Whether you’re a spring, summer, fall or winter person, the Great Smoky Mountains offer year-round opportunities to tap into your own unique spirit of adventure. Nature’s wonders abound and no matter when you decided to visit, you’re sure to have a great time.
Catch Spring Fever (March – May). With temperatures ranging from chilly to cool at night and cool to moderate during the day, the spring months offer great opportunities to witness the emergence of new growth across the mountain. Wildflowers begin to bloom, waterfalls of melted snow cascade, animals emerge from hibernation, and spring fever is in the air everywhere you turn. In addition to Smoky Mountain Springfest, lasting from March through early June, popular springtime events include the Holly and Shamrock Parade in March; Ribfest & Wings, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament and the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, all in April; and the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games in May. Area theme parks are open on abbreviated schedules, so be sure to check ahead if you plan to visit.
Celebrate the Summertime (June – August). For generations families have made summertime “their time” in the Smokies. With an abundance of outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone. Temperatures range from moderate to warm during the day and cool to moderate at night. And watch out for those occasional mid-afternoon summer showers. Theme parks are in full swing, shops and outlet stores are open for extended hours, and lakes and rivers offer water activities ranging from whitewater rafting to fly fishing. Summer events include Smokey Mountain Tunes and Tales (June), the Midnight Independence Day Parade (July), and the Gatlinburg Craftmen’s Fair (July). Quieter times during the summer months include the first two weeks in June and the last two weeks of August.
Find Fall Foliage on Display (September – November). It’s impossible to describe the beauty of the autumn months in the Great Smokey Mountains. Breathtaking landscapes awash in red, yellow, and orange draw visitors from around the world as the fall leaf season commences in mid-September at higher elevations and mid-October at lower elevations, like Gatlinburg. Fall temperatures cool to moderate to chilly, so make sure to bring a sweater or jacket. Fall football season draws many University of Tennessee fans to the region and the towns take great pride in decorating for the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays and the Smokey Mountain Harvest Festival, which lasts from September through October. Other fall events include the Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff, the Veterans’ Day Celebration, and the Festival of Trees, all in November.
Explore a Winter Wonderland (December – February). If you love cold weather sports, you’ll find great opportunities for snow skiing, snow boarding, and even ice skating in the Smokies. With moderately cold weather and an average temperature of 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be able to enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities among the snow capped peaks. Most shops and attractions are open throughout the winter months, although some operate on abbreviated schedules. The winter holiday season kicks into gear in late November and early December with the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Holiday Arts & Crafts Show and the Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. You’ll find seasonal decorations and shopping adventures galore throughout the region. Quiet times during the winter months include most weekdays, except for late December through New Year’s Day.
No matter what the season, count on the Great Smoky Mountains to provide the reason for a great vacation getaway. And also don’t forget to contact our Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins specialists for advice on places to stay when you are coming to Smoky Mountains.