Discover the Top 10 Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains in 2023!

The Smoky Mountains are a rare and beautiful gem that can be found in the southern United States. They are known for their characteristic blue mist and their difficult terrain. But tucked away in all …

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains are a rare and beautiful gem that can be found in the southern United States. They are known for their characteristic blue mist and their difficult terrain. But tucked away in all of this gorgeous scenery are scores of sleepy hillside towns that are just waiting to be discovered as the ideal destinations for day outings and weekend getaways.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a paradise for people who enjoy being outside. Clingmans Dome and Chimney Tops are two of the park’s challenging hikes, while the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is one of the area’s many beautiful scenic drives. The park is also home to a rich variety of flora and animals. In addition, there are a plethora of educational exhibits, some of which are historic structures dating back to the early settlers, such as those found in Cades Cove.

The Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Learn about the history of the park, pick up trail maps, and make reservations for ranger-led programs all at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, which is the ideal starting place for any of these activities.

1. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge is a popular destination throughout the year, and even when the warm summer days give way to the cool winter evenings, the enjoyment never ends. The community celebrates the beginning of winter with an annual festival called Winterfest Kickoff that incorporates shopping, live entertainment, and holiday lights that twinkle.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

In addition, Pigeon Forge offers a diverse selection of shopping opportunities, including malls, boutiques, and outlet stores.

2. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Many tourists choose to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg, just as they do in Pigeon Forge so that they can get a feel for the city in the manner in which it should be experienced – as if they were natives. Vacationers can locate mountain cabins in Gatlinburg that are within their price range, and staying in one of these cabins gives them the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in the stunning mountain scenery.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg, one of the communities in the Smoky Mountains, has a wide variety of excellent dining options, including both upscale restaurants and traditional steakhouses. Gatlinburg is an excellent choice for vacationers who are considering a trip to one of the cities located in the Smoky Mountains.

3. Sevierville, Tennessee

Dolly Parton was born in Sevierville, despite the fact that the famed Dollywood theme park is located in Pigeon Forge. The famous life-size bronze statue of Dolly can be found on the lawn of the Sevier County Courthouse in Sevierville. Despite the fact that Pigeon Forge is home to the Dollywood theme park, Dolly Parton was really born in Sevierville.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

The Tennessee Museum of Aviation, the Rainforest Adventure Zoo, Adventure Park Ziplines and Riding Stables, and two gigantic outlet malls with more than 120 shops are all among the most well-liked tourist destinations in Sevierville.

Sevierville is a wonderful place to experience the great outdoors, particularly if you are a fan of activities like fishing, hunting, hiking, or camping.

4. The Town of Townsend, Tennessee

Visitors frequently utilize Townsend as a home base for hiking excursions when they are in the Smokies because of its close proximity to the mountains. In a similar vein, because of this, a large number of people who are interested in outdoor activities and adventuring now call Townsend their home.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Townsend makes up for its lack of shopping and entertainment options with its access to unspoiled wilderness and a wide variety of outdoor sports. The town has a peaceful vibe, making it an ideal location to visit if you want to spend a relaxing weekend in the great outdoors or go on a challenging hike in the surrounding mountains.

5. The Town of Cosby, Tennessee

Just down Highway 321 is where you’ll find Cosby. You’ll want to be there if you want to bask in the splendor of the Smoky Mountains’ natural beauty while basking in some peace and quiet. Visit the less-traveled Foothills Parkway to take in stunning views of the Appalachian Trail, which runs through Tennessee and the adjacent state of North Carolina.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Visitors to Cosby can take advantage of quick day trips for simple hiking in the Smokies because the mountains are so easily accessible. When going on long-distance hikes or camping trips, make the Cosby Campground your home base.

6. Wears Valley, Tennessee

The town of Wears Valley is filled to the brim with picturesque landscapes, peaceful vistas, and the kind of welcoming people who give it its unique character. The towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg do not have any of these kinds of attractions.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Wears Valley, with its small-town mountain charm, is the ideal destination to visit when you wish to exchange city skylines for mountain vistas. The valley is located in North Carolina.

7. North Carolina’s Cherokee County

Native American culture is represented here through a wide range of traditional arts and crafts as well as reenactments. The Cherokee were the first people to settle in this breathtaking region, and a trip to this town won’t fail to live up to expectations.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Camping, boating, tubing, golf, and other outdoor activities are plentiful in Cherokee due to the fact that it is a base camp for hikers.

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Cherokee provides everything a tourist in search of amusement may want to keep them occupied. The area is home to a Harrah’s Casino Resort, which provides guests with all of the opulence and dining options necessary to make their trip to the Smoky Mountains really memorable.

8. Bryson City, North Carolina

Bryson City has the atmosphere of a mountain community, and there is something enjoyable for everyone to do there, whether your idea of a good time is taking a stroll through town or going on a climb.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Another one of this town’s claims to fame is that it is the location where Horace Kephart was laid to rest. Many people consider him to be the founder of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and they venerate him for this achievement. Enjoy the breathtaking and diverse scenery of the North Carolina countryside while riding the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Deep Creek Recreation Area is located only five minutes north of Bryson City and offers tubing, swimming, fishing, waterfalls, and a variety of other activities that are sure to keep you and your family entertained for several hours.

9. The Town of Elkmont, Tennessee

The National Park Service now owns the land that was formerly a part of Elkmont, which was crucial to the development of the national park movement in the 1920s.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

Simply strolling through a beautiful village brings to mind scenes from another era. Visit two active cemeteries, as well as a number of deserted houses, chalets, and structures that the surrounding vegetation is engulfing. Always comply with the rules established by the National Park Service, and DO NOT TRESPASS. These buildings are falling apart at an alarming rate, and entering them could put your life in danger.

10. The City of Maryville, Tennessee

Because of Maryville’s location with respect to the Smoky Mountains, the scenery is breathtaking in whatever direction you look.

Best Places to Visit Smoky Mountains

In fact, the western ridge of the Smokies is composed of “The Three Sisters,” which are located on the eastern face of Chilhowee Mountain. It is possible to see it from almost any point in the city. This magnificent mountain panorama is just one of the many factors that contribute to Maryville’s endearing allure.


If you like this piece, make it a point to look over all of our other guides to local vacation spots. For your trip to the Smoky Mountains, we share some of our favorite spots, some helpful packing suggestions, and even some ideas for fun vacation activities.

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