The biggest attraction here in Gatlinburg in the fall is the fall foliage. As the air gets colder, the entire world explodes with bright, brilliant yellows, golds, oranges and reds. Fall in Gatlinburg is also the start of the holiday season too, so there are plenty of festivals and events to attend.
Enjoying the Fall Colors
While you can easily enjoy a breath taking view of the colorful foliage from the deck of your luxurious Gatlinburg vacation home, with a warmth-inducing bottle of Apple Pie Moonshine by your side, why not get a little exercise first? Grab the kids and head out into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for some prime leaf-peeping. Hike or bike along trails winding through those pretty, colorful red maples and scarlet oaks. Clingmans Dome is one of the highest points in the park and one of the best viewing spots too. Cades Cove and Laurel Falls are two more popular hikes to try. Or drive the Cades Cove Loop or Roaring Fork Historic Motor Trail to view the spectacular colors from the comfort of your car. For those hikers who want a little ghostly atmosphere along the way, hike to Little Greenbrier Cemetery or Elkmont Ghost Town.
Amusement Parks and More
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum is a top place to see in Gatlinburg, especially at Halloween. For those in your group that aren’t in to scary stuff, there’s the 5D Moving Theatre, the Mirror Maze and plenty of unique exhibits to view.
Of course, no visit to the Gatlinburg area would be complete without a trip to Dollywood. For Halloween, Pigeon Forge hosts a Spooktacular Halloween where kids of all ages can enjoy a safe, fun Trick-or-Treat. Dress up and get free candy! And of course, Dollywood will be decked out with plenty of fall color, ghosts, witches, goblins, pumpkins and more. Make sure to get in line for the haunted roller coaster, with special spooky lighting and live ghosts and goblins along the way. As always, there are tons of rides, a zip line, entertainment and live music, and local arts and crafts at this famous amusement park.
For more Halloween fun in Gatlinburg, the Mysterious Mansion has been scaring guests for over forty years. This three-story Victorian-style mansion is full of scares and spooky special effects and is recommended for adults and teens.
The annual Spooktacular Smokies event at SkyLift Park features family-friendly activities, with spooky music and scary stories (thanks to the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association). Enjoy an amazing panoramic view of fabulous fall foliage from the SkyDeck as you listen to creepy tales, walk the SkyBridge if you dare, and take the SkyLift chairs back down the mountain for more gorgeous mountain views.
Another Halloween-themed event is the annual Legend of Hallow Mountain at Anakeesta Amusement Park, with family-friendly crafts and games, fall-inspired treats, and more. Start your day off with an exciting Ridge Rambler shuttle ride (think large ATVs) scrambling up the mountain that the kids will love, or take a gentle scenic gondola ride to the top. A leisurely stroll along the elevated walkway is fun way to see the experience the fall foliage, close up, and the observation tower at the summit is surrounded by gorgeous botanical gardens and offers gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding Smokies and all that colorful fall foliage. During the Halloween season, walk along the elevated bridges of this place to see in Gatlinburg that sparkle with tiny lights as they wind through the tree tops in the Firefly Forest, go Ziplining with Zombies, or take your chances on the Haunted Rail Runner Coaster. There are several “scare” zones too, like the Hallow Mountain Graveyard full of spooky props, scary noises, chainsaws, coffins (of course), zombies, spooky fog and more.
Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. Enjoy traditional German food, music and beer while dancing to the Smoky Mountain Oompah Band. Adults can enjoy bratwurst and Bavarian beer in the Outdoor Bier Garten and practice their yodeling while the kids enjoy ice bumper cars, a rock climbing wall, the Alpine Slide, mini-golf and the Wildlife Encounter. And the Aerial Tramway offers a gorgeous view of the Smokies in all their splendor.
More Attractions in Fall in Gatlinburg
The Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is 12 weeks of craft shows and events, ending with the famous chili cook-off. And the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair features over 200 booths overflowing with traditional artwork, jewelry, pottery and ceramics, and more, all with an Appalachian focus, at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. There’s a kids’ corner with DIY arts and crafts too.
It’s fall in Gatlinburg, and the Smokies are filled with the bold colors of autumn and the faint sound of yodeling drifting down the mountain. After a long hard day of hiking or enjoying Bavarian beer and strudel, the luxurious comfort of your Gatlinburg vacation rental will be waiting for you. Give us a call today for help finding the vacation rental with the best view of those autumn colors!