If you want to be among the millions of people who travel to the Great Smoky every year, be prepared for an ultimate Smokie Mountain Vacation experience. Whether you are traveling again or the very first time, you will find something new and more exciting in the panoramic views, lush valleys, and trails. Some people are more captivated by exploring the ancient sites while others want to discover the country life and beyond. Whether you are looking forward to a multi-day trek or simply want to unwind in the natural beauty, there is something for everyone. Want to know? Here you go!
1 Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you are about to visit the Great Smoky Mountains, you cannot just miss out on the National Park. Explore the park and figure out why it is the most visited destination among tourists. Walk around the popular mountains and learn about the life of the Appalachians, Cherokee history & legends, and much more. If you are accompanied by a tour guide, they will inform you about the best spots and take you to the timeless wonders. From here you can conveniently take a look at rainbow falls, Cades Cove, Clingman’s dome, etc.
2 Explore Cades Cove
Cades Cove is one of the best destinations in the Smokies. It’s an isolated valley encircled by gigantic mountains. Get into the tranquility of the region which is known for mesmerizing scenery, plenty of wildlife, and several ancient buildings. While you can hike through the valley, you can also explore the site by car. You will have an opportunity to stop at multiple points and discover your journey in a better way. The scenic tour will take approximately 2-4 hours primarily depending on the number of stops. From stunning mountain landscapes to wildflower meadows, it’s an experience you will remember ever and forever. Also, Cades Cove is the best place to watch wildlife. From deer and black bears to raccoons and skunks, there are many unique animals that live in this valley.
There are closely located 2,900 miles of rivulets in the Smokies. Fishing is allowed throughout the year in open waters. Are you ready to spot the popular trout in the deep waters? The headwaters above the stream have a lot of brook trout which is why it remains the favorite spot for local fishermen. You will be able to catch most of the fish especially on the Tennessee side of the park. Don’t forget to pack your fly rod and a few peacock-bodied flies.
4 Breathtaking Waterfalls
When we talk about the Great Smoky Mountains, there are more than 2000 miles of streams and rivers leading to above 100 waterfalls that you can see throughout the park. You are more likely to follow a hiking trail and explore the wonderful cascades. Here we would specifically mention the four waterfalls that should be on every tourist’s bucket list. The “Famous Four” are referred to the iconic waterfalls including Rainbow Falls, Abrams, Grotto, and Laurel. All four of these waterfalls are completely unique and absolutely breathtaking.
5 Mountain Farm Museum & Oconaluftee River Trail
The Mountain Farm Museum houses several farm buildings that date around the 1900s. These buildings moved from the original sites through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park creating a large-scale open-air museum. Visitors can discover the apple house, log farmhouse, a functional blacksmith market, barn, and more. You will get a better idea of how the families used to live 100 years back. On the other hand, the Oconaluftee River Trail comes with two walking paths where tourists can do cycling or walk dogs around. The trail runs along the Oconaluftee River and offers some of the most fanatic views of the river.
6 Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome makes for another renowned most-visited tourist attraction and certainly for great reasons. Here you will come across inexpressibly beautiful panoramic views. With a peak height of 6,643 feet, it becomes one of the highest mountains located in the east of the Mississippi. Further, there is an observation tower that sits on the mountain’s summit and expect an amazing 360-degree view. You will be required to hike for about half a mile for reaching the summit. The effort is absolutely worth it!
7 Go Elk Watching
There was a time when the United States was known for plenty of elks. Because of over-hunting, many elk families were eliminated. The association between Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Park Service managed to gather the wild elk in the Smoky Mountains. Originally, there were about 52 elks, however, today the estimate is more than 200. One of the most exciting activities you can do here is to go elk-watching. You will love to watch amazing creatures and see how they roam around the place.
What else can be more interesting than observing their natural habitat? However, be careful and try not to get very close. According to the rules and regulations, you must be 150 feet away from the elks and make sure not to disturb them. Also, you are not permitted to enter the field for even one step otherwise there is a penalty. If you are interested in elk watching, we recommend you to go late in the evening or early in the morning. This is the most active time for elks.
8 What about Campout?
At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will find the perfect place to go camping whether you are traveling with family or a group of friends. The different campgrounds are available from the horse camps, front country, group campgrounds, and backcountry. Every campsite comes with unique features. For example, the backcountry campsite is for people who are fond of old-school. Camping is further accompanied by a hike to reach the top campsite. On the other hand, if you are looking forward to a little more civilization, you can enjoy some reasonable facilities at the country campsite. Make sure to reserve your camping spot beforehand otherwise they can get crowded soon. For more information, you should visit the official website of the National Park Service.
The Great Smoky Mountains remain one of the most popular destinations among tourists. Millions of tourists visit the place every year and absolutely for many good reasons we have discussed above. You may want to further look for theme parks near me. From plenty of things to do to the renowned attractions, all you need to do is get inside the Great Smoky Mountains and gear up for the ultimate experience. Discover the natural habitats, go fishing and camping, learn about the old countryside, and much more. This is a family-friendly site with plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. At the end of the day, don’t forget to bring your camera along and capture all those beautiful and exciting moments. Are you planning for your very next vacation here? If yes, do let us know about your preparations and what you are looking forward to in the comment section below.