Chalet Village Blog

3 Reasons Cabins in Gatlinburg are Great for a Winter Getaway

A beautiful winter scene in Gatlinburg.Whether you’re looking for a holiday getaway, a ski retreat, or a quiet escape with your loved ones, Gatlinburg, TN is the ultimate winter vacation destination! One thing in particular that Gatlinburg is known for is its amazing cabin rentals. There are plenty of great properties to choose from, but here are a few reasons why our cabins in Gatlinburg are perfect for a winter getaway.

1. Gatlinburg Winter Attractions

One of the benefits of spending your winter getaway at Chalet Village is all of the great attractions that are just a short drive from our cabin community. Gatlinburg offers wonderful activities throughout the year, but the winter season provides visitors with even more exciting things to do.

Winter Hiking

Hiking in Gatlinburg is a can’t-miss activity! During the winter, the hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park display hidden wonders, frozen icicles, waterfalls, and (sometimes) beautiful snow. Some of the best winter hiking trails include Alum Cave Trail, Charlies Bunion, Andrews Bald, and Rainbow Falls. At Alum Cave Trail, Charlies Bunion and Andrews Bald, you can see breathtaking views of snow covered mountain tops. Then, at Rainbow Falls, you can admire a beautifully frozen waterfall.

Ober GatlinburgA mother and son skiing together.

Every winter, the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area offers incredible skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. This is one of the most popular destinations in Gatlinburg during the winter, and it is easy to see why. With slopes that allow you to speed down the mountain, or tubing hills for an exciting ride, guests will enjoy plenty of high speed fun at Ober. Don’t worry if you aren’t an experienced skier or snowboarder, as you can take lessons at Ober Gatlinburg to help tune up your skills. Chalet Village is located on the same mountain as Ober, so you will be minutes away from the slopes.

(See Also: 5 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Near Ober Gatlinburg)

2. Sit Around the Fire

After a busy day of hitting the slopes, nothing is better than relaxing in one of our cabins in Gatlinburg. Many of our cabins feature a warm and cozy fireplace, which is great for a chilly winter evening. You and your family can sit around the fire together, sipping hot chocolate, and talking about your favorite parts of your day on the slopes or the hiking trails.

3. Take a Soak in the Hot Tub

Close your eyes and imagine that you are in a far off place, in a beautiful hot tub, with the bubbles forming around you. Guests can experience just that in a hot tub at one of our cabins in Gatlinburg. After a nice soak in the hot tub, you will feel like you are on cloud 9!

A hot tub on the deck of a cabin in Gatlinburg.Chalet Village offers a variety of properties with hot tubs on the deck that offer stunning mountain views. Our cabin community also features a number of vacation rentals with indoor Jacuzzi tubs, so you can enjoy some soothing relaxation without leaving the warmth of your home away from home.

To start planning your winter escape, browse our complete selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!

7 Steps for Having the Perfect Day at Our Vacation Rentals in Gatlinburg

Scenic photo overlooking downtown Gatlinburg.There is so much to see and do in Gatlinburg, TN, that planning your vacation activities can be a little overwhelming! To help you make the most of your getaway, Chalet Village has put together a guide to having the perfect day when you stay at our vacation rentals in Gatlinburg. Of course, everyone’s idea of the ideal vacation day will look a little different, but we hope this blog provides some inspiration for your next visit to the Smokies.

1. Pancakes in Downtown Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg may just be the pancake capital of the world! We’re not entirely sure why, but our Smoky Mountain city is home to a seemingly endless parade of restaurants that serve delicious flapjacks and other breakfast favorites. When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be minutes away from all of the superb breakfast joints in downtown Gatlinburg. Here are a few of our favorite places to start the day:

  • The Pancake Pantry
  • Log Cabin Pancake House
  • Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

2. Fun on The StripRipley's Aquarium of the Smokies during the holiday season in Gatlinburg.

After breakfast, it’s time for some fun on The Strip! Downtown Gatlinburg is home to the region’s best attractions and shops. The Parkway is very walkable, so once you’ve parked, you can stroll along the scenic downtown area and check out all the sights. Here are some of the most popular places to visit in the heart of the city:

  • Fannie Farkle’s Arcade
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
  • The Village Shops
  • Gatlinburg Sky Lift
  • Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

(See Also: TripAdvisor Names Gatlinburg One of the Top Beautiful Little Mountain Towns in America)

3. Picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

For lunch, we recommend having a picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Parton’s Deli on The Strip is a great place to pick up some tasty sandwiches, or you can prepare your own meal back at our vacation rentals in Gatlinburg. Once you’ve got your food, you can head over to one of the national park’s scenic picnic areas. Here a few of the best spots for a picnic:

  • Cades Cove
  • Metcalf Bottoms
  • Greenbrier

The beautiful Laurel Falls Trail in the Smoky Mountains.4. Go for a Hike

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 800 miles of beautiful trails. With everything from 1/2 mile strolls to 12 mile treks, you are sue to find a hike that is right for your group. According to the National Park Service, these are the most popular trails in the Smokies:

  • Appalachian Trail  
  • Abrams Falls Trail
  • Laurel Falls Trail
  • Alum Cave Trail
  • Trillium Gap Trail

5. Relax in Your Cabin

After your hike, you will want to take a load off your feet for a while. We suggest heading back to your cabin to relax for the rest of the afternoon. Our properties have plenty of fun amenities to enjoy as you unwind, such as game rooms, home theaters, and high speed wireless internet. Chalet Village also offers three wonderful clubhouses with seasonal swimming pools, tennis courts, ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard, board games, yard games, and more excellent activities.

6. See a Show at the Gatlinburg Space NeedleThe top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

In the evening, we recommend seeing one of the shows at the Iris Theater at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Some of the nation’s best magicians and mind readers perform at the Iris Theater for months (or years) at a time. For dinner, you can enjoy some delicious NY style pizza from the Gatlinburg Space Needle’s Slice Pizza Bakery or visit one of the other excellent restaurants in the downtown area.

7. Rest Up for Tomorrow

We recommend heading to sleep early so you’ll have plenty of energy for even more fun the following day! Our cabins come with the comfiest beds you’ll ever find, so you will be dreaming of the Smokies in no time.

To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of vacation rentals in Gatlinburg!

4 Ways to Enjoy the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration

Gatlinburg Winter Magic lights depicting caroling snowmen.Every year, from November through February, Gatlinburg, TN observes its annual Winter Magic Celebration. During this special time of the year, our Smoky Mountain city is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with beautiful decorations and fun seasonal events. To help you make the most of your vacation, Chalet Village has put together a guide to four of the best ways to enjoy the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration.

1. Take the Trolley Ride of Lights

One of the most popular parts of the Winter Magic Celebration is the city’s beautiful holiday lights. Located throughout the downtown area, these stunning LED lights cost $1.6 million to install - and they were worth every penny! Gatlinburg’s Christmas light displays depict traditional holiday scenes, Smoky Mountain critters, and other wonderful designs.

To see the Winter Magic Lights, we recommend taking the Trolley Ride of Lights. These fun trolleys drive right by all of the stunning light displays, so you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the sights. The Trolley Ride of Lights only costs $5 and children 3 and under are free if they sit on an adult’s lap.

2. Stop By These Special EventsA marching band in the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg TN.

The Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration includes a number of great events that your whole family will love! Here is a quick look at some of the most popular seasonal festivities:

  • The Thanksgiving and Christmas Arts & Crafts Shows are held back to back in the Gatlinburg Convention Center in late November and early December. If you’re looking for beautiful handmade holiday gifts, you’ll love these events!

  • Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales is a holiday tradition! On Friday and Saturday evenings between Thanksgiving and Christmas, talented musicians congregate in downtown Gatlinburg to perform free concerts for everyone to enjoy.

  • The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade draws over 60,000 people to downtown Gatlinburg to see lighted floats, marching bands, holiday characters, and enormous balloons.

  • The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show at the Gatlinburg Space Needle is the best party in the Smokies!  

3. Enjoy Winter Sports at Ober Gatlinburg

When you visit Gatlinburg this winter, you’ll have the chance to enjoy Tennessee’s only ski resort! The Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area opens for snow tubing in mid-November and starts its ski and snowboarding season around mid-December. In addition to all of the winter sports, Ober also offers a wildlife encounter, indoor ice skating rink, a mountain coaster, arcade, and other fun activities.

(See Related: 5 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Near Ober Gatlinburg)

A log cabin in Gatlinburg covered in snow.4. Relax in Your Cabin

Sometimes, just relaxing in your cabin can be the highlight of a winter vacation in Gatlinburg. The cabin rentals at Chalet Village offer everything you need for an unforgettable getaway, including toasty fireplaces, breathtaking mountain views, and Christmas decorations. Chalet Village is located minutes away from both Ober Gatlinburg and The Strip, so you will be just a short drive from all of the Gatlinburg Winter Magic fun.

To start planning your winter retreat, browse our selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

4 of the Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg for Couples

A happy couple in the mountains.Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway! Blessed with breathtaking natural beauty and a variety of fun attractions, our Smoky Mountain city has everything you desire for a retreat with your sweetheart. To help you make the most of your vacation, Chalet Village has put together a guide to four of the best things to do in Gatlinburg for couples:

1. Explore the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is a charming collection of galleries, studios, and shops located off of the East Parkway. All of the items for sale in the Arts & Crafts Community are handmade by local artisans and craftspeople. Couples will love driving through the 8 mile Arts & Crafts loop and shopping for souvenirs or gifts for each other. Whether you’re looking for paintings, photography, quilts, candles, jewelry, baskets, pottery, or something else, you are sure to find it in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.

2. Go Wine TastingRomantic couple sharing wine in a cellar.

The Rocky Top Wine Trail provides couples with the chance to sample some of the Gatlinburg area’s locally made wines for free. The trail is comprised of five Smoky Mountain wineries: Mountain Valley Vineyards, Apple Barn Winery, Hillside Winery, Sugarland Cellars Winery, and Eagle Springs Winery. To take advantage of the free tastings, simply visit any of the wineries listed above and you will be offered a complimentary glass of wine and a tour of the facility. If you get your official Rocky Top Wine Trail passport stamped at each location, you will even receive a special gift to take home!

The Rocky Top Wine Trail can be completed over the course of a vacation or multiple vacations, so there is no need to visit all of the wineries in one day. Of course, if you would like to sample wines from multiple locations on the same day, you can always rent a limo and enjoy the trail in style!

3. Ride the Gatlinburg Sky Lift

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift is one of the most popular things to do in Gatlinburg for couples! This scenic chairlift ride takes guests from downtown Gatlinburg up 1,800 ft. to the top of Crockett Mountain. From high in the sky, passengers on the Sky Lift will enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and the city below. For a romantic evening with your special someone, we recommend taking the Gatlinburg Sky Lift at night, so you can see the glittering lights of The Strip from the best vantage point in town.

4. Dine at The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is perfect for a date night in Gatlinburg! This unique restaurant specializes in both cheese and chocolate fondue. Sharing a meal with your special someone at The Melting Pot is a unique experience that you won’t soon forget. We recommend calling ahead to reserve a table at the restaurant’s Lover’s Lane, the most romantic section of The Melting Pot.

When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be just a short drive from all of these wonderful things to do in Gatlinburg for couples! To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals.

5 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Near Ober Gatlinburg

A man snowboarding down a slope.Ober Gatlinburg is the only ski resort in the state of Tennessee! When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be minutes away from this popular attraction, as our cabin community is located on the same mountain as the ski area. To help you prepare for your getaway in the Smokies, Chalet Village has put together a list of the top five advantages of vacationing at our cabins near Ober Gatlinburg.

1. More Time on the Slopes, Less Time Getting There

It takes most people at least an hour or two to drive from their hometown to Gatlinburg. After this initial journey, you probably don’t want to spend even more time sitting in the car. As any parent can tell you, this is especially true for young vacationers! Guests at Chalet Village will have a very short commute to Ober Gatlinburg, so they can spend more time on the slopes and less time getting there.

2. Take Advantage of Multi-Day Tickets

Staying at our cabins near Ober Gatlinburg is ideal for visitors who plan on returning to the ski area throughout their vacation. Ober allows guests to save money with two-day and three-day lift tickets, so you can enjoy the slopes again and again for one low price.

3. Snow Tubing Begins in NovemberA girl snow tubing down a slope with her friends.

While the skiing and snowboarding season usually starts around mid-December, vacationers will be able to go snow tubing in mid-November! Snow tubing is always a huge hit with kids, and can be enjoyed by anyone age 6 and older (children ages 3 - 5 can ride with an adult). Guests won’t even have to walk back up the hill, because Ober’s “magic carpet” will bring you right to the top.

(See Also: 4 Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg)

4. Year Round Fun

In addition to its excellent ski slopes, Ober Gatlinburg is also a great amusement park with plenty of fun attractions that are open all year round. Whether you’re vacationing in the winter or the summer, you are guaranteed to find something that your whole family will love at Ober. Here is a quick look at everything there is to do at the park

  • Wildlife Encounter with bears, bobcats, otters, birds of prey, and other animals

  • Indoor ice skating rink in Ober Gatlinburg’s mall

  • The thrilling Ski Mountain Coaster

  • Fun alpine slide

  • Scenic chairlift ride with breathtaking views of the mountains

  • Wonderful mini golf course

  • Kiddie Land and Kiddie Rides for young visitors

  • Awesome arcade and redemption center

  • The puzzling  “Amaze’n Maze”

  • Excellent indoor carousel

  • Great chair swing ride

The Bearadise cabin in Gatlinburg in the winter.5. Perfect Lodging for a Ski Vacation

A cabin is the perfect place to stay for a ski vacation in the mountains! Tucked away in the foothills of the Smokies, our log cabins and chalets offer stunning views, toasty fireplaces, fully furnished kitchens, and all of the other amenities you need for a winter escape in Gatlinburg.

To start planning your next getaway, browse our complete selection of cabins near Ober Gatlinburg. For more information about any of our properties, or to get a cabin recommendation, don’t hesitate to give our friendly staff a call today!   

4 Fun Facts About Gatlinburg That You Probably Didn't Know

The Reagan Terrace Mall in downtown Gatlinburg TN. There is nowhere else in the world quite like Gatlinburg, TN! Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, our city offers the perfect mix of natural beauty and family friendly fun. Here at Chalet Village, we love to share our knowledge of the area with our guests. To help you get excited for your next vacation, we have put together a list of four facts about Gatlinburg that you probably didn’t know:

1. Gatlinburg Was Named After the Most Hated Man in Town

Before it was known as Gatlinburg, our Smoky Mountain city was named White Oak Flats, (because of the area’s beautiful white oak trees). In the early 1800s, Martha Huskey Ogle and her family became the first permanent white settlers in the region. If you visit Gatlinburg today, you’re likely to run into an Ogle or two, as many of Martha’s descendents still live in the region.  

While the Ogles were the area’s most prominent family, it was Radford Gatlin who would inspire the city’s modern name. Gatlin only moved to town in 1854, but because the post office was located in his general store, people started to call the city “Gatlinburg”. Although the city bears his name, Gatlin was hated by his neighbors for feuding with the Ogles and supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War. East Tennessee was a stronghold of pro-Union sentiment, so Radford Gatlin was actually chased out of town in 1859!

2. There Are More Fish in Ripley’s Aquarium Than People Who Live in GatlinburgRipely's Aquarium of the Smokies in downtown Gatlinburg.

As crazy as it sounds, the above statement is true! While Gatlinburg receives over 11 million visitors per year, the city only has about 4,000 permanent residents. Meanwhile, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is home to over 10,000 sea creatures. That means that Gatlinburg technically has more permanent aquatic residents than human residents!

(See Also: 5 Great Attractions Near Our Gatlinburg Cabins)

3. Gatlinburg is the 2nd Most Popular Wedding Destination in the U.S.

Another one of the most surprising facts about Gatlinburg is how many people get married here. Our Smoky Mountain city hosts more weddings than any other location in America, with the exception of Las Vegas. Gatlinburg is such a popular place to get married because of its romantic mountain scenery and its variety of wedding chapels. Here at Chalet Village, we have hosted thousands of couples who chose Gatlinburg as their wedding and/or honeymoon destination.

4. Gatlinburg is Home to Tennessee’s Only Ski Resort

Gatlinburg, TN is the only place in the state where you can go skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing! With its pristine slopes and high powered snow machine, the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is one of the very best spots to enjoy winter sports in the Southeast. When you stay at Chalet Village you will be minutes away from all of the fun at Ober Gatlinburg, as our cabin community is located on the same mountain as the ski resort.

The sign for the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway in downtown Gatlinburg.Did reading all of these facts about Gatlinburg make you want to visit? To start planning your next vacation, browse our complete selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals. All of our properties are completely unique, so you are guaranteed to find the perfect cabin for your getaway in the Smokies!

Top 5 Restaurants in Downtown Gatlinburg

The downtown Gatlinburg skyline and the mountains.Anyone who has visited Gatlinburg before knows that the downtown area is filled with wonderful restaurants! With everything from pancake joints to pizza parlors to steakhouses, you are guaranteed to find something that tickles your tastebuds. When you stay at the Chalet Village cabin community, you will only be a 10 - 15 minute drive from all of the excellent restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg. To help you prepare for your next vacation, we have put  together a guide to the top five places to eat on The Strip:

1. Pancake Pantry

There is no better way to start your day than with a trip to the Pancake Pantry! This legendary restaurant is Tennessee’s first pancake house, and its flapjacks rank among the very best in the nation. The Pancake Pantry has a seemingly endless variety of hotcakes to choose from, including Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Swiss Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and authentic Swedish Pancakes with imported lingonberries. Everything at the Pancake Pantry is made from scratch with real butter and fresh whipped cream, so you really can’t go wrong when you dine here.

2. Parton’s Deli

Parton’s Deli has been a favorite lunch destination for visitors and locals alike for over 40 years. Known for its tasty subs and friendly service, Parton’s is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat in the afternoon. In addition to the mouthwatering sandwiches, standout menu items include the deviled eggs, potato salad, chili dogs, and lemon pound cake. Don’t let the deli’s unassuming exterior fool you; this place is the real deal!

(See Also: 5 Fun Attractions Near Our Gatlinburg Cabins)

3. Cherokee GrillThe Cherokee Grill in downtown Gatlinburg

Cherokee Grill is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg for upscale dining. Offering a comfortable mountain lodge atmosphere, this restaurant is ideal for a romantic date night or dinner with the whole family. Guests at Cherokee Grill will enjoy a varied menu that includes seafood entrees, rotisserie chicken, salads, sandwiches, and delicious steaks. If you visit Cherokee Grill, be sure to try their famous blue cheese grits - they are phenomenal!

4. Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

If you’re craving pizza, a visit to Big Daddy’s Pizzeria is an absolute must! This superb restaurant offers an impressive selection of pies, all of which are baked in their signature 550 degree, wood-fired brick oven. With homemade dough and the freshest ingredients available, pizza from Big Daddy’s never disappoints. For a pizza that is out of the ordinary, try their Taco Pie, which is covered in ground beef, refried beans, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and cheese sauce.

5. Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que

As a city in the South, Gatlinburg certainly doesn’t slouch in the BBQ department. Our favorite place for pulled pork, brisket, and ribs is Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que. This award winning restaurant smokes its meats over smoldering hickory wood for up to 14 hours to create exceptionally tender and flavorful dishes. In addition to its signature meats, guests will enjoy a great selection of sides, including spicy mac and cheese, BBQ beans, biscuits, and deep fried corn.

BBQ ribs covered in sauce.When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be just a short drive away from all of these fantastic restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg! Our cabin community offers an unparalleled location near The Strip, the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To start planning your vacation, browse our complete listing of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

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