Best Tennessee Cities And Towns In The Great Smoky Mountains To Visit

Affectionately referred to as the “Smokies”based on the fog found in its peaks that frequently resembles smoke, and particularly from afar, the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the country’s most well-known and popular mountain ranges. Located in the Southern states of North Carolina and Tennesse it also belongs to the Blue Ridge Mountains, a larger mountain range that stretches from Maryland and Pennsylvania all the way down to Alabama and Georgia. The mountain range also is the home to Clingman’s Dome, the tallest mountain in the state of Tennessee, which stands at about 6,643 feet. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also located in the Great Smokies, which is the country’s most visited national park with around 11 million people visiting the park every year since it was first established in 1934.  

Numerous Americans, as well as foreigners from all around the world, come to the Great Smoky Mountains so they see this great mountain range for themselves. Numerous tourists praise the mountains for their breathtaking and natural beauty as well as the endless activities that it has to offer. While in the mountain range, visitors are able to climb on one of the peaks of the range and view the colorful trees covering a majority of the mountain range, particularly in the fall, paddle around in a boat on Fontana Lake, climb Clingman’s Dome, or walk along the Appalachian Trail. 

However, if you want to begin your Great Smoky Mountains from Tennessee, you can travel to Tennessee’s best cities and towns that are situated close to the mountain range to see the best that the southern state has to offer. 

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

This Tennessee city heavily relies on tourism from the Great Smoky Mountains and is situated about 19 minutes or 7.6 miles away from the mountains and national park protecting most of them. In addition to Pigeon Forge, it is one of the busiest and most popular gateway cities of the Great Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountain Range. 

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg has numerous lodgings, restaurants, and shops where tourists can get some rest and relax from doing various mountain range activities, buy souvenirs, and eat. Sugarlands Visitor Center is located in Gatlinburg and proud to provide the entrance that is most accessible to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Gatlinburg Trolley can be ridden by visitors and be transported from Ripley’s Aquarium to the national park’s largest visitor center. From the trolley, visitors can also see the Elkmont campground park and Lauren Falls trailhead inside of the national park.   

In 2016 when Gatlinburg was impacted by the area’s fires, the city’s downtown was not affected. Many tourists love visiting the city due to its unique charm and the multitude of amenities that it has to offer. Gatlinburg also has plenty of dining and entertainment to offer and visitors can also rent a cabin there so they can experience the breathtaking mountain setting of this amazing city.  

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge is the home of Dollywood and hugely popular. Along with Gatlinburg, it is among the most popular northern gateway cities to the Smokies. From amusement parks and resorts, Pigeon Forge also offers many places where tourists can stroll, eat, and enjoy their visit. Pigeon Forge in the past was a quiet town on the mountain’s northern side until its full potential was realized after all of the tourists continued to come to the area more and more.  

Pigeon Forge, just like Gatlinburg, offers many boutiques, malls, and souvenir shops for visitors. Compared to other Great Smoky Mountain Range towns, Pigeon Forge has more of a historical feeling to it. That is due to the fact that the Old Mill is located there, which is nationally registered as a historical place. It has stood in Pigeon Forge since the 1800s. There is also an annual event held in Pigeon Forge called Winterfest Kickoff Festival that offers a wide range of holiday lights, shopping, and live entertainment. 

Tourists can also rent a cabin while staying in Pigeon Forge and experience the very best that the Great Smoky town has to offer. In later sections of the article, we will be discussing the cabins in Pigeon Forge in more detail. 

Sevierville, Tennessee

Although this town tends to be overlooked quite often due to the more popular town in the Great Smokies, Sevierville is situated where the Tennessee Valley and foothills meet. There is a lot that this town has to offer. It is a great destination for people who would like to be close to the Smoky Mountains and avoid all of the hustle and bustle of the more famous towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. 

Pigeon Forge is home to an amusement park bearing the name of Dolly Parton. However, Sevierville is the place that is actually considered to be the home town of one of the country’s and the entire world’s most famous country singers. There is a life-size Dolly Parton bronze statute on the Sevierville County Courthouse’s lawn. 

In addition, zoos and museums like the Rainforest Adventure Zoo and Tennessee Museum of Aviation can be found in Sevierville. The city also contains two malls with more than 120 stores in addition to other attractions such as the Riding Stables and the Adventure Park Ziplines. Sevierville is an outstanding city for people who would like to spend time close to a majestic mountain range and enjoy the great outdoors. 

Townsend, Tennessee

Townsend is a smaller town compared to the other three on our list and is quieter as well. That makes Townsend an outstanding destination if you are searching for a place where you can enjoy the best that nature has to offer in a peaceful setting without all of the noise from fellow tourists and the shops. 

Townsend is a small Smokies town with only around 500 residents. There is not as much entertainment or shops as Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, but it does frequently as the home base for hikers and outfitters due to how close it is to the mountain range. That has resulted in Townsend becoming quite popular for outdoor lovers who want to experience the pristine views and calm silence that are offered by the Great Smoky Mountains and adventure seekers wanting to deeply explore this mountain range. 

Where to stay on Vacation in Gatlinburg

For people who have decided they want to stay in Gatlinburg while visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, this town has some of the area’s best cabins with many amenities like outdoor grills, jacuzzis, and outstanding mountain views. The town has around 400 cabins for you and your entire family to choose from, ranging from one-bedroom for single travelers up to 13 bedrooms for families and large groups. 

There are many different kinds of cabins in Gatlinburg, ranging from Value Cabins for people with small budgets to Luxury Cabins with the finest amenities that can accommodate as many as 40 guests. The town also offers pet-friendly cabins for both single travelers and families who would like to experience the Smokies in all their glory with their pets. 

The Great Smoky Mountains have so much to offer, including fun experiences, numerous activities, and an abundance of great scenery for those who have the willingness and time to visit the area. Also, the towns in Tennessee situated closed to the mountain range offers plenty of amenities for tourists to enjoy, ranging from amusement parks such as  Anakeesta that the entire family can enjoy to souvenir shops where items can be purchased by visitors as remembrances of their visit. The Great Smoky Mountains is the ideal tourist destination for everybody, whether you are someone who just wants to experience the beauty and calmness of Mother Nature or are an adventure seeker in search of new thrills and excitement.

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