September is the perfect time to visit the Smoky Mountains because the large crowds from the earlier months depart as schools resume classes, and the weather is ideal. It is cool enough to be relaxed and comfortable while being warm enough to enable you to participate in outdoor sports.
The most extreme summer days have gone by, and the weather becomes drier as the fall season inches closer. By the end of September, the foremost hues depicting fall also become apparent in the highest altitude areas of the Park like Clingmans Dome.
In this article, we will take a look at the best things to do in Gatlinburg in September, including both indoor and outdoor activities.
Best Events in Gatlinburg in September
Shades of the Past Car Show
Shades of the Past car show is a famous event showcasing rods, customs, and classic cars up to 1972. This annual car show is a treat for car enthusiasts because it features beautifully restored classic autos.
People who appreciate the grace and sophistication of classic vehicles flock to the car show hoping to witness everything from little Deuce Coupes to elegant classic Corvettes, with hot rods and hot Mustangs on display.
This event enables rod runners and motor heads to interact while also encountering celebrity guests. Car lovers get to exchange accessories and gain knowledge about new products from vendors with interactive displays.
Shades of the Past car show is a safe and family-friendly event, promising immense fun for those interested in cars.
The event typically lasts two days, and the admission fee is only $10 a day. Children less than 12 years get to see the cars for free!
Moreover, there are around 200 cars on display for people to marvel at, and they contend for the grand prizes, which include a 1932 Ford Hi-Boy Roadster and $10,000 cash.
A Taste of Autumn
This event marks the arrival of the fall season. Gatlinburg holds A Taste of Autumn event to commemorate the commencement of the fall season.
It features an evening filled with live music by The Ultimate Eagles Tribute, On the Border. This band attracts swarms of visitors to the Smoky Mountains because they perform passionately and satisfy the audience with their showmanship and efforts in recreating the best Eagles songs.
Hence you feel yourself go back in time as you listen to their sensational music. You also get to sample delectable signature dishes from the best restaurants in the area.
Each restaurant focuses on channeling fall flavors in their delicacies, so guests are in for an unforgettable feast!
This event occurs annually on Thursday, September 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm in the Tennessee Ballroom at Mill’s Conference Center. The price of each ticket is $30, while children under five can attend for free.
If you wish to attend the event in a group, you can opt for the corporate VIP package suitable for a party of 10. It costs $500 and comprises preferential seating, meet-up with celebrities, and wine tasting on the table.
Moreover, a percentage of the ticket sales will aid United Way of Sevier County. This association unites with community members to bring about beneficial changes in the community conditions.
This event is primarily for senior adults looking for some inspiration. It features a three-day event focused on conveying meaningful services on religion and worship and live performances with uplifting gospel music.
There is a panel of influential and experienced speakers who gather at the Gatlinburg Convention Center to deliver motivational sermons for those attending.
Thousands of visitors participate in this event and enjoy it every year, so make sure not to miss out!
Prominent guest speakers and talented performers comprise Tony Evans, Johnny Hunt, The Isaacs, David Phelps, Greater Vision, and Dennis Swanberg.
The cost of one ticket for an adult is $240, but you have to make a $75 deposit by July 14 to secure your seat. If you wish to attend this event, inform the church office.
This is one of the most exciting events in Ober Gatlinburg in September. Ober Ski Mountain conducts the much-awaited Oktoberfest in tribute to the Germans who host a traditional festival to celebrate the harvest. One of the main attractions of Oktoberfest is the mouth-watering food!
During this month-long festival, restaurants in Ober Gatlinburg whip out their Oktoberfest menus featuring delectable food emanating from German cuisine. The tantalizing delicacies include, but are not restricted to, sauerkraut, schnitzel, strudel, bratwurst, turkey legs, and salted pretzels.
Another highlight of the festival is beer. It is the perfect complement to the delicious food. For guests aged 21 and over, an Outdoor Bier Garten is available daily, offering unlimited beer.
Along with the genuine German cuisine and beer, you can also anticipate live musical performances from the Smoky Mountain Oompah Band.
To truly convey the essence of Bavaria, the band attires authentic lederhosen to perform traditional Bavarian folk dances. Accompanying the dance is lively Oompah music, sing-a-longs, yodels, and more!
A large outdoor tent full of vendors is also available. The vendors sell a diverse selection of souvenirs, clothes, and gifts to take home as a reminder of this month-long celebration.
Inside the mall, there are several retail shops and a “Beer Necessities” kiosk, housing a varied selection of authentic collectibles and other accessories for beer lovers to take home.
Things to Do In Gatlinburg in September – Outdoor Activities
One of the most entertaining ways to transcend the heat while visiting the Smokies in the warmer months is to frequent one of the numerous tubing outposts in the region.
You can calmly glide down rivers and streams with friends and family, encountering infrequent rapids to make your ride extra adventurous! The following are some of the most notable spots for river tubing in the Smokies.
The Smoky Mountains River Rat
The Smoky Mountain River Rat offers two routes for river tubing across the Little Pigeon River. The main outpost, including the lower section of the river, is perfect for the entire family. It consists of safe and relaxing rapids, a picturesque view of the mountain and forest scenery, and a rock jump as well!
Children as little as two and up or people doing river tubing for the first time will feel safe and comfortable along this route. You can even bring your pet dogs for tubing along this route!
The section higher up is not for the faint-hearted. It comprises choppy rapids which will have adrenaline coursing through your veins.
This route also has swimming holes with cool and refreshing mountain water. The minimum age requirement to tube along this route is six. To conveniently move between tubing locations, you can use specific shuttles.
River Romp Tubing
River Romp Tubing is the safest and most relaxing tubing experience, suitable for all ages along the Little Pigeon River. Moreover, you can opt for a classic tube or select one with a backrest and a cup holder for maximum ease. Your journey starts at the barn, and you float 2.5 miles down the river to a pavilion.
Then, you can make a call to one of the drivers using the office cell phone to bring you back to the starting point. After you return, you can enjoy a feast nearby, get back in the river, or call it a day.
Golfing in the mountains is a unique experience. The natural undulating landscape of the Smoky Mountains provides an opportunity to design exceptional golf courses.
Hence seize your clubs and put your skills to the test as you play on the stunning Gatlinburg Golf Course. The course comprises some of the most scenic hills in the region.
The Gatlinburg Golf Course is worth a visit during your stay because it has a distinct layout. People who love golf plan to spend their holidays playing golf at the Gatlinburg Golf Course.
It underwent detailed renovation in 2007, and William Langford drafted its original design. He was a famous architect skilled in creating stunning layouts for golf courses.
Hence the course features a stimulating design. People refer to the #12 hole “Sky Hi” because of its challenging outlay. It ranges 194 yards in length and falls 200 feet from tee to green! Likewise, people call the club’s #3 hole “Long Lane” because it spans 529 yards and is an exciting par 5.
It is one challenging hole out of the several you encounter in the total 6,281 yards of rolling land in the Gatlinburg Golf Course. These mind-stimulating features of the golf course make it the most favored among local players.
Foxfire Mountain is a popular outdoor adventure park that provides several activities like hiking, zip lines, and ATV tours!
An ATV refers to an all-terrain vehicle typically holding single riders; although some models permit several riders in one go. You can go on an off-road excursion in the Smoky Mountains with your family and friends.
An experienced tour guide will be present with you at all times. He will operate the vehicle if you wish and lead you to all the notable sites. You just have to sit back and hear stories of Foxfire Mountain as the guide transports you back in time. This option is perfect for the entire family since children three and up can ride.
The journey lasts for one hour, and there are no weight restrictions. Additionally, you can wear whatever you want, and the price of each ticket is 79.95$.
Things to Do In Gatlinburg in September – Free Events
Drive on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail
If you wish to explore the area but are not interested in walking, you and your family can go on a comfortable drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. You can enjoy picturesque views and observe birds and animals along the way from the convenience of your car.
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail comprises a 6-mile loop road that goes one way. Several historical attractions are present along the trail, and guests can stop their vehicles and explore these attractions for free.
The most popular sites along the road include the Noah ‘Bud’ Ogle cabin and the Roaring Fork Cemetery. There are designated stops along the journey where guests can stop and relax for a while.
They can also snap pictures to appreciate the beauty and make memories forever.
If you feel adventurous and energetic, you could go for a trek along the numerous hiking trails scattered across the Smoky Mountains. You can select any of these depending on what sort of adventure you desire.
No matter which trail you opt for, you will surely have a great time in the scenic outdoors, and that too for free! Some of the most renowned hiking trails include the following.
Baskins Creek Falls
This is a three-mile-long trek featuring stunning waterfalls and rapids. Although it is moderate in difficulty, the beauty of the pristine waters will take your breath away.
Brushy Mountain (Trillium Gap)
This is a 6.8-mile-long trek through gorgeous mountain scenery teeming with wildflowers. People rate it easy to moderate in difficulty, but it is worth your time if you consider yourself a plant lover.
It enables you to witness innumerable species of flowers in bloom during summertime.
Visit Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community
A small portion of downtown Gatlinburg has been a safe space for a variety of skilled craftsmen and talented artists for over 70 years. People refer to this as the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts community.
This section of the city is brimming with an abundance of arts and crafts depicting the talent of local artists. Guests can meander through the area and observe the projects on display without any cost.
Those interested in a specific item can buy it and bring it back home after their Smoky Mountain vacation.
Go for a Picnic
Going for a picnic is one of the best free things to do in Gatlinburg in September because the weather is ideal and there are fewer crowds in public places.
You can find several gorgeous spots in Gatlinburg, affording a stunning view of the Smoky Mountain area.
Tourists and locals alike are free to pack a basket with their favorite goodies and head out to one of these spots where they can have a free picnic with their families and friends.
Some of the most mesmerizing picnic areas in Gatlinburg include Mynatt Park and Mills Park.