The Great Smoky Mountains rise along the Tennessee-North Carolina border and are sometimes referred to as “The Smokies”. Located in the Appalachian Mountains, The Smokies are a well-known holiday destination since this region offers something for everyone. From hiking trails to rafting, and live shows to fancy dinners, the list of things to do can never run short.
The best thing about choosing the Smoky Mountains as a holiday destination is that even after the sun sets, the surrounding cities come alive with numerous night-life activities. Just by taking an evening stroll on the main road, you are bound to find a spot to delight in your evening. However, in case you need a guide for a night of fun in The Smokies, here is a list of things that you should add to your itinerary:
- LIVE SHOWS
Get ready to experience world-class entertainment by attending the most popular shows in pigeon forge. Performing arts shows offer spectacular music sets, live performances, and thrilling stunts as the story unfolds between the characters. No matter what your musical tastes are, you will enjoy these acts in a fun evening of endless entertainment. Also, you can get an intimate look at the show’s stars and engage in their high-energy, full-scale production. A show like this is the perfect activity to do at night with your family, and it will leave you with a memory that will last long after you get home.
- SPACE NEEDLE
Although a relatively old tourist spot, the Gatlinburg Space Needle remains an iconic attraction for visitors. At a height of 407 feet, the outdoor observation deck of the towers offers 360-degree panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the scenery is undoubtedly beautiful during the day, the view during the evening is not something you want to miss. Being the tallest structure in the city of Gatlinburg, this is the prime location to watch a sunset and experience how the views transform at nighttime. The shimmering lights of the city, silhouette of the mountains, sounds of nature, and the cool night air all give a wonderful, serene calmness. You can just relax, take in the view, capture photos, and even enjoy a nice dinner here. The Space Needle also hosts an arcade with all kinds of video games, theater shows, and entertaining exhibits for people of all ages.
- GHOST WALK IN THE SMOKIES
If you are someone who enjoys ghost stories, this after-dark activity is a must for you! Located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, ghost walking in The Smokies are lantern-guided tours where you get to walk around various locations throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Learn about the history, legends, and mysteries surrounding these mountains as you move around the route and discover the rich heritage of the mountains. To give you a truly haunting experience, there are no actors or props set up to give you a jump scare; all that you see, and encounter is very much real. The gentle stroll through the valley is usually less than one mile and often lasts 2-3 hours. Bookings are open throughout the year but make sure you make advanced reservations to avoid any misfortunes.
- HAUNTED ADVENTURE
The experience of visiting a haunted house after dark is an adventure on its own, but Ripley’s Haunted Adventure takes it to another level. This multi-million-dollar mansion holds a peculiar mix of live actors, creepy décor, and unexpected animatronics in every corner, just lurking in the dark corners to welcome you in. Landscape set up looks like an old casket company, complete with a funeral chapel, body bags, and a ride in an old coffin cage. Special effects and well-trained staff complete this haunted adventure for visitors over the age of 6 in the Gatlinburg area. See how far you can push your fear or challenge your friends and family by taking a tour. If you are afraid of the dark, you might want to avoid this attraction since much of it is in a pitch-black environment.
- NEWFOUND GAP
Newfound Gap took its name when a new mountain pass was discovered between the Smoky Mountains. It is the lowest notch in the mountains on which a new road was constructed to make driving through these ranges possible. Being surrounded by a wide variety of forest ecosystems and the evergreen woodland makes it a well-liked destination for tourists. However, very few people know about the adventure this place brings at night. The terrain stretches till up to 800 square miles of wilderness, with barely any urbanization or commercial enterprise set up here. This allows you to overlook the open, clear night sky with minimal pollution and away from the crowds you may find in the city. You can stretch out a blanket on a spot of your choice and breathe in the night breeze while you sit back, relax, and take in the sky full of stars.
- MOUNTAIN COASTERS
Several mountain coasters have been built in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to help you explore The Smokies from a new perspective. There are special types of roller coasters that are built into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular views of the natural topography all around you. The mountain coasters are affordable family-friendly rides that soar down the mountains and dart through the trees, as fast as 35 miles per hour. To travel at a slower pace, riders can use brakes to control the speed and set their velocity. If you time the ride perfectly, you can watch a sunset from this elevated spot as you travel along the verdant landscape. At night, these coasters feature gleaming lights running along the coaster, lighting up the valley and creating a soft glow that surrounds the summit. As long as there are no debilitating weather conditions, the rides are functional in all seasons so be prepared to experience the ride in snowfall, rain, or sunshine!
It comes as no surprise that the Smoky Mountains is one of the most visited tourist destinations with more than 9 million people traveling here, each year. This is because whether it’s daylight or nighttime, in these mountain ranges there is always an adventure awaiting. To make the most of your time here, it is best to start early and make reservations beforehand to avoid large crowds and shows being sold out.