Are you thinking of traveling to Tennessee? Well then, be sure to head to Great Smoky Mountains. It’s bursting with nature, entertainment and attractions.
There’s something for everyone at the Great Smoky Mountains, from a Titanic Museum to a Dollywood theme park.
With so much to do, you might not know where to start. For this reason, we’re taking a look at the 9 Smoky Mountains attractions to visit this year.
1. Titanic Museum
Step inside the 30,000 Titanic museum for a trip you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry. There’s a reason why this is the first item on our list of popular Smoky Mountains attractions.
This exquisite building offers a full-scale replica of the famous Grand Staircase. Not to mention hundreds of artifacts and a flooded stairway simulator. You’ll find the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. It’s just five miles away from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountain’s entrance.
Talk to the captain on the bridge and dip your hands into the water that is as cold as the Atlantic that tragic night. Adding to the drama and fun are the costumed crew members. They will tell the stories of many passengers. Each museum visitor will also receive a pass at the start of the tour. Once the tour is over, you can check to see if your passenger alter ego survived or tragically passed away.
It’s a great place to teach the kids about the ill-fated ship, while having a little family fun.
We recommend booking in advance, as the museum tour is known to sell out quickly.
It’s hardly surprising that 10 million people choose to flock to Pigeon Forge every year.
One of the biggest draws to the city is, of course, Dollywood. In case you didn’t know, Dolly Parton grew up in Smoky Mountains. The theme park is an apt depiction of her local heritage.
There are fairground rides for the whole family. You won’t want to miss some amazing performances, including from Dolly’s family members.
3. Ripley’s Aquarium of Smokies
Gatlinburg is the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it’s home to the next Smoky Mountain attraction on our list.
The small Eastern Tennessee mountain town offers something for every age, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. In fact, it’s the #1 aquarium in the US.
The $70 million aquarium is home to superb sea life from every major ocean. Expect to find everything from octopuses, sea dragons, piranhas and jellyfish. There’s also Coral Reef and Stingray Bay tanks, which allow scuba divers to feed marine life by hand.
It’s hardly surprising this is one of the most popular Smoky Mountains attractions. After all, it does offer a 340ft Shark Lagoon that features a moving walkway.
It’s a place where memories are made.
4. Forbidden Caverns
Which state has the most caves in America? Tennessee.
That’s why you should be sure to book a guided tour of the Forbidden Caverns in Sevierville. It’s one of the best Smoky Mountains attractions! The hour-long tour will provide all you need to know about the history of the caves. Learn everything from the habitation of the Cherokee Natives to the recent Moonshiners.
Yet, we recommend wrapping up a little. You might be in Tennessee, but these caves can be a little chilly. It’s always 55 degrees and damp underground!
5. Hatfield & McCoy
One thing you cannot miss is the dinner show at Hatfield & McCoy in Pigeon Forge. If you love music, dancing, acting and special effects, treat yourself on a trip to the unique theater.
Not only that, but you can dine on some home-cooked dishes of fried chicken, cornbread and pulled pork. It’s a theater experience unlike any other.
6. Ober Mountain Ski Area
Looking for a little adventure when it comes to these attractions? Ober Mountain‘s ski area is a must.
This beautiful ski resort is located 1,400 feet high above downtown Gatlinburg. Here, you can enjoy a 2-mile ride on America’s largest aerial tramway.
Once you step off, you can enjoy 10 different ski slope trails designed for all abilities. Don’t like skiing? There are some pretty great rides, snowtubing and a snowboarding park.
You won’t want to go home.
7. Blue Ridge Parkway
You’ll understand why the Blue Ridge Parkway is so popular once you see it.
It has been one of America’s most visited tourist attractions for more than 60 years. Fall in love with the beautiful rolling hills and foliage. While only a small portion of the parkway is in the Smoky Mountains, this 469-mile scenic drive connects The Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia.
You’ll adore the surroundings of three stunning landmarks in this area:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Mt. Mitchell – the highest point on the east coast
- The town of Cherokee, NC
Make sure you take a camera, because there’s a photo opportunity at every turn. Before heading out, always check the interactive Parkway map to make sure the area of the parkway you want to visit is open. Weather can change quickly in the higher elevations of the mountains.
8. Adventure Park at Five Oaks
The whole family will create unforgettable memories at Adventure Park at Five Oaks.
There are zip lines from 450 to 2,000 feet long, so there’s something for the kids and Mom and Dad.
The zip lines will also provide superb views of:
- Pigeon Forge
- Great Smoky Mountain area
You’ll be able to see so many of these attractions from way up high. You might even wonder how you’ll fit them all in to your trip.
9. Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg
Do you love nothing more than a scary story? Add the Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg to a Smoky Mountains Attractions bucket list.
Your guide will introduce you to Radford Gatlin, the richest, meanest man in the town. He was convicted of a horrific murder that shocked Tennessee.
You can guarantee you’ll have a spooky time on the ghost hunting tour. You never know, you might even see a ghost from Tennessee’s past.
There are so many Smoky Mountains attractions and so little time. You might even have to return time and again to fit it all in.
If you love good food and shopping, take yourself along to The Island in Pigeon Forge. For non-stop fun, explore the town’s Lazerport Fun Center. If you’re looking for a fantastic hiking trail, walk along Laurel Falls.
There are so many things to talk about, we could keep you here all day. Instead, we encourage to explore the many of these attractions for yourself!
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