Great Smoky Mountain travel offers fun, adventure, romance and relaxation in a setting of misty mountains, cascading streams, and cool hardwood forests. You'll find amusement parks, shopping, arts and crafts, and musical theater. In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there's hiking,horseback riding, white water rafting and plain old-fashioned sight-seeing. For the romantically inclined, there are cozy cabin hideaways, wedding chapels and honeymoon cottages.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the Tennessee and North Carolina state line. You'll find rivers, streams and waterfalls, historic structures, numerous hiking trails, and plenty of opportunities for camping, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. Stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg for maps and information, or if you're coming through Townsend stop by the Townsend Visitors Center.
You'll find plenty to do here, whether you've come for a quick visit or an extensive stay. The one must-see area in the park is Cades Cove, famous for its wildlife, history, and natural beauty.
For outstanding views, take the short hike up to Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies. If you're too pressed for time, just pull into the parking lot at Newfound Gap and enjoy the scenery. You'll also enjoy great views along the scenic Foothills Parkway (the West section, located outside the park between Walland and Townsend). Park at Look Rock and take the short hike to the observation tower for a panoramic view of the Smokies and the Tennessee Valley.
If you're looking for a somewhat quieter experience, head to Townsend, where the traffic is lighter and the atmosphere more rural.
The biggest problem with finding lodging in the Smokies is choosing from the plethora of options. You'll find motels and hotels, resorts, condos, rental cabins and chalets, timeshares, and, of course, camping.
Both RV and tent camping is available in the park as well as at private campgrounds in the surrounding area.
Here's some more information on Great Smoky Mountain travel that you may find helpful and illuminating: