Vacation planning for your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains can get overwhelming. The sheer volume of things to do, places to visit, and stay can make it difficult to decide what is right for your trip. We offer insight from the perspective of having lived and worked in the area for nearly 30 years. We were a family of 5 who grew up in the Smokies and along the way we have developed some ideas about what people might enjoy when they come. Some of the choices are very obvious as you drive into town and others are more hidden. Whatever you plan we hope you enjoy your Great Smoky Mountain Vacation.
Where to stay is often the first decision people make. Multiple accommodations choices include camping, hotels, motels, cabins, resorts, and condominiums. VRBO and Airbnb are popular places to look for a cabin. We like to recommend smaller cabin companies we have had excellent experiences with and know you will also. These cabin companies, Cabins in the Clouds Cabin Rentals, Smoky Mountain Dream Vacation, Smoky Mountain Falls, Cosby Creek Cabins, Kero Mountain Resort, and Douglas Lake Vacations are all excellent.
You will find a plethora of choices to experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of course! It is the #1 attraction of the area and last year brought in over 14 million people! There are many special places in the Great Smoky Mountains that you can visit and see from your auto or get out and hike. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Area is one of the most popular drive-through areas, where you can stop and get out and also find trailheads. The waterfall hikes are certainly a joy and will be memorable.
The heritage of the Smoky Mountains and the people who have lived here is fascinating and something that you will find interlaced throughout many of your visits to the Smokies. The Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Museum in Townsend is a great experience if you are a history lover. A visit to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community will be a fun-filled, interesting, and interactive time of discovering the many crafts that have been handed down through the years. Learn about Ogle’s Chair Shop, see candles made, watch artists create their beautiful wares.
If you are wondering what is new in the area, check out Downtown Flavortown in the Mountain Mile in Pigeon Forge, TN. Discover the many opportunities to enjoy some local Wine, Shine and Brews! There are many tours in the area, or simply take your own tour and discover some of the local recipes you hear so much about! Do you have curiosity about the hemp shops? You can learn a bit more here.
Last, but not least, If you dig some fantastic barbeque, we have gathered some places that we think are places you would enjoy trying and then you can top it all off with a tour of the Fudge Shops! If you get all of these things done, you have indeed had a fantastic vacation! Enjoy some vacation planning, anticipation of the vacation is a big part of the fun!