call to book today: (866) 482-1044

Where to go Skiing in Gatlinburg

Skiing in Gatlinburg


You may be surprised, but Ober Gatlinburg is the only ski resort in the entire state of Tennessee. Open from December to March, this is one winter experience you don’t want to miss!

Skiing in Gatlinburg

On the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg, you will find terrain for all ages and skill levels. There are a total of 9 trails so whether you’re a beginner or prefer a challenge, you will find something to suit your skiing needs here. The slopes boast two quad lifts, one double lift, and one surface lift so you are able to spend most of your time having fun rather than waiting in line.

First time on the slopes? No problem! Ober Gatlinburg offers classes as well as rental equipment and will get you slicing down the slopes in no time. Beginners should spend their time on the Ski School Slope and Club Way. Intermediate skiers should head more toward Ober Chute, Bear Run, Castle Run, and Alpine Run Trails. Finally, for those advanced skiers looking for a challenge, head on over to Grizzly Trail and Mogul Ridge. Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean your fun has to stop. After dusk, all of the trails are lit for night skiing.

For the Non-Skiers

Skiing not your thing? Don’t worry! Ober Gatlinburg has plenty to offer everyone. From the Ski Mountain Coaster to the Aerial Tramway, you can find fun for the whole family!  

Ski Mountain Coaster

Sitting high atop Mt. Harrison, just below the peak, the ski mountain coaster is a year-round attraction at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area. As a new attraction that just opened August 31st, 2015, the coaster is approximately a 3,750 feet and 5 ½ minute ride. The attraction was built by a partner of Ober Gatlinburg who is the leading manufacturer of mountain coaster and slides throughout the United States. You can enjoy the first 1,000 feet of the ride calmly heading uphill through the woods. Once reaching the top, riders speed down through turns, dips, corkscrews and more up to 25 mph!

Aerial Tramway

From downtown Gatlinburg, take the aerial tramway, a 2.1-mile ride up to the Amusement Park & Ski Area. While this is a means of transportation to the fun that awaits, this is fun for the whole family. The beautiful views of the mountain as well as the ride or much more than just a way to get up the mountain! Before the aerial tramway was built in 1972, skiers would have to drive up a winding road to get to Ober Gatlinburg. The aerial tramway celebrated its 40th anniversary on August 5, 2013.

Wildlife Encounter

Take a look into the surrounding wildlife at Ober Gatlinburg’s Wildlife Encounter. Here you can find a family of black bears, river otters, raccoons, bobcats, owls, flying squirrels, skunks, and local reptiles! The black bear exhibit houses Ober Gatlinburg’s two-generation family including Minnie and BJ, and their grown 3-year-olds, Holly and Chief. After viewing the bears, head on down to the underwater viewing area at the otter exhibit. See what these river otters are up to both above and below the waterline. The Wildlife Encounter features a special Nocturnal House that is home to animals native to the Smoky Mountains, such as raccoons, skunks, flying squirrels, turtles, and snakes.

Plan Your Trip

With great skiing and other activities to do right here in Gatlinburg, TN, make sure to plan your trip with Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg today! We offer many properties close to Ober Gatlinburg making it even easier for you to spend your day on the slopes!

Photo credit: Brent Moore / Flickr


History of Gatlinburg

Photo Credit: Carl Wycoff / Flickr

The history of Gatlinburg began around the year 1800 when the Ogle family, followed by a small group of other families, settled into what they called the “land of Paradise” now known as Gatlinburg. This beautiful and fertile land tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains was not simply a resourceful place to live, but it echoed the Creation of the God in whom these settlers believed.

The history of Gatlinburg did not develop much in the first 100 years as these families established themselves through multiple generations, taming the land to suit their needs and discovering trade routes for themselves. However, considering the well-established attraction Gatlinburg has become, there is obviously some rich history to how this sleepy mountain settlement became accessible for the whole world to explore.  

The Ogle Family

Reported to have come to the area in 1801, the Ogles began calling the area White Oak Flats for the white oak tree covered landscape. Martha Jane Huskey Ogle was a middle-aged widow who, upon her husband’s passing, came to the area to start a new life. With five sons and two daughters, she selected this area because her husband had indeed named in the “land of paradise.” The famous Ogle Cabin was erected by 1802 and is an attraction visitors to the area can still see today. Ogles lived in this cabin right through to Martha’s great Grandson, Andrew, who abandoned it in 1910, moving just a short distance away.

How Gatlinburg Got Its Name

After the Ogles settled successfully in White Oaks Flats surrounded by the Smoky Mountains on three sides, other founding families started showing up, including the McCarters, Reagans, Whaleys, and Trenthams who nestled in among the streams and hollows of the area. Radford C. Gatlin opened the area’s first general store, and was also a mighty Baptist preacher in the area, and was known for his Democratic views that did not fit in amidst this conservative community. He was eventually banished from the area for offending too many people, yet most likely because of his store, the name Gatlinburg stuck.

The Tennessee Heritage Trail

The best way to learn about the history of Gatlinburg when visiting is by the exploring the Tennessee Heritage Trail, which consists of historic sites, trails, music, and arts that tell the story of over two centuries. The Tennessee Heritage Trail is divided up into three sections to give visitors more ease as they learn about the area through the mediums that are most meaningful to them. There is the Arts & Crafts Trail, the History Trail, and the Music Trail. Whichever one sounds most interesting to you as you tackle understanding the romantic history of Gatlinburg, you can grab a map at many locations in the area and follow these trails to dig in!

The history of Gatlinburg is full of intrigue and art, which was an integral part of the area’s development as it is such a beautiful place. Whether you have a creative mind or are more of a history buff or woodsman, the great thing about Gatlinburg is that it attracts people of all different backgrounds with its diverse history and natural landscape that established its contemporary culture.

4 of the Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN

best restaurants in gatlinburg tn

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the ideal Smoky Mountain destination for many reasons. Aside from being tucked away in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, it is also full of family-friendly attractions and an endless list of delicious restaurants at which to eat. The best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN come in all different varieties, so you’ll never get bored of the food here! Not only are these big draws, but the entire area is covered in charming country vacation rentals that offer the perfect environment for a group of any size to getaway to the mountains in an affordable and more private way than staying at a big hotel.

4 of the Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN


  1. Cherokee Grill
    Known far and wide at Gatlinburg’s Great Steakhouse, the Cherokee Grill is a real Smoky Mountain treat when you are visiting the area. Enjoy the luxury lodge setting of this great restaurant with its beautiful masonry and woodwork while you sample their lunch or dinner menus of mouthwatering sandwiches, and steaks that will blow your mind! It is located in the heart of town in Calhoun’s Village so is easy to get to with lots of other things around to enjoy!
  2. Smoky Mountain Brewery and Calhoun’s
    One of the area’s most highly acclaimed microbreweries is paired up with one of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN for a winning combination of food and drinks. Known for their handcrafted beers throughout Eastern Tennessee, and their delicious southeastern style menu, you’ll love spending time here. Whether you’re just looking for a beer to pair with their delicious menu items, or want to take a case home with you when you leave, these refreshing beverages are always a treat, whether you like ales, porters, reds or trying something delicious and seasonal. This is a great place to come and catch a game while you enjoy the Calhoun’s classy menu that will far exceed your expectations!
  3. Log Cabin Pancake House
    This is hands down the best place in town for breakfast. They serve eggs any way you can imagine them prepared, crepes, pancakes of all shapes and sizes, and the southern staples like biscuits and gravy and country ham. They also have an extensive lunch menu with an all you can eat buffet and other great staples like patty melts and burgers. The Log Cabin Pancake House is comfort food at its finest!
  4. No Way Jose’s Cantina
    If you’re in the mood for traditional Mexican fare, there’s no better place to find it than at No Way Jose’s Cantina, one of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN. Voted Best Mexican food in Sevier County you can look forward to everything from their delicious soups and salsas, their famous steak, and sizzling hot fajitas piled high and made fresh to order! You can always count on Jose’s to use the freshest ingredients for an even more satisfying meal.


There is certainly no way you’ll go hungry surrounded by the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN. Be sure to hit at least a few of these while exploring the area as you’ll certainly need some serious refueling with all the great things to do here!

Explore these 6 Scenic Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg

hiking trails in gatlinburg

There are few ways more perfect to explore the Smoky Mountains than take a simple hike through these wooded rolling green landscapes. While visiting the area, you’ll have a plethora of hiking trails in Gatlinburg to choose from on any given day, ensuring that your adventurous side is completely sated by the time vacation is over. Whether you’re a regular hiker looking for a real challenge, or in town with the kids and want a nice leisurely walk to take after lunch with the little ones, you’ll find the perfect option among these hiking trails in Gatlinburg.

6 Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg

  1. Rainbow Falls Trail
    Located off Cherokee Orchard Loop Road, the Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.4 mile out and back hike of moderate difficulty. Hikers can expect to gain over 1,600 feet in elevation as they enjoy the surrounding beauty of old growth forests and multiple waterfalls along the way. The LeConte Creek is followed for quite a ways along the hike, and in the cooler months you may see ice formed in the slower moving sections, and even icicles in the falls. The trail ends at Rainbow Falls, but can be extended to the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains if you want to continue to the summit of Mt. LeConte.
  2. Alum Cave
    Another moderate hike, the Alum Cave trail is among the most unique hiking trails in Gatlinburg. The round trip hike is 4.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,125 feet. The Arch Rock is the first striking characteristic of the hike, and is the remains of a weathered rock face whose soft interior was worn away by the elements, leaving an arch that hikers actually get to climb stairs right through. The hike ends at Alum Cave, which is actually a concave bluff reaching 80 feet high and 500 feet across.
  3. Chimney Tops
    A shorter moderate hike, Chimney Tops Trail runs for 3.8 miles and gains a total of 1,487 feet in elevation, which is quite a steep grade at times so be prepared! You will follow the cascades of the Road Prong Creek over footbridges to meet up with the rocky path to Chimney Tops, which is known as one of the oldest trails in the Smokies. Thought to date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, the ancient trail is commonly known as the Indian Trail Gap. Chimney Tops Peak is unique for being one of the only bare rock summits in the Great Smoky Mountains, and on a clear day you’ll be able to see all the way to Sugarlands Valley.
  4. Mt. LeConte
    There are various routes to the top of Mt. LeConte, most of which are a round trip of over 10 miles making them all more strenuous and longer hikes. Summiting LeConte is an adventure for more experienced hikers and should be approached with caution and wisdom. Be sure you’re fully stocked with food and water, and that you are careful to observe the weather patterns along the way. Otherwise, enjoy the breathtaking views!

There are so many experiences waiting to be had on these hiking trails in Gatlinburg. Whether you’ve seen it all before, or are visiting the Smokies for the first time, this is sure to be an experience of a lifetime!

5 Delightful Dinner Shows in Pigeon Forge TN

dinner shows in pigeon forge tn

After a long day of exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, you can always look forward to unwinding at one of the many wildly entertaining dinner shows in Pigeon Forge TN. From covering the area’s history and its founding families to telling Bible stories and even delving into some true Appalachian mystery, you can count on an exciting night out accompanied by great food.

If you’ve never experienced a country dinner theater show, don’t miss the chance on your next trip to the Gatlinburg, TN area. Not only is there a great selection, but also a large community of talented players putting on great shows!

5 Dinner Shows in Pigeon Forge TN

  1. Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
    Known as the ultimate Feudin’ Feastin’ Family Fun, the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show tells the tale of the area’s founding families and their feuds over land and resources as they settled this once completely wild landscape. Amazing singing, dancing, feats of strength, and stunts you won’t believe are all accompanied by a meal you won’t forget. You get to experience the entirety of Appalachian culture at this great dinner show in Pigeon Forge TN.
  2. Dixie Stampede
    Among the most famous and entertaining dinner shows in Pigeon Forge TN is the Dixie Stampede, which will keep people of all ages on the edge of their seats throughout the delicious meal! Displaying some healthy southern-Yankee competition, come on out for some thrilling horse riding stunts, professional special effects, and wonderful music. All of this will be enjoyed alongside a delicious four-course meal. Located at the Dollywood Theme Park, you can enjoy the dinner after a day of rides and games, or stop by after exploring the mountains.
  3. Lumberjack Feud
    If you’ve got a thing for rough and tumble games, you’ll love the Lumberjack Feud. Displaying their astounding abilities in outdoorsman tasks, watch these professional lumberjacks compete in events like the speed climb, log roll, hot saw, and double buck. There is nothing more exhilarating about the backcountry life than watching these ESPN professional athletes get at it! The food and preshow music are highlights as well!
  4. Murder Mystery Dinner Show
    Offering a variety of classic southern tales from Whodunnit Lucy to Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead, these Murder Mystery dinner shows are always worth a night out on the town after some Smoky Mountain romping. Make sure to book your tickets ahead to get your first choice of fun at one of these dinner shows in Pigeon Forge TN.
  5. Biblical Times Dinner Theater
    Dinner and a show make for the typical night of entertainment in Pigeon Forge TN, and the Biblical Times Dinner Theater is no exception. Come and hear a story of faith and miracles and see the production of Moses Mountain of God as told by the Christian explorers Jim and Penny Caldwell. Enter into this rendition of the promised land, accompanied by an epic feast.




If you’re a sucker for a night at the theater, you’ll enjoy the much beloved Smoky Mountain style of these dinner shows in Pigeon Forge TN. No matter your theatrical interests, you’re sure to find something you like among these numerous options.

See the Smokies from the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway

ober gatlinburg aerial tramway

Located in the heart of Gatlinburg is a chance to rise to the top of the mountains and see the valley and surrounding peaks for miles around this gorgeous area. A trip up the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway offers visitors young and old, skiers or not, the chance to take in the breathtaking Smoky Mountain views, and summit the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area.

This central Gatlinburg attraction is a large part of what makes visiting the Smoky Mountains such a treat all year round, whether the mountains are snow covered, or the leaves of fall are changing. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or not, you’ll certainly find something amusing to do at the top of the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway.

About Ober Gatlinburg

The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway is one of the main attractions at his great amusement park and ski area, which is open to the public year round. The ski area is usually open from mid December through early March from 9 AM to 10 PM seven days a week, depending on when the snow falls. If you love to get out on the slopes in the winter, there are few places as charming and fun to do it than at Ober Gatlinburg, with the option of either day passes or some rad night skiing. The ski area is fully equipped with a terrain park, equipment rentals, and lessons for every skill level.

When the ski mountain is closed for the season, it turns into a three season amusement park with an alpine slide, scenic chairlift rides, wildlife encounters, ice skating, a carousel, arcade and chair swing, and even a giant water slide and a mini golf course. Guests can pay per attraction, or buy tickets to enjoy multiple fun games!

Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway

This 2.1 mile ride up the mountain leaves daily from downtown Gatlinburg at the intersection of Parkway and LeConte Streets. It is one of America’s largest tramways carrying 120 passengers in its two counterbalanced cars from 9:30 AM to 6:40 PM daily and through 7:40 PM on Saturdays. Adult ticket prices are $12 with a $5 rebate when you purchase a ski ticket in the winter months. Children ages 5 to 11 cost $9.50, and those 4 and under are completely free!  

Before the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway was built in 1972 skiers had to drive the precarious road up the snow covered Mt Harrison to the ski area, which opened in 1962. The mountain finally announced their feat to build a safer way up the mountain that would also open its beauty up to more than just the daring skier. Now in just 20 minutes passengers can make the 11,088 feet climb to the peak – and millions have.


If you visit the Smoky Mountains frequently and have yet to ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, we definitely recommend you move it to the top of your list, no matter what time of year it is. Whether you’re headed here to enjoy the beautiful month of October, or are looking for a place to appreciate some snow covered mountains for the holidays, the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway will only add to your experience of the area’s beauty.

Haunted Attractions in Tennessee Near Gatlinburg

haunted attractions in tennessee

Fall in the Smoky Mountains is about much more than simply a bountiful harvest and foliage, but many people flock here for the array of haunted attractions in Tennessee they love to visit around Halloween. If you’ve got a desire to be spooked this fall, be it in a haunted mansion or on a ghost tour, Gatlinburg is your place for haunted attractions in Tennessee.

Though the Smoky Mountain area is well known for its breathtaking landscape, it has also become more acclaimed in its entertainment experience, making it a fine choice for places to visit during any holiday season. Halloween is no exception, so come check out all the freaky fun they have to offer around Gatlinburg!

4 Haunted Attractions in Tennessee Near Gatlinburg


  1. Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg – This nighttime walking tour of Gatlinburg’s spookiest locations is about an hour long, with guests traversing around a mile through the city with a well-versed teller of tales shedding light on the dark nature of local haunts. If you’re more into the storytelling experience, let these talented guides lead you through worlds of intrigue from the bygone days of the area. Through a combination of local legends, history, superstition and folk talks, get ready for masterful goosebump giving stories that will give you a heady fright without making you jump out of your skin.
  2. Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion – This classic turn of the century haunted house is Gatlinburg’s oldest scary attraction. With secret passageways, twisting staircases, and dimly lit hallways in which anything could be lurking, waiting for you, this is one of the creepiest haunted attractions in Tennessee! If you have yet to visit a giant haunted mansion, the Smoky Mountains are the ideal place to explore this otherworldly experience.
  3. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure – The Ripley’s Odditorium is always a little strange, even if they aren’t deliberately trying to give you a fright, so when Halloween rolls around you better believe they step the weirdness up a notch for a truly haunted adventure. Though their famous haunted house is open 365 days a year, you definitely want to make it a priority when spook season is here! You won’t ever forget the Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, as they offer much more than a tour, but an entire entertainment experience!
  4. Haunted Historic Gatlinburg GhostWalk – This intriguing year-round ghost walk is based in actual historical and scientific evidence in afterlife research, making it among the most intriguing haunted attractions in Tennessee. Not only will you learn about the area’s wonderful history, but also why it has inspired so much lore and story over the years!


There are plenty of opportunities throughout this region of the Smoky Mountains to enjoy the Halloween season. If haunted attractions in Tennessee don’t interest all members of the group you’re traveling with, consider making it a time to celebrate the harvest season and visit a pumpkin patch or corn maze instead! Naturally, you’ll also get to take in the beautiful fall foliage season, which will undoubtedly calm your nerves after a night of fright.

You’ll Love These 8 Must-See Smoky Mountains Attractions

smoky mountains attractions

The Smoky Mountains have been a prized destination in the Southeastern United States for more than just their breathtaking beauty. The Appalachian landscape has long been the site of vacations and summer homes, as they are the ideal place to unwind from your hectic lives and remember who you are in the context of the humbling surroundings.

Aside from their beauty, Smoky Mountains attractions have been a large draw to the area for decades, inviting everyone from the romance seeking honeymooners, to the kid toting family vacations. No matter what stage of life you are in you will surely find entertainment among the myriad Smoky Mountains attractions waiting for you in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area.

8 Must-See Smoky Mountains Attractions


  1. Chasten Creek Cascade Hiking Trail – Hiking is one of the main Smoky Mountains attractions, as there are probably thousands of miles of trails in the surrounding National parks and state forests. This 3.6 mile round trip trail is a fairly easy romp in the woods, and only 25 miles from Gatlinburg!
  2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
    If you’re a sucker for the world under the sea, you’ll love this epic display of life in the sea. Walk through an aquarium tunnel, oggle the penguins, or catch one of the many entertaining and educational shows.
  3. Five Oaks Riding Stables – Another way to explore the vast wilderness that is the Smoky Mountains in on horseback. Whether you’ve been riding your whole life or this will be your first time, the friendly and experienced guides at Five Oaks Riding Stables will be happy to lead you out for a beautiful trail ride to enjoy some beautiful Smoky Mountains attractions.
  4. Lumberjack Feud – If a live show is your ideal when considering which Smoky Mountains attractions to enjoy while in the area, the Lumberjack Feud is a great option! Not only is it wildly entertaining, but the show will give you an idea for the area’s history and heritage, displaying many of the area’s age old traditions.
  5. Titanic Museum – The world’s largest Titanic Museum is right here in the Smokies. Centrally located in Pigeon Forge, TN, this is a convenient option among Smoky Mountains attractions that will not only share some of the ship’s most intriguing facts, but they also host wonderful events!
  6. Pigeon Forge Gem Mine – With its own flume area, visitors to the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine can actually dig up their own gems and have their booty cut, polished and mounted into jewelry!
  7. Brushy Mountain Hiking Trail – Another favorite trail among Smoky Mountains attractions, this is a longer hike for more ambitious foresters. Clocking in at 11.7 miles, this roundtrip trail gains about 3,000 feet in elevation, making for a strenuous hike.
  8. Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park – If ziplining throughout the Appalachian forests’ canopies has been a longtime dream, then Foxfire Mountain is your spot! If you’re feeling very daring, go for Goliath, the highest zipline in the Smokies!



All of these Smoky Mountains attractions are worth indulging on your trip, so make sure you give yourself enough time to thoroughly dig into all the great things to do here!

What is a Cigar Box Guitar?

cigar box guitar
Photo Credit: PhotoAtelier / Flickr

If you’ve ever been a fan of the blues, chances are you’ve heard a cigar box guitar. Their tinny and down home sound is largely associated with southern Appalachia and the musical styles emerging from the Louisiana delta blues. While they have a history dating back to at least the mid 1800s, the cigar box guitar has made a resurgence in recent years, especially among communities of talented and crafty musicians drawn to the history and roots of the genres they love. If you are similarly enticed to this world of odd, hand-made, and beautiful instruments, then the Smoky Mountains is the place to visit, both for the homegrown performances you’ll find there, and the many craftsmen selling their beautiful work just about everywhere.

History of the Cigar Box Guitar

Cigars have been packed in the boxes you would recognize today since around 1840, which is when evidence of the first cigar box instruments dates back to. Etchings and designs of cigar box fiddles and banjos have been discovered from this era, and in the 1890 publication of the American Boy’s Handy Book, one would find plans for “How to Build an Uncle Enos Banjo.” Needless to say, the design included a cigar box. While it might seem that these primitive first cigar box instruments might be crude and unplayable, recovered fiddles prove to be sophisticated and ultimately beautiful in their sound.

Cigar box instruments were crucial to the development of jug bands and blues, with most of their players being black performers whose poverty prohibited them from buying manufactured instruments. Cigar box guitars, fiddles, and banjos were played alongside the washtub bass, jigs, washboards and harmonica in these talented bands who played for social gatherings and special events.

In the 1930s cigar box instruments made a resurgence as much of the nation lived in the poverty of The Great Depression, spreading in popularity across the American south. While people struggled to find daily food, all they needed to sing their blues was an old cigar box, a piece of a broom handle and a few wires – all things you could potentially find in a trash can. Once distinct to the sounds of the delta blues, cigar box guitars started creeping into the bluegrass and country genres of Appalachia, where you’ll still find them today.

The Modern Cigar Box Guitar Revival

The contemporary culture around the cigar box guitar is largely fueled by an interest in the jug bands of old, as well as the DIY trend of the past decade. There are now events all over the country, like the Annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival in Huntsville, Alabama, celebrating these instruments and the many talented folks who both play and build them. A quick search on Google will lead you right to expansive online communities like Cigar Box Nation celebrating these handcrafted instruments.

When you’re heading to the Smoky Mountains next, keep your eyes peeled for local artisans who would love to sell you a handmade cigar box guitar. They are notorious for roadside stands and other nondistinct ways of selling their craft, and telling you their history. The culture around the cigar box guitar is half the fun of playing the thing!

3 Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN in October

thinkgs to do in gatlinburg tn in octoberAutumn in the Great Smoky Mountains is an ideal time to visit for many reasons. Whether you’re a sucker for fall hikes in the woods followed by fireside evenings, or are looking for some of the best foliage trips in the Southeast, you’re bound to find the perfect excuse to get you to the area this fall.

There are numerous things to do in Gatlinburg TN in October that bring people back during this epic scenery season each year. If you’re just looking for a place to hole up for a weekend and enjoy the season’s first chills from a cozy cabin in the woods, or would rather enjoy some last outdoor adventures before hibernation sets in, you’ll love the varied things to do in Gatlinburg TN in October.

3 Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN in October


  1. Oktoberfest at Ober
    One of the best things to do in Gatlinburg TN in October is the annual party known as Oktoberfest! Held at the area’s most popular ski resort, Ober, Oktoberfest in a fantastic festival featuring Bavarian food, drinks and music for a party in a beautiful setting that you won’t forget! This festival runs for a total of 38 days of fun, starting September 25th and going through November 2nd at the resort. This year the Bavarian Fun Makers Band will don authentic costumes and perform great numbers from the old world. Prepare for the show with a fresh pretzel and German wurst, schnitzel, strudel and, of course, a stein of beer.
  2. Fall Foliage in the Smokies
    Enjoying the changing colors of fall is among the favorite things to do in Gatlinburg TN in October. With so many varying species and elevations, the foliage in the Smokies is renowned for lasting up to 7 weeks during the fall months, ensuring that visitors to the area will catch a kaleidoscope of colors and layers. Reaching up to 4,000 feet in elevation, the colors can begin as early as mid-September, with lower elevations still changing into late October. It is truly an outstanding place to witness the transitions of fall.
  3. Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair
    This is the ideal destination for arts, crafts, and music lovers to witness the skilled creations of numerous artists. Taking place this year from October 8th through the 25th at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, visitors will find over 200 booths featuring unique handmade goods and art, as well as live country and bluegrass music at the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. You’ll find everything from beautiful artwork to unique home furnishing pieces made from the local landscape.



This is just the beginning of things to do in Gatlinburg TN in October and makes no mention of the wonderful outdoor adventures to be found in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Make your autumn getaway a Smoky one, and you’ll be hooked on this as a fall destination, whether you’re bringing the whole family, or making it a quiet romantic trip. The combination of brisk weather and beautiful mountain landscapes is enough to keep many people coming back to enjoy all the things to do in Gatlinburg TN in October each year.