Things To Do In The Smokies
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range along the Tennessee-North Carolina border and is known for its beauty. It is one of the most visited tourist sites in the United States of America owing to its natural beauty. If you are looking to visit a place that feels like paradise, this is just the place for you.
This article has been curated in a way to help you figure out the many places that you can visit in The Smokies. The list includes both touristy and non-touristy locations. Hope you have fun exploring the Smokies and keep coming back to it for more.
Must-Visit Places In The Smokies
Here is a list of places that you must visit in the Smokies to capture its essence.
1.Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States of America.
This is one place in the Smokies that makes for an absolute must-visit. This place is home to some of the highest mountains in eastern North America- Clingmans Dome, Mount Guyot, and Mount LeConte.
The park is huge and covers an area of 522,419 acres. This park owes its fame to its stupendous natural landscapes and wildlife. Here you can see it all, from waterfalls to forests.
If you are into hiking, this is the perfect place for you. Here you will see a number of tourists engaging in activities like fly-fishing.
A visit to the Great Smoky Mountains Park will introduce you to the rich flora and fauna of the area and we highly recommend it.
2.Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome with an elevation of 6,643 feet is the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower is 45 feet tall and is located on top of this mountain. Visit this place to experience a stunning 360-degree view of the Smokies.
The route up to the top of the tower makes for a nice trail and is a must for all the adrenaline junkies. The view of the sunset from this place is marvelous and will be one of the best that you will ever see in your life.
3.Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the best places to visit in Gatlinburg for a number of reasons. This is an ideal place for people who love marine life and would like to know more about it. The aquarium has a number of attractions that are designed to enable visitors to experience intimacy with marine animals.
One of the highlights of the aquarium is its acrylic tunnel through which visitors can closely watch sharks and other marine animals. Here you also have the chance to pet penguins by signing up for their penguin program. This is an ideal place to visit with your family because here there are a lot of attractions to discover.
Located on the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an isolated valley known as Cades Cove. It is part of the National Register of Historic Places and makes for a fine place to see in the Smokies. This is a beautiful valley, surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains.
Visit this place if you are intending to spend some quiet time with your family in the lap of nature. You will also be able to spot a number of animals in this gorgeous valley. This is one of the best outdoor family-friendly places to visit and we highly recommend it.
5.Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
If you are looking for a hotel in the Great Smokies, then look no further than the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. This casino cum hotel will add charm to your visit to the Smokies and will make for one of your top experiences. This is a great place to have some fun time with your friends because apart from the casino, you can also catch some live- band performances.
Other entertainment options include a night club, pool, spa, and shopping complexes. This is a great place to visit in the Smokies if you are willing to spend some bucks in exchange for a good time.
Take the Trillium Gap Trail to reach one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region, the Grotto Falls. The 25-foot waterfall makes for a serene place and is an ideal place for people who love to enjoy the wonders of nature.
Make sure that you click some snaps in front of the waterfall for your Instagram followers. A visit to Grotto Falls would be a calming activity and we highly recommend it.
7.Seven Islands State Birding Park
The Smokies are known for its natural beauty and one way to celebrate that is to visit the Seven Islands State Birding Park. This is an ideal place to visit for birders as here they’d have a chance to spot around 200 unique species of birds. Apart from the birds, the park makes for a stunning view as it is surrounded by the Smoky mountains.
Here you can simply spend a day sitting leisurely and observing nature or could indulge in activities like hiking. Not just this, there are other outdoor activities that you can practice at the park. For instance, you could kayak on the river or explore the trails to spot some more birds. The Seven Islands State Birding Park is like an adventure space where there are lots of possibilities and we highly recommend it to you.
8.Walker Sisters Place
Walker Sisters Place consists of a cabin, a springhouse, and a corn crib. The house belonged to five sisters who are known in history for their traditional way of living. Owing to the historicity of this place, it is a part of the National Register of Historic Places.
If you are looking to organize a small get together with your family or if you want to throw a party, you could consider this place. The Walker Sisters Place is a unique place to visit in the Smokies and you will surely enjoy it.
9.Smoky Mountain Deer Farm And Exotic Petting Zoo
As the name suggests, this place is a one-stop destination to all the deer lovers. However, here you will also have the chance to interact with other animals like camels, otters, zebras, and even reindeers.
The purpose of this place is to foster a loving relationship between humans and animals and thus comes with the opportunity of letting people pet the animals. you can also opt for a pony lesson, which will be one of the most exciting things that you will do against the backdrop of the Smokies.
The Smoky Mountains is known for its beautiful waterfalls and Ramsey Cascades is one of them. This waterfall is the tallest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has a drop of over 100 feet. In order to reach the waterfall, you will have to indulge in the Ramsey Cascades Trail.
This trail begins in the Greenbrier area and extends for 4 miles each way. The trail is a tough one and is recommended to only those who are used to hiking. However, once you have finished the trail you shall be rewarded with the stunning views of the Ramsey Cascades. This is ideal for youngsters who are looking to indulge in some fun-filled activities.
Thrilling Things To Do In The Smokies
A visit to Smokies would be incomplete without indulging in some thrilling activities. Here is a list of things that you should try out in order to make the most of your visit.
1.Dollywood’s Splash Country
It is indisputable that the Smokies are known for its mountains and trail routes. However, there is much more to it. If you are an adrenaline junkie and looking for some thrilling activities, visit Dollywood’s Splash Country. Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, this place is a paradise for people who love to splash in the water.
Here you will be able to ride a number of waterslides that are built in many interesting patterns. Not just this, you can also plan a small picnic with your family at Dollywood’s Splash Country. If you are taking the trip with young ones, this will make for a very interesting visit.
Unlike its name, Forbidden Caverns is a welcoming place for anybody who would like to discover what lies under the Smokies. Located in Sevierville, Tennessee, this is one of the most famous tourist sites that you must visit. The best way to discover the Forbidden Caverns is to opt for an educational tour of the place.
The cavers are lighted from the inside and make for an adventurous visit. The trails are lighted and the tour-guides are well-informed, which will enable you to have a wholesome experience at the Forbidden Caverns.
3.Cataloochee Ski Area
A visit to the Smokies could be a perfect opportunity to indulge in some adventure sports like skiing. Visit the Cataloochee Ski Area resort that comes with the offer of about 18 slopes and trails for skiers and snowboarders. If you do not know how to ski but would want to try your hand at it, this could be an ideal place for us and they also offer skiing lessons.
This place is also kid-friendly as they have special lessons for kids as well. Some trails are also lighted so that you can enjoy skiing at night. Cataloochee Ski Area makes for an exciting opportunity and we highly recommend it to you.
4.Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
The tagline of Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is the best way to explain it- “Ride the hill-and-feel the thrill.” This perfectly sums up the experience that awaits you at the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. The coaster is one of its kind and runs downhill along the Smoky Mountains.
The coaster ride consists of twists and turns that make it a perfect fit for all the thrill loving people. Not just this, here you will also have the option to control the speed of your sleds which means that you can move as fast as you want or slow it as per your need.
The place is open all throughout the year, so you can experience the ride in different seasons and experience the Smoky Mountains in a fresh way every time.
5.Elkmont Ghost Town
Elkmont Ghost Town lies in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and owes its name to its rich history. Elkmont was home to a number of people who had to trade off their home with the government in accordance with the latter’s project with respect to the National Park.
This led to the mass desertion of the place which meant that the buildings were abandoned as well. A lot of these buildings were demolished by the government but 19 still stand as a testimony to its rich past. The buildings of Elkmont are in a dilapidated state which has earned it the name of Elkmont Ghost Town.
If you are interested in visiting places that have a rich historical significance and if you are keen on observing some worn-out buildings that have stood the test of time, this is your chance.
The Great Smoky Mountains is all about trails. If you are confused about the trails that you should indulge in, let this list be your guide. Hope you have fun!
1.Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The name of this trail is dedicated to the rushing mountain stream that runs alongside it. This is enough to suggest that the trail is one of the most beautiful that you will come across inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The trail is around 5.5 miles long and you will pass through some tall trees and wood cabins on your way. This is an easy trail and is ideal for those who are not regular hikers. The view from the top of the hike is stunning and this makes it one of the most popular hikes
2.Chimney Top Trail
One of the best things about the Smoky mountains is its trail routes. Chimney Top Trail is one of the most famous trials although it is not easy. If you are a seasoned trekker, you will have fun on this trek because it will serve to be the right amount of difficulty for you.
The route consists of rocky terrain with sloppy mountains which can prove to be dangerous if you are not a regular trekker. However, once you reach the top of the trail, you will realize that the view is worth the effort.
Museums To Visit In The Smokies
The Great Smoky Mountains is known for its scenic sites and often museums get ignored in this process. Avoid this mistake and use the opportunity of your trip to visit these museums.
Interested in the tragedy of the Titanic? Learn all about it at Tennessee’s Titanic Museum. Here you will find over 400 artifacts that reveal the story of the great ship. Not just this, you also have the chance to experience a replica of the ship’s cabins and corridors.
The museum works with the aim of recreating the experience of being on the ship by a number of attractions. For instance, here you can touch an iceberg and feel the cold waters of the Atlantic. All of this is done with the aim to help visitors understand the nuances of the tragedy of the Titanic ship. A visit to the museum is an out worldly experience and we highly recommend it.
2.Mountain Farm Museum
Mountain Farm Museum is one of the most unique museums as it is dedicated to preserving and displaying historic log buildings. These have been collected throughout the Smoky Mountains for a significant period of time. Other buildings in the compound include an apple house, springhouse, and a blacksmith’s shop.
Here you would be able to get a sense of the manner in which families lived over 100 years ago. You will also have the chance of educating yourself about the manner in which agriculture practices have been carried out over the years. This is a one-of-a-kind museum and will make for an exciting change in the Smokies.
3.Oconaluftee Indian Village
Use the opportunity of your trip to smokies to learn about the history of indigenous people with a visit to the Oconaluftee Indian Village. This museum is a replica of the Cherokee community. This community was located in Cherokee, North Carolina around the 18th century.
A visit to this village will enable you to learn about their culture and history. Not just this, you also have the chance to learn about the way in which they made their items like arrowheads, blowguns, and baskets.
Please also read about things to do in Orange Park.