Top National Publication Recognizes Gatlinburg’s Unparalleled Fall Season, Crediting its Wealth of Foliage and Attractions.

September 18, 2023 (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) - USA Today has named Gatlinburg as the Best Place to Visit for Fall (2023)  as part of the publication’s 2023 10Best Readers' Choice travel award program. The Smoky Mountain town bested 20 other major national destinations, each nominated by an expert panel and voted on by the 5 million USA Today 10Best readers that visit the site each month. This is the fourth consecutive year that Gatlinburg has earned recognition from USA Today. The national publication consistently lists the mountain town as a top five destination for its spectacular fall season.
Gatlinburg was highlighted for its amazing seasonal colors, attractions and unique bird’s eye viewing spots, according to the publication’s official review. Vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows blanket the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, providing visitors and guests with a spectacular color viewing experience. Within the town’s city limits, visitors can choose to fill their days with a variety of activities. Truly a fall foliage wonderland, Gatlinburg awaits leaf peepers and thrill-seekers alike to experience the magic of fall in the Smokies. 

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by such a prominent national media outlet, and especially to be voted on by its readers and Gatlinburg visitors,” said Chad Netherland, President, and CEO of Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Gatlinburg offers a one-of-a-kind fall experience and every year we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the country to celebrate the autumn season.”

Fall leaf peeping in Gatlinburg is unlike any other destination in the country, whether taking in the colors high among the tree canopies or suspended between two mountains. Here are a few of places offering tremendous bird’s eye views.  

•    Anakeesta’s AnaVista Tower: As the highest point in Gatlinburg, views from the top of AnaVista Tower are unmatched.
•    Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook: Easily accessible from the Gatlinburg bypass, visitors can stop their cars to take in an aerial view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
•    Ober Mountain’s Aerial Tramway: While journeying up to the top of Ober Mountain, guests are lifted high above the treetops and may even spot a bear or two!
•    Gatlinburg SkyPark: New to Gatlinburg this fall, guests can watch the sunrise over the Smokies while taking in the illumination of seasonal colors from 1,800 feet above Gatlinburg.

USA Today’s recognition is ideally timed, as the Gatlinburg’s Autumn line up is loaded with a range of activities for all ages. These include: 

  • Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival: Mid-September – Late November
    Fully decked out with three-dimensional, life-sized scarecrows, visitors cannot help but lean into the seasonal festivities as they stroll down the Parkway. Photographs and voting for your favorite scarecrow are not only allowed but encouraged!
  • Anakeesta’s Bear-varian Festival: September 9 – October 31
    Decked out with Halloween décor and complemented with a seasonal selection of drinks and eats, Anakeesta’s nature-themed take on Halloween is a must see. In between feasting on seasonal treats and riding mountainside roller coasters, consider flying through the trees on their Dueling Ziplines.
  • Ober’s Smoky Mountain Fall Festival: September 29 – October 28
    Offering a full schedule of events from movies to concerts, Ober’s autumn festival offers fun for the whole family. While you’re on the mountain, try out their new mountain biking experience!
  • SkyPark’s Boo Bash: October 1 – October 31
    Geared toward family-friendly Halloween fun, Skypark’s décor embraces their status as one of the best places to view fall foliage. Make sure to check out their Fall Fest on October 27 – 28 for their Halloween carnival!
  • Ripley’s Fright Nights: October 1 – October 31
    Celebrating its 25th annual Fright Night’s Show, this year features the G & S Dead and Breakfast and offers those brave enough to enter a horrifyingly fun and newly immersive experience.

To read more about Gatlinburg’s fall calendar of events, visit



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