Many different locations in the United States deserve to be on every traveler’s bucket list. You may have already visited several popular destinations, such as the Grand Canyon, New York, Miami, etc., and might be looking for a new vacation spot.
Well, there’s no place as breathtaking and picturesque as the Great Smokies, the majestic Appalachian mountains nestled between Tennessee and N. Carolina. These mountains captivate visitors from all over the US with their natural wonders, rich biodiversity, scenic drives, picnic spots, and tranquil forests.
Why Should You Visit the Smokies?
If you’re planning a summer retreat with your family members, this article will explain why the Smokies would be the perfect destination for an unforgettable experience.
The most-visited national park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s sheer popularity makes this place worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. With more than 14 million visitors in 2021 alone, this park is a must-go location for millions of outdoor enthusiasts. The Smokies are well-known for their historical landmarks, wildlife reserves, spruce-fir forests, and beautiful wildflowers.
These reasons are enough to start planning your trip to the Smokies!
Beautiful resort towns
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States, and the towns of Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge are the most popular gateway towns for visitors. These towns offer a variety of lodging, dining, and entertainment options, as well as easy access to the park’s many hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks.
When planning your visit to the Smokies, arrange accommodations beforehand. You should look into renting comfortable cabins in the Smoky Mountains to make your trip to Tennessee a total blast! These cabin rentals and vacation motels offer all sorts of amenities you would need to spend a luxurious and carefree holiday in the Smokies.
Lots of different attractions
The Smoky Mountains are home to many different attractions frequented by millions of visitors annually. Visitors swarm the surrounding resort towns (which have their separate unique attractions) when it’s the peak season in the Smokies (June through August). Some of these attractions include:
A secluded area known for its cabins, churches, and gristmills located in the Smokies. Before the park was established, settlers lived in this mountain-surrounded verdant valley.
It’s the highest elevation point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Standing at 6,643 feet, this place is called Kuwahi, which stands for “mulberry place” in the Cherokee language.
Located in Gatlinburg, it has a variety of marine life and a thrilling underwater tunnel. You can observe 10,000 oceanic creatures all clustered in the aquarium’s ten themed galleries.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
A 407-foot-tall observation tower for superb views of the Smokies. Its outdoor observation deck gives you a spectacular 360-degree view of the Smokies and the town of Gatlinburg.
You can visit a full-scale replica of the Titanic in Pigeon Forge and explore the fascinating history of the Titanic through interactive exhibits and artifacts here.
One of the most popular hiking trails in the Smokies for nature enthusiasts. You’ll climb some 360 stone steps to reach an elevation of 1,400 feet and observe a spectacular view of the Smokies.
4.Different outdoor activities
Many family-friendly activities are available in the Smokies that attract many adventure-loving tourists from all over the country. These outdoor adventures can immerse you in the region’s natural beauty and history. You can choose from a variety of adrenaline-pumping ventures, such as these:
- Forest hiking
- Fishing for trout
- Horseback riding
- Whitewater rafting
- Driving along scenic trails
- Climbing the mountains in the Smokies
- Waterfall exploring (Laurel Falls or Grotto Falls)
- A chance to experience nature
The Smokies can serve as a nature retreat where you can explore the great outdoors. For instance, here are some activities you can engage in on your trip to the Smokies:
Enjoy the serenity of your natural surroundings amidst a crackling campfire and crisp mountain air with your group of travelers.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to gaze into the star-filled sky, surrounded by peaceful forests, rushing streams, and breathtaking vistas.
Get a glimpse into the diverse avian world thriving within the park’s lush habitats. You can spot a number of bird species, such as blue jay, Carolina wren, and cedar waxwing.
- Wildlife exploring
Black bears are a remarkable peculiarity of the Great Smokies, and around 1,900 of them reside in the park right now. However, avoid approaching them and view them from a distance.
- A land teeming with history
Many historical landmarks are scattered all across the Great Smokies. We’ve already discussed Cades Cove, which gives historians and ethnologists a deep insight into the lives of early settlers. Some other locations of great interest include Little Greenbrier School, a one-room school operational between the 1800s and the 1930s. Elkmont Historic District was once a popular resort community for wealthy tourists. Today, the district is a ghost town, but visitors can still see the ruins of hotels, cabins, and other buildings.
Moreover, you can visit the Old Mill, Walker Sisters’ Cabin, and the Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin, some well-preserved examples of pioneer architecture.
- Stunning photogenic landscapes and great food
There’s no lack of sightseeing and photography opportunities in the Smokies. While staying at your comfy cabin rental, you can take as many pictures as you want to form ever-lasting memories of your trip to the Smokies.
The Great Smoky Mountains also offer a great food scene with mouthwatering Southern delicacies, such as:
- Pecan pie
- Sweat tea
- Shrimp and grits
- Fried green tomatoes
- Moist and crumbly cornbread
- Tender and crispy Fried chicken
This blog has explained a few compelling reasons why the Smoky Mountains deserve to be visited at least once in your lifetime. This national park has everything for a memorable vacation, such as mountain vistas, tranquil forest trails, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant wildlife. You can visit some of the most famous resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, rent a cabin, and engage in different activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.