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5 Exciting Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in September You Don’t Want to Miss

September is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains! Not only is this when the weather starts to cool off and fade into fall, there is also a variety of fun and exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September that you and your family are sure to love. To help you plan the perfect September trip, we’ve made a list of 5 exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September you don’t want to miss.

1. Take a Scenic Drive

Would you love to enjoy a peaceful drive through the Smoky Mountains? Visit in September and go for a scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Early September is a great time to visit if you want to experience fewer crowds in the national park. We recommend taking a drive through Cades Cove or along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Both drives offer incredible opportunities to spot black bears and other wildlife.

2. Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run

Rod Run in Pigeon ForgeDo you love classic cars? Then you don’t want to miss the most popular car show in the area! The Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run is considered to be the main event in terms of car shows in Pigeon Forge this season. This exciting event brings in even more classic beauties and takes over the city of Pigeon Forge, lining the Parkway and filling the streets.

If you want to get a closer look at these fine examples of American motor history, you can tour many of the cars on display at the LeConte Center. This is where you can see the best of the best in terms of cars participating in the event, as well as register to win a variety of exciting door prizes and other awards.

3. National Quartet Convention

Drawing in tens of thousands of visitors each year, the National Quartet Convention is a unique opportunity for you and your family or group to experience a fun and exciting musical event you don’t often get to see. This convention invites gospel fans and singers from around the nation to join together for a thrilling week of live performances you do not want to miss. It’s held in late September each year at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

4. Harvest Festival

Pumpkin structure at Dollywood's Harvest FestivalThe month of September is when the popular fall events in the area kick off. If you want to be one of the first people of the year to enjoy Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, you should visit in September. This is one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September because the weather is perfect for walking around the theme park, riding thrilling roller coasters, trying special fall foods, and taking in incredible fall decorations. When the lights go down, visitors will get to enjoy Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which features more than 12,000 pumpkins, including glowing pumpkin sculptures. You’ll also get to listen to live Southern gospel, bluegrass, Americana, and country tunes, and try seasonal fall flavors, from harvest plates to fall drinks.

5. Bear-Varian Fall Festival

Rounding our list of our favorite things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September is Anakeesta’s Bear-Varian Fall Festival. This all-new beer-tasting experience kicks off the second week of September, giving visitors the opportunity to sample drink specials from several local and regional craft breweries. The mountaintop attraction also offers views of the gorgeous fall foliage you’ll start to see in September. We recommend climbing to the top of the AnaVista Tower, which is the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg! It’ll be one of the first places you can spot the fall colors from. Anakeesta is also decorated with impressive nature-inspired pumpkin carvings during the day, and vibrant colors of orange, purple, and green at night. Everywhere you turn is another nature-themed Halloween decoration!

More Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

To stay up-to-date on all of the fun and exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September and the rest of the year, don’t forget to check out our Smoky Mountain Events Calendar. There, you will find everything you need to know about all of the thrilling upcoming events and activities planned in the area.