The Smoky Mountains are bursting with fantastic and romantic things to do in February! If you are thinking that February is the time to hibernate like the black bears, let me see if I can persuade you to think otherwise. In this Smoky Mountains Vacation Guide on the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in February, I’m sure you are going to find at least one great reason to visit the Smokies in this chili winter month.
Is February A Good Time To Visit Smoky Mountains?
While the weather is definitely going to be cold, there are some Pros and Cons to visiting the Smoky Mountains in February.
Pros To Visiting The Smoky Mountains In February
- Crowds are much smaller
- Hotel and Cabin rates are dramatically lower. (We booked Camp Margaritaville the 1st week in February for only $76)
- Restaurants are less crowded and easier to get reservations
- It’s an enchanting and somewhat romantic time to get a cabin
- High liklihood of having snow
- Wildlife (except for bears) is easier to spot
- Much easier to navigate Cades Cove
- Winter hiking is peaceful and serene
- Traffic is less difficult
- In early February you can still experience Christmas and see the Christmas lights.
Cons To Visiting the Smoky Mountains in February
- Average high temperatures are 39.9°F (4.4°C) and lows are 21.9°F (-5.6°C)
- On average February is the month with the most snowfall in the Smokies. In the mountains snow can accumulate to as much as 18″ in February. However, keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that much snow will be in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.
- Dollywood is closed (We personally see this as a pro since it means fewer people on the Parkway)
What Is There To Do In The Smoky Mountains in February?
Whether you are still hung up on the holidays or just want to experience a more peaceful serene side to the Smokies, here are some ideas on the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in February.
1. Enjoy a Winter Adventure at Ober Gatlinburg
February is the perfect month to enjoy some exciting snow sports, and there’s no other place to be than in Ober Gatlinburg.
Ski & Snowboard season begins in early to mid-December all through mid-March.
2. Titanic Sweetheart Month
This is a truly romantic and enchanting experience!
Celebrate love month at Titanic Pigeon Forge.
Sweetheart Month at the Titanic runs through the entire month of February, so you can celebrate your sweetheart all month long, not just on February 14th.
Sweetheart month at the Titanic pays tribute to lovers everywhere, and most especially to the 12 honeymoon couples and soon-to-be brides who rode the Titanic.
Titanic’s Grand Staircase is available for those who plan to propose, get married, or renew their vows. Reservations are required so make sure you call their number ahead of time.
3. Go On A Winter Hike
Going on a hike in the Smoky Mountains in February means fewer people on the trail and unique sights that you can only see during winter.
Winter reveals a lot of things in the Smokies, the trees are bare so you’ll be able to see more of the Smoky Mountains wildlife.
Since there are fewer crowds in the Smokies during this time, you’ll have a quieter and more peaceful hike through the different Smoky Mountains trails.
Some of the more popular trails in the Smokies during winter are Laurel falls trail, Alum Cave Trail, Charlie’s Bunion, The Chimney Tops Trail, and more.
Be aware that certain roads in the National Park are Closed so make sure to check the National Park Service website for updates.
Also, when hiking through the Smokies in February, it is important to layer up your and pack your winter boots because snow and ice may be occasionally present on some higher elevation hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains.
4. Take A Tour At Ripley’s Aquarium
Known as one of the best aquariums in the world, Ripley’s Aquarium is a must when visiting the Smokies.
There’s no bad time when visiting this Gatlinburg attraction especially if you’ve got the kids on board, it’s fun for the whole family!
If you’re looking for fun and educational things to do with the kids in the Smokies, then this should be on your list. There’s an abundance of marine wildlife and exhibits to see, as well as special events conducted at Ripley’s.
This is one of the best places to visit in the Smokies when you want to escape the cold temperature outdoors.
5. Winter Drive Through Cades Cove
While Cades Cove is a popular destination all year long, February is a charming time to visit this scenic spot. Cades Cove is a one-way 11-mile road that offers a unique and breathtaking view of the Smoky Mountains.
With fewer visitors during the winter months, you’ll never have to worry about the busy traffic that is usually present during the peak summer season. Cades cove also offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors, because of its wide-open areas.
Although you’ll less likely to see black bears during this time of the year, there is still plenty of wildlife roaming around the area including, white-tailed deer, raccoons, turkeys, groundhogs, and more.
6. Enjoy Various Indoor Attractions
If going outdoors is too cold for you, or the weather is not that great, there are still plenty of indoor activities to enjoy in the Smoky Mountains in February.
- Wonderworks of Pigeon Forge
- Indoor Snow Tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow
- Top Jump Trampoline Park
- Play Indoor Mini Golf
- Dinner Shows at Pigeon Forge
- Get Creative at Board and Brush
- And more…
If you want to snag some Ticket discounts to some of these attractions make sure to visit our guide to Pigeon Forge Attractions and Where To Find Discount Tickets.
7. Cozy up In A Cabin
What better time to rent a Smoky Mountains cabin than in February. Cozy up by the fireplace, snuggle, and get closer to your loved ones this winter!
Take a fantastic view of the snow-capped mountains from a cabin situated high on the mountains or just relax and sip hot cocoa while having a magnificent view of the dark evergreens and icy streams from a cabin nestled deep within the forest.
8. Enjoy a Romantic Getaway at Gatlinburg
Celebrate love month by strolling through Gatlinburg Skylift Park’s “Tunnel of Love”. When the sun sets, this world-famous bridge lights up with thousands of red and white lights!
Make beautiful memories with your loved ones this February at Gatlinburg Skylift Park, also make sure you have your cameras with you and take some beautiful photos on top of the mountain.
Skylift Park will be illuminated every night in February, and access is included with all tickets.
9. Experience Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter
Anakeesta is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg. This mountain top park is transformed into a winter wonderland with tens of thousands of twinkling lights that will run from November 11 to February 13.
Gather around the fireplace with family and friends or take a stroll through the magical villages. Mountain top dining with a gorgeous view is also something that you should not miss when visiting Anakeesta.
What Festivals Are Happening in The Smoky Mountains in February?
The Smoky Mountains and its surrounding towns offer lots of festivals throughout the year. Happening in February are some unique and really interesting festivals that you should check out.
10. Winterfest Lights
The Winterfest lights start from early November through the end of February. Draped in over 5 million lights, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is transformed into a winter wonderland for the locals and visitors to enjoy.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Winterfest lights, probably the most popular and cost-effective way is driving with the crew along the Parkway.
If you prefer to see it at a slower pace, walking is also an option, you can admire your favorite display and take photos much easier. Just make sure to put on your winter clothes ‘coz it’s gonna be cold.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can rent a jeep and take it for a scenic drive through the mountains.
11. Tennessee Winter Beer Fest
This unique event started as an idea in 2011 from Maryville resident Mike Adams. Through conversations with several friends, a board was formed and a charity was identified to benefit from the event, New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center.
A simple idea of just putting on a beer festival grew and is now in its 10th year. The mission of TWBF is to promote the regional craft beer culture within East Tennessee.
This will happen on February 19th, 2022 in Townsend, TN.