Smoky Mountains in November: Events in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge [2023]

Smoky Mountains in November
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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.

Read Also: Winterfest Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg: Top 11 things to do, ranked

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The Blue Ridge Parkway and Maggie Valley are on the "other" side of the Smokies in North Carolina (photo by SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
For “peak” fall color in the Smokies, visit in late October or early November (photo by SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com

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 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. 

willow man statue at anakeesta will fall leaves
Soak in the beautiful Smoky Mountain fall colors in early November at Anakeesta (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

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 at 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.

a skiier at ober mountain in gatlinburg
If you really have your heart set on seeing some snow in the Smokies in November, stay until the end of the month when Ober Mountain (formerly Ober Gatlinburg) begins making snow for skiing and snow tubing (media photo courtesy of Ober Mountain)

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 higher elevations.

We’ve even seen snow on Mt. LeConte as early as October.

Your best bet is to come prepared for anything.

Read Also: Does it snow in Tennessee? What months does it snow?

a man and his son walk through a corn maze
Bring warm packable jackets, vests and hoodies when visiting the Smokies in November (photo by Maria Sbytova/stock.adobe.com)

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 your day with frost.

Tanger Outlets in Sevierville
Tanger Outlets is one of the largest shopping centers in the Smokies with over 100 brand-name stores, attracting thousands of guests every Black Friday (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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.

Read Also: Tips on how to avoid traffic in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

The line wrapped around Paula Deen's Family Kitchen on Christmas Day (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
A long line wraps around Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen for a holiday meal (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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.

Read Also: Gatlinburg Thanksgiving: 6 things to do, suggestions from a local

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.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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9 thoughts on “Smoky Mountains in November: Events in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge [2023]”

  1. What day is the Christmas parade this year? Hopefully it won’t be rained out like last year.

  2. Yes Sunday after thanksgiving looking for shows, restaurants and things to do with kids 9-3

  3. Planning on being in Gatlinburg Nov.9-13th. Have one attraction scheduled but what else is a must do that time of year?

  4. Our family will be staying in a cabin in Sevierville for the week of Thanksgiving November19 to November 26 and planning on visiting a few of the local attractions

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