aerial tram ober gatlinburg in the fall

While the Autumn color has only been crawling to the Smokies this season, the change is under way and the slow speed only adds more time and opportunities to see it for 2019.

Here are our five places that we recommend for Autumn color sights.

the great smoky mountain wheel the island

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Proudly beaming along the skyline of Pigeon Forge from The Island, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is one of the most convenient and luxurious ways to see the Smoky Mountain colors. It is an absolutely giant ferris wheel that will take admission fees and offer photographs after the experience – in between that, you will go about 200 feet in the air and circle around several times where the mountains surrounding the city will be greatly visible. The car is completely enclosed and has air conditioning or heating depending on the weather outside. Few other sky-high vistas in the Smokies offer this level of amenity!

Foothills Parkway Between Wears Valley and Townsend
This is a newer roadway going through a majorly atmospheric section of the Smoky Mountains that is popular enough, but not quite as popular as something like Newfound Gap between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC, which means those who would prefer a drive through the highlands of the Smokies with a lesser chance of crawling through traffic should definitely consider going out to Wears Valley to take a drive on it. The roadway looks very much like the Newfound road to Cherokee and has plenty of stopping spots high above Wears Valley road where you can stop and take all the photos you want!

thunderhead dollywood
Anyone who’s ever been to Dollywood should know that the theme park is extremely steeped in its mountain atmosphere and, thusly, the colors of the Autumn bliss will be on full display almost everywhere you walk on park. Not just that, but there is also the Southern Gospel Harvest Festival and the Pumpkin LumiNights events going on throughout October and that only adds, or multiplies, the experience. How to see the sights? Go on some of the rides! The rollercoasters and many others reach great heights and lets you see the colors and spin them around you in ways you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

playground at anakeestaAnakeesta
We’ll let Anakeesta’s website sum it up:

“Our Gatlinburg-based theme park is a great family value! Admission to Anakeesta includes a scenic ride via the Chondola ride or choose to experience our Ridge Rambler adventure trucks to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain where you enter our magical Firefly Village. Enjoy spectacular views of downtown Gatlinburg along the way. At the top, you’ll experience majestic scenic views of Mt. LeConte, quaint gift shops and casual dining at our Smokehouse BBQ food truck or savory pastries, hot drinks, and of course ice cream at Pearl’s Pie in the Sky.

Stroll along the Treetop Skywalk 40’–60’ feet above the forest floor and discover over 800′ of connected skybridges, then explore our whimsical Treehouse Village Adventure with the kids. Follow the Memorial Forest Walk to learn about the November 2016 fire and how it impacted our ‘mountain strong’ community, and discover our new and interactive Vista Gardens botanical walk that features 1,700′ of walking trails that meander through lush gardens filled with a variety of flowers, plants, and sculptures like our 20′ Willow Man.”

Ober Gatlinburg
Ober has been our famous amusement park in the highlands for decades, longer even than Dollywood by several dozens of years, and the reason for this is its unique combination of attractions while being located high in the mountains of Chalet Village and overlooking the city. Half of Ober Gatlinburg’s popularity along comes from the tram rides that go from downtown Gatlinburg to the kinds of heights that give you miles and miles of views around you. As you might guess, this ride gets popular during the Autumn time, but you’ll be able to find the opportunities to ride it and the views will be well worth it.

Also going on at Ober Gatlinburg during October is the Oktoberfest which goes on throughout the month. Authentic German food like schnitzel, bratwurst, strudel, turkey legs, pretzels and sauerkraut along with German entertainment will be going on each day during the Oktoberfest.