Plan the ultimate winter getaway with this Gatlinburg vacation guide featuring all the best things to do in Gatlinburg in January.
Whether you’re looking for attractions, events, or just a chance to enjoy the outdoors, Gatlinburg has something for everyone.
Gatlinburg in the winter is like every charming mountain town you’ve ever imagined. If you missed the Christmas festivities, don’t fret. Gatlinburg loves to carry the Christmas spirit right into January to keep the charm alive.
To start the new year, many people come to Gatlinburg to celebrate and enjoy plenty of family-friendly attractions.
There are also various events and activities happening all month long. If you’re planning a trip to the area, here are the best things to do in Gatlinburg in January!
Festivals in Gatlinburg in January
Gatlinburg Winter Magic Self-Guided Lights Tour
As I mentioned, Gatlinburg leaves the beautiful winter Christmas lights up all the way into February, so come on out and extend your Christmas holidays in Gatlinburg this January.
Gatlinburg New Years’ Eve Ball Drop and Fire Work Show
Every New Year’s Eve, Gatlinburg rings in the new year with a ball drop of their own. Festivities begin in the late evening, around 9 pm, with live music, celebrations, and activities downtown.
And when the appointed hour arrives, there will be a Gatlinburg Ball Drop and midnight Fireworks Show from the 400-foot-tall Space Needle.
Astra Lumina at Anakeesta
The very first in the United States, Astra Lumina lets you experience an enchanted night walk among the stars! See a pathway of celestial lights spread across the observatory grounds together with astral songs to complete the mood.
What Is The Weather Going To Be Like In Gatlinburg In January?
The weather in Gatlinburg in January can be quite cold. The average high temperature is only around 50 degrees, and the average low temperature is 30 degrees.
It is not uncommon for the temperature to dip below freezing at night. Make to have a winter packing list to have all you need to stay warm and don’t end up cold when you visit.
One of the best things about Gatlinburg in January is the snow. During this month, the average amount of snowfall is over 4 inches.
While it doesn’t snow every day, when it does snow it can be quite beautiful. The mountains provide a stunning backdrop for a winter wonderland, and many people enjoy sledding and playing in the snow.
According to the national park service, snow storms usually occur during January and February in the Smoky Mountains. So if you want to see the snow, January is the perfect time to plan your vacation.
Do Bears Come Out In Winter Gatlinburg?
Black bears in the Smoky Mountains hibernate during the winter months, which means they are mostly inactive. This does not mean, however, that you cannot see them during this season!
If you are lucky enough to spot a black bear in Gatlinburg in January, it will likely be because the animal is searching for food.
Bears typically emerge from their dens in late February or early March. Although it is possible to see a black bear in Gatlinburg during the winter months, your chances are much higher of seeing one later in the year.
Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary
I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!
- Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
- You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
- The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
- Packing Checklist for every season.
- You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
- Insider Tips!
Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.
- Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
- Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
- Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
- Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
- Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
- Day 6: Little River Road
- Day6: Foothills Parkway
Get Our FREE Winter Packing Checklist For The Smokies!
Recommended Gatlinburg Vacation Resources
- Smoky Mountains Vacation Guide
- Pigeon Forge Vacation Guide
- Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg in March
- Great Smoky Mountains Family Vacations Facebook Group
MORE RELATED RESOURCES
Planning to go on a vacation to the Smokies in winter? Don’t forget to read our list of Special Things To Do in the Smoky Mountains in January.
Aside from exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can also check out this post about the US National Parks to visit in January.