September is one of our favorite months in Gatlinburg TN, for the pace slows a bit
between the summer throngs and those of October leaf season. The days after Labor
day are still warm enough for wearing shorts for a few weeks, but be sure to bring
a jacket and some long-sleeved apparel for those mountain eves.
All Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge attractions are still open, so it's a wonderful time
to "do" the Smokies. The days are warm enough to hike and mountain bike comfortably...and,
since the traffic is lessened at Cade's Cove from summer levels, it's perfect for
a memorable bike ride around the unspoiled natural loop (although the Cove is closed
to motor traffic early Saturday mornings all year, just for bikers to enjoy).
Then, if you've never seen the color of the Smokies in October, you have no idea
what you're missing! Nature paints the landscape with a vivid palette that you simply
must experience at least once, although tens of thousands of folks come for it year
after year. October is one of the busiest months in Gatlinburg, particularly as
the leaves start to peak over the middle-to-end of the month. If you are planing
to visit the Smokies and stay in Gatlinburg cabin or chalet in October - book it
in advance! The colors usually are at top peak the 3rd week of October, but this
can vary by 10 days either way. Many folks find that they can still enjoy some foliage
color the 1st week in November almost any year, and once in a while the color peak
will come that late!
Later in November comes Thanksgiving, which is again sold out quite some time in
advance (particularly the larger cabin rentals, which often sell a year or more
ahead of time at a 5-7-night minimum). Smaller cabin rentals carry a 4-night minimum
for Thanksgiving weekend, and speaking of carrying ... along with your flannels,
jackets, and coats, be sure to bring some lighter wear along also, for it's not
that uncommon for the occasional day to reach the high 70's (ahhhh!).
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