When is the Best Time to Visit the Smoky Mountains?
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When people are planning their trips to the area, one of the biggest questions that they ask is, “when is the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains?” The answer to this question depends on what the person asking the question is looking for in a trip and how they want to spend their time on vacation. We want to help you make the best decision for your next trip, so keep reading to learn more about the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains for you:
If You’re Looking for Less Crowds
We could not be more thankful to be located next door to the most popular national park in the country, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, with the popularity of the area, this also means that visitors here are also accustomed to the high amount of traffic that is associated with it.
However, you and your family can avoid the crowds by choosing to visit during the “off season.” If you want to avoid congested times of the year, you should plan your vacation in January, February, or March. Not only are there fewer crowds on the streets, but there aren’t as many guests waiting in line at the many popular attractions, shops, and shows in the area. Plus, you may be able to see the mountains covered in snow during this time of the year!
If You Want Warmer Weather
Many people visit the Smoky Mountain area because they want to explore the great outdoors. So you may be asking yourself when is the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains if you want to spend time outside, and most people would say when the weather is warmer. The weather starts warming up as early as March, and keeps getting warmer through the spring until summer hits.
However, winter in the Smoky Mountains does not always mean that you’ll experience uncomfortable freezing temperatures. Yes, the weather is a lot chillier than what you would find in the summer and spring, but it is not so cold that you won’t be able to go out and enjoy anything while you are here. In fact, the average highs for the months of December, January, and February are normally around the mid to low-50’s. That being said, it is not uncommon for us to see a day where the temperatures rise to the mid to upper 60’s.
If you want to know what kind of weather your group should expect to see during your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains, be sure to follow Visit My Smokies’ weatherman, Paul Poteet, and his bi-weekly updates.
If You’re Looking for Better Views
We think the Smokies are beautiful any time of the year. In the winter months, there aren’t as many leaves and trees to obstruct your view, so you are more likely to get a full panoramic view of the scenic mountains.
In the spring, leaves are just starting to bud, so you’ll still be able to get a great view of the Smokies through the trees when you’re hiking or driving.
The views in summer are bright green since the leaves are fully back on the trees, and while some views could be obstructed, that doesn’t mean there aren’t several places where you will be able to look out at the sweeping mountain views.
The most popular time of the year to see incredible views of the mountains is during fall. People come from all over the world to experience the colorful leaf changes, since it’s one of the most beautiful sights during the year in the Smokies!
If You’re Looking for Possible Lower Fuel Cost
It’s no secret that gas companies have a tendency to raise their prices when they expect to see the highest number of travelers on the road. This includes peak travel seasons like during the summer and the holidays. The best time to visit the Smoky Mountains for lower gas prices would be during the off season.
Don’t forget, grocery companies like Kroger and Food City are helping families save even more money on their travel fuel by offering discounts based on how much money you spend with them. For example, Kroger offers $0.10 off of each gallon of gas purchased for every 100 points accumulated for shopping with them. If you don’t already do so, consider taking advantage of this program by stopping in one of these stores to do your family’s grocery shopping before your vacation begins.
If You Love Exciting Smoky Mountain Events
There is always something fun and exciting for families to enjoy going on in the Smoky Mountains, even during the off season! Here are some of the most popular Smoky Mountain events throughout the year:
- New Year’s Eve and Ball Drop in Gatlinburg
- December 31 at the Gatlinburg Space Needle
- The Pigeon Forge Rod Runs
- The Spring Rod Run usually takes place sometime in April
- The Fall Rod Run typically takes place in September
- Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood
- Experience over 5-million LED holiday lights throughout the park, along with themed shows, snacks, decorations, and much more
Stay up to date with other events going on in the Smoky Mountains here!
If You Want Cheap Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals
Last, but not least, one of the biggest perks for families and guests traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains is the abundance of Smoky Mountain cabin rentals. You’ll find all kinds of accommodates that would be perfect for your group. While you will probably be able to find cabins available throughout the year, the best time to book a cabin is during the off season. Because the demand for these rentals isn’t as high in January and February, the price per night stay is significantly lower than in peak season around the holidays or in the middle of the summer.
If you do want to visit the Smoky Mountains during a busier time of the year, you can still get a great price on cabins! Check out our Smoky Mountain cabin specials to find all kinds of ways to save money on your trip!
Now you know about the best time to stay in the Smoky Mountains for what you’re looking for! No matter when you decide to come, you’ll have a great time! Are you ready to start planning your trip today? Look through our accommodations, and find the perfect place to stay on your next vacation!