The question on everyone’s mind: When will Nashville see peak fall colors?
Autumn is off to a warm start (aka it’s not sweater weather just yet), but we know cooler temps are coming in October. Now, with help from the Farmer’s Almanac and SmokyMountains.com, we’re crunching the leaves — ahem, dates — so you know the best time to take a scenic regional drive or plan a last-minute fall road trip.
🍂 Save the dates
Tennessee is expected to see peak colors from mid-October to mid-November — in East Tennessee between Oct. 16-30, in Middle Tennessee between Oct. 30-Nov. 6, and in West Tennessee around Nov. 13. Nashville’s sweet spot for fall foliage is on or around Monday, Nov. 6.
🍂 Scenic drives
Natchez Trace Parkway | You’ll need fuel for your journey — plan to eat breakfast at Loveless Cafe, located near the parkway’s entrance. Beyond the Double Arch Bridge, plan stops at Timberland Park and Leiper’s Fork before continuing your drive or circling back home.
Cumberland Historic Byway | This ~200-mile route crosses eight counties in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland region. Take note of these directions and get ready for dips, bends, and curves — and stunning views.
Want to stay close to Nashville? Read up on two more scenic routes within city limits.
🍂 Road trip destinations
- Asheville, NC | Peak: Oct. 23
- Chattanooga | Peak: Oct. 30
- Louisville, KY | Peak: Oct. 30
- Lexington, KY | Peak: Oct. 30
- Indianapolis, IN | Peak: Oct. 30
- Columbia, SC | Peak: Nov. 6
- Charleston, SC | Peak: Nov. 13
Is there a scenic drive — local or regional — that you look forward to each year? Where is the perfect fall destination within driving distance from Nashville? Leaf your recommendations for a memorable autumn adventure.