37+ BUDGET-FRIENDLY TIPS FOR FALL TRAVEL TO THE SMOKIES
Enjoy an affordable fall getaway to Sevierville, Tennessee.
Don’t let the pinch of inflation dash your dreams of spectacular mountain vistas, crisp air, colorful trees, fresh-picked apples, scenic hikes, and quality time with family. You can enjoy an ideal fall getaway that won’t break the bank in Dolly Parton’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee. Here are our top tips to make fall travel to the Smokies affordable. A vacation should ease stress, not add to it!
Sevierville is less than a day’s drive for more than 75 percent of the U.S. population. Gas prices may be higher than we’d all prefer, but driving is still typically less costly than flying—in fact, if you’re coming from Nashville, Charlotte, Lexington, or Atlanta, the drive typically takes just one tank. If you happen to have a stash of airline points, cash them in for a free flight to Knoxville, a free or discounted rental car, and Sevierville is just a half-hour drive away.
Once you’re here, make the most of your travel budget by using our free Savings Pass . It puts deals and discounts at your fingertips. Sign up online then download the app onto your phone for instant savings at accommodations, restaurants, bars, attractions, shops, wineries, distilleries, breweries, and an array of services from spa treatments to guided tours to weddings!
Overnight accommodations are a priority for spending and the good news is that Sevierville’s options range from national brand hotels to private rental cabins and condos, campsites, and waterpark resorts. Whether you prefer to pitch a tent under falling leaves or rent a log cabin with a hot tub, you can sleep comfortably within your budget.
For less than $20 you can rent a kayak, jump in bounce houses, explore an underground cave, play miniature golf, ride the nation’s longest mountain coaster, see vintage aircraft, and so much more! Check out our list of “20 Things To Do Under $20.”
Savor seasonal treats at Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store . This working apple farm sells delicious fried apple pies, apple doughnuts, sweet and tart apple ciders, candied and caramel apples, ice cream in traditional and seasonal flavors, and more at wallet-friendly prices. Step into the general store to buy farm-grown apples and other fall goodies to take home.
Need to fit some back-to-school shopping into your plans? Tanger Outlets Sevierville boasts over 100 stores with discount prices up to 70 percent off retail. You can save even more while shopping at Tennessee’s largest authentic outlet center by joining TangerClub . For a one-time $10 fee you’ll have access to deals like free gifts, shopping rewards, and other surprises. Members also enjoy complimentary access to designated parking spots in key areas.
There’s no charge to enjoy the great outdoors! Lace up your hiking shoes and explore. Sevierville offers ready access to trails that weave through trees up mountaintops, and along rivers. Whether you’re up for an easy stroll or epic hike, there’s a trail for you. Among the hundreds of miles of options consider these “7+ Great Hikes in Sevierville.”
Head to Clingmans Dome at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From the parking area it’s a half-mile climb up to the tallest point in Tennessee, the highest point along the Appalachian Trail, and the third-highest mountain east of the Mississippi River! The observation tower at the summit offers spectacular 360-degree views—on clear days you can see up to 100 miles in any direction!
Enjoy a scenic drive. The National Park’s Newfound Gap Road (US 441) weaves 31 miles between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Cherokee, N.C. You’ll reach an elevation of 5,046 feet traveling through pine-oak, evergreen spruce-fir, and cove hardwood forests. Along the route are many spectacular lookout points (all clearly designated) where you can stop, gaze, and snap photos. Other scenic driving tours include Boyd’s Creek, Middle Prong, and English Mountain.
Visit the Douglas Dam Overlook at Douglas Lake, one of the manmade wonders of the Smoky Mountains. Built during World War II—in just 12 months and 17 days, a world record at the time for a facility of its size!—the dam provided hydropower to the war effort. The Overlook offers a panoramic view of the dam, lake, and surrounding mountains.
Sample local flavors at no charge. Sip wines made using Tennessee grapes at Hillside Winery or sweet dessert wines at The Apple Barn Winery. Prefer spirits? Try Old Tennessee Distilling Company or Shine Girl. At Tanger Outlets you can sample Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Byrd’s Famous Cookies, GiGi’s Cupcakes, Pepper Palace hot sauces and salsas, and more surprises.
Mug for the camera at any of Sevierville’s selfie spots and Instagram-ready backdrops. Don’t miss the bronze statue of Dolly Parton on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn in Downtown Sevierville. Other public art includes an eagle statue, a mural of a young Dolly enjoying a burger, a mural of monarch butterfly wings, and a sculpture made using railroad tracks.
Delve into Sevierville’s history with the self-guided Historic Sevierville Walking Tour. Forty points of interest—from jail bar grates to notable homes—make up the tour and additional historical signage throughout downtown add to the fun. Walking tour brochures are available free from the kiosk in front of the Dolly Parton statue located at 125 Court Avenue or online .
Sevierville City Park offers eight pickleball courts where it’s free to play and use the equipment, too. Want to learn how to play? Free lessons are offered on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Sevierville City Park. In inclement weather, lessons take place inside the Sevierville Community Center. Nets, paddles, and balls are provided for free to participants.
Schedule your visit to coincide with a seasonal event to simplify planning and save costs. Fun options include the 23rd Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival, Smoky Mountain Harvest Fest Festival, , History & Haunts , Wears Valley Fall Festival, and the Sheriff’s Department Spooktacular Block Party to name just a few of the community gatherings planned.
Yes, you can afford to have fun in the Smokies this fall!