• Winterfest Events 2020 Starting Today

    It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to the Smokies ASAP! Here are the Winterfest events 2020 we have coming up:

    Here are some Winterfest events we have coming up:

    * Ober Gatlinburg – Winter Sports *
    11/21/20 – Easter Day 2021

    Ober Gatlinburg is the mountainside amusement park overlooking the city and it functions in the Winter season as both a family fun center and a sports center where they offer the only place to ski, snowboard, snowtube and ice skate for miles around. Definitely a worthy visit. https://obergatlinburg.com/winter/

    * Sevierville Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland *
    12/1/20 – 1/3/21

    From Visitsevierville.com: “It is officially and effectively winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less obvious reason is that we have capabilities for Winter sports enthusiasts to break out their skis, snowboards and more; and those seeking to get a hot burst of adrenaline out in the cold will want to get to know more about these facilities!”
    https://visitsevierville.com/EventsCalendar.aspx#!/208477-shadracks-christmas-wonderland

    * Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade *
    12/4/20

    From Gatlinburg.com: “On December 4, the 45th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolls through downtown Gatlinburg in celebration of the holiday season and the beginning of Gatlinburg Winter Magic.

    Floats will be decorated with one-of-a-kind displays of LED lights, marching bands, large balloons, dancers, and holiday characters.”
    https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/fantasy-of-lights-christmas-parade/36/

    * Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival *
    12/9/20 – 12/12/20

    Every year hundreds of fans pour into the Evergreen Smoky Mountain Lodge & Convention Center to come to the Christmas In The Smokies Bluegrass Festival. While the bluegrass festival is enough fun for anyone, there is so much more to offer in Pigeon Forge! The festival is held in the heart of Pigeon Forge on Parkway. The whole city is decorated for Christmas and sparkles everywhere you go at night. There is lots of shopping, food, and fun in Pigeon Forge. Come join us this year at the festival! https://bluegrasschristmasinsmokies.com/

    Find more events at mypigeonforge.com, gatlinburg.com and visitsevierville.com.

  • The Year In Review: Snow in 2019

    On the subject of our last blog post, it was suggested we could also gather together some of the media we took of snow in Deer Ridge from 2019. A good idea, indeed! Here are some pictures and videos of how gorgeous Deer Ridge can look when we have a snowfall.

    Pictures:

     

    Videos:

  • Where To See Snow in the Smokies

    We have said goodbye to 2019 and the holidays for now and hello to the new year and the second half of the Winterfest season in the Smokies. After the month-long celebration that is December, we do appreciate the quieter and more atmospheric period that follows, but Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Cosby and the nearby communities are not devoid of reason to visit our region – we have one thing we can reliably look forward to in January and February.

    You guessed it: snow! Although we have gotten snow in late 2019 before Christmas and sometimes do each year, the months where we know we can expect it for sure are January, February and March. There may be only a handful of snowfalls per year, but that just makes it all the more special! From there, visitors and Deer Ridge guests often ask for suggestions of how to see snow when it falls on the distance peaks or here in town, and we have this article prepared for that.

    Let’s take a look:

    Ober Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Snow
    The first recommendations are sort of a cheat, but if you want to be as close to guaranteed snow-styled fun in the Smokies, Ober Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Snow are the best places for them. The reason for this is they CREATE their own snow at their attraction establishments daily – Ober Gatlinburg from early-mid December to around the start of the March (give or take a week) and Pigeon Forge Snow all-year-round. Ober Gatlinburg creates snow so winter sports enthusiasts can get their snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing, ice skating and fill of more while Pigeon Forge Snow offers indoor snow tubing and a snow play area for the little’uns. And don’t forget the views you can see from the Ober Gatlinburg attraction and its gondola cars.

    See Ober Gatlinburg at www.obergatlinburg.com and Pigeon Forge Snow at www.pigeonforgesnow.com.

    Newfound Gap
    Newfound Gap is also somewhat tricky as it comes with the caveat that, often, when there is snow, the National Park Service will close sections of the road for safety. That being said, because Newfound Gap is the road that goes straight into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connecting Gatlinburg to Cherokee, even if the road is closed at the Sugarlands Visitors Center, you will still get quite a lot of gorgeous views of the snow covering the dense and lush surrounding forest – and the Visitors Center itself and the outdoor trails to it are usually open during snowfall as well. This author himself has hiked the nearby trail when 2 or more inches of snow had fallen and shut down much of the rest of the town. It was an extremely memorable experience.

    See the Sugarlands Visitors Center at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm.

    Gatlinburg SkyLift and SkyBridge
    The Gatlinburg SkyLift is one of the oldest attractions in town and has consistently provided decades of views and atmospheric wonder for Gatlinburg visitors. They have a much newer attraction and one that got national attention with the SkyBridge that was completed in 2019. The SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge on the continent and both the Lift and the Bridge will give you incredible views of snow-covered Smoky Mountains – some that were previously unable to obtain without a drone.

    See more on the Gatlinburg SkyLift and SkyBridge at https://www.gatlinburgskylift.com.

    Space Needle
    Short of turning yourself into a bird, there is no better way to see the sights of Gatlinburg from the center of the city than the impossible-to-miss Space Needle. The Space Needle takes visitors over 400 feet above the ground of the downtown strip and allows for full 360 degree views of the city, the woods, the mountains and the peaks of the mountains as well as coin-operated super binocular stations that let you see incredibly close up on the city and those distant, white-covered peaks. Practically no visit to Gatlinburg is complete without going to the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

    See more on the Gatlinburg Space Needle at https://www.gatlinburgspaceneedle.com/.

    And of course, Deer Ridge condos provide the BEST views of the Smokies from our condo porches and you will be able to get more than a handful of wonderful snow pictures of the Smokies onsite alone. Get some ideas of what our views look like at https://deerridge.com/photo-gallery/.