best time to visit gatlinburg

When is the Best Time to Visit Gatlinburg, TN?

Going on a solo trip or with your friends and family is a great way to take time off your hectic routine. Daily life can become monotonous; therefore, prioritizing vacations is a great way to recharge yourself. Traveling helps lets you explore new places, people, and cultures, and what is a better place to do all of that other than Gatlinburg, Tennessee?

Gatlinburg falls in eastern Tennessee and is one of the most popular destinations in the south. One of the many reasons it attracts so many visitors worldwide is because the city is a pathway to the Great Smoky Mountains. Besides that, the city is known for its deep-rooted southern culture and traditions, attractive landmarks, and delicious food.

However, knowing the best seasons is always essential before visiting a destination. Gatlinburg offers different seasons with unique features, events, and experiences. Thus, the following guide will let you know each season’s specialty in Gatlinburg.


Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons in the city. You can witness beautiful scenery with clear skies and trees covered in snow. Late winter and early spring is the least crowded time to visit Gatlinburg, which means fewer crowds, shorter waits, and amazing discounts!

What’s special in Winter?

If you’re visiting Gatlinburg this winter, you can grab discounts and great offers on accommodations.

Various excellent hotels offer value for money with their countless amenities and quality features. One of the most popular hotels in the city is Sydney James lodge. This Gatlinburg hotel provides convenient winter amenities such as an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna. In addition, the hotel is pet-friendly, allowing you to spend your vacation with your furry friend. 

Mostly scattered around Downtown Gatlinburg, these hotels are close to all the popular attractions, shops, and parks.

Winter-exclusive activities!

  • Ice skating: Some popular ice skating rinks in Gatlinburg include the Gatlinburg Ice Rink and the Ober Gatlinburg Ice Skating Rink.
  • Snow tubing: Another fun winter activity in Gatlinburg is snow tubing. You can slide down a snow-covered hill on an inflatable tube at the Ober Mountain Adventure Park.
  • Skiing: Gatlinburg has a few ski resorts where you can enjoy skiing or snowboarding. The Ober Mountain Adventure Park has ski trails for all levels, from beginners to advanced skiers.
  • Ice bumper cars: Ice bumper cars is a unique winter activity where you can ride on small cars with ice skates attached to them and bump into your friends at the Ober Mountain Adventure Park.


Spring in Gatlinburg is a sight, with beautiful flowers everywhere under a clear blue sky. The weather during this season is quite pleasant, but the area near the mountains can be chilly and wet, so if you’re planning to go in spring, it’s a good idea to pack warm clothes. This season is not too crowded, so exploring popular sites is easy.

What’s special in Spring?

Gatlinburg hosts several spring festival events that attract locals and tourists.

Some popular spring festivals include Improv Comedy Fest, which takes place in early March at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre and features improv troupes from around the country. Then you have Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, which takes place in late April in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and features guided walks, educational activities, and more. Those who love live music, food, and crafts can check out SpringFest and Spring Parade in downtown Gatlinburg.

Activities in Spring!

Spring is also the perfect time to absorb the city’s beautiful scenery and go on an adventure. The temperature is mild and refreshing, making it great for activities like

  • Hiking – Spring is a great time to hit the trails in Gatlinburg and take in the beautiful scenery. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has numerous trails, ranging from easy to challenging.
  • Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – This popular national park is home to beautiful waterfalls, trails, and wildlife and is a must-see during a spring visit to Gatlinburg.
  • Visiting local wineries and breweries – The wineries and breweries offer tastings and tours, and spring is a great time to visit these establishments and try local flavors.


Summers is when the city starts attracting tourists from around the country. Just like Spring, this season, you can find various activities. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has some excellent options for water activities, such as rafting. It is one of the park’s most thrilling and exciting water activities, where you can raft in the pigeon river and Ocoee River. Besides that, you can swim in the midnight hole in the big creek do tubbing in the deep creek. The park also has kayaking; the best spot is Nantahala Gorge.

What’s special in Summer?

The best part of the season is enjoying all the thrilling rides in pleasant and warm weather. The season comes with longer days and shorter nights, providing more time to enjoy amusement park attractions in Gatlinburg!

The most popular park in Gatlinburg is Anakeesta, an award-winning theme park. You can enjoy thrilling rides, delicious food, stalls, and stores. And you don’t want to miss out on their zipline tours and mountain coaster. 

Moreover, you can also listen and dance to delightful music in the black bear village there. Finally, the park’s clifftop dining is a huge attraction where you can enjoy delicious BBq and piping hot fast food.

Must try activities in Summer!

  • Swimming and splashing around – The summer months in Gatlinburg are hot and humid, making it a perfect time to cool off in the water. There are several swimming holes and waterfalls in the area, as well as pools and waterparks.
  • Taking a trip to Dollywood – Dollywood, a popular theme park in the area, is open during the summer months and offers thrilling rides, live entertainment, and delicious food.
  • Going to a concert or show – Gatlinburg has several theaters and venues that host concerts and shows during the summer months, including the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
  • Relaxing on the beach – Gatlinburg is located near several lakes, such as Douglas Lake and Cherokee Lake, which offer sandy beaches and the opportunity to swim and relax in the sun.


Fall is the most magical time of year to visit the city. Its vibrant foliage draws in visitors from near and far. Not only does the season bring with its breathtaking sunsets, but also warm and inviting weather – perfect for taking a stroll through town! With all that autumn offers, you’ll surely have an unforgettable experience here.

What’s Special in Fall?

The German-inspired Oktoberfest is celebrated from September to October. With cool beer and upbeat music provided by an oompah band, there’s a good time waiting for everyone! If that weren’t enough fun already, you can indulge in some traditional Bavarian cuisine such as Strudel, Sauerkraut, or Schnitzel with a side of salted pretzels – making the season a worthwhile visit!

Don’t miss out on these activities in the fall!

If you’re looking for a thrill, there’s no better place than Ripleys’ Haunted Adventure in the fall. You’ll be amazed as the dead rise from their graves and experience loads of fun activities that will get your heart racing! Don’t miss out on Friday Fright Nights– it makes this park especially popular during October.


Gatlingburg is one of the most incredible destinations you can travel to. The city has the best attractions and breathtaking scenery and gives the best shopping experience, which can be enjoyed in all four seasons. To have the best time, find affordable and convenient accommodation before you visit and mark your calendar for all the unique festivals and events!

We try our best to keep travel guides updated as often and accurately possible. However, there's no guarantee that what you find on our site will be 100% correct or current at any given time - so please make sure to cross-check the information with credible sources.

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