The Smoky Mountains area is a wonderful place to visit year-round. This area is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is much to see and do both in and out of the park. The following is a list of five beautiful locations that will offer you the best Smoky Mountain experience.
A trip to the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Maggie Valley. If you visit in the winter you may want to check out the slopes at the Cataloochee ski area. A visit in the warmer months gives you ample opportunity to do some fishing in the local waters or take the kids tubing.
Another unique location in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina is the Cherokee Indian Reservation. You can experience authentic Native American culture by seeing a show or visiting a museum. Cherokee is also home to a large casino for those who like to try their luck. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the hiking trails nearby.
This mountain town located at the entrance to the national park has much to see and do. The adults may enjoy tasting locally made wine or moonshine at one of the places downtown. If you’re traveling with the family, there are plenty of mini-golf courses, candy shops, and a huge aquarium to keep the kids entertained.
The 11-mile one-way loop through Cades Cove offers plenty of time to enjoy the valley scenery. This drive also gives you the opportunity to see local wildlife like turkey and deer, or even a black bear depending on the timing of your visit. You can also enjoy trails, step inside historical buildings, and have a picnic or camp for the night.
The highest point in the park and in the state of Tennessee, Clingmans Dome, has an observation tower where you can see for miles. On a clear day expect to enjoy amazing views of the 7 states closest states. The half-mile hike from the parking lot to the observation tower is steep but paved.
Whether you’re visiting North Carolina or Tennessee, you’re sure to see why the Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park in the US. The area is beautiful throughout the seasons and offers plenty to do for visitors of all ages. You can see wildlife, go hiking on some of the many miles of trails, or see the local towns.
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