The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a 500,000-acre (2,023.43 km²) national park in North Carolina and Tennessee notable for its splendid nature, fauna, and historic homesteads. With 12 million visitors every year, it's the most frequented national park in the United States of America, beating Yellowstone. With six park gates to pick from, it's important to stay close to the visited attractions. Each entry town has its distinguished flavor, but few garner exactly the same amount of attention as Gatlinburg. To help tourists pick where to stay for their vacation, here are probably the most scenic towns closest to the Smoky Mountains.
10 Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gatlinburg is embraced by breathtaking natural surroundings and mountain landscapes, but it also includes a lively downtown filled with restaurants, activities, and shopping. Gatlinburg is a wonderful place to visit because of its unique blend of rustic charm and vacation entertainment. The town, unlike another Smoky Mountain areas, is relatively walkable. It's also near Clingmans Dome, the park's highest peak, by having an observation site and a link to the astonishing Appalachian Trail.
9 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
"The Center of Fun within the Smokies" is Pigeon Forge's motto. The neighboring Smoky Mountains' splendor has turned this previously calm mountain village into a major tourist attraction because of its bewitching vistas. The Parkway, Pigeon Forge's main thoroughfare, has thousands of dinner theaters, museums, go-karts, racetracks, restaurants, and souvenir stores. The most popular and magnificent Old Mill is really a nationally protected historic site that has existed in the region because the early 1800s.
8 Wears Valley, Tennessee
Wears Valley, an attractive town across the Pigeon Forge Parkway that travels through mountain scenery towards Townsend, Tennessee, is considered a concealed treasure in the Smoky Mountains. Close to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, this picturesque valley offers stunning mountain panoramas, a tranquil environment, and a "hidden" entry to the exceptional Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
7 Cosby, Tennessee
Cosby is situated on the north side from the Great Smoky Mountains. This astonishing and separate town, formerly known as the Moonshine Capital around the globe, currently has a population of only approximately 5,000 people. It's the ideal location for some tranquility time while hiking in the radiant Smoky Mountains. Travelers are suggested to accept less-crowded Foothills Parkway to witness stunning vistas from the exceptional Appalachian Trail, which runs through New york and Tennessee.
6 Waynesville, North California
Waynesville, North Carolina, doesn't have lack of entertaining activities. It's a great outdoor enthusiast's heaven, with everything else from waterfall trekking and cycling to fishing and much more. Cataloochee Valley and the Blue Ridge Parkway are two of Waynesville's most widely used attractions, and they both provide mesmerizing vistas from the Great Smoky Mountains. Travelers choose from spending their vacations practicing exciting activities and relaxing while breathing the pure fresh mountain air.
- Different activities: nature tours, golf, theaters, museums, horse riding, and shopping.
5 Townsend, Tennessee
Townsend is called the "quiet side from the Smokies." A modest but awesome downtown area near the Little River with convenient entry to the nation's park helps tourists relieve their stress and escape from the cities' crowdedness. The park's two spectacular waterfalls, Spruce Flats and Meigs Falls, come in the eastern portion of town. The Smoky Mountains feature over 700 swimmable rivers, counting the Little River, which can be explored with the guide of Little River Outfitters near Townsend.
4 Bryson City, North Carolina
Bryson City is heaven on earth when it comes to little Smoky Mountain communities. It features a unique mountain village vibe specific to it, there are plenty and various activities for everybody to savor, whether they choose to wander through town or go hiking. This village also offers a distinction: it is where Horace Kephart was buried. Many consider him the founding father of the truly amazing Smoky Mountains National Park.
3 Cherokee, North Carolina
Cherokee offers a diverse range of cultural and outdoor activities. It's situated on an Indian reservation, making it well suited for anyone seeking a unique experience away from conventional Smoky Mountain cities. The region is rich in wildlife while offering opportunities for observing native elk herds, birdwatching, and fishing. Horse riding on picturesque routes and motorcycle rides through stunning surroundings are also available to visitors.
- Different activities: boating, camping, golfing, tubing, and hiking.
2 Sevierville, Tennessee
The little community of Sevierville, on the outskirts of Pigeon Forge, is often neglected in favor of neighboring Smoky Mountain villages. The Rainforest Adventure Zoo, the Tennessee Museum of Aviation Riding Stables, Adventure Park Ziplines, and two massive outlet malls with over 120 shops are prominent attractions in Sevierville. It's an irresistible place to go through the outdoors, whether tourists prefer camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing.
1 Elkmont, Tennessee
Elkmont is no longer populated, but it's a fascinating ghost town worth visiting. Adrenaline seekers will enjoy a tour through this town's abandoned structures. Wandering within this town transports hikers to another era. There's two still-standing cemeteries, abandoned chalets and houses, and structures that are being reclaimed naturally. Travelers need to always observe National Park Service regulations and take these into account. These structures are rapidly deteriorating, also it can be safer to watch them only from abroad.