Top 6 Things to See in the Smoky Mountains

Scenic view of horses in Cades Cove.

Here at Chalet Village, we are lucky enough to be minutes away from the most visited national park in the United States! With over 522,400 acres of breathtaking natural beauty, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers endless outdoor adventures. Best of all, the national park doesn’t charge an admission fee, so all of the fun in the Smokies is completely free to enjoy. To help you make the most of your next vacation, we have put together a guide to the top six things to see in the Smoky Mountains.

1. Cades Cove

Attracting over two million visitors each year, Cades Cove is the most popular destination in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This gorgeous valley offers stunning mountain scenery, historic cabins, and some of the park’s very best wildlife viewing. Black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and pileated woodpeckers all call Cades Cove home, so you’ll definitely want to bring your camera! The valley features an 11-mile one-way loop road that stops at all of Cades Cove’s landmarks.

2. Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is another can’t-miss destination in the national park. Standing at 6,643 feet tall, this mountain is the highest point in the state of Tennessee and the highest point along the Appalachian Trail. Visitors to the Clingmans Dome observation tower will enjoy panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains that extend for over 100 miles on a clear day. The half-mile paved trail to the observation tower is quite steep, but the incredible vistas are definitely worth the effort!

3. WaterfallsThe beautiful Laurel Falls Trail in the Smoky Mountains.

The national park’s waterfalls are among the most beautiful things to see in the Smoky Mountains. Ranging from 20 feet tall to 80 feet tall, these wonderful waterfalls are truly a sight to behold. While most of the falls are only accessible via a hike, some of the most popular trails are only around 2.5 miles round trip. For more information, check out our blog about the best waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains.

4. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Located minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is one of the most scenic drives in the Smokies. This 5.5-mile one-way loop road runs beside a lovely mountain stream and passes by historic homesteads, an old-growth forest, and the trailheads for the Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls hikes. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is also known for its excellent wildlife viewing and spectacular foliage during the fall.

5. Greenbrier

Greenbrier is a beautiful valley located along the Middle Fork of the Little Pigeon River. Visitors to Greenbrier will find incredible wildflowers during the spring months, an excellent picnic area, and a number of great hikes. Both the Porters Creek Trail and the Ramsey Cascades trail are famous for their wildflower viewing.

A car driving along Newfound Gap Road in the Smoky Mountains.6. Newfound Gap Road

The drive from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC along Newfound Gap Road is one of the most beautiful in the nation! Passing through a variety of forest ecosystems, a trip over Newfound Gap Road has been compared to a journey from Georgia to Maine. Highlights of the drive include the Campbell Overlook, the Rockefeller Memorial (where FDR dedicated the national park), and Clingmans Dome Road.

When you stay at Chalet Village, you will be near all of the best things to see in the Smoky Mountains. Our cabin community is just 10 – 15 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on three sides. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 8 bedroom cabins, we are guaranteed to have the perfect property for your next escape. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of cabins in the Smoky Mountains!