Fall is upon us! And that means there’s no better place to be than Gatlinburg for the changing of the leaves. Surrounded by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a stroll through downtown Gatlinburg is the perfect segue to fall leaf-peeping pleasure. In fact, the Smokies are home to more than 100 species of trees, 80 percent of which are deciduous, making for a myriad of colors this time of year. Here are the top 7 places in Gatlinburg for catching the sights of fall:
- AnaVista Tower- Hop in a chondola and head up Anakeesta mountain for bird's eye views at AnaVista Tower, Gatlinburg's highest point. The warm colors of autumn, blanketing the Great Smoky Mountains, will truly pop when viewed from the tower's breathtaking 360° views. On a clear and crisp fall day, the panoramic scenery can be viewed all the way to Kentucky.
- Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook- The Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook provides a pull-off area easily accessed along the Gatlinburg Bypass. Showcasing spectacular views of downtown Gatlinburg alongside an incomparable mountain landscape featuring Mt. LeConte, this is undoubtedly the perfect spot to grab that fall family photo.
- Gatlinburg SkyLift Park- There’s plenty of time to take in all the sights as riders steadily glide up the side of Crockett Mountain. The final destination is 1,800 feet above Gatlinburg! At the top, spectators will find observation decks, unique souvenirs and the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, North America's longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Soak in the views as you walk across the mountain's ravine, surrounded by beautiful fall foliage. Gatlinburg Sky Lift is open daily.
- Gatlinburg Space Needle- Standing at 407 feet tall, the view from the Space Needle leaves spectators with a mountain top feeling without ever leaving town. With a complete 360-degree view, the observation deck of the Space Needle offers an array of vantage points for fall scenes every day.
- Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community- With more than 100 artists and craftsmen along the 8-mile loop, Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Fall is the perfect time to take in all the beauty Gatlinburg’s arts scene offers. Take a stroll beneath the spectacular colors while selecting handmade items crafted in the Smoky Mountains for generations.
- Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway- Opened in 1973, Ober Gatlinburg’s Aerial Tramway is one of the largest in America. Each tramcar accommodates up to 120 passengers, so there’s plenty of room for the whole family. Soaring two miles to the top of Mt. Harrison, the tram offers spectacular panoramic views of Mt. LeConte and the rest of the Smokies. Rolling hills covered in colorful reds and yellows will leave riders with the feeling of stepping into a Smoky Mountain mural. Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is open 7 days a week and departs from the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg.
Check out the leaf schedule.