Posted by Leif Palmer in Gatlinburg
Back-to-school shopping is done, the garden has given up most of its bounty, and it's nearly time to unpack the holiday decorations for another year. Don't be too quick to hunker down for winter, though. There's still time to plan a family getaway to Gatlinburg, and lots to see and do this time of year as well.
When you think of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains, you probably think of gorgeous scenery, plenty of shopping, and romantic getaways. But there's much more to see and do in Gatlinburg, and some of it really can't be found anywhere else.
Throughout the month of October, the Iris Theater at the Gatlinburg Space Needle will feature Shrieks and Mindfreaks, a performance by mentalist Bill Gladwell and hypnotist Guy Michaels. You'll be taken on a fascinating (and sometimes terrifying) journey through the folklore, legends, and little-known mysteries of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Of course, if you're looking for something a little more lighthearted, be sure to grab your ticket for the Great Gatlinburg Shark Race. You won't find any Great Whites or even a Tiger Shark in the Little Pigeon River, but you will find hundreds of rubber sharks all racing for the finish line. The first to cross the finish line wins a Polaris RZR 800, but even better, all proceeds go to Gatlinburg's Cherish the Child Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting the Smoky Mountain Children's Home in Sevierville.
If you prefer real fish to rubber sharks, don't miss the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament. With contests for both kids and adults, and varying categories to make it fun for locals and tourists alike, the 14th annual event will no doubt be a favorite for the fisherman (or woman) in your family.
Beginning October 10, 2013, the Gatlinburg Craftsman's Fair kicks off its 38th annual event. This must-see celebration of fall includes more than 200 booths and features some of the nation's most talented artists. Not only will you find one-of-a-kind items for sale, but you'll also have the opportunity to watch the artists at work and see the care and thoughtfulness that goes into creating colorful quilts, stunning stained-glass windows, hand-thrown pottery, and more. Get an early start on your Christmas list, or pick up a few souvenirs of your own.
Of course, Gatlinburg and the surrounding mountains are still home to some of the most spectacular scenery in North America, so be sure to schedule a day just to take in the sights. Autumn begins to paint the landscape in vibrant oranges and reds as early as mid-September, and by mid-October, the mountains are blanketed in glorious colors. The beauty of the trees and the tranquility of the Great Smoky Mountains make for a truly rejuvenating escape from the daily hustle and bustle of modern life.
Before the holidays arrive, pack up the kids and head to Gatlinburg for a fun-filled adventure. Whether you're an outdoor-loving family or enjoy something a little uncommon, you'll find it in the Great Smoky Mountains.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.