Best Fall/Autumn Attractions
Things to Do in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge in
September, October & November
What is the best time to visit Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge for fall colors?
Late October - Early November is prime time for the best fall colors.
What are the best Fall activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
You will start to feel Autumn creeping in around mid - August, with cozy, cooler nights.
Book your accommodations early, though, as this time of year is the most popular,
with weekends being the busiest!
Here are my picks for most unforgettable Fall & Autumn attractions and best things to do
around the Smoky Mountains during this most beautiful season here.
(in no certain order)
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1.) Anakeesta & AnaVista Observation Tower
576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
Anakeesta is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg and you can spend an entire day there and never be bored. They keep adding new things as time goes on, and growing in exciting new ways all the time!
It is very family friendly, and there is something for everyone from Ziplines, to treetop skywalk, to mountain coaster, memory gardens, the scenic Smokehouse Brewery, Treeventure Challenge Course, a splash pad, gem mining and more.
Seeing the fall colors and fall foliage from the AnaVista Observation Tower will be absolutely gorgeous and unforgettable, experience.
2.) The Funnel Cake Factory, 3357 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN
The Funnel Cake Factory has been around Pigeon Forge since 1982 and serves up not only funnel cakes, but kettle corn, homemade fudge, ice cream, fried oreos, caramel apples, polish sausage, corn dogs, lemonade, soda, floats, shakes, cotton candy and more.
Celebrate fall with kettle corn and caramel apples and take some home but don't forget to lock your car.....Bears open car doors, (seriously, they do!!).
3.) Kyker Farms Corn Maze, 938 Alder Branch Rd., Sevierville, TN
Kyker Farms is a real farm tucked away, just a few miles down a country road, not far off the main Parkway of Sevierville. When Autumn arrives, this unassuming farm turns into a really fun place with corn mazes, a pumpkin patch, haunted trail, petting zoo, playground, bonfire, hayrides, Zombie Blasters, and more.
Be sure to add this to your list of fall fun!
4.) Downtown Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
If there's one place that can make you feel the spirit of Autumn, it's downtown Gatlinburg. All you have to do is show up, and take a walk along the Parkway, and you will see the most fun and pretty fall decorations while visiting some favorite shops. Free, live entertainment is usually going on at Ole Smoky Moonshine, along with trick or treating during Halloween too.
Ride up to the Skybridge or the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle to see unmatched fall and mountain views or jump onto the Ober Tram (see Ober Oktoberfest below). You can also see Ripley Attractions and Ripley's Haunted Adventure among the many specialty shops, have lunch on a rooftop, or just relax and "people watch".
5.) "You Pick" Farm, Wears Valley, TN
Pick your own pumpkins and berries, great for kids, families, groups and cooks!
Myers Brothers Farm - 3348 Valley View Rd., Sevierville (Wears Valley)
Has watermelon, sweet corn, ornamental pumpkins, strawberries, Mums, garlic, honey and more! Call ahead for times when they are open.
Mountain Mist Farms - 722 Caney Creek Rd., Pigeon Forge
Has wine, berries in summer and honey. Check Facebook page for hours and U-pick crops.
Kyker Farms (see above) also has a pumpkin patch.
In the heart of the Smokies, and off the beaten path, you don't want to miss these. Be sure to check hours before heading out.
6.) Old Mill District, Old Mill St., Pigeon Forge, TN
The Old Mill is a landmark in Pigeon Forge. The area around it is beautiful and has easy parking and trolley access via Patriot Park. The Old Mill shops are always, beautifully decorated, and the restaurants are well known.
You can tour the Old Mill and have a meal there. You can also feed the ducks on the river, watch a blacksmith, or sample moonshine at the Old Forge Distillery. You'll find The Old Mill Candy Kitchen, The Pottery House Cafe & Grille, and visit the famous Pigeon River Pottery - maybe even make some pottery yourself....and much more!
Some of the most beautiful pottery I've ever seen is made here.
7.) Rent a UTV, Slingshot or Jeep
Imagine driving around the mountains and taking in the fall scenery and fresh mountain air in one of these exotic and fun vehicles. Rent a Polaris Slingshot, a Jeep, a UTV or an Vanderhall and ride through the fall colors, and explore Gatlinburg and the backroads in style.
8.) Ripley's Haunted Adventure, 908 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
(Get a Discount Here)
Do you love Halloween and getting scared? This year-round haunted house is especially popular during "Friday Fright Nights" in October. You can even get a package that includes the Fright Night VIP Couple Package with "Meet & Greet", pictures with Monsters and front on the line entry for Fright Nights.
Also check out Mysterious Mansion at 424 River Road in Gatlinburg.
How about a Ghost Tour??
9.) Wyile Cider Barn at Foxfire Mountain, Gatlinburg, TN
This is one of my favorites!
This cute little Leprechaun (Wyile) Legend inspired cidery back in the mountains, makes sparkling cider and hard ciders from fresh berries. It's next to Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park, where you can also go ziplining, hiking, take on a 60' climbing wall or aerial adventure course. There is also a kid's challenge course, a Bear Crawler ATV tour, BBQ Shack, and America's longest swinging bridge with waterfall!
But if you don't go for the adventure, go for the cider! Because you don't need to enter the park to sample the cider!
10.) Roaring Fork Historic Motor Trail
Cherokee Orchard Rd., Gatlinburg, TN
This drivable nature trail is more than just beautiful, it is the cradle of Gatlinburg itself. The cabins you will see and can go into, are from Gatlinburg's earliest settlers.
It's also a likely place to see bears, but remember, stay back and give them space if you see them. It is home to them, and we are lucky to be able to visit. This trail is a one way loop, just off the main Parkway of Gatlinburg, and is completely free. A drive or a hike on its many trails, fall foliage and waterfalls will be unforgettable in October!
Want a Guided Tour?
11.) Dollywood Harvest Festival
1020 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN
If anyone knows how to celebrate a season, its Dolly!
The park is decked out with everything Autumn, and Great Pumkin LumiNights will light up the night. Beside the rides, and entertainment, the Harvest Festival Celebration is in full gear for Fall. Wander through the artisans in the Craftsman Valley, or sample authentic Autumn inspired home cooking. Dollywood never disappoints.
12.) Riding Stables & Carriage Rides
Fall means the best weather to be outdoors, and getting as close to nature as possible. Imagine how relaxing and exciting it is to ride a beautiful stallion or sitting next to your favorite person on a carriage ride through the forest and mountains, and fall color!
Professional Trail Guides will take you on a journey through the Smoky Mountains like you will never see from the main roads.
2 Highly rated, and reputable Stables are:
GoldRush Stables & Carriage Rides - 2204 Goldrush Rd., Pigeon Forge
Cades Cove Riding Stables - 10018 Campground Drive, Townsend, TN 37882
Hay wagons and carriage rides are modified to allow for wheelchair access.
13.) Oktoberfest at Ober Mountain
1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg
German inspired, Bavarian food, drinks and music will fill your senses as you ride the Ober tram (or you can drive up the beautiful mountain) and take in the magical fall views as leaves change. Of course, no German Festival is complete without beer and an Oompah band.
While you are there, enjoy ice skating, ice bumper boats, a mountain coaster, alpine slide, scenic chair lift, rock wall, the Wildlife Encounter, mini golf, chair swing ride, carousel, a maze, kiddie rides, and an arcade. Get your cabin near on Ski Mountain or Chalet Village here.
Check out the "Colorblindless Viewers" that were invented for those with colorblindness to enjoy the Fall colors. This is a unique and truly rewarding experience for anyone who is colorblind.
14.) Clingman's Dome, Clingman's Dome Rd.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
About 23 miles from Gatlinburg downtown, is the 2nd highest point East of the Mississippi. From the top you can see between 20-100 miles away. It's a steep, paved walk to the top, and you may need to stop along the way and rest on some benches provided. So, take your time, but it is well worth it at the top.
Clingman's Dome sits right on the Appalachian trail and is a very popular destination, with good parking. Bring a jacket, it can get a bit chilly sometimes up there.
Pro tip - Right after it rains, the views are the clearest!
See cabins with Stunning Fall Views Here.
15.) Apple Barn & Cider Mill, Apple Valley Rd., Sevierville, TN
There are some people who will not leave the Smokies without a visit to this place! Apple Barn is known for its apple orchards, fresh apple cider, apple fritters, homemade apple butter, sauces, candies and The Applewood Restaurant. They also have a Cider House and Winery.
Fall is apple season, and you won't go wrong visiting this beloved place in Sevierville, a farm right off the Parkway.
16.) Ride a Haunted Mountain Coaster, Pigeon Forge, TN
Rocky Top Mountain Coaster features a limited time haunted ride called "Coasts and Goblins" Friday & Saturday nights during the month of October (confirm dates before heading out)....be afraid, be very afraid! Control your own speed. And ride if you dare....muahhahaha...
17.) Drive up to a Waterfall and Walk Some Trails
in the Great Smoky Mountains
There are many WONDERFUL trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
I have a list of Waterfall and Wildflower Hikes you can do, and I also have a few of my own favorites!
One of those is The Sinks and Meigs Creek Trail, which are in the same pull off in the Park. It's just 15 miles from Gatlinburg.
There is a gorgeous overlook, a short walk from a nice parking area. There you can enjoy the falls. Then if you like, head over to the stairway that takes you to the trails.
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