September Events in the Smoky Mountains (2024)

graphic for september in the smoky mountains

A list of upcoming events in the Smoky Mountains for September

September is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. Crowds from the summer months are nearly gone now that the kids are back in school. Plus, it’s still warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors. But it’s cool enough to be comfortable. In and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, scenic drives like Cades Cove Loop Road, Newfound Gap Road, the Foothills Parkway and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail await.

Although September is a little early to see the fall foliage take bloom, many folks will start thinking about the best time to visit. But if you’re hoping to see some fall foliage, be sure to check out our interactive fall map. Generally, peak color doesn’t happen until mid-to-late October or even early November.

Notably, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival and LumiNights celebration begins in mid-September. During this festival, thousands of pumpkins will be on display throughout the park as well as seasonal treats crafted by Dollywood chefs. You might also want to add other popular downtown Gatlinburg attractions to your list of things to do. For example, Anakeesta and Ober Mountain (formerly Ober Gatlinburg) also have fall celebrations this time of year. Last but not least, classic car lovers might want to check out the fall Rod Run car show in Pigeon Forge which usually takes place in September. If you’re looking for a few of our suggestions for the best places and activities in town in September, check out our events calendar below.

tunnel at dollywood during harvest festival in the fall
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is a fan-favorite event (photo by Daniel Munson/

What do you think is the best time of year to visit the Smoky Mountains? Are you planning a trip in September? Let us know in the comments below. If you own or operate a local attraction in the Smokies and wish to add your event to the calendar, please contact our editorial team here.


Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.

7 thoughts on “September Events in the Smoky Mountains (2024)”

  1. Want to visit Gatlinburg in Sept forst week.what events will be going on I have never been.I would also like be near ever THING like rent cabin
    Can you duggest anything

  2. In case you can,t find a cabin you want, we like to stay at Johnson,s Inn ,one short block off the main street downtown easy to walk to everything downtown ,older motel but has been updated. Great location,don,t have to pay to park to go downtown. Close to Anakeesta which is pretty nice attraction .


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