|Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Cades Cove is the most visited feature of the Park. Millions of visitors annually flock to Cades Cove to see the preserved pioneer homesteads, the blue-misted mountains which serve as a backdrop to the cove, and the abundant wildlife which now populate the area. To facilitate visitors, the Park provides a self-guided tour book at the cove's entrance. The 11-mile loop road takes approximately 45 minutes to complete casually from your vehicle. A more detailed look at the homesteads, some of which require brief hikes, can take several hours. Or you can make an entire day of Cades Cove if you stop at the Cable Mill area visitor center and include a 5-mile (round trip) hike to Abrams Falls.
Hiking - The best part of the Smoky Mountains area is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself, which has over 800 miles of trails, and more than 500,000 acres of land. During your visit to Wears Valley and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you should enjoy several of the hikes the Park has established.
Fishing - To fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you need a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license. They are not available in the Park, but can be obtained from sources in the towns adjacent to the Park. Fishing is permitted year round in the Smokies from one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset. You should know your fish before you go, because there are restrictions.
Smoky Mountain visitors can view some of nature's most exotic undersea life in the protective comfort of downtown Gatlinburg. The $42 million, 100,000-plus square foot marine attraction is home to thousands of fish and other types of aquatic life from around the world. The centerpiece of the aquarium is an underwater acrylic tunnel in which visitors can ride through 700,000 gallons of water on a 320-foot moving glide path, bringing viewers just inches away from large sharks, poisonous ocean predators and numerous varieties of tropical fish whose beauty will definitely impress spectators. Intern study programs will eventually be developed for those seriously interested in careers in Marine Science. Tours of Ripley's Aquarium will be self-guided, and guests should plan on as long as two-and-a-half hours to do it justice. The aquarium sits on a 6.9-acre site in downtown Gatlinburg, a location that was previously home to the Greystone Hotel.
Escape to the unique world of Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain theme park in Pigeon Forge Tennessee! Enjoy the wholesome fun and entertainment of the music, crafts, attractions, and rides at Dollywood. Dollywood is open nine months of the year, including the Harvest Celebration in October and a special Christmasfest in November & December.