As a beautiful mountain town, Gatlinburg is a jumping point to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is known for its stunning views of lush forests and flowers that bloom all year. If you’re passing through the area or planning to stay for a while, there’s plenty of fun to be had, whether you’re looking to get close with nature or enjoy the local fare. Halloween in Gatlinburg and dark forests go hand in hand, too, so if you’re looking to enjoy the scariest time of the year, there’s plenty of things around here to engage with, including some local events that are sure to please. Here are some that we recommend checking out during your stay.
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
At an absolutely massive 10,000 square feet, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is a completely renovated mansion with actors and attractions in every corner just waiting to scare you. Expect state of the art horror props and well-trained actors all throughout the mansion, experience the artificial gore and horror, and soak up the terrifying ambience of the huge property as you take the tour. Participants must be 6 years or older to enter, and it goes without saying that this attraction is not for the faint of heart. Prepare to be scared.
More Than Just the Haunted House
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has a ton of different attractions to visit while you’re in the area, so after you’ve finished your chilling tour of the Haunted Mansion, there’s plenty more for you to do. Get lost in the Mirror Maze, shop at the Candy Factory, see unique 5D films, test your skill at two uniquely themed mini-golf courses, or play laser tag at one of their many locations.
There’s also a sizeable aquarium and a host of fun attractions at Ripley’s Super Fun Park. At Ripley’s Aquarium, you have the chance to see penguins, sharks, all kinds of fish, take a trip on a glass-bottom boat, and engage in a variety of learning experiences. This is an especially great place to bring the whole family if someone isn’t big on the scares to be had at the mansion, and the same goes for the Super Fun Park, where you can all ride the go-karts, blaster boats, and play in the massive arcade.
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival
Voted America’s #1 Fall Family Event by USA Today readers, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is an essential experience if you’re in the area. Painstakingly themed for the season, the Smoky Mountain splendor comes out and brings the park to life with the changing of the season. With the turning leaves all around and the mountains as the perfect backdrop, you’ll really be in touch with autumn.
While you go on the many rides available at the park, be sure to partake in all of the autumn fare. There’s plenty of seasonal food recipes like Sweet Potato Poutine, Roasted Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Corn Chowder, Apple Pie Milkshakes, and so much more. Live music and lit carved pumpkin sculptures are also must-see attractions here, with artists both familiar and new taking the stage to entertain you for the night. Many of the attractions here have a Halloween in Gatlinburg theme without the horror, so everyone can enjoy a scare-free night.
Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg
Immerse yourself in the supernatural side of Gatlinburg for the spookiest time of the year with ghost tours. Historically informative and chilling tales are told throughout the tour, because, as with many former frontier locations in the United States, there are many tales of hardship, heartbreak, and misery. Learn about the likes of Radford Gatlin, the richest and most hated man in town, Richard Reagan, the man who foresaw his own death, the mysterious Witch of Gatlinburg, and more.
This type of tour prides itself in avoiding the kitschy pitfalls of ghost stories and the over-the-top jump scares of haunted houses in favor of interesting tales of real people and the legends surrounding them. Visit historically significant locations where some of the more macabre tales of Gatlinburg come to life, and if you fancy some extra intensity, join up for the investigative ghost tour where you’ll have a chance to use real ghost hunting equipment to look for the souls of the departed.
Immerse Yourself in the Smoky Mountains
With a cozy cabin as your home base during your stay, you’ll always have a serene spot to return to between outings. At Smoky Mountain Realty Partners, there’s guaranteed to be the right size vacation spot for you, so come check out our offerings and book your stay with us to see the best, and scariest, Gatlinburg has in store.