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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

(4.6/5 based on 12,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: nature, trails, wildlife areas

A Wondrous Diversity of Life

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River, but it's the ease of access that makes this national park the United States' most visited. U.S. Highway 441 runs through the park, allowing you to drive right up to numerous trailheads and absorb many vehicle-based vistas. Some 1,370 km (850 mi) of hiking trails and unpaved roads allow you to explore the landscape on foot, while brown, rainbow, and lake trout do their best to elude anglers in local waters. The park also offers biking, horseback riding, and river tubing, and features preserved homesteads that provide a glimpse of what life was like when the Appalachian Mountains represented one of America's frontiers. Plan your tour of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and United States travel itinerary using our United States tourist route planner.
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Where to stay in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, choose between developed campgrounds where you can pitch your tent by your car and access restrooms and showers, or more primitive vehicle-accessed campgrounds. The park also offers accommodations in a permanent structure at LeConte Lodge, which is accessible via five different hiking trails. (There is no car access; you must hike in to use this lodge.) For a wider array of lodging options, stay in Gatlinburg. Serving primarily as a resort gateway to the park, the town offers various styles of accommodation, from national chain hotels to mountain lodges to small inns. Most places lie within 8 km (5 mi) of the park's entrance.
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