It's a myth that the height of the fall color season only happens in October in Gatlinburg. There is actually about a seven week window where the fall colors spread from the higher elevations down to the lowlands. By late October or early November the entire countryside is alight with reds, yellows and oranges. Whether you choose to walk or drive, Gatlinburg offers you a multitude of foliage viewing opportunities. And while viewing the fall colors is a spectacular sight, visiting Gatlinburg in the fall offers many other prospects for romance and adventure.Read on to see some intriguing ways to enjoy your Gatlinburg fall vacation.
Start With A Tour To See The Fall Colors
*Try these easier hikes through hardwood forests
Lower Mount Cammerer, Baskins Creek Falls, Little River, Old Settlers and Porters Creeks Trails.
*These tougher hikes reward hikers with scenic overlooks
Sugarlands Mountain, Goshen Prong Trails, Low Gap, Appalachian, Mt. Sterling.
*Driving to see the foliage also offers impressive viewing opportunities
Try the Foothills Parkway segments on the east and west side of the Park; Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail; Balsam Mountain Road; Cove Creek Road; and Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) with its variety of scenic overlooks.
Any of these trails and roads can be located with maps and information available at the visitors centers here in town.
Take to the Sky
Some people like to take to the sky to view the glory of autumn. You could try the Gatlinburg Skylift or the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram to ride high above the tree tops and look for miles in all directions. If this is too tame for you, you could try zip lining. We recently wrote a post on zip lining your way over Gatlinburg. In the fall people can get one of the better views around riding a zip line high above Gatlinburg. Many of the zip line courses reach heights of at least 100'. Riders traverse zip line courses stretching a thousand or more feet through some of the most gorgeous forested areas around.
Plan a Romantic Fall Wedding in Gatlinburg
Even though fall is the most popular time for people to come here and it can be pretty busy here in town, it is also one of the most beautiful and romantic times to have a wedding in Gatlinburg. If you want to avoid the bigger fall foliage viewing crowds you could come during the week, and later in October.
A little advance research into wedding venues can help you plan for your big day. The wedding coordinators at the chapels in the area are dedicated to ensuring that every detail of your ceremony is taken care of for you. Getting the planning started from a distance can work surprisingly well, and when you arrive in Gatlinburg you can look forward to a glorious day.
It's a good idea to interview several chapels as they all offer different wedding packages; some are very basic and others are quite extensive. One way to keep all the details straight is to write up a list of questions to ask the wedding planners. An important question that should be asked is what is included in the stated price; in other words, does the package price include everything stated in the package advertisement, or are there additional charges that apply? Another good question to ask is if the package allows for a wedding party's attendance, or just the bride and groom. Also wedding concierges need to provide a definite backup plan if the wedding is scheduled for outdoors and bad weather forces a change of venue.
Gatlinburg is known for its diverse and imaginative wedding venues; people here have been married on horseback, on a bridge, in a gazebo and even with a waterfall as the backdrop! Let your dreams of the perfect wedding come true in Gatlinburg. You can get started by checking our Deals page for wedding package deals, and keep checking back as we update that page frequently.
Here's another way to save money on a Gatlinburg wedding: Be sure to ask for upgrades and specials. Depending on the size of your wedding party and any offers the chapels provide, it's often possible to negotiate various aspects of your ceremony to get a better deal.
Even More Fall Fun Awaits You
These are just some of the ways you can enjoy Gatlinburg in the fall. Be sure to check our fall event calendar, it’s jam packed with activities. Here are a few highlights:
- Don't miss the 9th Annual Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival at Arrrowmont, on October 4-6, 2013, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy the best in fine art as artists in 16 categories vie for $10,000 in prizes and purchase vouchers.
- Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival - September 13, 2013 - October 31, 2013 Enjoy fall themed events, entertainment, decorations and local craft exhibits.
- As fall turns to winter be sure to join us for the Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff November 13, 2013
The City of Gatlinburg hosts its 24th annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff, Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown. Come sample dozens of types of homemade chili. You'll taste a range of flavors from mild to wild and everything in between. Don't miss it!
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