8 Of The Best Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains

8 Of The Best Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains

Nestled in the heart of Appalachia, the Great Smoky Mountains offer a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and rich cultural experiences. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone looking for a peaceful getaway, the Smokies have something to offer for everyone. Here are eight of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains that will make your visit unforgettable.

1. Hike the Trails

One of the most iconic ways to experience the Smoky Mountains is by hiking its diverse trails. With over 800 miles of trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging climbs, there’s a route for every skill level. Explore the lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas that await you along the way.

2. Visit Cades Cove

Step back in time with a visit to Cades Cove, a preserved historic settlement nestled in a picturesque valley. Take a scenic drive or bike ride along the 11-mile loop road and discover old cabins, churches, and a working grist mill. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, black bears, and wild turkeys that roam freely in this area.

3. Drive the Newfound Gap Road

Embark on a breathtaking journey along the Newfound Gap Road, which offers stunning views and access to various hiking trails and overlooks. Stop at Newfound Gap, the highest point accessible by car in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and soak in panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

4. Explore Clingmans Dome

For a bird’s-eye view of the Smokies, hike or drive up to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park. A short but steep paved trail leads to an observation tower offering 360-degree views of the mountains and valleys below, making it a must-visit spot for photographers and nature lovers.

5. Discover Waterfalls

The Smoky Mountains are home to numerous stunning waterfalls, each with its own unique charm. Embark on waterfall hikes such as Laurel Falls, Grotto Falls, or Rainbow Falls to witness the beauty of cascading waters amidst lush greenery, creating a serene and picturesque atmosphere.

6. Experience Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Venture into the nearby towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for a dose of entertainment, shopping, and dining. Explore attractions like Dollywood, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, or simply stroll along the bustling streets filled with shops, galleries, and eateries.

7. Go Wildlife Watching

The Smoky Mountains are teeming with diverse wildlife, making it a paradise for animal enthusiasts. Keep your camera ready as you may spot black bears, elk, white-tailed deer, and a variety of bird species during your explorations in the park.

8. Attend Cultural Events

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Smoky Mountains by attending events such as the Mountain Life Festival, Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, or the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. These events showcase local traditions, music, crafts, and cuisine, providing a deeper understanding of the region’s history and culture.


The Great Smoky Mountains offer a myriad of experiences for nature lovers, adventurers, and those seeking a peaceful retreat. From scenic hikes and historic sites to vibrant towns and cultural events, the Smokies captivate visitors with their unparalleled beauty and charm. Plan your trip to this enchanting destination and create memories that will last a lifetime in the heart of the mountains.

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