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Looking to head to Gatlinburg in September? Find the things to do, see and explore in this great month to visit the Smoky Mountains!

pumpkin sculpture at Dollywood for the harvest festival

If you’re looking for a great time to visit Gatlinburg, September is the perfect month! The weather is warm and dry, the hottest days of summer are ending, and there are plenty of things for fall fun to do both in town and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can also enjoy some of the area’s biggest events during September!

You won’t be able to catch a glimpse of fall foliage yet in September, as October is the best time for that, but you can still swim or do Splash Country around Labor Day, hike all month long and just enjoy all that the area has to offer.

The weather is gorgeous with the average temperature around 80 degrees for the month of September. There are lots of exciting events that the whole family can enjoy in the cooler temperatures (we tend to get HOT in the summer!). So head over to downtown Gatlinburg and check out all the best things the area has to offer!

Events happening around Gatlinburg in September

Gatlinburg Oktoberfest

Experience a traditional German Octoberfest festival celebrating the harvest with Bavarian fun, music and food!! This is held annually at Ober Gatlinburg and begins in late September and runs through mid October.

Visit the website here


Shades of the Past Car Show

This popular show is one of the largest car shows in the area and features cars up to 1972, so no new show-offs here, only classics! Car enthusiasts will delight in this wonderful car show in neighboring Pigeon Forge. This is also a beloved annual event.

Learn more about the car show here


Dollywood Harvest Festival

This is one event our family attends every year! It begins in late September and runs through the month of October. You can see the Great Pumpkin Luminights, where thousands of carved pumpkins light up the night! Also, check out the hundreds of skilled craftsmen who come set up shop at Dollywood during the festival. It’s an amazing event you have to see at least once!

It’s a true Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, so be sure to sample all the delicious food and live entertainment. Dollywood is one of the best places to be in early fall for the caramel apples, fun pumpkin patch atmosphere, and daily highs in the upper 70’s by the end of September.

Learn more about the Harvest Festival here


pumpkin sculpture at Dollywood for the harvest festival at night
A couple of the photos we took the last time we visited Dollywood’s Harvest Festival

Tips for Visiting Gatlinburg in September

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, try visiting mid-week

Although weekends can be busy with events and tourists, you’ll find shorter wait times and less people during the week. Most schools have started back so parents and their kids aren’t as likely to be out enjoying the activities in the area, so if you want to avoid some of the hustle and bustle of the area, go during the week.

Get your tickets in advance

For some of the bigger events happening in Gatlinburg, make sure to get your tickets ahead of time! The Taste of Autumn event, for example, features dinner and a show and is a great way to try out some of the best food Gatlinburg has to offer. You can buy your tickets here.

Check the weather before you go

The weather in September is generally warm and dry, but as with any time of year, you should always check the forecast before your trip. This way, you’ll be prepared for any rain showers or clear skies with plenty of sunscreen!

Dress for the weather – it will likely be warm and dry during your visit

The beginning of September is still swimming weather in Tennessee, but by the end of the month it’s cool, so it’s always a good idea to pack some light layers just in case. Check the weather forecast for the days you’ll be visiting and plan ahead with your clothing. Even thought it’s typically a drier month, you never know when there will be a chance of rain, so plan ahead.

Get to Gatlinburg early to avoid traffic congestion and find parking spots easily

If you’re driving to Gatlinburg, try to arrive early in the day to avoid traffic congestion. Once you’re in town, there are plenty of parking garages and surface lots available for a fee. You can also take advantage of the city’s trolley system which runs throughout Gatlinburg and has several convenient stops.

Spend plenty of time exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can enjoy hiking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and more outdoor adventures

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular attractions near Gatlinburg, and for good reason! There are plenty of things to do in the park, from hiking and biking trails to horseback riding and whitewater rafting. You can also take a scenic drive or take a leisurely stroll through one of the many walking trails. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If you want to try and see some of the first fall colors, take the short hike to Clingmans Dome observation tower, the highest point in the park, or take a leisurely drive on Cades Cove Loop Road.

Take advantage of the Gatlinburg area’s many festivals and events in September, such as the Fall Rod Run car show or the Octoberfest celebration at Ober Gatlinburg.

There are plenty of festivals and events happening in Gatlinburg throughout the month, making it a great time to visit. Some of the highlights include the Fall Rod Run car show, which runs all weekend long in mid-September and is sure to delight car lovers and hobbyists alike. Another exciting event is Ober Gatlinburg’s Octoberfest celebration, which is a traditional German festival that runs from late September through mid-October. Whether you’re looking for great food, live music, or just some fun in the outdoors, there are plenty of events happening in Gatlinburg to keep you entertained all month long.

Since it’s still pretty hot in early September, make sure you stop by one of these shops for the best ice cream in Gatlinburg!

view of downtown gatlinburg in the fall
You can start to see the fall foliage at the end of September!

Common Questions about Gatlinburg in September

Is September a good time to visit Gatlinburg?

Yes, September is a great time to visit Gatlinburg. The weather is warm and dry, which makes it perfect for spending time outdoors, whether you’re hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or enjoying some river tubing on the Little Pigeon River. There are also several big events that take place during September in Gatlinburg, so you can experience a wide range of activities and entertainment during your visit.

What kinds of events are there in Gatlinburg in September?

There are several big events that take place in Gatlinburg during September, including the Fall Rod Run car show, A Taste of Autumn food festival, and Octoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg. You can also find plenty of live music and entertainment throughout the month, so there’s always something going on in Gatlinburg!

What should I wear in Gatlinburg in September?

Since the weather is warm and dry during September, you’ll want to dress for comfort. Lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes are a good choice, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking around town and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be sure to pack a jacket or sweater for evening, as the temperatures can cool down once the sun goes down.

What is Gatlinburg like in September?

Labor Day is the end of swimming season here in Tennessee, but there’s still plenty of warm weather left to enjoy outdoor activities. September is one of the best times to visit Gatlinburg, as you’ll enjoy warm and dry weather without many crowds or traffic. There are also lots of great events happening throughout the month, including food festivals, car shows, live music performances, and more. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or entertainment indoors, September is a great time to be in Gatlinburg!

So, what are you waiting for? September is the perfect time to visit Gatlinburg! With its beautiful weather and wide variety of things to do, you’re sure to have a great time.

Plan your trip for September and you won’t be disappointed! With warm weather, dry conditions, and plenty of big events happening throughout the month, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant mountain town. So why wait? Book your trip today and start planning your perfect Gatlinburg getaway!

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