A crisp chill and aroma of pumpkin and apple treats fill the air, red, orange and vibrant yellows burst through the trees, laughter fills corn mazes, new destinations inspire curiosity and ghost stories echo from the past. Here’s what’s new and trending this fall in Tennessee.
Erwin – Visitors can experience the outdoors and fall colors in a new, luxurious way at Glamping Retro, a luxury camping destination with six tents, an airstream and treehouse available for rent.
Loudon – Discover a boutique luxury resort on over 500 acres in the heart of the Tennessee valley at Windy Hill Farm & Preserve.
Enjoy world-class upland quail hunting, kayaking, paddleboarding, archery, wine hikes, meditation, and dinners featuring heirloom ingredients imaginatively prepared.
Gatlinburg – Immerse yourself in the stars descending from the night sky. Astra Lumina at Anakeestais the 15th experience in the Lumina Enchanted Night Walk series, and the very first in the U.S.
Pigeon Forge – The Lumberjack Feud hosts the first Rib Fest presented by Sugarlands Distilling with plenty of ribs, games, inflatables, mini-golf, face-painting, live music and an authentic lumberjack competition.
Jefferson City – Check out the new Blues Between the Lakes Festival Oct. 7 at Mossy Creek Station with international touring artist Wayne Baker Brooks, live entertainment and local favorite, BBQ 865 food truck.
Leiper’s Fork – Patina Home & Garden, an immersive community experience by designers Brooke and Steve Gianetti, is set to open mid-October in the former Serenite Maison/Leiper’s Fork Antiques space.
South Central Tennessee – Take part in the World’s Largest Treasure Hunt. Find history, outdoor adventure, peace and quiet, culinary delights, hiking, spirits, charming towns and one-of-a-kind attractions in the rolling hills on the Discover South Central Tennessee Geocaching Tour.
Middle Tennessee – Scoop up new fall flavors at Hattie Jane’s Creamery, like Toasted S’mores, Salted Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Pie and Caramel Coconut at locations in Columbia, Franklin, Nashville and Murfreesboro. Hattie Jane’s is also available in the frozen section at Turnip Truck in East Nashville.
Statewide – Sample wonderful wine with a chance to win prizes along the new Tennessee Wine Trailfeaturing more than 40 wineries, meaderies and cideries.
Trending Places this Fall
Memphis – Tempt your tastebuds with creative bacon-inspired dishes from local restaurants and an array of distilled spirits at the Memphis Bacon & Bourbon Festival, 6-9 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Metal Museum.
Portland – Enjoy fresh air and fun at Bottom View Farm with train rides, hayrides to the pumpkin patch, hay maze, pillow jump and other activities. Each paid admission includes a small pumpkin.
Nashville – Celebrate the deep autumn colors during the beloved Cheekwood Harvest with more than 5,000 chrysanthemums, scarecrows, pumpkin picking, Japanese moon viewing and other fall activities.
Eagleville – Visit Lucky Ladd Farms, which offers a unique farm experience, newly expanded playgrounds, hands-on animal encounters, pumpkin patch, corn maze, pony rides, tractor train and fall treats like kettle corn, caramel apples, fresh-baked donuts, apple cider slushies and pumpkin spice lattes.
Clarksville – Clarksville’s trails serve up spectacular views. Colorful foliage follows creeks, streams and rivers, refreshing the mind, body and spirit. Check out these 7 Trails with Fantastic Fall Views.
Granville – Scarecrows tell the colorful stories of fall during October on the streets of historic Granville at Scarecrow Walk Festival. Other October events include the Artisan’s Festival, Quilt Show, Jazz Festival, Motorcycle Show and Ghost Walk.
Murfreesboro – Uncle Dave Macon Days is a Middle Tennessee tradition. Come explore the 83-acre rolling hills of Hop Springs Beer Park Oct. 7-8, take in bluegrass music and enjoy delicious eats.
Crossville – More than 100 vendors, food, live music, celebrity speakers, scavenger hunt, Bigfoot 5K Glow Run and kid’s zone are part of the fun for the Upper Cumberland Bigfoot Festival, Oct. 14-15 at the historic Palace Theatre downtown.
Knoxville – Don’t miss Schulz Brau Brewing’s Oktoberfest. The two-week festival follows Munich traditions, features live music by Knoxville Polka Kings, Oktoberfest plates & brunch, bratwurst eating contest, wiener dog racing, Oktoberfest beer release, stein-hoisting contest and watch parties for UT games.
Clinton – Step back in time and enjoy pioneer Southern Appalachian traditions and old-time demonstrations of the fall harvest season. Fall Heritage Days at the Museum of Appalachia Nov. 3-4feature a hayride and maze, traditional music, tractor exhibition, demonstrations and pumpkin patch.
Oliver Springs – Windrock Park is the largest, privately owned off-road park in the country and their annual Windrock Park Fall Jamboree Oct. 13-15 is a must-do with haunted trail rides, off-road competitions, fall views, bonfires, food vendors, music and a grand opening celebration for the new General Store.
Morristown – The Mountain Makins Festival Oct. 22-23 celebrates Appalachian tradition through music, dance, fine art, juried crafts, storytelling, regional authors and children’s activities at the Historic Rose Center for the Arts, voted Best Festival in East Tennessee by readers of Tennessee Magazine.
Chattanooga – The Hunter Museum of American Art celebrates its 70th anniversary with unique art exhibits, including Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art.
Johnson City – Heart-pumping curves, breathtaking fall scenery, historic landmarks and attractions are on tap with the Southern Dozen, a series of motorcycle routes throughout Northeast Tennessee that begin and end in Johnson City with exciting rides for every rider.
Erwin – The Unicoi County Apple Festival Oct. 7-8 in downtown Erwin welcomes more than 100,000 people from across the country for craft and food vendors, fried-to-order apple pie stand, baking contest, road race, entertainment, a kid’s zone and other activities.
Pigeon Forge – Bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins, the new Hoot Owl Hollow, savor the harvest-themed menu and soak in the fun at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana and the Great Pumpkin LumiNights.
Gatlinburg – The Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is Gatlinburg’s celebration of harvest season, featuring festivals, special events and Autumn themed displays, including life-size 3D Scarecrow people.
Sevierville – Craving the perfect fall treat? The Apple Barn & Cider Mill has you covered with traditional apple butter, apple cider and old-fashioned apple stack cakes.
Jonesborough – Enjoy stories from around the world at the 50th National Storytelling Festival, Oct. 7-9, in the heart of Tennessee’s oldest town.
New Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries and Shops
Thompson’s Station – Take a drive to this charming and picturesque town to Company Distilling to sample tastings, a full cocktail menu, distillery tours and an outdoor patio to gather with friends and family.
Knoxville – Finding common ground through beer, Ebony & Ivory Brewing opens this fall with a mission to encourage diversity, inclusion and unity. Also, for a sweet fix, check out LuLu Liquor Cakes, alcohol-infused cake jars and cakes made from scratch with flavors like pecan pie and chocolate espresso.
Sevierville – Shine Girl is a new distillery helmed by master distiller, Danielle Parton, who is a veteran, commercial pilot, Dolly Parton’s niece and is also featured on the show, Moonshiners.
New Hotels & Places to Stay
Memphis – Make yourself at home and soak up South Main Arts District community vibe at Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis. Hang out in the Talk Shop, kick back in the Beer Garden and enjoy river views.
Nashville – Music City has unique new hotels to stay in this fall, including Four Seasons Hotel Nashville (opening in Oct. in SoBro); Hotel Fraye Nashville, Curio Collection by Hilton, now open in Midtown; 1 Hotel Nashville and Conrad Nashville.
Fall Festivals & Events
Smyrna (Sept. 23-24) Thousands will pack Front Street for the 15th Annual Depot Days with more than 100 booths of vendors, food, local shops, artisans, live music, classic car show train rides and kid-friendly activities.
Saltillo (Sept 23-24) – Watch champions battle it out and sample award-winning barbecue at the TN River BBQ Battle & Music Festival, a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned competition with teams from all over the country along the banks of the Tennessee River.
Memphis (Sept. 23-25) – Nearly 150 artists from around the country will showcase eclectic pottery, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, leatherwork, sculpture and more at the 50th Annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair at Cancer Survivors Park, benefiting the Museum of Science & History.
Nashville (Sept. 23-Nov. 6) – Explore the haunted side of history during Ghost Tours at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage as you listen to stories walking among the mansion, grounds and cemetery by lantern light.
Franklin (Sept. 24-25) – Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile and Jon Batiste are among those set to take the stage at Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival at Harlinsdale Farm.
Crossville (Sept. 24-25) – The Homesteads Apple Festival features crafters, antiques, local artists and authors, a petting zoo, live music, kid’s activities and apple-themed food and drinks.
Murfreesboro (Sept. 24) – Bring lawn chairs, blankets and get in the fall spirit at the 8th Annual Oktoberfest at Oaklands Mansion with craft beer brewers, food trucks, handcrafted gourmet items and live music.
Rockwood (Sept. 24) – Put on your dancing boots, kick up your heels and enjoy a good old-fashioned barn dance, Ace’s and Eights, a dance and country music concert, 6-8 p.m. at Papaw’s Opry Barn. Tickets are $20.
Johnson City (Sept. 24) – Amateur brewers from across the nation compete for $10,000 at the 3rdAnnual Hoppy Possum: Southern Brewers Cup beer festival with tastings, live music and unique food trucks.
Nashville (Sept. 29-Oct. 5) – Filmmakers, actors, screenwriters and movie fans unite for the 53rdNashville Film Festival featuring more than 150 film screenings, panel discussions and live music.
Clarksville (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) – Clarksville Artsville Fest at Sanctuary on Main features local artists, artisans, small businesses, music, dance and fun activities for the whole family. Admission is free.
Townsend (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) – Get a head start on your holiday shopping as more than 60 talented local crafters and artisans will showcase their handmade pottery, clothing, home décor, woodwork, jams and other products at the 11th Annual Makers Market at Church of the Cove.
Memphis (Sept. 30-Oct. 2) – Mempho Music Fest is back at Radians Amphitheater at Memphis Botanic Garden. This year’s line-up includes The Black Keys, Widespread Panic and Jason Isbell.
Knoxville (Sept. 30-Oct. 31) – Get lost in Maple Lane Farms’ Corn Maze, which partnered with Visit Knoxville to spotlight the 40th Anniversary of the World’s Fair. The family fall fun event is open on weekends, and haunted nightly Oct. 21-31 starting at dusk.
Petros (Oct. 1) – Rev up your engines as hundreds of cars & motorcycles are on display at Pistons at the Prison 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.
Chattanooga (Oct. 1-30) – The award-winning Rocktoberfest returns to Rock City Gardens. The 16thannual German-themed harvest festival features new German food and variety of themed entertainment and activities.
Milan (Oct. 8) – The Milan Fall Festival 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Main Street packs in the fun with kid’s activities, balloon artists, a petting zoo, story/craft time, bounce houses and more.
Cleveland (Oct. 13) – Mambo Under the Stars during a night of Latin jazz, dance lessons and Latin-themed buffet at Museum Center at 5ive Points. Food trucks and cash bars will be available. Ticketsstart at $15.
Memphis (Oct 15) – Memphis Food and Wine Fest showcases talented chefs from the city and around the world. Guests can experience food tastings, wine and explore Memphis Botanic Garden.
Bell Buckle (Oct. 15-16) A perennial crowd favorite, the 45th annual Webb Art & Craft Show features handmade arts and crafts such as pottery, metal works, woodworking, textiles, jewelry, old-fashioned soaps, lotions, honey from a beehive and food trucks featuring dishes from around the world.
Lewisburg (Oct. 21-22) – Fainting goats, live music, food vendors, arts & crafts, kids’ games and rides are part of the fun at Goats, Music & More downtown at Rock Creek Park.
Knoxville (Oct. 27-29) – Ghost stories, dark tales and mysterious happenings rise up during the Victorian Séance Experience with a medium inside the front parlors of Mabry Hazen House.
Jonesborough (Oct. 29) – Get ready for ghost stories, hot cider, cocoa, seasonal craft beer and chills during Brews & Boos in Jimmy Neil Smith Park, behind the International Storytelling Center.
Gray (Oct. 29) – Tap into your inner artist at the Gourd Fest & Workshop at the Opry Barn. $25 and includes gourd & materials. Guests are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Proceeds benefit Boones Creek Historical Trust. Call 423-329-3784 to register.
Gallatin (Nov. 5) – In celebration of Sumner County’s rich music history, bring out the whole family for the free Backyard Bluegrass Bash, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the backyard of the Douglass-Clark House.
Nashville (Nov. 18-Feb. 4) – Zoolumination, the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival returns featuring more than 1,000 custom-made silk lanterns, whimsical imagery and fantastic beasts at Nashville Zoo.
For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.