With a gorgeous location, against the backdrop of mountains and surrounded by spectacular nature, Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for your escape during fall, when the whole area is painted with brilliant fall color.
Famed for being one of the best places to see fall foliage in the United States, the mountain town awaits visitors with breathtaking sceneries, cozy cabins, lavish fall decorations, special events, delicious foods, and plenty of interesting things to do. If you plan a memorable trip to Gatlinburg during the fall season, continue reading, and find out more about this quaint, resort-like village.
The Best Time to Admire the Autumn Leaf Color
Many say that if you want to experience the peak color season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you should plan your holiday in mid-October. While this is the park’s most spectacular display, the breathtaking colors of autumn enhance the beauty of the Smokies for seven weeks or more, staring mid-September until mid-November.
To have a memorable fall experience, you can drive in the comfort of your car or enjoy thrilling hikes that get you closer to nature. While driving is a relaxing way yo experience fall in the Great Smoky Mountains, this is a land for people who love the outdoors, and hiking can, without a doubt, enhance the beauty of colors and emotions.
Plan Your Gatlinburg Holiday: Exciting Fall Activities
You can begin your fall escapade with a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Among the most popular roads for leaf watching are Little River Road, Newfound Gap Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, or Cades Cove Loop Road.
If you prefer getting closer to nature, forget about your car and adventure into hiking in the National Park. Not only will you admire the stunning foliage, but also enjoy the comfortable, cool fall weather. Some of the best autumn hikes are Porters Creek Trail (4 miles roundtrip), Baskins Creek Falls (3 miles roundtrip), and Little River Trail (4.9 miles roundtrip).
Gatlinburg is a great destination, but not only for admiring the fall colors. If you love golf, you can enjoy playing surrounded scenic beauty. Designed by three-time Masters and British Open Championship Winner Gary Player, Bent Creek Golf Course is a par 72 course, with a beautiful sparkling mountain stream meandering throughout the entire course. And, of course, this is one example, as there are plenty of golf courses in the area.
History aficionados will love their fall holiday in the Great Smoky Mountains. Begin with the Tuckaleechee Caverns, also known as The Greatest Site Under the Smokies, catch a glimpse at the 24 feet tall stalagmites and admire the country’s tallest subterranean waterfall, a 210-foot two-tier cascade, named Silver Falls. Then head towards Old Mill & General Store in Pigeon Forge, an 1830 working mill listed in the National Register of Historic Places. And don’t forget to get a sight of the artistic aspect of the area, while enjoying the Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail.
If you are into autumn activities, apple picking will bring you a lot of joy. Enjoy a short drive until you reach Baxter’s Orchard in Cosby, have fun picking every type of apple you could want and take them home to make apple pie, crips, or other delicacies. And when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth properly, Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen is a must. Caramel apples, chocolate bears on a stick, and homemade fudge, are some of the flavorsome products that will make your taste buds run wild at the popular Candy Kitchen.
And if you’re traveling during Halloween, you might want to take a ghost tour in Gatlinburg or explore the Mysterious Mansion, which is open all year round, but it hosts special Halloween Presentations on weekend evenings in October. Get ready for intense sights and frights!
Enhance Your Gatlinburg Escapade: Big Fall Events
There is no doubt that the biggest fall event in Gatlinburg and the surroundings is the autumn foliage. But there are other events you shouldn’t miss if you want the full Smokies experience.
Oktoberfest, for instance, brings locals and visitors full days of merrymaking, with authentic costumes, traditional Bavarian folk music and dances, schuhplattling, yodels, and more. Get ready for some real fun, enjoying daily shows and performances and spoiling yourselves with special Oktoberfest beers as well as traditional German wurst, sauerkraut, strudel, pretzels, and many other surprises.
Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is also an event you shouldn’t miss if you want to get closer to this area and its gorgeous autumn traditions.
This is one of the southeast’s most popular events, and you can enjoy it from October 8 through 25. During this time, the Gatlinburg Convention Center becomes a multi-level mecca of the top craft people from all across the United States. Not only will you be able to admire and purchase the beautiful art, but the artists will also demonstrate their special talents and skills during the show.