By Leif Palmer
Posted on September 20, 2018
If you missed traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains this summer, there's still plenty of year left to take advantage of all the beauty and adventure that our area has to offer. And now that fall is just about officially here, there's even more going on around here thanks to Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, which got under way on November 7.
Here in Gatlinburg, our city and its businesses are planning to do things right by pulling out all the stops when it comes to fall decorations and fun family activities for all ages. For starters, the city is unveiling some brand-new autumn décor, including life-size, three-dimensional scarecrow characters, and you'll see elements like hay bales, pumpkins and gourds, and scarecrows adorning homes and businesses all over town.
Of course, fall is one of the best times of the years to visit the Smokies, particularly if you venture into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The foliage will be turning from green to its annual fiery hues of yellow, orange and red as we transition from September into October, so that's prime time for getting out on a hiking trail or taking a scenic drive through the mountains. And don't forget to take some pics with your phone or camera.
When it comes to special events in Gatlinburg, there will be plenty of options during Harvest Festival, which wraps up on November 25. First, you might consider testing your nerves at Ripley's Haunted Adventure during their weekly Fright Nights, which run every Friday night in October.
Meanwhile, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament will put your fishing skills to the test October 6 and 7, and the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair showcases the work of some of the nation's best artisans from October 4 through 21. In fact, our six convenient downtown lots offer plenty of options for parking near Gatlinburg Convention Center, which is where that particular event takes place.
While you're downtown, you'll also be within walking distance of tons of shops, restaurants and attractions. You could browse the shops of Mountain Mall, check out TV and film's coolest cars at Star Cars and then maybe grab some dinner at The Park Grill. It's all easily accessible by foot or by trolley while you leave your parking worries behind.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.