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5 of the Best Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in the Fall

Dollywood's Great Pumpkin LumiNights sign
September 21, 2022

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful all year round, but it’s no secret that they become an even more spectacular sight in the fall. Each year, thousands of visitors come to the Smokies to catch a glimpse of the picture-perfect fall foliage. To help guarantee you have a wonderful time while you’re here, we’ve put together a list of 5 of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the fall.

1. Drive Along a Scenic Road

One of the most popular ways to take in the beauty of fall is to go for a scenic drive. Newfound Gap Road makes for a great fall drive in the mountains. You can actually get an early fall view from the parking area at Newfound Gap, and the entire route is lined with trees and mountains so you’ll have an up-close look at all of the fall foliage. Cades Cove Loop Road is another popular fall drive. You can see several historic sites and buildings, wildlife, and plenty of gorgeous fall colors. Driving along a scenic road is one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the fall.

2. Go for a Hike

Another great way to experience the Smoky Mountains in the fall is to go for a hike. You will truly be immersed in all of the fall colors. One of the most popular fall hikes is Alum Cave Trail , which is about 4.5 miles roundtrip. About 1.8 miles into your hike, you’ll reach Inspiration Point, which is an incredible spot to admire the breathtaking views of the fall foliage in the mountains. Other popular fall hikes include Porters Creek and Laurel Falls .

3. Visit Anakeesta

firefly village at anakeesta

If you want to experience fall from an attraction, visit Anakeesta. Anakeesta is one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains during the fall if you want to have fun while enjoying the fall scenery. Not only does Anakeesta celebrate autumn with fall food, live music, and more, but you can enjoy all the best that the attraction offers all throughout the year. For some of the best views of the fall colors, try the Dueling Zipline Adventure or the Tree Canopy Walk. When you’ve had your fill of fun for the day, enjoy a meal at Cliff Top Bar & Grill, where you can admire the Smoky Mountains blanketed with the colors of fall.

4. Attend a Fall Festival

Another one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the fall is visit a festival! The most popular fall event in the Smokies is the Dollywood Harvest Festival . Dollywood comes alive in pumpkin decorations, fall flavored food, gospel music, and more. Not to mention the Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which is a nightly grand finale where the park is illuminated in jack-o-lanterns and full of family fun. There will be glow face painting, specialty merchandise, and so much more. Other fall events in the Smoky Mountains include Oktoberfest at Ober and the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.

5. Relax at Your Cabin in the Smokies

smoky mountain cabin deck with chairs looking out at the woods

In the midst of all your fall excitement, make sure to take some time to relax at your cabin in the Smokies! Our cabins come with everything you need for a comfortable stay in the mountains, but there are also plenty of ways to enjoy fall right from your cabin. Soak on the bubbling hot tub as you breathe in the crisp, fall air, gather around the outdoor fire pit and roast marshmallows, or just relax on your deck and admire the mountain views. There is also fun to be had inside your cabin, whether it’s shooting a game of pool, watching your favorite Halloween movie, or making Halloween cookies and drinking apple cider in the kitchen! Wondering what you should bring with you to our cabins? Here are some packing tips for a fall trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Now that you know all of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the fall, you can start planning your visit! Browse all of our cabins in the Smokies and reserve the perfect one for your stay.

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