Great Smoky Mountains: Wildflowers and misty waterfalls

The Ultimate Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  • 31
  • 44:04
  • 2,469 mi
  • $453
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Created by Audreyw76 - August 15th 2021

When it comes down to it, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in an amazing location. The conditions are perfect for growing gorgeous forests, misty rolling mountains, meadows full of wildflowers and year-round waterfalls. It's actually the most visited National Park in America. But just because it's such a popular destination doesn't mean there aren't hidden gems and undiscovered places to explore all around the Smokies. While the scenery is utterly breathtaking, there's even more to The Great Smoky Mountains than just Pigeon Forge, Clingmans Dome and Blue Ridge Parkway, it's a park that's loaded with Southern Appalachian history, mountain culture, and endless fun!

609 West Park Street, Cedar Park, United States

1
235mi 04h 04m
Photo of Nacogdoches Railroad Depot
4.0

Old Tyler Road, Nacogdoches, TX, US

Nacogdoches Railroad Depot

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2
266mi 04h 16m
Photo of Grant's Canal Historical Landmark
3.8

Levee Rd, Delta, LA, US

Grant's Canal Historical Landmark

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3
12mi 00h 16m
Photo of Vicksburg National Military Park
4.5

3201 Clay St, Vicksburg, MS, US

Vicksburg National Military Park

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4
45mi 00h 47m
Photo of Mississippi State Capitol
4.5

Fronting Mississippi St, Between N President And N West Sts, Jackson, MS, US

Mississippi State Capitol

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5
380mi 05h 58m
Photo of Rock City
4.5

1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA, US

Rock City

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6
146mi 02h 25m
Photo of The Apple Barn And Cider Mill
4.5

220 Apple Valley Rd, Sevierville, TN, US

The Apple Barn And Cider Mill

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Either on your way to or from the park, stop at the Apple Barn and Cider Mill. The wait at the restaurant might be long during peak season, but the free apple fritters and apple juleps are worth it. Like a lot of places here, there's plenty to look at while you're waiting on a table. There's a winery, a Christmas shop, a candle store, a candy store, an ice creamery, a bakery and a general goods shop where you can pick up cider, mixes, pickles, and souvenirs.

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3mi 00h 08m

164 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, TN, US

Old Mill Restaurant In Piegon Forge

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The Old Mill is just like the Apple Barn, but with a mill instead of an apple orchard. Instead of apple fritters, you get equally delicious corn fritters. The food here is no-frills, down-home Southern grub, and you can walk it off exploring the stores here, which include a really cool pottery shop.

8
6mi 00h 11m
Photo of Hillbilly Golf
4.5

340 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Hillbilly Golf

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There are loads of mini golf courses in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, in addition to the shows and arcades. Hillbilly Golf is a fun, kitschy option set into a hill, so you get views along with your usual obstacles and characters.

9
0mi 00h 01m

634 Pkwy, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Donut Friar

9

Pro tip: Get cash, go here, pick up a few donuts (especially crullers if they have them), and bring them into the park. They're the perfect reward for a hike or a traffic-logged drive.

10
0mi 00h 02m
Photo of Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
4.4

903 Parkway, Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

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The tasting costs a few bucks, but you're rewarded in coupons afterwards, so it's basically free if you buy something. The kids who run the tastings are a lot of fun, and you'll get to sample a lot of different stuff, from the jet fuel moonshine to the creamy coffee flavored varieties.

11
0mi 00h 02m

1002 Pkwy, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Cherokee Grill

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Cherokee Grill is a steakhouse-y place for a nicer dinner. The fried chicken is unreal, and the sides are to die for, especially the blue cheese grits.

12
0mi 00h 00m

1103 Pkwy, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Crockett's Breakfast Camp

12

Pancakes are kind of the Smokies' "thing". There are loads of joints that serve up big, Southern breakfasts, and Crockett's Breakfast Camp is one of the best. It's reasonably priced, the portions are huge, and they even have some meals with vegetables in them, which is a relief from the sweets and fried food found all over.

13
1mi 00h 04m
Photo of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
4.9

107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Travel tips for visiting the Smokies: -Hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and more are all fun activities within the park, but it's also one of the best parks for taking scenic drives. There are hundreds of miles of road that twist and wind through the mountains. -Additionally, the Southern terminus for the famed Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic drive that links the Smokies with Shenandoah National Park, is found at the edge of the park. -Get to the park early in the morning to see why they're called the "Smoky" Mountains...the mist is so peaceful. -Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, two cities near the park, are loaded with all kinds of kitschy tourist fun, kids especially will appreciate the cultural attractions and shows.

14
4mi 00h 08m
Photo of Laurel Falls
4.5

Little River Road, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Laurel Falls

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The hike to this popular waterfall is a doable 2.6 miles there and back, and the trail is paved. The falls are an impressive 80 feet tall, and a bridge crosses between the upper and lower cascades, so you can get up close and personal with it. Be careful to not climb on the rocks, as they get slippery, and don't litter, as bears frequent the area.

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25mi 00h 47m
Photo of Blackberry Farm
3.6

1471 W. Millers Cove Rd., Walland, TN, US

Blackberry Farm

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Your first stop is Blackberry Farm, which has to be some kind of heaven on Earth. Check into this inn that's set on a 4,000 acre working farm, and stay in one of the charming, antique-furnished rooms that come with drinks, snacks, and enjoy three meals a day, from their delicious, farm-to-table, Southern cookin' restaurant. Plus, expect to be pampered like royalty.

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36mi 01h 05m

17555 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC, US

Tail of the Dragon

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17
52mi 01h 33m
Photo of Cades Cove
4.5

10042 Campground Dr, Townsend, TN, US

Cades Cove

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Pack a picnic for Cades Cove, a valley meadow that has a one-lane road that's a super popular scenic route. Along the drive, you'll find little historic buildings that you can explore and gorgeous views of the surroundings. In the spring, it blooms with tons of wildflowers.

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13mi 00h 32m
Photo of The Sinks
4.5

Little River Gorge Rd, Gatlinburg, TN, US

The Sinks

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There are hundreds of miles of streams in the Smokies, but The Sinks are a notably gorgeous stretch in between Gatlinburg and the park. A short trail leads to this stretch of river where you can watch the water bubble, rush and roll over rocks and through pools. It's a great spot to stop and stretch your legs while enjoying the views.

19
8mi 00h 19m
Photo of Elkmont
4.3

Little River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN, US

Elkmont

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When most people think of the Great Smoky Mountains, they usually just think of the mountains, but there are some interesting things hidden among the peaks and valleys...like a ghost town! It's called "Elkmont" and it's actually a historical district with abandoned cabins and the ruins of resort hotels, dotted throughout the town.

The best time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: There's no bad time to visit the Smokies: summer brings great weather, and the park is still accessible in the winter, with the added bonuses of lesser crowds and snowy vistas. Fall is far and away the most popular time to visit, thanks to the incredible foliage, but it can get very crowded. Spring is a delightfully underrated time to visit, blooming wildflowers and mild weather make it perfect.