fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains near Newfound Gap
August 22, 2023

A vacation to the Smokies always means a never-ending amount of great options when it comes to things to do in Gatlinburg, but in the fall, it’s even more fun and beautiful! To help you start planning your next trip, we wanted to share with you some things that we think you’ll enjoy doing while staying with us during the autumn months! Here are 10 things to do in Gatlinburg in the fall:

1. Roaring Fork Motor Trail

This is a favorite among park guests and leaf peepers! The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is on the edge of downtown Gatlinburg and just minutes away from our hotel! The area is filled with cascades, waterfalls, history, and hiking trails. However, a nice drive along the motor trail is perfect as well. Autumn is certainly the time to take in the beauty of the Roaring Fork! Plus, it’s a great time to spot a black bear or two!

anakeesta chairlift in gatlinburg2. Bear-varian Fall Festival at Anakeesta

If you think that Anakeesta can’t get any better than it already is, you haven’t tried visiting in the fall, yet! The attraction always has fun, family-friendly activities and decorations for the fall season. This year, they’re offering a special Bear-varian Fall Festival for guests to enjoy too! The festival includes Halloween-themed decorations, drink specials, pumpkin carvings, and more.

3. Boo Bash at Gatlinburg SkyPark

Want to take in the best views of the fall foliage? Visit the Gatlinburg SkyPark! Not only does this attraction offer panoramic views of the fall colors from the SkyLift, SkyDeck, SkyBridge, and SkyTrail, but it also is covered in beautiful fall decor and features plenty of fall fun. Enjoy face paining, balloon artists, live music, games, and more. If you’re looking for spooky fun, try cross the Gatlinburg SkyBridge once the sun goes down!

4. Attend the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

The annual Craftsmen’s Fair is a favorite among both guests and locals! It features 200 booths with unique handmade products. Not only will you get to speak to artists and observe them as they work, but it’s also a great opportunity to kickstart your Christmas shopping with unique gifts!

5. Ober’s Fall Festival

Gatlinburg during the fall

This October, Ober Mountain is introducing a fun fall festival for the whole family. This month-long event has music, food, and fun. Hop on the Aerial Tramway and take in views of the fall foliage on your way to the top of the mountain, where hours of excitement awaits. There’s a hay mountain you can slide down, a hay track you can bike around, and a hay maze to explore! There’s also live concerts and specialty food items like Ober Dunkel Brats, Pumpkin Spice Fudge, and more.

6. Take a ghost tour

If you love spooky stories, you’ll enjoy learning about the history of Gatlinburg through a walking ghost and haunt tour of the most loved town in the Smokies. But don’t say we didn’t warn you, because afterwards, you’ll never look at Gatlinburg the same! Don’t miss these other Halloween-themed things to do in Gatlinburg!

7. Go for a hike

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by trail! The weather is cooler in the fall months and the canopy of the Smokies fills with autumn colors making it the perfect time to take a hike! Need hiking gear? Our friends at the NOC Gatlinburg can help you with everything you need and they even have rental gear available for you to try out! The NOC can also help you with booking a guided hike! Some of the most popular trails to explore in the fall are Alum Cave, Andrews Bald, and Gregory Bald.

fall in the smoky mountains8. Attend a photography workshop

Autumn in the Smokies is a photographer’s paradise! It’s also the perfect time to book a photography tour with a professional guide. You’ll not only learn tricks to using your camera, but you’ll also get a firsthand tour of the best spots for fall photos in the national park!

9. Visit a Haunted Attraction

What better way to get in the Halloween spirit during fall than with a visit to a haunted attraction? We recommend stopping by Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, the top haunted house in Gatlinburg, filled with suspense and surprises around every corner. During October, this attraction hosts Ripley’s Fright Nights that allow visitors to experience their haunted house in a terrifyingly fun and immersive new way. You can also stop by Mysterious Mansion, self-guided tour through a 3-story mansion haunted by ghosts and gruesome guests.

10. Stay With Us

The best way to make all of the fun fall things to do in Gatlinburg happen is by doing our favorite thing on the list: staying with us! Our downtown Gatlinburg hotel is just steps away from all of the wonderful things happening during one of the most beautiful seasons of the Smokies! We are located just down the road from the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but we are also within walking distance of the best restaurants, shops and attractions in town! During your stay with us, you will have a room that is riverside and that has a private balcony, a perk that every guest gets to enjoy! Our amenities are everything you’ll need in a home away from home and you’ll find our hotel to be modern but rustic and extra cozy!

You’ll find plenty to do on a fall vacation in the Smokies and you’ll have a wonderful time even if you just decide to kick back and enjoy the view! It’s a favorite time to visit the area for many. Are you ready to plan your trip to enjoy the best things to do in Gatlinburg in the fall? Take a look at our guest rooms and book your stay!

We’ll see you soon!

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