It’s true. You can find snow in the South…even in the spring! While you may think about heading to the beach this time of year in the South, snow may be even more fun.From Georgia to Tennessee to North Carolina and Florida – and yes, even Texas! – you can find the white stuff! You just need to know where to look. Don’t worry, we’ve got a list of ten places you can find snow in the South (often without dealing with the cold weather).
10 Places to Find Snow in the South
While most friends in the North have seen at least a little snowfall this winter, Southerners are eager to find snow anywhere we can. Although the South is most known for freezing rain rather than inches of snow, there are select places where snow can be found in winter. Here are 10 places to find snow in the South, along with fun things to do in the snow. And you don’t have to wait for a once-in-a-decade storm, either.
1. Beech Mountain Ski Resort, Beech Mountain, North Carolina
If you want to see real snow and feel the cold air of a northern winter, head to the mountains of North Carolina. The North Carolina ski resorts are the perfect place to experience the fun of snow skiing or snowboarding close to home. There are several ski resorts in North Carolina (some very close to the South Carolina border). Resort areas include Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Wolf Ridge and others. The resorts utilize snow-making machines, so even if there isn’t much “real snow,” there can still be skiing in North Carolina.
My favorite place to ski in North Carolina is Beech Mountain Ski Resort. You can still snag some runs on their trails through March 21, 2020. Late spring skiing (which in the South is February and March) offers some awesome discounted rates too compared to day rates for skiing in December and January. Beech Mountain has the highest elevation of any North Carolina ski resort, with 17 trails, 8 lifts, and 95 skiable acres. It also boasts the only high-speed quad lift to get skiers up the mountain fast. When Mother Nature doesn’t provide the snow, Beech Mountain Resort will make it. Before you go, check the snow reports, though there’s a good chance you will see snow fall from the sky throughout the winter season.
Read More: Where Kids Ski Free in 2019-2020
2. Ober Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s best-known ski resort. While it counts on Mother Nature to help get its slopes ready, it also uses warm-weather snowmaking technology. The ski slopes open in mid-December and they will be open through mid-March (weather permitting). In addition to the ski slopes, they also have a Ski Mountain Coaster, ice skating, snow tubing, a scenic chairlift, snowboarding and more. A special snow zone called Cubbies is for little ones under 48 inches to enjoy some fun in the snow in an area dedicated to them. The resort also offers the OGFT, or Ober Gatlinburg Freestyle Terrain, to let skiers and snowboarders get as creative as they want.
If you’re looking for something to do off the slopes, Ober Gatlinburg’s Wildlife Encounter is a good option. Although the black bear family may be in hibernation, you can still see the river otters playing, the birds of prey and various native Smokies animals in a special Nocturnal House.
TravelingMom Tip: Check out this list of places to stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
3. Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park, Stone Mountain, Georgia
Yes, you can find snow in Georgia! It’s always a snow day when Snow Mountain is in session! Located just outside of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is one of the most unique southeast destinations in the US. This winter wonderland lets you enjoy manufactured snow without dealing with cold weather or pesky annoyances like school closings. Stone Mountain Park opens Snow Mountain each November and runs through February. It includes 400-foot snow-covered tubing hill for individuals, as well as a family run. There is a Snow Zone area to throw snowballs and build snowmen. You can even roast s’mores.
In addition to the larger runs, the Little Angels section is built for smaller children (less than 46 inches tall). If you need more to do before or after your snow tubing session, you can always enjoy the attractions at Stone Mountain Park, including the 4D theater, a Summit Skyride to the top of Stone Mountain, live action shows and more. Check out this list of hotels near Stone Mountain Park.
4. License to Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville, Lake Lanier Island, Georgia
Lake Lanier Island is known to be a summertime fun spot, but it is also a fantastic place to find snow in the South! From November through March 1, 2020, it is transformed into a winter wonderland. License to Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville even has the fastest snow tubing hill in North America.
License to Chill Snow Island includes 13 winter-themed carnival rides. It has ten 400-foot long snow-tubing hills, an ice skating rink, snow play areas, sleigh rides and more! Even if there’s not a trace of snow in the long-range forecast and winter weather is staying above freezing, snow can be found here! Buy your Groupon License to Chill Snow Island Day Pass HERE.
5. Cloudmont Ski Resort, Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Football, sweet tea and skiing? You can head to Alabama to find snow in the south. About 90 minutes from Birmingham is Cloudmont Ski Resort. Located at an elevation of 1,800 feet, it will be colder here than down in the rest of the state.
Cloudmont Ski Resort has incorporated advanced snow-making equipment to make sure there is snow when you want it. As long as the temperature goes below 28 degrees, there will be snow. Cloudmont has two slopes which are geared toward beginner or intermediate skiers.
Although Alabama skiing may not be quite as challenging as shredding the Colorado slopes, it’s also a lot less expensive. Cloudmont is a great option for first-time skiers or you just want to see some white stuff. No sense spending a ton of money to go to Canada to find out you don’t really like the snow!
6. Ice! at Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando, Florida
People go to Orlando for many things…snow isn’t usually one of them. However, during the winter months, you can see Mickey Mouse and snow in the same day! Gaylord Palms Resort has nearby car rental options if you need that too. And it’s minutes from Walt Disney World. The Gaylord Palms offers guests the ability to experience the freezing cold at their family-friendly Ice! experience.
Read More: Plan the Best Disney World Vacation EVER!
At Ice! at Gaylord Palms, there is snow tubing, ice slides, a snowball throwing area, and two million twinkling lights to make it all extra magical. Be prepared for the cold though! It is kept at a chilly 9 degrees. Guests are provided calf-length, hooded winter coats to keep them warm, but long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Hats and gloves are recommended and available for purchase if you didn’t remember to pack them next to your swimsuit.
Look for overnight stay options to get the most for your money. Gaylord Palms Resort is one of the most beautiful family-friendly resorts you’ll ever see! Didn’t get here before ICE at Gaylord Palms closed in January? There’s always TONS to do at this awesome resort.
TravelingMom Tip: For ski lift tickets, rentals, packages and more visit here.
7. Santa’s Wonderland, College Station, Texas
Santa’s Wonderland Texas in College Station is a full Texas-sized Christmas Experience. There is a reason people come back year after year with their families. There are some old favorites, such as Texas Santa, Marshall Frostbite (the 7-foot-tall snowman mascot), and the hayride that are always a big hit. Besides that, you can go snow tubing! Introduced in 2019, Frostbite’s Mountain at Santa’s Wonderland gives visitors one more reason to get excited about seeing snow. This eight-lane snow tubing experience has an adjacent Snow Playground. It allows Texas kids the rare chance to play in the snow. Both are included in the price of admission. Learn more about going tubing in College Station Texas at Santa’s Wonderland.
8. Hawksnest Snow Tubing Park, Seven Devils, NC
Did you know that North Carolina has a plethora of snow tubing? It’s true! Hawksnest actually has 30 lanes of snow tubing. It is the largest snow tubing park in the entire state of North Carolina AND the whole East Coast! One thing to note is that there is no skiing or snow boarding here. It’s all tubing, all day. You can visit Hawksnest into the beginning of March, 2020.
9. Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock, NC
If you are a very beginner skier or you are traveling with small kids, Appalachian Ski Resort is a great place for you. They have 10 slopes, 3 terrain parks and a really beautiful outdoor ice area. You can easily spend a whole day having fun here. Another bonus for beginners is that Appalachian Ski school is the only ski resort in the Southeast region to be designated as an official Burton Learn To Ride Center. This happens to be one of the most inexpensive places to ski in the South as well. The 2020 ski season runs through March 22, 2020.
10. Ski Sapphire Valley, Sapphire, NC
For anyone who lives in the Metro Atlanta area, like I do, the closest ski resort is at Ski Sapphire Valley in Sapphire, North Carolina. The drive takes about 2.5 hours (or a little more if you encounter snow). This resort is a full scale winter sports haven. You can ski, snow board, take a winter zipline, and go tubing. The Frozen Falls Tube Park offers great family fun too. The 60 foot drop is no joke! In 2020, Ski Sapphire Valley will close out it’s skiing season on March 3, 2020.
The bottom line is that you can find snow in the South if you look hard enough. When you need your frozen fix, you now know where to go! Where’s your favorite place to find snow?