Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited National Park?
Bet you were guessing it was another park.
But, it goes to show you how incredible the Great Smoky Mountains are. You can visit either the park itself or the surrounding area and explore the mountains, take in some incredible views, and experience some of the down-home wonderful hospitality of North Carolina and Tennessee.
In this post, we’re going to highlight some of our best tips for making the most of your time in the Great Smoky Mountains.
View this post on Instagram
Beautiful waterfall that you can only find in Gatlinburg 🌿🦋l Would you like to know the best waterfall you can not miss in your trip? Check in the blog in our profile . . . . #gatlinburgtn #gatlinburgtennessee #gatlinburg #family #familyfirst #familytravel #moments #tennessee #like #instagram #instagramers #insta #likeforfollow #likeforlikes #like4likes #likesforlike #smokymountainsnationalpark #national #park #adventure #snow . . @allgatlingburg @allgatlingburg @allgatlingburg
Of course, when you see the mountains, you want to start hiking, right? Inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll find over 800 miles of hiking trails. And that includes sections that are along the famous Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine.
What makes hiking here so awesome is that it’s really accessible. You can find trails that match any age and ability from the short and easy 1.9 mile Gatlinburg Trail to the strenuous climb up Clingmans Dome which is over 6,600 feet high — but you get rewarded with some amazing views.
Just because the area is mostly mountainous doesn’t mean you can’t find a few opportunities to hit the water in the Great Smoky Mountains too. One popular spot is Fontana Lake which offers over 200 miles of shoreline and is ideal for getting cool on a hot day or after a long hike. Visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards too.
View this post on Instagram
Cades Cove #cadescove #smokeymountains #smokymountainsnationalpark #tennessee #exploretennessee #nationalpark #onlyintennessee #stellasview8 #northwestohiophotographer #vacation #wandertowonder #discoverearth #wonderfulplaces #travelphotocollection #earthforus #roamtheplanet #outdoorphotomag #earthoutdoors #optoutside #adoramapix #believeinprint #hiketennessee #exploretennessee
Let’s say hiking might not be your thing. You don’t have to miss out on the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains because, with over 250 miles of roads, there are a number of scenic drives you can enjoy.
One of the most popular drives is the Cades Cove Loop Road. This drive goes through some of the historic sections of the Great Smoky Mountains that existed before it was a park and offers plenty of pull outs for you to take plenty of great shots for your Instagram! You can also take the Clingmans Dome Road to get to the top of the highest peak in Tennessee too.
Visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge
It’s not all nature in the areas surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains. In fact, there are a couple of hustling and bustling towns you can spend some time in too.
For a night on the town, consider the Gatlinburg Strip. This area is packed with all sorts of things to do and places to see. You can get a bite to eat, check out a few moonshine distilleries, and get in a little bit of shopping too. Here, you’ll also find the Gatlinburg Sky Lift which gives you amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
Pigeon Forge is probably best known as the home of Country music star Dolly Parton. She’s created her own theme park, Dollywood, a staple for plenty of family fun in this region for decades. Ride the rollercoasters or take in a few live shows while you’re there.
Enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains!
Spend any time in this part of the country, and you’ll know why people keep coming back for more. You’ve got an endless amount of things to see, do, and enjoy spending time in the Great Smoky Mountians.