Thousands flock to Gatlinburg and the Smokies each year during the autumn season for the bright fall foliage, seasonal events, and delicious food. Take a look at the top ways to experience the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall:
1. Hike to a scenic overlook.
There are many beautiful places in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to view fall colors, such as Cades Cove and Metcalf Bottoms, but there’s nothing better than hiking to a higher elevation overlook! For an easy and short hike, take the steep half-mile trail to the top of Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the national park. The panoramic view will no doubt take your breath away! Other fantastic autumn hikes include the Alum Cave Trail, Charlies Bunyon, Laurel Falls, and the Appalachian Trail.
2. Drive along a beautiful mountain road.
An alternative to hiking is a Smoky Mountain scenic drive. Obviously, Cades Cove Loop Road is the most popular area to explore, but there are plenty of other stunning mountain roads to explore. We recommend Rick Mountain Road, Upper Tremont Road, the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, and the Foothills Parkway. You can also find a beautiful overlook of Gatlinburg along the Gatlinburg Bypass that’s definitely worth stopping at!
3. Admire the view from Anakeesta.
A trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall isn’t complete without taking in the view from Anakeesta! The Treetop Skywalk is nothing short of magical when the leaves are changing into their brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. Whether you’re enjoying an adult-only trip or a family vacation, Anakeesta is a must!
4. Go to the Craftsmen’s Fair.
You can find many seasonal events in the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall, and the Gatlinburg Craftmen’s Fair is one you won’t want to miss! An annual event in October, this craft fair is the perfect place to do a little holiday shopping and find one-of-a-kind handmade items, from jewelry and leather goods to pottery and art.
5. Enjoy spooky attractions.
One of the best things about autumn is the spooky season! Those who enjoy a bit of fright and an adrenaline rush should check out Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, a thrilling escape room game at Gatlin’s Escape Games, or a ghost-walking tour of Gatlinburg.
6. Stroll through downtown Gatlinburg.
A simple yet rewardable way to enjoy fall in the Smoky Mountains is by walking the downtown strip. Breathe in the fresh air, browse the unique shops, and admire the bright colors of the fall leaves. You’ll most likely smell the sweet scent of cinnamon from The Donut Friar and see plenty of autumn decor along the street and shop windows. It’s also the perfect opportunity to have a delicious meal at our downtown Gatlinburg restaurant. We serve a full menu of burgers, chicken, sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos, wings, salads, and BBQ with a Smoky Mountain twist, and a specialty drink menu of handmade cocktails such as the Hillbilly Hurricane, the Blacksmith, and a local favorite, the Nutter Butter Old Fashioned.
We hope you are able to plan a visit soon to experience the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall. Learn more about why our restaurant is the best place to get food in Gatlinburg, and don’t forget to stop by during your trip to the Smokies!