Looking to plan a trip to see the leaves change in the Great Smoky Mountains? Here are some reasons why scenic Blount County, Tennessee is the place to be. (For more information about fall in the Smokies, be sure to check out A Guide to Autumn Leaves in East Tennessee)
Fall is Festival Season
Downtown Maryville transforms into a Halloween town Oct. 25, 2019 with activities for families and pets. All along West Broadway in downtown Maryville, a dance party, trick or treating, a dog costume contest and more will take place. Surrounded by changing foliage and a chill in the air, it's a Halloween vibe you don't want to miss.
Fall tastes come alive at Grains & Grits happening Nov. 2, 2019 in Townsend. The thriving local craft spirits and culinary communities come together to throw a unique experience each year. Sample regional crafts from George Dickel Distillery, Jack Daniels Distillery, Old Glory Distilling Co., Tennessee Legend Distillery and many more. Brews will be offered by the Blount County Home Brewers and Sevier County Home Brewers with wine poured from Cades Cove Cellars. Enjoy Southern classic dishes from shrimp and grits to stuffed biscuits made by representatives from local restaurants like Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, Northshore Brasserie, Flats and Taps Knoxville, Amici-Maryville, Puckett's, The Walnut Kitchen and more. General admission is $65 for advanced tickets and $75 day of the event.
Drive through the Mountains
Up on the Foothills Parkway, you have the chance to see fall colors from above. Running parallel with the park, the vistas from this National Parkway are specifically designed to be the best in Blount County. Off to the south and east sits the mountains of the national park itself, paling off into the immense distance. To the north and west, you see the great Tennessee Valley stretch out to the horizon. If time allows, don't hesitate to watch the sunset from one of the road's many stops. To access the Foothills Parkway, take US-321 between Maryville and Townsend. Follow the signs.
It's easy to love Cades Cove year-round. Sitting deep in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, an 11-mile, one-way, scenic loop road circles this broad valley. All around you stand the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In the fall months, as the leaves turn from green to red and yellow and brown and the mountainsides and hollows become a vibrant smattering of bright colors, you'll have to try not to get lost in the beauty of it all. Cades Cove is accessible by entering the Great Smoky Mountain National Park via Townsend, Tennessee. From there, follow the signs.
You Can Stay in Unique Lodging
Little Arrow Outdoor Resort - Townsend
Cabins, tiny homes, glamping spots and RV & tent spaces can all be found at Little Arrow Outdoor Resort. The cabins sleep six and are equipped with comfortable seating, plush bedding, a fully-functional kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace and, of course, beautiful mountain views. Have a unique experience in one of the tiny homes which have a full kitchen, washer & dryer in some homes, full kitchen, spacious deck, cable TV and more.
RT Lodge - Maryville
Lush accommodations featuring custom-crafted furniture in a lodge ambiance and a gourmet restaurant led by Executive Chef Trevor Stockton keep guests coming back. All guest rooms at RT Lodge are furnished with a king or two single beds, each topped with down comforters and made with Ralph Lauren linens. The 60-bed lodging space is divided into two buildings, both in close proximity to the main lodge. The restaurant has a gourmet seasonal menu and extensive drink list.
Blackberry Farm - Walland
This exclusive resort with mountainous views for miles is the definition of luxury. Enjoy your stay in an historic room, suite or estate room. If the thought of being secluded in the mountains seems appealing, opt for the hill cottages, the farmstead cottage or the houses which have 3-5 bedrooms. Select from a long list of activities to fill your days from yoga to massages, archery, carriage rides, fly fishing lessons, and even paintball. Spend some hours on the trails during a guided hike or while away the hours swimming or bird watching.
However your choose to see the Great Smoky Mountains, Blount County offers numerous ways from leaf-peeping drives to festivals and staying among the fall colors.