Why do so many people make a yearly visit to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee? Is it the breathtaking view of the mountains? The many plants and animals that make their home in the Smokies?
Or perhaps it’s all of the exciting attractions in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and other nearby cities. The answer is all of the above: The Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area have something to offer everyone!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Walk any trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. The white trillium, bloodroot, bishop’s cap, and other wildflowers are worth pausing for along the trail. The experience of seeing a black bear, red-tailed hawk, or any of the other incredible animals that inhabit the park is sure to stay with you long after you return home. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is full of rangers and trail guides who are happy to answer questions and provide information on any of the plants or animals living in the park.
After a day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, many visitors like to enjoy a meal or take in some of the attractions in nearby Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. A walk through Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is sure to be a highlight of any vacation to the Smoky Mountain region. This expansive aquarium has everything from sharks to clownfish on display in its two levels. The aquarium also has hands-on activities including Stingray Bay, where visitors can touch one of the stingrays! Another attraction that is a must-see is Dollywood. This theme park has dozens of rides along with shows, restaurants, gift shops, and even a water park. Families and friends can spend the day reconnecting with one another in a light-hearted, welcoming atmosphere. These nearby cities offer visitors unique entertainment and cuisine that add to the fun of any vacation.
First-time and longtime visitors to the Smokies are met with warm hospitality whether they are enjoying dinner and a show in Pigeon Forge, shopping for keepsakes in Gatlinburg, or following a trail guide toward a waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s no wonder the Great Smoky Mountains are a perennial favorite with so many travelers!