Great Smoky Mountains National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the country. Spanning the mountains of both Tennessee and North Carolina, the park offers gorgeous scenery and abundant hiking. The park is surrounded by many small towns and a few larger cities, and finding a place to stay is relatively simple.
If you choose to stay close to the park, you have the option of camping or staying in cabin style lodging. If you prefer a more traditional stay, you can venture into town and choose from a variety of hotels.
Aside from seeing all the natural wonders within the park, you won't want to miss Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These towns are a dream destination for a family, especially with small children. There are tons of touristy stops along the main drag, and the famous Dollywood is right nearby. Make sure you have lots of film or camera space because the scenery everywhere is amazing!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park directions
Gatlinburg, TN entrance
From interstate highway I-40 take Exit 407 (Sevierville) to TN-66 South. At the Sevierville intersection, continue straight onto US-441 South. Follow US-441 through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge into park.
Townsend, TN entrance
From the north: From interstate highway I-40 in Knoxville take Exit 386B to US-129 South to Alcoa/Maryville. At Maryville proceed on US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Continue straight on TN-73 into the park.
From the south: From interstate highway I-75 take Exit 376 to I-140 E towards Oak Ridge/Maryville. Merge onto I-140 E via Exit 376B towards Maryville. Turn onto US-129 South (Alcoa Highway) at Exit 11A and travel towards Alcoa. Turn onto TN-35 and follow it to US-321 North. Follow US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Continue straight on TN-73 into the park.
Cherokee, NC entrance
From the north: From interstate highway I-40, take Exit 27 to US-74 West towards Waynesville. Turn onto US-19 and proceed through Maggie Valley to Cherokee. Turn onto US-441 North at Cherokee and follow the road into the park.
From the south: Follow US-441/US-23 North. At Dillsboro merge on US-74 West/US-441 North. At Exit 74 merge onto US-441. Follow US-441 through Cherokee and into the park.
Photo by Jim Dollar on flickr
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