The most visited national park in America, the Great Smoky Mountains, is a top tourist destination all year round. Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains is all about the scenic view of the mountain, waterfalls, and misty forests, but it has so much more to offer. 

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There are so many things to do and places to enjoy that you would never get enough of that place. For nature lovers, the smoky mountains bring forth a great experience of wildlife, sightseeing, and hiking. So, it offers many activities for people who love staying outdoors. 

If you plan to spend a memorable time escaping from your busy schedule, follow the guide below for an unforgettable experience at the Smoky Mountains.

  1. Place of Stay

Before exploring any other place in the smoky mountains, you should think about wherever you are going to stay. The smoky mountain is full of beautiful cabins where you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities. The rental compartment in the smokies offers from single bedroom to group cabins and even pet-friendly cabins for pet lovers. Gatlinburg could be your perfect gateway to the smoky mountains if you want to spend a weekend away exploring. There are some fantastic Gatlinburg cabins, whether you plan to travel solo, with a group, or with your family.

  1. Visit Waterfalls 

One of the many great things about the smoky mountains is the magnificent view of the waterfalls. From big and famous deep creeks to numerous smaller ones, the smoky mountain is full of them. Hike your way in the mountains, and you will find waterfalls after every short distance. In terms of famous waterfall streams, Cataract Falls, Ramsey Cascades, Laurel Falls, Rainbow Falls, Abrams Falls, and Grotto Falls are top of the list. But the list does not end here; for nature lovers, the smoky mountains are full of beautiful waterfalls from Knoxville to the Blue Ridge.

  1. Hike Your Way Up

A great way to explore smoky mountains is by hiking. If you are physically fit for hiking, you would never want to skip this part of the vacation. However, remember to keep your distance from wildlife. The smoky mountain is full of beautiful trails for hiking. If you want to experience a picturesque view from a high point, then hiking to Charlies Bunion could be a great idea. This hiking trail is not easy but surely worth it. You can also find some other top hiking treks from hiking guides. 

  1. Bicycling treks

Bicycling through the breathtaking view of the mountains will leave you speechless, and you will get to cover more area by cycling on the cycling treks. The smoky mountains have different variety of treks for cycling, including easy road treks and challenging mountain treks. Bicycling with friends or family will undoubtedly be a memorable experience. The ride can sometimes be dangerous, so keep in mind to stay on the safer side and avoid any treks that are too difficult for you to handle.

  1. Watch Synchronous Fireflies

It is a group of different species of fireflies that gather in one place for mating. The mating season lasts for 2-3 weeks every year. It is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you wouldn’t want to miss. The smoky mountains display this event by arranging proper timing. Therefore, if you plan to visit the smoky mountains during this season, never miss this opportunity. Apart from this, remember to follow safety rules to avoid harming fireflies.

  1. See Wildlife Closely

Visiting the smoky mountains and encountering the wildlife is a given. However, the best time to enjoy forest life is around sunrise and sunset. Meadows and other open areas are the best spots to enjoy the beauty of the wildlife. You will encounter foxes, river otters, deers, elks, and black bears, but remember to maintain at least 50 yards of space from wild bears. The management guides the tourists to keep bear spray to protect themselves from a bear attack. Feeding wild animals is also not appreciated. Wildlife is a fascinating part for both animal and nature lovers, but you need to follow the provided safety guidelines.

  1. Dollywood Theme Park

Let’s address that theme parks are always fun, and you can never get bored of one. Dollywood theme park attracts the largest crowd of tourists. Dollywood has everything you want, starting from n several rides for both children and adults to the water slides, beautiful night view, and a lavish mall. It attracts tourists due to its wide range of couples, friends, and family group activities.

  1. Try Amazing foods

The smoky mountains not only come with a scenic view but also with a fantastic variety of foods. Whether it’s Gatlinburg or Cherokee, the food quality or food is never compromised. You will find a variety of barbeque houses, southern food places, bakeries, and breweries. But the crowd that visits to eat is no joke. You have to be an early bird if you want to skip queuing. The Green Brier and The Donut Friar are famous places in Gatlinburg. 

  1. Take a Road Trip

The smoky mountains have a great road trip between Cherokee and Gatlinburg. This road trip contains many breathtaking views at different points. Make sure you stop and soak in all the beauty there is. Some other road trips will also amaze you throughout your way to the smoky mountains, for example, Blue Ridge Parkway road trip and Charlotte to Ashville to Smoky Mountains road trips.

  1. Water Activities

The smoky mountains are full of waterfalls, streams, and rivers. Some water activities are popular among tourists to enjoy their time to the fullest. Both children and adults enjoy tubing for a good relaxing time in the smoky mountains. You can borrow tubes from any nearby place. Fishing and river rafting is also fun activities to enjoy on your trip to the smoky mountains. You will find many great spots for this activity.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported having 14.161 million visitors last year in 2021, the highest number yet. Given that it is one of America’s top tourist destinations, you can plan a fantastic vacation with your friends and family. However, before starting your trip to the smokies mountains, plan to make the best out of the trip.