Fall Festivities Abound in the Great Smoky Mountains

By: Ryan Wiseman

One of the best (and busiest!) times to visit the Great Smoky Mountains is during the month of October - the peak season for fall foliage when the Great Smoky Mountains National Park comes alive with a brilliant blaze of red, orange and yellow leaves, as well as fresh, crisp mountain air. Some of the best fall colors can be viewed along Newfound Gap Road, the scenic 32-mile stretch of U.S. 441 that winds the the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to Cherokee, North Carolina.

An abundance of festivals and special events also take place throughout the Smokies during the autumn months. For example, the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, which runs until October 31, 2007, features live entertainment, old-fashioned hayrides, local crafts and more. Dollywood's National Gospel & Harvest Celebration, which takes place from October 5 to November 3, 2007, offers the best in Southern gospel music, along with the talents of more than 100 craftspeople. Named as one of the "Top 20 Events in the Southeastern United States" by the Southeast Tourism Society, the 32nd-annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair (October 11-28, 2007) boasts over 200 talented artists and craftspeople in the areas of pottery, woodworking, broommaking, stained glass, basketmaking and more. Old-fashioned Hayrides depart approximately every 45 minutes from the Mountain Mall at Traffic Light #6 in downtown Gatlinburg Sunday through Thursday from 5 PM to 9 PM until December 1, 2007.

In addition, fall is the perfect time to drive through the 8-5-mile loop that comprises the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, which contains numerous studios, shops and galleries. Founded in 1937, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community has evolved into the country's largest organization of independent artisans. Mountain crafts that can be purchased here include woodcarving, pottery, quilting, painting, weaving, candlemaking, broommaking and more. The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community lies just 3 miles from downtown Gatlinburg on U.S. 321 North.

The fall traveler can choose from either resorts, hotels and motels convenient to downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, or rustic cabins and chalets nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. Most cabins provide spectacular views, along with such amenities as bubbling hot tubs, fully equipped kitchens, vaulted ceilings, outdoor decks and wood-burning fireplaces.

"With great weather, colorful foliage, a multitude of lively festivals and a diversity of accommodation choices, the Great Smoky Mountains provide the perfect fall vacation destination," said Kyle Collins, Director of Interactive Marketing for HotelsCorp.com. "And by purchasing discount vacation packages, hotels and attraction tickets online, you and you family can enjoy substantial savings on your fall getaway to the Smokies."

Adventure Travel
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Adventure Travel