Clingmans Dome obsefvation tower at sunset

3 Popular Places in the Great Smoky Mountains You Need to Visit

If you’re staying at our cabins and looking for more things to do, consider taking a trip to the Smokies! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beloved tourist attraction, receiving more than 10 million visitors each year. Can’t decide where to go? We can help! Explore this list of 3 popular places in the Great Smoky Mountains you need to visit:

1. Cades Cove

cades coveReceiving an estimated 5 million visitors each year, Cades Cove is the most visited area of the Great Smoky Mountains. Hikers love to see the beautiful sights on the trails, one of which is Abrams Falls. This is a breathtaking 20-foot waterfall that can be seen on Abrams Falls Trail. The natural scenery is also teeming with a rich population of wildlife. The most popular residents being black bears and white-tailed deer. If you don’t enjoy hiking, see everything from the comfort of your own vehicle as you ride along the Cades Cove Loop Road. The 11-mile route is open to visitors year-round! One of the notable sights is the John Oliver Cabin, one of the remnants of the thriving settlement in the Great Smoky Mountains. Built by some of Cades Cove’s first residents in the 1800’s, the John Oliver Cabin is believed to be the oldest human structure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

2. Clingmans Dome

You can see gorgeous views of the Great Smoky Mountains from Clingmans Dome. Coming in at 6,643 feet, it is the highest point of the Smokies and in Tennessee overall. As you stand in the observation tower, the view stretches for more than 100 miles on a clear day. It is great that visitors can enjoy it year-round. However, it is important to note that Clingmans Dome Road closes seasonally from late December through early March. This is due to the hazardous conditions created by the cold weather. You can still reach the observation tower by hiking Clingmans Dome Road. If you plan to do so, keep in mind that the route is a strenuous 17.5 miles round trip making it ideal for experienced hikers.

3. Elkmont

Pigeon River near Gatlinburg TNElkmont is a popular spot in the Great Smoky Mountains that is known for its unique history. It started in 1901 when Colonel Wilson B. Townsend purchased the land and founded the Little River Lumber Company. It included a railroad that connected the logging site to the sawmill. The business became prosperous and the area transformed into a wealthy resort community. When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded, people left their homes, leaving behind over 70 abandoned buildings. Park officials have worked to restore some of the buildings and keep the area’s history alive.

We hope you visit these popular places in the Great Smoky Mountains when you stay with us! If you still need ideas for things to do on your vacation, learn more about our area!