Escape to Tennessee to celebrate the Christmas holiday season. From bustling cities, such as Memphis and Nashville, to mountain resort towns, including Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee is home to numerous exciting destinations. Indulge in retail therapy in Germantown, which is a neighborhood of Memphis, or sing carols at Dolly Parton’s theme park. Find a historic Tennessee vacation rental in Knoxville, or choose a waterfront cabin tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains. Check out the seven best Christmas getaways in Tennessee.
The Dancing Lights of Christmas is one of the hottest tickets in Nashville, and your kids can tap their toes while the thousands of LED lights flash on and off to the tunes of Christmas songs. Enjoy a family meal together at the Monell’s Victorian Christmas Dinner; dress up and enjoy one of Nashville’s favorite traditions. While you eat beef with Bearnaise sauce, carolers circle through the dining room singing Christmas favorites. The Country Music Hall of Fame offers a fabulous array of decorations each year. See live reindeer and create s’mores by the fire pit when you visit the mansion and gardens of Cheekwood.
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A resort town nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is your chance to enjoy some skiing over the Christmas holidays. Hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg, which features numerous trails for varying levels of skills. Let the snow bunnies ski while you take a tram to the shopping area at the top of the mountain for last-minute stocking stuffers, or don a pair of ice skates and hit the rink. Afterwards, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa at the cafe while you take in the Christmas decorations and enjoy the sound of Christmas music playing in the background. Leaving from the Welcome Center, The Trolley Ride of Lights glides by all the best light displays in town.
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Chattanooga is a small urban center that enjoys its Christmas traditions. Follow the Holiday Trail of Lights with its millions of lights leading to some of the major attractions in the city. Go underground at Ruby Falls to see the special holiday town created among this natural beauty. Rocky City comes alive in a riot of Christmas colors and scenes created out of lights. Wander over the suspension bridge and squeeze between rock formations to discover an elf or Christmas package around each corner. You can strap on a pair of ice skates to enjoy the outdoor, seasonal rink in the downtown area.
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Enjoy a down-home Christmas in the trendy city of Memphis. Stop by the Peabody Hotel to see the decorations inside this splendid hotel, from the Peabody Gingerbread Village, a handmade creation of sugar details and yummy gingerbread, to the massive Christmas tree in the bar area. Arrive early in the morning to watch the ducks ascend from their penthouse home, walk the red carpet, and climb into the lobby’s fountain for a day of frolicking in the water. See Santa’s workshop and many other iconic Christmas scenes recreated from lights at the Memphis Zoo.
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5. Pigeon Forge
A resort town in the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is a festive holiday vacation destination, where your days at Dollywood, an amusement park, including taking photographs of all the Christmas decorations, listening to carolers, and shopping for last-minute stocking stuffers at the stores featuring the work of local craftsmen. The Old Mill historic district is visible from miles away with all the Christmas lights and illuminated scenes. Walk around this area to find some one-of-a-kind items, and stop at a cafe for eggnog or hot cocoa. Have a family meal at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, gawk at the 60-foot fully decorated Christmas tree, and enjoy the holiday-themed program.
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Christmas in the City is Knoxville’s big holiday event, with a town awash in Christmas lights, trees, and wreaths to act as a backdrop to the individual events. In the downtown area, the local businesses use one theme each year to decorate their storefronts, with past themes including Window Wonderland featuring peppermint everything. Polish off your old ice skates and practice your twirls at the Holidays on Ice outdoor rink. If you stay through the New Year, Christmas in the City ends with New Years on the Square, which includes a live music concert and a ball drop at midnight.
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7. Johnson City
Johnson City provides your group with a low-key cozy Christmas. Drive through the neighborhoods to see the Christmas lights, and make sure to drive by the Johnson City Hall, where you catch glimpses of thousands of Christmas lights. Take a tour of the Johnson City Brewing Company, and enjoy a tasting of the seasonal and holiday blends. In the downtown area, stop by one of the small shops for a few last-minute gifts.
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