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10 Tips For Planning Your Trip To The Great Smoky Mountains

Where to go and what to do.

Smoky Mountains

The coronavirus pandemic delayed people’s getaways and postponed their vacations. However, we have witnessed a surge in national escapades among Americans now seeking some pleasure outdoors as the conditions become better. So, which national destination does seem proper for visitation this summer? We suggest sightseers embark upon a fabulous journey to the Great Smokys in Tennessee. It’s probably time for country roads to take you back home to the ancient plateau resided previously by Appalachian communities. We’ve described some ways to create an amazing adventure of your lifetime! Don’t go to the Great Smoky Mountains without carefully reading our tactics below.

Planning your Great Smokys getaway

What makes the Smoky Mountain National Park one of the most visited attractions in the country? There are several reasons why vacationers travel to this location annually. You can view overcast forests, mystical waterfalls, unexplored caverns, sky-high mountains, and even one abandoned community (a “ghost town”) if you’re lucky! Located in eastern Tennessee, this Appalachian wilderness is calling spelunkers and sightseers to a precipitous expedition across an all-American wonderland. So, how can you plan the best trip of your life in the Great Smokys? We’ve discussed some tips to help you make this adventure an enduring memory for your family. Here’s how this outing can be made awesome:

Rent a cabin

Arrange your residence in this beautiful wilderness by renting cabins. We suggest Gatlinburg cabins as beautiful locations for your stay during this amazing adventure. You can find affordable as well as comfortable living spaces in Gatlinburg to serve as the pivot of the whole getaway. These cabins offer the required amenities for your journey and have pet-friendly options for your animals. So, make yourself at home by booking a comfy cabin before you embark upon a journey today.

Know the rules

You can search online to discover the regulations and guidelines established for visitors. Understand that you’re visiting a free park you can access anytime without entrance charges. However, you can guess that a free park leads to diminished staffing for emergency assistance. Moreover, there are fewer facilities and almost no restaurants along the way. The Great Smokys aren’t pet-friendly. Thus, you must put dogs on the leash. Also, obtain a Tennessee license before fishing here.

Those looking for an adrenaline-pumping way to explore the vast landscape may consider ATV rentals and tours in the area. These tours offer a unique opportunity to traverse rugged terrains and uncover hidden spots in the Great Smokys not easily accessible by foot or car. Just be sure to follow all safety guidelines and respect the natural environment while on these tours.

Plan your meals

Where are you going to eat after reaching the location? You can find plenty of restaurants where an enthusiast enjoys different Southern delicacies. We suggest you explore options that aren’t available back home. You may also organize picnics, barbecues, and cookouts in the Great Smokys to get that much-needed outdoorsy feeling. Don’t forget to remain well-hydrated while hiking since you cannot afford to lose energy during a mountainous expedition. Consume more nutritious on this trip.

Choose travel dates

Vacationers are frequently confused about choosing travel dates efficiently. So, have you planned to attend an event after reaching your destination? You may consider other factors that may influence your journey. For instance, many vacationers organize summertime adventures in the Great Smokys, because of which the place gets crowded. We suggest you visit this national heritage this summer by booking your rental as early as possible. Choose your travel dates wisely while planning.

Consider off-season visits

However, you can also plan your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains next year in January. It’s the least hectic season, and you can have the Great Smokys all to yourself during winters. Thus, you may enjoy a frosty picnic in the Appalachian hinterlands without crowds hampering your schemes. A vacationer shouldn’t forget to consider possible obstacles in off-season visits, e.g., roads being closed because of snowstorms. But the prospect of meeting fewer others may still seem exciting to some. 

Visit visitor centers

It’s a good idea to visit these locations to collect the required information about your journey. There are two major visitor centers in the Great Smokys: Sugarlands and Oconaluftee. Two more centers are located at Cades Cove and Clingmans Dome. You can find three information centers outside the park: Townsend, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville. The two major centers have museums as attractions as well as other modes of entertainment. So, you can gather as much information as you can now.

Always be prepared

You should stay perpetually well-prepared for emergencies in the Great Smokys to avoid mishaps at all costs! Therefore, parking remains a crucial issue during these summertime adventures. You meet crowds of visitors journeying to the Great Smoky Mountains and leaving fewer spaces for others to park their vehicles. Ensure the roads aren’t closed overnight to avoid getting trapped in Cades Cove. Bring your flashlight along while trekking and fill your bags with extra lunch.

Remember the park

Don’t forget you’re in the most-visited free park in the United States. There are plenty of things for you to do in the park. You can find several options for hiking, camping, and backpacking in these gorgeous wildernesses. Moreover, visitors come to observe historical monuments such as the Becky Cable House (made in 1879) and the John Ownby Cabin (made in 1860). Don’t forget to visit the Walker Sisters Place and attend different beautiful festivals organized in the Great Smokys.

Check for festivals

Don’t forget to attend all the famous festivals that take place in the Great Smokys. You can observe the LEAF festival or participate in several harvest-related celebrations in Tennessee. From craft beer to Scottish games – there’s no limit to entertainment opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains. You can find different variations of mountainous celebrations in this destination. Now, there’s a folk festival, a pottery festival, and even a heritage festival. Therefore, try to enjoy them t the fullest.

Tour other towns

Vacationers assume there aren’t any places worth visiting in the Great Smokys save Gatlinburg. Yes, there aren’t better residential arrangements anywhere in the Great Smoky Mountains. However, an enthusiast shouldn’t forget to travel to nearby locations to look at other attractions. So, you can go to Pigeon Forge, which is just 8 miles away, or Townsend, which is 23 miles away. Try Rockford or the town of Sevierville. Remember that visiting these places can enhance the charm of the whole getaway.


Vacationers frequently embark upon pilgrimages to the Great Smokys. Records revealed that more than 14 million visitors journeyed to these mountains in 2021. So, how do you make it a fantastic escapade of your life? Choose travel dates (keep it off-season) while planning your eating and living situations. Don’t forget to learn travel-related regulations during COVID-19 and visit the visitor center after landing. Stay prepared for mishaps while traveling, such as parking problems. Keep your entertainment well-organized by visiting all well-known attractions, including Dollywood. Don’t restrict yourself to Gatlinburg as Pigeon Forge’s around the corner (8 miles away)! Check for annual festivals and other fabulous happenings.


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