Gatlinburg in March: One of the Best Times to Visit
Spring has sprung, and there’s no better place to soak in the season’s beauty than in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Located at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a delightful mountain town that offers a little bit of everything for everyone. March is one of our favorite times to visit over our kid’s spring break.
This charming town has plenty to do, from breathtaking scenic drives to outdoor activities. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore Gatlinburg in March, when the warmer weather, blooming flowers, and lively events create the perfect backdrop for your unforgettable vacation!
Why March is a Great Time to Visit Gatlinburg
1. Delightful Weather
In March, the average high temperature in Gatlinburg hovers around 60°F, making it an ideal time for various outdoor activities. Although, we have seen temperatures in the 80s and snow in March the same week!
With warmer days and crisp evenings, it’s the perfect weather to explore the great outdoors without sweat! But do remember to bring a light jacket, as daytime temperatures can still be a bit chilly, especially in higher elevations.
2. Blooming Spring Flowers
As winter recedes, the Smoky Mountains come alive with a burst of colors, thanks to the beautiful wildflowers that begin to bloom in March. Trails like the Little River Trail and Porters Creek Trail are excellent spots to witness this natural spectacle. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to capture these stunning landscapes!
3. Fun-Filled Events
Gatlinburg has many events in March, such as the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, where the town is illuminated with green lights, and the Easter Crafts Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. These events offer a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and make your trip even more memorable.
4. Lower Rates and fewer Crowds
March is considered a shoulder season in Gatlinburg, making it one of the slowest tourist seasons. This means you’ll find lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds at popular attractions. It’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy the town leisurely without burning a hole in your wallet!
Top Activities and Attractions in Gatlinburg in March
1. Outdoor Adventures
With the warmer weather and blooming flowers, March is the perfect time to embark on various outdoor activities. From hiking the popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to exploring the scenic Cades Cove Loop, there’s no shortage of ways to connect with nature. If you want something more adventurous, consider horseback riding through the mountains or fishing trips in the pristine rivers.
2. Scenic Drives
Gatlinburg and its surroundings boast some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the country. A leisurely drive along the Newfound Gap Road or the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail offers stunning vistas and ample opportunities for wildlife spotting, including black bears!
3. Live Music and Entertainment
The lively atmosphere of downtown Gatlinburg comes alive in March with live music performances and incredible shows at venues like the Smoky Mountain Opry and the Space Needle. You can also indulge in moonshine tasting at popular distilleries or try your hand at mini-golf for a fun-filled evening.
4. Family Fun at Amusement Parks
Gatlinburg has several family-friendly amusement parks, such as Ripley’s Aquarium and Skylift Park. These attractions offer a great way to spend quality time with the whole family while enjoying thrilling rides, interactive exhibits, and mesmerizing aquatic life.
5. Dollywood: A Must-Visit Attraction in March
Just a short drive from Gatlinburg, you’ll find Pigeon Forge, home to the world-famous amusement park, Dollywood. Owned by the legendary Dolly Parton, this entertainment wonderland opens its gates in March, making it a perfect addition to your spring vacation itinerary.
What to Expect at Dollywood
Dollywood offers a unique blend of thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and a celebration of Appalachian culture. With over 50 attractions, this park has something for everyone, regardless of age or interest.
- Thrilling Rides: From roller coasters like the Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle to family-friendly attractions like the Dollywood Express, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping fun at Dollywood.
- Live Entertainment: Enjoy live shows featuring talented musicians, dancers, and performers showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage.
- Craft Demonstrations: Witness skilled artisans at work, demonstrating traditional crafts such as blacksmithing, candle making, and glass blowing.
- Delicious Food: Satisfy your cravings with an array of dining options, including mouthwatering Southern cuisine, delectable treats, and Dolly’s famous cinnamon bread.
For more exciting things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids, check out this comprehensive guide on Fun Things to Do in Pigeon Forge with Kids. This resource will help you plan the perfect family vacation, ensuring everyone has a fantastic time exploring the area’s
6. Arts and Crafts Community
The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is a vibrant hub of creativity where you can explore the works of talented local artisans. From pottery and wood carvings to handcrafted jewelry and paintings, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest.
7. Relaxing in Your Vacation Cabin
After a day of exploring, nothing is better than retreating to a cozy vacation cabin. Gatlinburg offers a wide range of cabin rentals, complete with amenities like hot tubs and home theaters, to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.
Top Places to Stay in Gatlinburg: From Resorts to Cozy Cabins
After a day of exploring, nothing is better than retreating to a cozy cabin nestled in the mountains. Gatlinburg offers a variety of cabin rentals, ranging from rustic log cabins to luxurious mountain retreats. Many cabins feature fire pits, hot tubs, and stunning mountain views—perfect for a relaxing winter getaway.
Gatlinburg offers a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler’s taste and budget. Here are some of the top-rated places to stay in Gatlinburg, including luxurious resorts and charming vacation rentals:
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is a 4-star resort located on the main parkway (Hwy 441) in Gatlinburg. We have stayed at this resort several times, and while it’s not the cheapest resort in Gatlinburg, it’s by far our favorite.
This tropical-inspired retreat offers well-appointed rooms and suites, an indoor and outdoor pool, a fitness center, and an on-site spa.
The resort’s convenient location across the street from Anakeesta makes it a perfect base for exploring the best of Gatlinburg.
Margaritaville Gatlinburg: A Tropical Escape in the Heart of the Smokies
After an action-packed day at Anakeesta, unwind and relax at Margaritaville Gatlinburg, a tropical oasis just a short walk from the mountaintop theme park. Inspired by the laid-back lifestyle of singer Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Gatlinburg offers a unique dining and entertainment experience that transports you to a tropical paradise.
Dining at Margaritaville Gatlinburg
The Margaritaville Restaurant offers a delectable menu featuring a variety of island-inspired dishes, such as the signature Cheeseburger in Paradise, Volcano Nachos, and Coconut Shrimp. Kids will love the diverse options on the Little Parakeet’s menu, ensuring that even the pickiest eaters find something they enjoy.
Try one of Margaritaville’s famous frozen concoctions or specialty cocktails, like the classic Margarita or the refreshing Rum Runner. Non-alcoholic options are also available, making Margaritaville a great destination for the entire family.
Map of the best deals on top hotels and VRBOs in Gatlinburg:
Where to Eat in Gatlinburg
No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without indulging in some mouthwatering southern cuisine. You’ll never run out of delectable dining options, from hearty breakfasts at the best breakfast restaurants to scrumptious apple pies at local bakeries. Check out popular restaurants like The Peddler Steakhouse and Crockett’s Breakfast Camp for a taste of Gatlinburg’s culinary scene.
FAQs about Gatlinburg in March
Q: How is the weather in Gatlinburg in March, and is it a good time to visit?
A: March is an excellent time of year to visit Gatlinburg, as the average temperature ranges from 40°F to 60°F, making it ideal for outdoor activities. The warmer temperatures and blooming spring flowers create a beautiful backdrop for exploring the town and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, bring a light jacket, as daytime temperatures can still be chilly, especially at higher elevations.
Q: Are there any special events or festivals in Gatlinburg during March?
A: Yes, Gatlinburg hosts several great special events in March, such as the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, where the town is illuminated with green lights, and the Easter Crafts Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. These events provide a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and make your trip even more memorable.
Q: What outdoor adventures can I enjoy in Gatlinburg in March?
A: Gatlinburg offers many outdoor adventures in March, thanks to the warmer weather and blooming spring flowers. Popular activities include hiking along trails like the Gatlinburg Trail or Laurel Falls, horseback riding through the mountains, fishing in the pristine rivers with the help of local outfitters, and exploring the scenic drives, such as Newfound Gap Road and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
Q: What are some popular trails for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during March?
A: Some of the most popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for March include the Little River Trail, Porters Creek Trail, Laurel Falls, and the Gatlinburg Trail. These trails offer stunning views, beautiful wildflowers, and opportunities for wildlife spotting, including black bears.
Q: What are some of the best places to stay in Gatlinburg during March?
A: Gatlinburg offers a wide range of accommodations, including vacation cabins, hotels, and bed and breakfasts. Since March is a shoulder season (except for spring break), you can expect lower rates and fewer crowds. Vacation cabins are a popular choice, as they often come equipped with hot tubs, home theaters, and other amenities to make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Q: What are some top attractions for the whole family in Gatlinburg?
A: Gatlinburg is an ideal destination for families, with attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium, Gatlinburg Skylift Park, and various amusement parks that cater to all ages. You can also explore the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, where you can discover the works of talented local artisans and even pick up a unique souvenir to take home.
Q: Are there any good spots for viewing wildlife in Gatlinburg in March?
A: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and various bird species. During your visit, you may spot wildlife while hiking popular trails or taking scenic drives, such as Cades Cove Loop or Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Remember to keep a safe distance from wild animals and follow park guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for you and the wildlife.
Q: Is there snow in Gatlinburg in March?
A: It’s possible to experience snow in higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains in March, but it’s not as common as during the winter months. If you’re interested in snow-related activities, you can visit Ober Gatlinburg for skiing or snowboarding as long as the weather permits.
Q: What is the average rainfall in Gatlinburg in March?
A: The average rainfall in Gatlinburg in March is around 4 inches, with most precipitation in light showers. Don’t let the rain deter you, though; plenty of indoor activities and attractions keep you entertained on those less-than-sunny days!
Q: Can I see spring flowers in Gatlinburg in March?
A: Yes, March is when many of the beautiful wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park begin to bloom. You can witness this colorful display along various trails and scenic drives.
Gatlinburg in March offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, exciting events, and various activities for all ages. There’s no better time to explore this charming mountain town with its pleasant weather, vibrant wildflowers, and lively atmosphere. So, whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or a relaxing getaway, Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for your March vacation!