I’d like to start off by saying I have always considered myself to be more of a beach bum than a mountain dweller. When we discuss as a family where we will travel to next, I tend to naturally feel drawn towards the ocean. I can happily say our trip to Tennessee has opened my eyes and broadened my geography preferences. I really enjoyed the Smoky Mountains and all they had to offer.
First and foremost, they are breathtakingly beautiful. We rented a cabin near Pigeon Forge and woke up each day to the sun eagerly rising over the mountain tops. It doesn’t get much better than drinking coffee and listening to the kids play while soaking up such an incredible view.
To really appreciate the Smoky Mountains you have to visit the Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a place the whole family can enjoy. There are trails everywhere just waiting for you to explore them. I highly recommend stopping at the information centers and asking for a map of the best trails for your family. They have easier trails for small children and some awesome hiking trails for your older teenagers. I was disappointed that we didn’t spot any bears but we met others who had seen them. In fact, while we were there, half of the campsites within the park were closed due to bear activity. The bears are protected within the Park so that’s why there are so many. I also highly recommend doing the motor trail. You can enjoy all of the beautiful sites within the Park from the comfort of your own vehicle. There are places along the trails where you can pull over and get pictures. Some of the best views were off of the motor trails. The kids had such an amazing time pretending to be little explorers, we discovered wildlife, waterfalls, and old cabins along the way.
It didn’t didn’t take us long to see why they call them the Smoky Mountains. There was always a cloudy mist hovering over the mountains, especially at sunset. I thought I would be uncomfortable with the winding roads up and down the mountains to our cabin, but after a couple of days I was completely relaxed with the experience.
Whether you enjoy hiking, horseback riding, white water rafting or just relaxing at the cabin, the Smoky Mountains are for you!