sunrise in the Smoky Mountains in fall
October 1, 2022

Fall is one of the most popular times of the year to visit the Smoky Mountains. From the beautiful fall foliage to the exciting fall festivals and events, there is so much to see and do in Gatlinburg during the autumn season. We want to make sure you have the best time during your fall trip, which is why we’ve made a list of some of the best things to do! Below are 5 fun things to do in Gatlinburg in October:

1. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains

Autumn is a popular time to explore America’s most visited national park, and for good reason. As we flip our calendars to October, the summer heat eases up on even the lower elevations of the Smokies, the nights become perfect for sitting around the fire pits and the canopy of the forest slowly begins to transition into the beautiful colors of autumn. If you’re heading to Gatlinburg during the month of October, then you certainly won’t want to miss out on seeing the views from the upper elevations around Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap. Just outside of downtown Gatlinburg is the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, another bucket list spot for fall in the Smokies. Drive the motor trail and explore the homesteads and tranquil sections of the river, or hike to one of the beautiful waterfalls that are tucked away in the Roaring Fork section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is also a great time of year to spot black bears and other Smoky Mountain wildlife!

2. Experience the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park was first famous for its iconic chairlift and most recently for the SkyBridge and SkyTrail, but this fall they’ll be adding more fun to their mountaintop attraction! All throughout the month of October, visitors to the SkyLift Park will get to enjoy Boo Bash. During this special time of year, the SkyTrail turns into a haunted walk, along which visitors will meet animatronic witches, ghostly figures, and spooky spiders. When night falls, the SkyBridge is cloaked in fog, adding spooky thrills for all who wish to cross. On select nights throughout the month, families are invited to gather on the SkyDeck to watch a family-friendly Halloween movie, like Hocus Pocus or Ghostbusters! Boo Bash runs October 1st through the 31st!

3. Attend Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg

ober gatlinburg aerial tramway sign

If attending Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg isn’t an annual tradition for you yet, it should be. Does it really even feel like fall until you’ve participated in a few Bavarian traditions on a mountainside? If you’re ready for some yodeling, brews, schnitzel, and bratwurst, this is by far one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in October for you. You can also participate in all of the other fun activities that await at Tennessee’s only ski resort and get inspired to return for winter when the slopes open up and the fun in the snow begins!

4. Attend the Craftsmen’s fair

October is the perfect time to experience the arts and crafts of the Smoky Mountains, a tradition that has played a huge part in the overall culture of the Great Smokies. Get ready for the Gatlinburg Fall Craftsmen’s Fair that runs from mid to late October each year. This has been voted one of the South’s most popular events! It’s your one-stop shop for all your holiday gifts for family and friends. You’ll be able to visit over 200 craftsmen from all over the United States and watch as they demonstrate their skill, answer questions, and offer their unique are for sale. You won’t want to miss the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair!

5. Stay at The Appy Lodge

lobby in The Appy Lodge

We’ll admit that maybe we’re a little biased on this 5th thing to do when you visit Gatlinburg during the month of October. However, we think a stay with us at The Appy Lodge is the best way to secure a wonderful trip with plenty of relaxing! Our hotel will provide a home away from home for you — offering peace and relaxation just minutes from all the excitement. During your time with us you can easily access all of the fall fun! You’ll also be just a short drive away from Pigeon Forge and all of the events in that area, including Dollywood and their annual Great Pumpkin LumiNights event. Our indoor pool and hot tub are open year-round, so you’ll still have a chance to swim in October! Sitting around our outdoor fire pits is the perfect way to wrap up an autumn day in the area, or book a room with a fireplace and relax with plenty of privacy.

Are you ready to enjoy all of these fun things to do in Gatlinburg in October? Start planning your stay so you don’t miss out! Take a look at all our Gatlinburg hotel rooms and choose the perfect one for your vacation.

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