Stunning mountain views from Newfound Gap Road.
Great Smoky Mountains

4 Natural Great Smoky Mountain Attractions That Are Worth Driving to See

We know you’ll love exploring downtown Gatlinburg when you’re staying with us, but there are some wonderful Smoky Mountain attractions you’ll want to get into your car to explore. When you need to find that peaceful element to your vacation, you can discover it at these 4 natural wonders that make the Smokies a great place to visit.

1. Cades Cove

A beautiful photo of Cades Cove near Gatlinburg.Cades Cove​ is a lovely valley, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, that is a tourist’s dream due to its picturesque views. It’s an 11-mile paved loop road that takes you past historic cabins, barns, and churches. While this alone makes it a popular destination, what makes it more special is the chance to see the many black bears, deer, and wild turkeys that make their home here. It’s advised to go early in the morning so you can get a head start on the traffic that jams up whenever there are bear sightings.

2. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail​ is a great alternative to Cades Cove, because it not only is closer to Gatlinburg, it gives visitors a chance to see more things, but in a different kind of environment. This is what makes it just part of a number of great Smoky Mountain attractions. The area is beautifully surrounded by native trees and flowers, and its name is from the mountain stream that flows through this wonderful place. Here, you can afford to get a late start on this trail and still have time for the next 2 on our list!

3. Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome obsefvation tower at sunsetClingmans Dome​ is the highest elevation point on our list of scenic attractions, but don’t let that make you miss the stunning natural beauty that surrounds this location. You’ll need to hike a paved half-mile trail to the tower where you can see 100 miles in the distance on a clear day. The weather here is an average of 20 degrees cooler, so you might want to think about packing some warmer clothes — even in the summer. All in all, it’s quite the spectacle with awe-inspiring images that won’t soon fade from your mind!

4. Newfound Gap

The last on our list of fantastic Smoky Mountain attractions takes us to ​Newfound Gap​. Located on the Newfound Gap Road at about the halfway point between both ends of the national park, this mountain pass features some of the most amazing views of the Smoky Mountains. It’s a popular tourist location with plenty of parking for visitors. The Rockefeller Memorial is here too, and even though it’s not a natural wonder, it’s a great place to see where Roosevelt gave his park dedication speech here in 1940.

We’ve spotlighted 4 natural Smoky Mountain attractions that are essential to your vacation itinerary. Now that you know of these wonders of nature, it’s time to come see them in person! You can do that by ​booking one of our Smoky Mountain cabins to enhance your peaceful and relaxing state of mind!