Fall Driving Tours in the Smokies
It’s the end of October and we can’t believe that the leaves are just now beginning to change colors. Mother nature can be so crazy sometimes, but we’re not going to say much because we’re so excited to start seeing those beautiful fall tones start dancing all around our mountains. Our eyes are in for such a treat and that’s why we love this season so much (okay and the scents, food, decor, and crisp weather are also a big plus!) The cool weather is enough to want to get us outside, but the stunning views are what’s going to keep us there. When you see how truly magical this time of year is here in the Smoky Mountains, you may never want to leave. Being born and raised in Florida, I never got to experience what this season is all about. Now that I live in the mountains, I can see what the talk and hype is all about. I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as when all the leaves have changed to those harvest colors and they seem like they stretch on for thousands of miles. It makes for this serene feeling that words just can’t quite describe. If you haven’t gotten to see this for yourself yet, you have to add it to your bucket list. We know it can get a little cold outside so sometimes hiking and walking around all day is not an option. Luckily for us, there is still another way to get to experience all the beauty but still stay warm and toasty. Let’s take a look at some of our excellent Fall Driving Tours in the Smokies!
- Cades Cove – This is one of the most popular places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it’s for good reason. You can get here by going to traffic light #10 in Gatlinburg and entering the national park. This 11 mile loop will feature some of the most beautiful views of the mountains and valley that you can find. Along your drive, you’ll get to see an abundance of our wildlife as well as picturesque views of our fall foliage, so make sure to have your camera ready to snap some stunning shots. Visitors have told us that they’ve seen our infamous black bears, white-tailed deer, coyotes, and more while driving along this loop. Another amazing thing you’ll get to see is some of our historic structures like cabins, churches, grist mills, and more. If the weather is cozy enough, you can get out of the car and stretch your legs while visiting our excellent Sugarlands Visitor Center. You can find out some information about our charming history as well as some places you may want to visit inside of the park like popular hiking trails. Make sure to arrive to this destination early, this place fills up fast!
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail – This might just be one of our personal favorite Fall Driving Tours in the Smokies! While it’s a little shorter than the one we mentioned above, it is still jam packed with exciting action everywhere you look. You enter at traffic light #8 (Historic Nature Trail) in Gatlinburg and follow the signs, you won’t miss it. The moment you enter, you are greeted by all the lush beauty that surrounds this wonderful driving trail. You truly can’t beat this drive when the leaves are beginning to change colors, this area is full of that magical scenery for us all to view. Along your drive, you’ll pass by serene mountain streams, historic log cabins (that you can actually stop and tour through), grist mills, beautiful greenery that has now changed into a harvest wonderland, and so much more. You’re even treated to an extra special surprise during your adventure. Are you a fan of waterfalls? Well, you’re really in for a treat! You’re going to come across my absolute favorite part of the tour – A Place of a Thousand Drips. This gorgeous waterfall is one of the best to see and it’s sure to make this one truly unforgettable tour that the entire family will love.
- Newfound Gap Road – Whether you’re coming from Cherokee, North Carolina or Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you’re in for a real treat with this one. This is the lowest drivable pass in the Smokies, so it’s one that gets to start seeing the fall colors before anyone else. Newfound Gap climbs about an average of 3000 feet and it offers some of the most beautiful views that you will find in the national park. One of the best parts about this drive is getting to see the Rockefeller Memorial, a great part of our rich history. This is where, on September 2nd, 1940, President Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s our very own special way of genuinely thanking him and his family for helping to establish our amazing National Park. Another perk of this particular trail is that there are numerous pull-over areas and overlooks, so you can get out of the car and stretch your legs a bit while taking in the gorgeous scenery.
- Blue Ridge Parkway – While we know this is a little bit more of a drive if you’re coming from the Gatlinburg side, this is still one that you can’t miss. The magical fall scenery along the way will make up for the longer trip to get there, trust us. You’re getting to see more of the North Carolina side of the mountains which is truly beautiful to get to witness. It follows the crest, so to speak, of the mountains, so you’re taking in some amazing views from all around you. There are numerous parking areas along your journey, giving you a chance to get out of the car and soak in the fall weather and colors that are surrounding you for what seems like thousands of miles.
- Rich Mountain Road – We know that Fall in the Smokies means it’s going to be extremely busy, so you might just want to check out this slightly lesser known trail. You’ll get to see some breathtaking views without having to worry about there being a larger crowd there. It’s an eight mile, one way road, that gives you some of the most incredible looks at Cades Cove. We can promise you gorgeous scenery and plenty of opportunities to get your camera out to snap some photos. This might just be your favorite because you may get to enjoy it with just your loved ones depending on the day.
- Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights – As an added bonus since fall is coming late this year, we figured we’d include this special holiday treat. You get to enjoy the colors during the day then see the lights taking over them at night! Climb aboard the trolley at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge and get ready for your journey along the parkway where you get to see millions of dazzling lights and displays that are sure to bring your holiday spirit to life. Our charming town becomes even more spectacular this time of year and we know you and the family will love this tour.
So who’s ready to go out and experience our Fall Driving Tours in the Smokies?! You will never forget getting to spend this incredible season here in the beautiful mountains and these driving tours make sure to prove just that. The scenery you will see along your journey on either of these will absolutely take your breath away. The colors dancing along our rolling hills is something you will truly remember for a lifetime. Now all you need is clean and cozy place to rest your head at. Whispering Pines offers one to four bedroom luxury vacation condos at an affordable price. We have three different view types to choose from and you also receive free tickets to numerous places in town as a thank you for staying with us. You can book online or give us a call at 1.800.429.4361 and one of your friendly reservationists would love to assist you with finding the perfect condo for your stay. We would love to have you join our family! Make sure to also let us know what you think about our fabulous Fall Driving Tours in the Smokies.