For most of the U.S., the Volunteer State included, winter is a season of sloth. The grass stops growing, the birds cease singing, and wildlife goes into hibernation mode. But this doesn't have to be the theme for everything in Tennessee, or anywhere else for that matter. There are plenty of extracurricular activities available, many of which are unavailable when it's warm.
If you're looking for activities to pursue in Tennessee with friends this winter, here are a few ways you can avoid cabin fever.
1. Go skiing in Gatlinburg
Even though "Rocky Top" may be the official state song of the Volunteer State, you'll be hard-pressed to find much in the way of mountains for skiing. But don't tell that to the folks that scope the slopes in Gatlinburg. Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee's only ski resort, but you wouldn't know it based on the number of trails the amusement park features, along with tubing for those who'd rather sit than stand. Check out the slope report here.
2. Sway your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville
There's a reason why the Country Music Hall of Fame is known as the Smithsonian of country music. Many of the genre's household names got their starts in Nashville, where the Hall is headquartered – including the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings, just to name a few. One of the country's oldest recording studios is also located at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Speaking of which, the museum is one of only 1,000 museums in the country that's accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. This is one of the best times of the year to visit, as there's a laundry list of events taking place in December, like concerts, tours, and craft making opportunities.
3. See who's playing at the Grand Ole Opry
Speaking of country music, that's what will be on the docket throughout the month of December at the world-renowned Grand Ole Opry over on Opryland Drive in downtown Nashville. At the Ryman Auditorium, attendees will hear the vocal stylings of the country music world's veterans, as well as up-and-comers, with eight or more artists featured each night. Check out the calendar here for showtimes and ticket prices.
4. Try doing some skating 'On The Landing'
Similar to skiing, ice skating rinks are few and far between in Tennessee compared to colder climates. But in Chattanooga, it's skating central. Beneath the finely manicured gardens of the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo is Ice On the Landing, a fully serviced ice skating rink that's been the talk of the town since it's grand opening. But don't delay – the last day of the season is Jan. 16.
5. Go ahead and sled at Lakeshore Park
As aforementioned, Ober Gatlinburg is a hub for skating and sledding, but Lakeshore Park has some slippery slopes as well. Though fewer in number, locals say the track is fast and fun, according to OnlyInYourState.com. See for yourself at 5908 Lyon's View Pike in Knoxville.
Form new bonds with friends this winter by taking advantage of all that Tennessee has to offer. It's another way you can give reason to the season.