As the last leaves fall from the trees, the days grow shorter, and the cool winter winds blow through the mountains, November is still an excellent time to visit Pigeon Forge, TN!
Even though the beautiful fall season is almost concluded, there's more excitement to come! After all, this month marks the start of the festive holiday season in the Smoky Mountains, so there's more than enough to do and see in Pigeon Forge in November.
With beautiful Christmas lights, special events, and winter weather just around the corner, there's a lot to look forward to in November 2016 in Pigeon Forge!
Because you deserve to see the best the Smoky Mountains have to offer, we've made a guide with the top 10 activities to enjoy in Pigeon Forge this November!
1. Experience The Driving Tour of Lights
Winterfest in Pigeon Forge is an annual event that brings the beauty of the holiday season to life in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Starting in early November, visitors can see the Pigeon Forge Parkway fully ornamented in over 5 million Christmas lights. This impressive holiday light show includes special displays and moving effects.
As soon as the sunsets, vacationers can enjoy cruising up and down the parkway to see Pigeon Forge fully decorated for Christmas. You can pick up a free map at a Pigeon Forge Welcome Center or at the Pigeon Forge Trolley office.
For even more holiday fun, you can join the Winterfest Kickoff Celebration in Patriot Park on November 7th at 4 PM! This outdoor festival features live music and free trolley rides on the Parkway. Sevierville also has a Winterfest Kickoff celebration on November 6th that's complete with food, entertainment, and fireworks. Gatlinburg celebrates its Winter Kickoff with a chili cookoff on the 8th.
2. See Christmas at Dollywood
It's been called "America's Best Christmas Event" and you can only see it in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas is an incredible event for experiencing the magic of the holidays. Enjoy all the fun of Dollywood complete with beautiful décor, live Christmas shows, and special displays like Santa's Workshop and the Carol of the Trees Light Show.
For the price of regular admission, you can enjoy all of the fun rides, crafts, and delicious food of Dollywood along with many special events and activities. Dollywood's Christmas Festival begins on November 4th and runs until January 1st.
3. Celebrate Thanksgiving in Pigeon Forge
One of the best things about a Smoky Mountain vacation is spending time with family and friends, so why not spend the holidays in Pigeon Forge, TN?
Our guide about Thanksgiving in Pigeon Forge has everything you need to know about celebrating your holiday feast in this beautiful part of the country.
Everyone can pitch in on a beautiful cabin in the mountains to serve as the perfect home base for experiencing November in the Smoky Mountains.
4. Watch Thanksgiving Fireworks at the Titanic
What can make your Thanksgiving even more special? A fantastic fireworks show of course!
You can see the largest fireworks display along the Pigeon Forge Parkway at the Titanic Museum! On Thanksgiving night November 23rd, fireworks will be fired off the deck of the Titanic to honor the lives of passengers, crewmembers, and rescuers who perished in the sinking of the great ship.
This fireworks display is the perfect way to end a perfect Thanksgiving day in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
5. See Clingmans Dome Before It Closes
The road to the highest point in the Smoky Mountains National Park officially closes on Dec. 1st, because is difficult to plow snow and ice on this high elevation road in the winter. As a result, November is the last time many of us can enjoy panoramic mountain views from the summit of Clingmans Dome in 2017.
If you don't want to wait until March to see beautiful mountain views from the highest elevation in the national park, grab a good winter coat and take a drive to Clingmans Dome!
Additionally, the Roaring Fork Motor Trail will close for the winter season beginning on Dec. 1st. This scenic route features many waterfalls, historic cabins, and popular hiking trails, so come see this part of the national park before it's too late!
6. Go Snow Tubing At Ober Gatlinburg
Can't wait to experience snow sports in the Smoky Mountains? There's no need to worry - the season for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and tubing is just around the corner.
New snowmaking equipment allows Ober Gatlinburg to produce more snow earlier in the winter season. Thanks to new snow blowers at Ober, there's even a better chance that the snow tubing season will start as soon as the week before Thanksgiving!
Last year, Ober Gatlinburg successfully opened its tubing runs on November 20th and they are hoping to repeat last year's success. Visit the Smoky Mountains in November to start playing in the snow!
7. Try Winter Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains
Even though much of the brilliant fall colors have faded from the trees by November, winter hiking in the national park as other perks.
With less undergrowth and leaves that obscure views, there are even more beautiful vistas to enjoy along hiking trails. Additionally, the cooler temperatures mean that fewer people visit the national park – a great opportunity if you enjoy experiencing solitude in nature.
Be sure to bring proper winter gear, plenty of food, and water for your winter hiking adventures in the mountains!
8. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Island
On Nov. 25, 2017 the Island will continue a new holiday tradition! This year, the Island will hold a ceremony for the lighting of a brand new, 35-foot tall Christmas tree!
The Island has always featured beautiful Christmas decorations, but this massive display can surely take our Christmas cheer to another level! Adding to the festivities, Paula Deen will attend this ceremony!
Other highlights include a 60-person choir performing Christmas songs choreographed with a light and fountain show from the Island's massive show fountain. Santa will be present for picture opportunities as well as a large snow-globe.
If you can't make the main event, its well worth visiting the Island to see this massive Christmas tree in Pigeon Forge, TN!
9. Experience A Smoky Mountains Craft Show
Christmas is just around the corner, so now's the time to find gifts for your loved ones. Luckily, the Smoky Mountains is the perfect place to find a unique gift, since its home to numerous skilled artisans and crafters.
At the annual Thanksgiving Craft Show from Nov. 21 to Nov. 26 and the annual Christmas Craftshow from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, you can see their work on display at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Not only can you purchase a beautiful work of art, but you can help support artists and crafters who have preserved old-fashioned skills for generations!
10. Soak in a Hot Tub in Your Pigeon Forge Cabin
If exploring the mountains in winter isn't your idea of a relaxing vacation activity, you can always kick back and enjoy a long soak in the steamy waters of your cabin's outdoor hot tub.
Enjoy being nice and warm on cool mountain nights while you look up at the starry night sky – just remember to pack a bathrobe to stay warm when you step out of the water!
Have you ever experienced November in Pigeon Forge? We'd love to hear about your vacation in our comments section! What was your favorite event or activity? Do you have any advice for our guests visiting this time of year?
Written by Mark Frazier