We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First family trip out of Florida

1 post
Save Topic
First family trip out of Florida

We are from Florida, and it will be the first family trip out-of-state. We have 3 children all born and (so far) raised here, and we decided to grant our 8 yr old her birthday wish - to see snow. My husband and I are "transplants" to Florida, originally from up north and the west coast, and we have seen snow, lived in snow and experienced its sometimes "pains". However, we wanted this to be a wonderful experience for our children. We are staying 5days/4nights in Gatlinburg, renting a cabin from Ridgecrest Log Cabin and Chalet Rentals.

So here come the questions: Is there even snow on the ground? - I've looked for live feed webcams and cannot find one listed for Ober Gatlinburg, the town itself nor Pigeon Forge. Is it true that we must pay for ski/board rental to get on the mountain even if it is to only play in the snow? Are there any suggestions of entertaining our 3 young children (8yrs, 5yrs, and newly 4 yr old?) without being in debt by the end of the trip? Has anyone ever used Ridgecrest Cabin Rentals? If so, how are their cabins, customer service and overall rating? Thanx for any and all help...

Franklin, TN
Level Contributor
688 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First family trip out of Florida

here's the link for the National Park webcam:

…nps.gov/air/…grsmcam.cfm

as for snow, hit and miss. Usually in the higher elevations in the park. If the lower elevations gets snow, unless exceptionally cold, melts during the day.

It has been a few years since I skiied Ober, they do have the ability to blow snow, so there should be some.

As for other things to do in Gatlinburg, Ripleys Aquarium (AAA discount) is very good. They also have the winter festival of lights going on now thru the end of Feb.

As for allowing you crew to see snow for the first time, I would imagine if you contacted a manager and explained it, they would let you take your kids out to the bottom of the Mtn. Here is their email link:

fun@obergatlinburg.com

Can't help you on cabins. We are going up MLK weekend and using Preserve Resorts for the first time.

Good luck, have a great trip, and welcome to Tennessee.

Oneonta, Alabama
Level Contributor
942 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First family trip out of Florida

We just returned tonight and there was lots of snow in the higher elevations of the park. We had to drive up to about 2500 feet before we saw any snow.

Oviedo, FL
Level Contributor
77 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First family trip out of Florida

Check Highchalet.com they have 2 web cams and the park cams listed above. You can expect snow like they said at higher elevations and at Ober Gatlinburg. If it snows up high you can sometimes got to the chimneys picnic area and play in the snow there if the entire road is not closed going over the mountain. Not sure about paying to just stand in the snow. You could take the lift from ober gatlinburg to the top of the mtn where they have a observation point and snacks the cost is 5.00 per person. They take a photo of you and it is avbl for purchase after the ride. This may be your best bet. Try the Obergatlinburg web site. Food wise try the Bennetts for Breakfast Buffet Kids 10 and under are 3.49 plus drink- adults 6.49 Good Breakfast great price. Legends by Max in the Village offers kids eat free with adult purchase Italian Food. Kids and adults love Fannie Farkels Corn Dogs and Lemonade. I know I cant get enough. For adults coffee from the Donut Friar in the Village. We like the Old Mill for Breakfast in Pigeon Forge served Family Style. offers kids 12 and under dont know price. Ride the Trolley when in town kids love that.

Catfish

Franklin, TN
Level Contributor
688 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First family trip out of Florida

I emailed a fraternity brother of mine who has lived close to Gatlinburg all his life and here is his response to getting to the snow w/o having to pay:

"..if you drive up ski mountain road and don't take the tram you can park for free. You can walk out to the base of the ski lift and if it's been cold enough for them to make snow you can walk up beside the bottom run. It has been very warm the last week and if it doesn't cool back down there might not be much to see."

Hope this helps. I am taking the family up this weekend (The Preserves Resort) and am hoping for a little snow. Weather forecast says rain/snow mix for Saturday.