Gatlinburg, TN 37738
The image of skiers and snowboarders shushing their way down a snow-packed mountainside is likely the first thing to come to mind when you think of this Gatlinburg attraction, but the fact is, it has a lot to offer Smoky Mountain visitors all year long. In summer, you can cool off on the park's water slides or feel the wind in your hair while diving off the bungee tower. Other attractions include a downhill alpine slide, swinging pirate-ship carnival ride, scenic chairlift to the mountaintop, mini golf, bumper cars and more. There's even a newly expanded live-animal habitat featuring real black bears as well as reptiles, otters and birds of prey.
Of course, once winter sets in, fun lovers flock to the ski resort. You can hit any of Ober Gatlinburg's eight groomed slopes, which are ideal for both skiers and snowboarders. The resort also has a brand-new snow-tubing park, featuring 10 lanes that drop 50 feet in elevation. Beginners can learn how to get moving at the ski school, and there are equipment and apparel rentals as well.
Back inside the resort's main building, there's plenty of year-round fun. You can take a spin on the ice skating rink, enjoy a meal at the restaurant, browse the shopping mall or enjoy any number of indoor amusements such as the Velcro wall and Zeke's Shooting Range.
You can drive to Ober Gatlinburg, which sits atop Mt. Harrison, but often, it's easier just to take the aerial tramway, which makes continuous round-trip runs between the mountaintop and downtown Gatlinburg. Downtown Gatlinburg is home to dozens of hotels and motels, shops, restaurants and other attractions.