November is an amazing time to visit the Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area.
It’s the best time to visit if you want a front-row seat to the fall-winter transformation.
Fall leaves tend to reach peak color during the first week of the month. A comfortable chill sets in around week two or three with a few sunny days sprinkled in throughout.
And the local attractions follow suit as the entire town transitions into Winterfest.
During Winterfest, the fall decor comes down, the winter lights go up, and local shows switch to holiday-themed performances.
Things to do in the Smoky Mountains in November
Below, you will find a list of local events and attractions happening throughout the area. Cities covered include Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Kodak, Townsend and even Bryson City.
Our personal suggestions include: Gatlinburg SkyLift Park’s Lights Over Gatlinburg celebration, Shadrack’s Christmas Lights Show and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas.
You’ll also want to check out the Titanic Winter Celebration and Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter. And maybe even Bryson City’s Polar Express, if you have time to travel out a little further.
If you want to catch some live music, check out Ole Red’s, Ole Smoky’s at the Island and downtown Gatlinburg, Anakeesta, Hard Rock Cafe, The Listening Room and Puckett’s on select nights.
And hikers will enjoy our many popular trails like Laurel Falls which is open year-round and features beautiful waterfalls.
If hiking isn’t your thing, you could instead take a scenic drive on the Cades Cove Loop Road and enjoy nature from the comfort of your car.
Be sure to click on the “details” buttons below for additional information about each event.
Note: While we do our best to keep this list updated, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Always call ahead or visit the attraction’s website before planning your trip.
Weather in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg in November
The weather in November varies drastically depending on time of the month, and time of day.
Temperatures in the beginning of the month range from an average of 64 degrees in the middle of the day to a low of 41 degrees in the evening.
You might even be able to catch a glimpse of the fall leaves changing colors if you visit early enough in the month.
Temperatures toward the end of the month range from an average high of 55 degrees and an average low of 35 degrees when the sun goes down.
And temperatures can dip even lower in higher elevations inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and at attractions like Anakeesta and SkyLift Park.
Does it snow in the Smoky Mountains in November?
It rarely snows in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in November. But anything is possible, especially in the higher elevations.
We’ve even seen snow on Mt. LeConte as early as October.
Your best bet is to come prepared for anything.
What should you wear in the Smoky Mountains in November?
Pack a variety of clothes and dress in layers. With temperatures ranging from the mid-to-high 60s down into the 30s, you’ll want to pack both t-shirts and heavy jackets.
Packable/collapsable jackets and hoodies that can squeeze into a small backpack or a large purse are ideal. It’s not at all unusual to start your day with sunshine, and end with your day with frost.
How busy is Gatlinburg in November? Crowd sizes in the Smokies
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. The park attracts over 12 million people every year.
So as one might expect, crowds are almost always a problem. However, there are certain times of year that are more crowded than others.
Normally, our busiest months are June, July and August.
Our least busy months are January, February and March.
In November, crowds can be thick on the weekends but are generally fairly manageable on weekdays.
The worst traffic day in November is usually Black Friday. We suggest avoiding the Parkway near Tanger Outlets that day at all costs unless you love sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours on end.
Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg
If you’re planning on visiting the Smokies on Thanksgiving, you should be aware that many restaurants and attractions will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
So if you’re going out, planning will be key. We suggest checking out our list of restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving before you plan your trip and making a reservation when possible.
With limited options to choose from, restaurant availability can be hard to come by.
Are you planning an upcoming trip to the Smokies in November? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re a local attraction that would like to add an event to our calendar, please contact our editorial team.