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Best places to visit in Tennessee for the winter


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Are you looking to travel but want to stay close to home this winter? Fortunately, for residents in Tennessee, there are several cities in the Volunteer State that make for a memorable vacation.

A recent study, conducted by MyDatingAdviser.com, compiled a list of 170 cities in the country that are considered the “coziest” and guaranteed to be the perfect winter getaway.

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In order to determine the coziest small towns in the nation, the study compared the towns in three categories: weather, food and activities.

Out of the 170, four cities in Tennessee made the list, with some situated right in our backyards.

4. Columbia

Columbia snow
Columbia (Courtesy: Kellye Murphy)

Ranked 158th on the list is Columbia, Tennessee. The town located in Maury County and just south of Nashville is known for its classic town square and vibrant Main Street.

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Visitors can travel to the center of Columbia Town Square to view the city’s 40-foot-tall Christmas tree lit in all of its glory in front of the Maury County Courthouse.

Then, saunter off to the Columbia Arts building which is a 3-story building with various shops. Stop by Wolf and Scout Coffee and grab a festive drink like their Winter Signature Peppermint Mocha.

Lastly, make a stop at Bleu 32 Vintage Marketplace, located just off the square in historic downtown Columbia, to purchase some last-minute Christmas gifts!

3. Sewanee

Sewanee snow
Sewanee (Courtesy: Nora Barnes)

Sewanee, best known as the home of The University of the South, is known for some of the best dining in its area.

Those in for an adventure can hike Morgan’s Steep to Sewanee Memorial Cross. The trial is the most popular hike among those in the area and features gorgeous views, waterfalls and sandstone overhangs.

After a day on the trails, make your pick to grab a bite from the several different delicious eateries in the area such as The Blue Chair Cafe & Tavern, Lumière or Shenanigans.

The small, quaint town is ranked 145th on the list and great to visit for the winter holidays.

2. Bell Buckle

Bell Buckle snow
Bell Buckle (Courtesy: Eileen and Greg Vick)

Known as Home of Moon Pies and is located in Bedford County in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. The railroad village, nestled among hills, attracts thousands of visitors each year to visit its charming downtown.

If you’re into antiques and homemade gifts, then Bell Buckle is the perfect place to visit. The city has several antique shops like Livery Stable Antique Mall, which is an entire mall dedicated to antique gifts, and Bluebird Antiques & Ice Cream Parlor which features homemade fried pies and hand-dipped ice cream.

On New Year’s Eve, the small town usually brings in its new year with style with a Moonpie drop on New Year’s Eve downtown.

The city ranked 135th on the list.

1. Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg. Photo: Tim McCurry

Taking the cake in Tennessee is none other than Gatlinburg! Known for its spectacular views and tons of activities, Gatlinburg is a perfect place to cozy up in a cabin and stay for a winter vacation.

Those visiting the Great Smoky Mountains during winter can find things to do for all ages and will never run out of activities.

For a fun-filled day spend some time at Ober Mountain skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. Then, plan a day at Anakeesta, an award-winning theme park that offers zip lining, gondola rides, a treetop play area and tons of other activities.

Don’t forget to warm up with traditional moonshine tasting at Ole Smoky Moonshine on Parkway while checking out the various eateries and local shops located on the well-known tourist strip.

Gatlinburg ranked 84th on the list out of the 170 ‘coziest’ small towns across the country.


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