Sometimes we all need a break for fun. So why not getaway in your very own backyard? With school back in full swing and calendars filling fast with activities, now is the ideal time to explore beautiful East Tennessee and enjoy everything our area has to offer. Plan your own Tennessee fall staycation. Fall foliage, hayrides, apple picking, and pumpkin patches are just the beginning of many things to do in the fall in Knoxville and surrounding areas. Here is our list of favorite things to do in the fall.
- Fall Foliage
East Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains fall foliage viewing begins around the first of October and continues through the second week in November. You can either drive through the park in the comfort of your car or hike one of the many trails and enjoy the colorful changing of the season throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. For a breathtaking Tennessee fall staycation, start and end in the Smoky Mountains.
- Hay Rides
Gatlinburg offers old-fashioned hayrides through the streets of downtown Gatlinburg. As fall begins in the Smoky Mountains, take this fun filled hayride and enjoy breath-taking views of our beautiful mountains.
Cades Cove Riding Stables offers a hayride around the Cades Cove Loop Road. Passengers sit on a bed of hay in a trailer pulled by a truck and enjoy an open-air view of the scenery and wildlife at Cades Cove.
- Apple Picking
At Baxter’s Orchard in Cosby, Tennessee you can pick every type of apple you could imagine; Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, the list goes on. Get all you can then take them home and make apple crisps, caramel apples, apple pie or anything else “apple” that makes your taste buds soar.
- Fall Festivals
Take advantage of the wonderful area fall festivals during your Tennessee fall staycation. From arts and crafts to craft brews, there is a fall festival for you! The Brewers’ Jam at World’s Fair Park is Knoxville’s longest-running beer festival, with great live music and 60+ breweries represented, including nationally renowned drafts, regional favorites, and unique home brews of every strength and style.
The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair was voted one of the Southeast’s “Most Popular Events.” Over 200 Craftspeople from around the country assemble to exhibit their historic trades at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. This is an event that consistently attracts the country’s finest artists and craft people.
- Cozy Cabin Getaway
Whatever size or style of cabin you want, the Smokies has them all. Nothing says Tennessee fall staycation like a relaxing week or weekend away from it all, tucked into a cozy cabin in the mountains. From family cabins with wrap around decks, rock-climbing walls and game rooms to romantic one or two bedroom hideaways with a hot tub and fireplace on the lake or in the woods, you can find your dream cabin right here in Tennessee. Bring your camera, your painting canvas, a good book or a handful of DVDs, and you can relax and unwind with great views of nature in a cozy getaway.
- Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
There is no better way to enjoy fall than by visiting a pumpkin patch and touring a corn maze. Get Lost in Maple Lane Farms’ Corn Maze. This year the Southeast’s oldest corn maze activities include a ten-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, rock wall and kid’s activities.
The Oakes Farm Corn Maze is one of East Tennessee’s favorite fall attractions. Help your family enjoy a Tennessee fall staycation as they enjoy the 9-acre corn maze, a hayride to the pumpkin patch, and over 25 other kids activities – Oake’s Farm has something for the whole family!
- Farmers Markets
The Ebenzer Road Market offers a wide variety of handpicked produce, artisan breads, grass-fed beef, natural pork and chicken, farm fresh eggs and farm-based crafts. The market is open Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Market Square Farmers’ Market is an open-air farmers’ market located on Market Square in the heart of downtown Knoxville. The market is open every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours
Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tour is a unique ghost hunting adventure. Lead by REAL Paranormal Investigators, not storytellers, all information given on the tour is true and factual and all the locations visited are the real sites of spooky happenings.
- Knoxville Food Tours
Participate in a guided walking tour through Historic Downtown Knoxville. Hear the history of some of Knoxville’s most notable districts, sample food and drink from locally owned restaurants, and meet the people who bring this unique culinary scene together. Visit their website to learn more.
- Backyard Bonfire
And what’s more of a real Tennessee fall staycation than enjoying time off at your own home? Purchase (or build) an inexpensive fire pit. Roast marshmallows and hot dogs. Make homemade chili. Tell stories. Play guitar. Look at the stars. Make memories. Add seating, lighting and some landscaping to turn your backyard into the ultimate getaway. This is a great way to reconnect with the family and enjoy the chilly outdoor air around a bonfire.
You don’t need to travel far to experience the wonder of fall and enjoy an incredible getaway from everyday life. Every once in a while we all need a Tennessee fall staycation. East Tennessee is one of the most beautiful areas in the country – especially in the fall – so take some time, get out and enjoy your surroundings.