3 Free Ways to See the Smoky Mountains, and What Makes Them Popular

Cades CoveThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. Stretching across the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Smoky Mountains are a must-see destination for travelers. When you’re on vacation, it’s difficult to do everything you want, while sticking to a budget. Thankfully, there are no fees to get in to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These are our 3 favorite places to explore while you’re in the national park, and they’re free too!

Cades Cove

Cades Cove is one of the most historic areas in the Smoky Mountains. The “cove” can be accessed by an 11-mile, one way Cades Cove Loop Road, where you can explore the sites of the historic little town. Cades Cove was a farming community that was home to families until the opening of the national park. Sadly, families were forced to leave the area to open the park. Today, Cades Cove is one of the most popular places to view wildlife, especially black bears. Make sure you pick up one of the Cades Cove auto tour guides at a visitor center, or in the box before you drive through the loop. The booklet is filled with a lot of information about all of the old homes and churches.

Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is a popular place to visit in the Smokies because it’s the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Tennessee, standing at 6,643 feet above sea level. If you’ve never taken the drive to Clingmans Dome and walked the half-mile hike to observation deck, you’re missing out! The view from Clingmans Dome is unparalleled. On clear days, families can see miles and miles into the mountains. Keep in mind, Clingmans Dome Road closes on December 1, so families will have to take a longer hike to the observation tower!

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

If you’re looking to drive, without getting out of the car, take a ride on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The driving tour is a spectacular way to view the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The drive is comprised mostly of tall trees and forestry, but drivers and passengers can peek at a waterfall and rolling streams. The drive is a peaceful alternative to the extremely busy areas.

To book your stay near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take a look at Aunt Bug’s Gatlinburg cabin rentals. There, you can find a variety of cabins that sit close to the national park, so you won’t have a far drive to reach these beautiful mountain favorites! Give us a call at (800) 953-5655 to book your stay!