Six Must-Do Things In The Great Smoky Mountains

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February 20, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

If you are planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, you will find an abundance of activities to enjoy. From early morning hikes with breathtaking mountain views to exploring the local cuisine, there is something for everyone. However, with so much to see and do, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Do not worry – we have got your back! 

Here is the list of the top six things you absolutely cannot miss in Smokies. So get your adventure hats; it is going to be a blast!

1. Book a Cabin in the Smoky Mountains 

There is nothing quite like a cabin in the mountains to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life! Picture this: you are sitting on the porch, wrapped in a cozy blanket with a warm cup of cocoa in your hands, gazing out at the breathtaking view of snow-capped peaks. 

Inhaling the fresh mountain air, you will feel your anxieties dissipate. You might also hear the sound of a nearby river flowing in the distance or the rustle of leaves as a curious chipmunk scurries by. The crackling fireplace will fill the space with warmth and a soft glow, while the cozy furniture invites you to snuggle up with a good book or your favorite movie. 

When you are feeling adventurous, you can step outside and explore the great outdoors! Unlike in the past, these Smoky Mountain vacation rentals are available in different sizes. Check the Smoky Vistas rentals; regardless of how big or small your group may be, you can find just the right cabin here. 

2. Go For Horseback Riding Through The National Park

If you are ready to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in style, then you must try horseback riding. It is a ride through some of the most breathtaking sceneries in the world, and you will feel like a true pioneer as you trot through the mountains. Horseback riding is also fun to bond with your loved ones as you experience the great outdoors together. And who knows, you might even get a little competitive with each other as you race through the trails.

You do not have to be a seasoned equestrian to enjoy a horseback excursion in the park. From beginner to advanced, many guided tours are available for riders of all experience levels. You will be matched with a horse that suits your experience and comfort level, and your guide will provide instruction and assistance as needed. 

3. Drive Along Scenic Routes 

Taking a picturesque drive through the Great Smoky Mountains is a must for any tourist. The meandering roads will take you through some of the most stunning natural scenery you have ever witnessed. Whether you are cruising along the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Foothills Parkway, you will be treated to stunning panoramic views of the mountains, valleys, and forests. 

The changing seasons also bring their own unique beauty to the area. As the leaves change colors in the fall, the mountains are ablaze with bright hues. The snowy landscapes are like something out of a winter wonderland in the winter. And in the spring and summer, the lush greenery and blooming wildflowers create a refreshing and invigorating atmosphere. 

So roll down the windows, turn up the tunes, and take in the stunning scenery as you drive through the Great Smoky Mountains. It is the kind of experience that sticks with you forever.

4. Try Whitewater Rafting 

The Pigeon River offers some of the most exhilarating rapids in the region, making it a prime destination for all water sports enthusiasts. You will have the time of your life as you navigate class III and IV rapids while soaking in the stunning scenery. Get ready to scream, laugh, and splash your way down the river. 

Do not assume that you need to be a seasoned rafter to tackle these rapids. There are experienced guides to show you the ropes and ensure your safety. They will give you all the necessary training and equipment, so all you have to do is hold on tight and enjoy the ride. 

The rafting experience is not just about the rapids, though. You will also be surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including lush forests and stunning mountain views. You may also spot some local wildlife, such as river otters, bald eagles, or great blue herons.

5. Hike The Appalachian Trail

Want an epic hiking experience in the Great Smoky Mountains? Look no further than the iconic Appalachian Trail, aka A.T., from Georgia to Maine; this trail spans 2,200 miles of pristine beauty. But, lucky for you, more than 71 miles of the A.T. cuts through the Smokies, making it one of the most stunning sections of the trail. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with nature, unwind, and just breathe in the fresh mountain air. 

And the trail is not just a scenic stroll but also full of iconic landmarks. Rocky Top, the stone fire tower of Mt. Cammerer, and Charlies Bunion, to name a few of them. But keep in mind that the Smokies are home to a thriving black bear population. To avoid any unwanted encounters, be sure to keep a minimum of 50 yards distance from wildlife. And if you want a closer look at the animals, bring along a pair of binoculars to get a better view from a safe distance.

6. Soak up the View from Clingmans Dome

It is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains and provides a mesmerizing view of the Appalachian mountains. To get to the 6,643-foot-tall observation tower, you’ll have to drive the scenic access road from Newfound Gap and then walk half a mile. 

The peak gives you a 360-degree view of the mountains; on clear days, the view expands over 100 miles, whereas air pollution often limits the viewing distance to 20 miles. The peak is highly popular in the peak season as the access road is closed from December to March. To have the best experience and avoid excessive crowds, visit early in the day. 


The Smoky Mountains are a hub of excitement and relaxation for anyone looking to take a break from the daily grind. Whether you seek adventure or a serene holiday getaway, this place has got you covered. So pack your bags and make the most of your time by exploring all the activities covered in this blog!

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …