5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in the Fall
If you’ve been to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge before, you know there’s no shortage of things to do, and it can be hard to narrow down your options! Fall is a great time of year to visit due to the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, plus a number of special events going on. Take a look at this list of the top 5 things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the fall:
1. Take a scenic drive.
One of the best ways to experience the bright fall foliage is by taking a long scenic drive through the mountains! Whether you take Newfound Gap Road, the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, or the Foothills Parkway, you’re guaranteed to come across breathtaking overlooks, wildlife, historic sites, and rushing streams. We also recommend taking the Gatlinburg Bypass road to the scenic overlook, where you can admire downtown Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains in the fall– it’s especially spectacular at sunset!
2. Go on a bike ride in Cades Cove.
Another great place to get out and enjoy the outdoors is Cades Cove, by far one of the most popular spots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Instead of driving the loop road, which is usually very crowded, take a bike ride on Wednesdays, one of the park-mandated vehicle-free days. You’ll be able to take your time exploring the area without worrying about sharing the road with cars. Don’t skip stopping at the Cades Cove Visitor Center and the historic homesteads and churches scattered throughout the valley– it’s easy to spend most of the day in Cades Cove!
3. Hike to a waterfall.
Hiking in the Smokies is fun all year round; however, the slightly cooler weather and fall colors make for an even better experience! There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a majestic waterfall surrounded by yellow, orange, and red leaves of autumn. Some of our favorite waterfall trails include Abrams Falls, Laurel Falls, Grotto Falls, and Rainbow Falls!
4. Attend the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair.
During the month of October, hundreds of vendors come together at the Gatlinburg Convention Center for the Gatlinburg Craftmen’s Fair. You’ll find one-of-a-kind items, handmade and finely crafted, from woodworking and leather pieces to pottery, copper art, and other artwork. This event is the perfect opportunity to purchase unique gifts for family and friends, and you can also enjoy concessions and live music!
5. Go to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival.
One of the best fall festivals in the Smoky Mountains is Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, which takes place the entire month of October! The Great Pumpkin LumiNights is definitely one of the highlights that all ages love– 12,000 glowing pumpkins cast a whimsical atmosphere to the park you absolutely have to experience for yourself!
Now you know about some fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the fall! Learn more about our Mexican restaurant and why you should visit us during your next trip. We look forward to welcoming you to the Smokies!