In the mountains overlooking Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you’ll find a popular ski resort and amusement park with a beautiful view of the city. Ober Gatlinburg has many delightful attractions, both inside and out, that make it a great place for the entire family!
If the rain is a bit bothersome, why not check out the indoor activities? Ober Gatlinburg has a huge mall with many activities to enjoy! This includes the ice skating rink, measuring 140’ by 75’. It doubles as the centerpiece of the entire mall! Kids, teenagers, and even adults will enjoy strapping on their skates and getting out on the ice for some fun. There are also snack bars if you get the munchies, a restaurant if your munchies turn into real hunger, a comfortable lounge, gift shops, and plenty of clothing stores.
Of course, that’s just the inside attractions: outside, there is the alpine slide, one of the only ones in the country. This ride combines a jaw-dropping, scenic chairlift ride (the longest chairlift in the US!) that will take you all the way to the top of Mount Harrison, with a fun-filled descent that weaves, wanders, and dips as it makes its way through woods and ski trails. At the top of the chairlift, you can also find bumper cars and other rides for the kiddos!
There’s also the Smoky Mountain Wildlife Adventure to check out. Here is where you can see all kinds of animals native to the Smoky Mountains — including river otters, bobcats, birds of prey, and even black bears! Of course, if you come during the winter months (December, January, and February), it is likely that the bears will be hibernating out of sight, sleeping soundly till the spring months and warm weather. However, you can still see the river otters splashing around and playing in the underwater viewing area. Eventually, there will be foxes and other native animals at the facility.
The Nocturnal House is also worth a visit, if you enjoy seeing animals at night. This includes Smoky Mountain wildlife such as raccoons, flying squirrels, skunks, turtles, and even snakes! Come and see these new friends.
The aerial trams, which carry about 120 passengers at a time, will usually take somewhere around three to four thousand people a day up to Ober Gatlinburg from downtown Gatlinburg. It is a breathtaking two mile ride up to the amusement park and ski area. There is a stunning view of the Smoky Mountains, and if you’re riding at night, be ready for an amazing view of the lights from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and beyond. The ride goes about 17mph, and takes about ten minutes to get to the resort.
For the people who enjoy skiing and snowboarding, Ober Gatlinburg has eight slops and three chairlifts. The snow season begins around mid-December and goes till about early March. Don’t worry if you’re a little rusty, or even if you have no experience at all with skiing! There’s a ski school for the beginners that will teach you how to navigate the slopes for the max amount of fun! For those who aren’t beginners, but aren’t ready for the expert slopes, there’s six different runs to try out, including Alpine way, and Castle Run!
But for those of you who are experts on the slope, there are three great slopes to check out: the Terrain Park, the Mogul Ridge, and the famous Grizzly! If you’re not too tired after enjoying the slopes all day, you should definitely check out the night skiing; there are seven slopes you can enjoy (everything but the Grizzly).
Make sure you check out Winter Outfitters, a full-service winter sports center that specializes in ski and snowboard equipment and winter sports clothing. There’s also a tuning shop that can make sure your equipment hasn’t deteriorated over time. You can also check out the ski or snowboarding services, including full tuneups, edges and waxes, hot waxes, performance waxes, and bindings!
Enjoy the latest attraction at Ober, and do some snow tubing in Gatlinburg! ** Winter Months** Check out the website for dates. A nine lane snow tubing attraction, each one being 400 feet long with a 50 foot vertical drop! You don’t have to worry about snow tubing lessons or even special equipment. Just bring yourself, your sense of adventure, and come enjoy the ride! Snow tuing is open to anyone 6 years and older, as long as they are 42” tall. Children aged 3-5 must ride with an adult. Unfortunately, children under 3 are not allowed on this ride. Snow tubing employs all the fun of sledding without making you walk back up the hill afterwards. The Magic Carpet (a surface lift) does that for you! You must sign a waiver before enjoying snow tubing. Anyone under 18 must have a parent sign the waiver for them. Please keep in mind that occasionally tubing sessions may sell out, or be delayed or cancelled due to weather and temperature restrictions.
The chairlift rides will take about thirty minutes. You can stop halfway and ride the alpine slides back down, or you can go all the way to the top. The great thing about this lift is that it goes all the way up to the nearly untouched peak of the mountain! Once you are there, you can take pictures of the dazzling view, or just sit down and soak it all in.
Ober Gatlinburg is a great place for the entire family, with attractions suited to everyone. You won’t regret your decision to make this a part of your vacation or a regular part of your life in Gatlinburg!
Photo Credits Ober Gatlinburg