Need a cure for cabin fever and cold weather blues? How about a Smoky Mountain winter getaway that the whole family will love? From enjoying the crisp mountain air and scenic views to snuggling up by a crackling fireplace in your cozy cabin, there are so many exciting things to do in Maggie Valley during winter, and we’ve gathered a list of them right here. Keep reading to find the best places to Play, Eat, Shop, and Stay when you’re in town!


Best Family Vacation

Skiing & Snowboarding in the Smokies

We’re lucky to have the Cataloochee Ski Area – one of the premier ski resorts in the Smoky Mountains – right in our backyard. With a lengthy snow season that lasts from mid-November to late March, Maggie Valley is the ideal spot for your winter family adventure. The slopes are 44% beginner, 39% intermediate, and 17% advanced to expert, so there’s something for all ages and skill levels. Strap on skis or a snowboard and carve a trail through fresh powder. Beginner skiers can take a group class or private lesson, and intermediate and pro skiers can fly down the expert slopes.

When you want to switch things up, snowboarders can head over to the Cat Cage Terrain Park and join all the park rats. The crew here keeps the park fresh by mixing up the variations and adding in different features all throughout the season. No matter what kind of setup they make, though, your adrenaline will be pumping when you take on the ramps, rails, and boxes for some epic runs.

Snow Tubing in Maggie Valley

If you’re a bit intimidated by skiing or snowboarding, then head over to Tube World for a fun day of snow tubing. Located just minutes from the Meadowlark Motel, it’s a great winter activity for the entire family! There are no real skills or lessons required. You just hang on and slide. Plus, you don’t need any expensive gear or special clothing. And it’s reasonably priced, making it easy on both you and your wallet. Best of all, you’ll create unforgettable experiences that your children will remember for years to come. (Pro tip: Make sure to check their website to book a time before you go!)

Winter Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Hiking isn’t just for springtime in the Great Smoky Mountains. An exhilarating winter hike is an incredible way for the entire family to enjoy the great outdoors. The trails are clear of the typical warm-weather crowds, making it feel like you have the whole of the Smokies to yourself. Nearby trails are inspiring with their natural beauty, and if you know where to look, you might just find a little winter magic. Waterfalls transform into dazzling frozen spectacles when the temperatures drop. Just be careful of ice and snow along the trail and dangling icicles when you walk under cliffs. And dress warmly!

Museums near Maggie Valley

If it’s a little too chilly for the wee ones and you need an indoor activity to warm up, try one of the many Smoky Mountain museums in the area. Maggie Valley is steeped in rich Appalachian culture and a fascinating history filled with people, stories, and song. At Wheels Through Time, you’ll how we humans get around the Smoky Mountains with over 300 classic and rare motorcycles spanning America’s transportation past. At Museum of the Cherokee Indian, immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the native Cherokee tribe with engaging and interactive displays inspired by the grace and ingenuity of the Cherokee people. And be sure to visit our very own Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center where we honor and preserve Appalachian heritage and culture by educating and entertaining both visitors and locals with entertaining and immersive programs and events.


Eat at Meadowlark Motel

J. Arthur’s

The Maggie Valley area is home to some of the best trout fishing in the Smoky Mountains. (Yes, even in the winter!) But if you’d rather not fry up your own catch, then head to J. Arthur’s Restaurant on Soco Road. People rave about their fresh North Carolina Rainbow Trout. It’s served with a house-made sweet tomato jam that adds the perfect flavors to the delicate texture of the fish. For the non-fish lovers in your party, they also offer delicious steak and chicken dishes as well as a great kids’ menu. And each special entree is served with warm rolls, side salad, and potato or vegetables.

Pop’s Butts on the Creek

Satisfy your cravings for the best hickory-smoked meats in the mountains at Pop’s Butts on the Creek. Dive into award-winning homemade sauces at Maggie Valley’s oldest BBQ restaurant. Order a sandwich plate or a large picnic-style meal and grab a table on the outdoor deck. Soak up scenic views and mountain breezes as you pig out beside the burbling Jonathan Creek. And don’t skimp on the sides. You’ll get fresh seasonal vegetables, and the mind-blowing desserts – like all the other items on the menu – are always homemade. Hungry for more BBQ? Check out more of our favorites here.

Elevated Mountain Distilling Company

With a nod to Haywood County’s median elevation of 3,600 feet (the highest of any county in the eastern US), Elevated is run by third generation whiskey makers, Dave and Sue Angel. For decades, moonshiners have taken advantage of the high-altitude pristine mountain springs to produce some of the purest moonshine in the Smoky Mountains. And now you can tour the corn-to-whiskey process at Elevated to learn how it’s made. Their custom pot and towering 23-foot column still take the process to the next level (and sort of looks like something out of Willy Wonka).

Foraging in the Mountains

Dive into Maggie Valley’s Appalachian culture and history by foraging for your own food. Everywhere you turn, you’ll discover delicious food hiding in plain sight! Nature’s edible bounty is right at your fingertips…if you know what you’re looking for. Check out our extensive list of wild edible plants in North Carolina, many of which can be found growing right here near the Meadowlark Motel. From roots to petals, you’ll be amazed at the wonders of what is available for foraging in Maggie Valley. Discover the rich and fascinating nourishment opportunities that our Appalachian ancestors practiced as they learned to live off the land.


Nancy Tut’s Christmas Shop

Jelly Bellies Mountain Gift Shop

If you have any sweet tooths in your family, then head to Jelly Bellies in Maggie Valley. Offering over 365 different types of candies – from jelly beans to jams and preserves to nostalgic classics – you can find a treat for everyone. They also offer a large selection of Smoky Mountain souvenirs, sterling silver jewelry, and handmade toys!

Maggie Mountaineer Crafts

This Maggie Valley favorite is a one-stop shop for every kind of Smoky Mountain gift you can imagine. Their main shop features everything from fudge, jams, jellies, and sauces to unique gifts like jewelry, moccasins, handmade soaps, natural soy candles, and quilts like the ones grandma used to make.

Maggie Valley Rock Shop & Gem Mine

The kids will absolutely love mining and sifting through a mix of local gems like rubies and sapphires, plus colorful gemstones from around the world. Discover crystals, carvings, and more unusual gems at Maggie Valley Rock Shop & Gem Mine!

 Blue Ridge Craft Trail

Discover five inspirational stops on the Blue Ridge Craft Trail that are located right here in Maggie Valley. Explore these amazing handmade arts and crafts created by local artists and give a meaningful and memorable gift to that special someone.

Cabbage Rose

Cabbage Rose is a unique and eclectic shopping experience in Maggie Valley, where you can find charming bits and baubles for yourself or someone special!



No Smoky Mountain winter getaway would be complete without a stay in an iconic mountain cabin. Frosted window panes, crackling fires, and spectacular mountain views all come together to provide the perfect home base for your family vacation this winter. And at Meadowlark Motel, we have just the spot for you.

Choose from three spacious cottages or a two-bedroom cabin, where you’ll find all the cozy comforts you need with additional amenities like relaxing decks that stretch out over the serene Jonathan Creek. Relax to the soothing sound of the rushing water, sip your morning coffee or hot chocolate, and take in the spectacular winter mountain views!