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.
Whether you’re a thrill seeker or just want some peace and quiet in nature, the Great Smoky Mountains have plenty to offer during this winter season. From skiing and snow tubing down snowy slopes to exploring the many trails that wind through the national park– there’s something for everyone!
The Smoky Mountains are bursting with fantastic and romantic things to do even during the winter months! 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 post, we will be exploring exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains in February! So put on your warmest coat and let’s dive into all that awaits you in these beautiful mountains!
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
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)
Things 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anakeesta is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg. This mountain-top park has so much to offer!
Experience an enchanted night walk among the stars at Asta Lumina, where you'll find a celestial pathway of lustrious light, and cosmic visions, accompanied by astral songs.
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.
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.
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 18th, 2023 in Townsend, TN.
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.
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 Smoky Mountains!