Best Places to See Fireworks

On New Year's Eve & 4th of July

& St. Patrick's Day

In the Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge

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Most people know about the New Year's Eve Ball Drop and fireworks show that celebrate the New Year in Gatlinburg. Also the 4th of July Parade at Midnight July 3rd!  But if you want to avoid crowds down on the street, there are other options for you!

Also, many of the restaurants and hotels will have special vacation packages and dinners for New Year's Eve. Cabins availability for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day will also go fast, so the key is


1. ) Call your favorite place ahead to find out

2.) Book EARLY to reserve

3.) Try to reserve your cabin or hotel within walking distance of fireworks

The following is a list of Best Ways to Spend New Year's Eve or July 4th

in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN

1.) Gatlinburg - St. Patrick's Day & New Year's Eve Ball Drop

Space Needle, Gatlinburg, TN

If you want to see the annual breathtaking fireworks display from the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle, head downtown to the corner of Historic Nature Trail and the main Parkway to watch.  The brilliant and popular fireworks show is choreographed with music and led light effects for anyone who wants to watch!  My best advice is to stay in a hotel or cabin in walking distance to the Parkway!  If you can't find a place to stay nearby, arrive early and plan to stay awhile.

Don't forget the 4th of July Parade is always the first in the nation-It is held at midnight on July 3rd each year -the second the clock strikes midnight on the 3rd, the fireworks begin in Gatlinburg.

Space Needle fireworks New year's eve ball drop show
Gatlinburg Space Needle mountain view

2.) The Island, 131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge, TN 

One of the best and most popular places in Pigeon Forge to see fireworks on New Year's Eve is The Island.  Usually there will be live music or a concert there that night. The Island is loved for being very family and kid friendly.  But there is always something for adults too, at The Island.  Lots of parking, lots of food, music, fountain show and entertainment for everyone. 

Crowd watches fireworks at The Island, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Band on stage performing, New Year's Eve Celebration Concert at The Island, Pigoen Forge, Tennessee

3.) Anakeesta, 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

Anakeesta's spot high up on the mountain is a sure bet for fireworks viewing.  Take a ride to the top and get comfortable at the Clifftop Restaurant for the Top of the World New Year's Eve Party.  Check out the Observation Tower for an even better view! Enchanted Winter lights, champagne, specialty cocktails and other perks await.  (See cabins near Anakeesta here.)

Anakeesta Clifftop Restaurant Gatlinburg
Anakeesta winter decorations, Christmas at Anakeesta, lights

4.) Skylift Park, 765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 

Limited tickets will be on sale, so get them ahead of time! Take the ride to the top for a special New Year's Eve Viewing party at the top.  Eat and drink at the SkyCenter (indoor) or the SkyDeck (outside), or watch and wait for the ball to drop on the SkyBridge itself.  The Skylift boasts one of the best views over Gatlinburg and promises to be spectacular viewing for fireworks!

SkyDeck at Skylift Park, SkyBridge over Gatlinburg, TN

5.) Ober Gatlinburg, 1339 Ski Mountain Rd., Gatlinburg, TN

Ober Gatlinburg normally offers limited tickets for their New Year's Eve party up on the mountain top.  Call ahead to get a spot!  Fireworks can usually be seen in downtown Gatlinburg from a distance, although if there is a lot of fog or clouds, it could hinder the view. But if you're looking for a smaller crowd, away from the chaos of downtown, this might be a great choice.  This party usually includes a DJ, live music, champagne toast, a round trip Aerial Tramway ride, appetizers, and souvenir glass.

Beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Ober Gatlinburg.jpg
Ober Gatlinburg band plays guitar

6.) Pigeon Forge Chairlift, Address TBA, Coming 2021, Pigeon Forge, TN

The Pigeon Forge Chairlift is scheduled to open in 2021, and I am making a bold prediction here, that it will become a favorite spot for watching New Year's Eve or Fourth of July fireworks in the future!  Because of it's close location to The Island, which hosts the most popular fireworks show in Pigeon Forge, and it's positioning up on a hill, with gorgeous views, I predict it will become one of the greatest spots to watch fireworks in 2021 and beyond.

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7.) Gatlinburg Bypass Scenic Overlooks, Gatlinburg Bypass, Gatlinburg 

This is an option - But not my favorite. Warning - very crowded, but the key here is to arrive early, plan on staying awhile and have patience, but the view will be a huge payoff! Note - There are no bathrooms. Just the overlooks. It is free and open to the public, and the views will be amazing!  There are 4 pull offs, but the 2nd and 3rd will have the best views of downtown Gatlinburg and the fireworks display!  If you have never been on this road, I suggest driving it first, before you decide to go on New Year's Eve or for St. Patrick's. 


8.) Downtown Parking Garage Rooftops, Gatlinburg, TN

There are a few options here.

The first one is behind Ripley's Aquarium on Greystone Heights Rd.

The 2nd, is at 520 Parkway, on the left when you come into downtown

The 3rd is 955 Parkway, on your right as you drive toward the National Park.

Park anywhere in the garage, and then go to the top for the best views!


9.) Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina, 735 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

One of my favorite spots!  Just catty corner from the Space Needle itself.  Normally wristbands are sold on New Year's Eve that allow you to come and go from each place on a list in downtown Gatlinburg on the strip. But if I were you, I wouldn't want to leave the rooftop bar and patio at Loco Burro! Great food, a rooftop bar with a perfect view, a mechanical burro, restaurant and dancefloor below, what more could you want?

Loco Burro exterior, Parkway Gatlinburg tn

10.) Park Vista Hotel, 705 Cherokee Orchard Rd., Gatlinburg, TN

Just a short distance up the hill from the Parkway in Gatlinburg (less than 1 mile), you can enjoy downtown Gatlinburg by day and come back to the hotel at night to celebrate with a champagne toast at midnight and another perfect view of the ball drop from the Space Needle. No need to worry about getting home, you just have to go to your room after the party!

Park Vista Hotel entrance Gatlinburg TN Smoky Mountains view

There are a lot of places you can see fireworks in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, these are not the only ones! Any place that is high up is generally better.  Any cabin, house, condo, hotel or parking area can be a great spot if it you have a good view of the Space Needle, downtown Gatlinburg or the Island in Pigeon Forge.

11.) Cabin or House Overlooking the City of Gatlinburg

I found a couple places to rent in Gatlinburg that are pretty amazing. Imagine the views at night!

Check out this 3BR, 3 Bath, jaw dropping beauty you can rent that overlooks Gatlinburg. 

You might also like this house overlooking downtown with spectacular views! 

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house for rent overlooking Gatlinburg
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Cabin with porch overlooks gatlinburg

Or check out this cabin, called Always a View that overlooks downtown Gatlinburg. It would also have a beautiful view for fireworks.  Better book it early!


12.) Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, 315 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg

If you can get a balcony room facing the Space Needle, you will have the best show! If not, you can still view the firework show from the area around this highly rated hotel. If you can't get a room here, check out some nearby hotels to this one.

Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Historic Nature trail balcony view of Space needle in Gatlinburg tn
courtyard by marriott firepit outside

13.) Margaritaville Island Inn, 2735 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN

This highly rated hotel is right in front of The Island on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.  If you get a room with a balcony on the back side, you will have a perfect view of The Island and all the festivities on New Year's Eve.  Not to mention you are in walking distance.  A room on the front with a balcony still overlooks the Parkway in Pigeon Forge and is a win-win.

Margartaville Island Inn Pigeon Forge TN balcony rooms and pool .jpg
Pigeon Forge Margaritaville Island Inn at night

14.) Whispering Pines Condos, 205 Ogle Drive, Pigeon Forge, TN

A spot you may have overlooked. And speaking of overlooking--these have great reviews and sit up on a little hill that overlooks the Pigeon Forge Parkway. They are great for viewing fireworks at The Island and also watching Rod Run cars go by during car shows.  Check out this highly rated rental.  

Whispering Pines Condos also have elevators and are wheelchair accessible.

Whispering Pines Pigeon Forge with fireworks
Whispering Pines Condos view of Pigeon Forge Parkway at dusk