Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)
|Dollywood's Harvest Celebration features music, crafts, and frightening rides. (courtesy, Dollywood)|
In fall, Dollywood delivers a triple crown of delights: brilliant foliage, an outdoor crafts festival, and Gospel performances during the park's National Gospel and Harvest Celebration. Megastar Dolly Parton founded the theme park in the hills of her hometown, just five miles north of the Gatlinburg entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a paradise for leaf peepers each autumn.
In Dollywood during October, Appalachian heritage and music hold equal sway to monster rides. The park offers daily demonstrations of blacksmithing, glass blowing, and other skills, and holds one of the region's largest craft shows. Thrill rides include the Tennessee Tornado, a roller coaster that drops riders a stomach-churning 128 feet at speeds up to 65 mph, and Thunderhead, a wooden coaster with 100-foot drops and speeds up to 55 mph. Young kids hang out at Lil' Loggers' Landing, a lumberjack-themed play area, and the Busy Bees ride.
True to its roots, Dollywood's about the music. And sounds aren't all country, either, although the "Kinfolks Show," a tribute to Dolly, has enough twang to go around. Toe-tap through "Dreamland Drive-In," a fifties and sixties rock 'n' roll revival, then stop by Naomi and the Wood Brothers' lively bluegrass show.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication