Sep 11, 2023 - Things to Do

Map: When and where to see peak fall foliage

Data:; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios
Data:; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

Extreme heat is loosening its grip on Tennessee — nighttime temperatures could reach the 50s later this week.

  • That must mean fall is getting closer. We can almost hear the leaves crunching under our feet.

Why it matters: Your window to view the bright hues might be trickier to predict, as climate change impacts when leaves change and how colorful they get.

Driving the news: Using historical weather reports, tree species info and user data, travel brand put together 2023 foliage prediction maps of the U.S.

  • In Middle Tennessee, leaves should start changing colors in a month or so, according to the predictions.
  • The Nashville area will likely pass its peak fall colors by mid-November.

Be smart: Leaves will start changing earlier in East Tennessee, so plan accordingly if you want to catch the most dazzling colors the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.

  • Gatlinburg and the surrounding area will see fall foliage at its peak in about a month.

The big picture: The mountains may be the star of the leaf-peeping season, but there are plenty of other options.

  • You can round out a brunch visit to the Loveless Cafe with a scenic drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway for a view of stunning autumnal vistas from the comfort of the passenger seat.
  • If you want to venture a little farther, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky is a 90-minute drive.

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