6 Best Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Gatlinburg

Wondering what to do in Gatlinburg on New Year’s Eve? Stay at the center of the celebrations at Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg for the perfect New Year’s Eve.

A Group Of People Holding Wine Glasses

Gatlinburg is known for its festive New Year’s Eve celebrations, and we’re excited to offer families the opportunity to celebrate and make cherished memories together while ringing in the New Year in spectacular fashion. Join us for a New Year’s weekend of family fun and fireworks to kick off New Year’s Eve with a bang.

Best Place to Stay in Gatlinburg for New Year’s Eve

If you’re looking for a mountain retreat with island vibes for your New Year’s getaway, Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is the perfect place to stay. You’ll find beautifully appointed rooms and suites that offer rustic mountain touches with island-themed artwork. Then celebrate New Year’s with a cheeseburger in paradise and an island-themed drink at one of our resort’s island-inspired dining venues.

  • Enjoy delicious food at Joe Merchant's Coffee & Provisions, License to Chill Bar, Daiquiri Shack & Grill, LandShark Bar & Grill. 
  • Listen to live music. 
  • Watch daily football games while savoring tasty bites and cold brews.
  • Eat late-night pizza at Joe Merchant’s 
  • Don’t miss our champagne toast in the lobby right before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
  • And if you’re feeling like you just want to relax in your room, opt for easy in-room dining.

With so many tasty choices, plus a soothing spa on-site, it’s easy to bring in the new year without ever having to leave the resort.

Activities Schedule

Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg for New Year’s

Start New Year’s Eve day off by exploring nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Drive through the Gatlinburg park entrance to find great adventure, more solitude, and fewer people than you ever would in the park’s busier seasons. There’s a short hike on Fighting Creek Nature Trail that leaves right from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The short, .7-mile trail crosses a footbridge and leads you to 40-foot Cataract Falls. For a longer hike, you can walk back to the footbridge and continue on the trail near it to do a 1-mile loop to the John Ownby cabin.

Back in town, Gatlinburg is home to other frozen things beyond our delicious frozen concoctions, so if you’re a skier, head to Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area. If you’ve never hit the slopes, sign up for a lesson and bring in the new year with a new set of skills. This winter paradise also offers snow tubing, which requires no experience but does require advance planning.

Gatlinburg’s Fireworks and Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve

Gatlinburg has a longtime tradition of hosting a family-friendly ball drop at the Space Needle for New Year’s Eve. After enjoying dinner at one of our restaurants, head to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Show. Free live music kicks off between 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. and continues until the countdown begins. The ball drops at midnight, which is when the fireworks start splashing across the sky. You’ll find the festivities near the Space Needle at 120 Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road located at traffic light no. 8. This fun event attracts thousands of people, so get there early to get good parking and find your viewing spot.

Take a Tram or Chairlift to See Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Celebrations

Looking for changes in attitudes and altitudes in the new year? Head to Gatlinburg SkyLift Park to ride a three-seat chairlift to the top of Crockett Mountain where you can enjoy live music and food. Plus, you can walk across the SkyBridge, which is covered in festive lights. It’s North America’s longest pedestrian bridge, stretching almost 700 feet. At midnight, enjoy fantastic views of Gatlinburg’s illuminated ball drop.

Or head to Ober Gatlinburg where its New Year’s event includes heavy appetizers, a champagne toast, live music and a round-trip aerial tram ticket. The aerial tram takes you 2,813 feet above sea level, with excellent views of Gatlinburg’s lively holiday scene.

Just like a soothing stay in the islands, Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg provides you with everything you could ever want within arms' reach. Take full advantage of our amenities for an unforgettable New Year’s celebration.