg is also the only resort in the area where getting there really is half the fun. Park the car in downtown Gatlinburg and hop aboard the aerial tram for a ride to the top of the mountain. Not only will you avoid the slippery mountain roads, but you'll experience the best view of the gorgeous scenery to be found anywhere.
A Real Smoky Mountain Getaway
To really experience a Smoky Mountain ski vacation, consider renting a mountain chalet for your trip. You'll feel as if you've left the world behind when you snuggle into your own private cabin in the woods, where a roaring fire warms you after a long day on the slopes, and an overnight dusting of snow sparkles in the morning sun.
Don't let the winter slip by without hitting the slopes in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The spectacular scenery, clean mountain air, and world-famous southern hospitality combine to make any ski trip memorable for the whole family.
Jon Hoffman is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Wears Valley cabins. Visit us today at www.volunteercabinrentals.com to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.