Discover the Beauty of Autumn and the Harvest in the Great Smoky Mountains
By Jon Hoffman © 2013, All Rights Reserved

There's a reason many people will tell you autumn is their favorite season. The brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees, the chilly morning air, and the sweet scent of apple orchards, all combine to make fall a feast for the senses.

Nearly anywhere is beautiful this time of year, but there's something extra special about immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Besides what Mother Nature provides, though, Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas offer up plenty of fall activities to keep the entire family entertained.

Soul-Soothing Scenery

Imagine miles of pristine hiking trails, secluded meadows, burbling streams, and the woodland creatures all hurrying about getting ready for winter. With more than 800 square miles of forest crisscrossed with walking trails, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a favorite for both avid hikers and beginners alike.

You don't have to be an outdoorsman to enjoy the view, though. Scenic drives such as the Cades Cove loop offer a look at both the wilderness and several historic buildings. Stop and explore the settlement from one of many turnouts, or simply enjoy the ride.

Harvest Time Brings the Gatlinburg Craftsman's Fair

Gatlinburg is home to one of the largest arts and crafts communities in the country, and each year they show off their stuff at the Gatlinburg Craftsman's Fair. This year's event runs from October 10th through the 27th, and features more than 200 booths brimming with one-of-a-kind artwork, handcrafted home décor, and lots of gift ideas for everyone on your list.

It's not just one big shopping center, though. You'll also get to watch the artists work, so you'll get a chance to see just how much skill goes into creating each charming piece. You can even chat with the vendors. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have about how their creations come about.

On October 29, don't miss the 16th annual Taste of Autumn at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Featuring selections from dozens of area restaurants, this favorite local event offers great food and live music, and best of all, 100% of the proceeds go to fund the United Way of Sevier County.

Halloween Fans Find Plenty of Ways to Celebrate

Looking forward to a few scares this October? There are lots of creepy activities for all ages in and around Gatlinburg. The Iris Theater inside the Gatlinburg Space Needle presents Shocktober! Shrieks and Mindfreaks with hypnotist Guy Michaels. It's a night of laughs and mystery, with just a little fright. For true horror fans, Ripley's Haunted Adventure kicks it up a notch with their "Experiment in Terror," which runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October.

Whether you want to relax in the mountains, crave the food and the crafts, or just want to do something unusual for Halloween, Gatlinburg is the place to go. Everyone in the family will find something to enjoy during your trip, from the youngest to the oldest. In fact, with everything Gatlinburg has to offer, you might just want to book next year's trip as well.


Jon Hoffman is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Smoky Mountain rental cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Visit them today at to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.