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Where: Pigeon Forge is nestled against the foothills on the northern side of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Why: The splendor of the nearby Smoky Mountains transformed this once quaint mountain town into a popular tourist destination. Popular attractions include the Old Mill , which is a nationally registered historic place and has been in the area since the early s. This water-powered mill once played a pivotal role in the daily lives of early Pigeon Forge settlers. The Old Mill is now a popular tourist attraction with a restaurant and cafe.

With its original historic touches, visitors can get a genuine historical experience as they dine and visit its shops. The town hosts an annual Winterfest Kickoff Festival , which features shopping, live entertainment, and twinkling holiday lights. When it comes to Smoky Mountains towns, Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to rent a mountain cabin with your family for a quick trip to enjoy all that this area has to offer.

Where: Gatlinburg is just about six miles away from Pigeon Forge in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, but this town has enough character to stand on its own. Thanks to the National Park, this town also fosters an small outdoorsy scene, which attracts hikers and campers from all over.

Like in Pigeon Forge, many visitors opt to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg and experience the town as it should be experienced — like a local. You can find mountain cabins in Gatlinburg appropriate for any budget, and they allow vacationers to truly immerse themselves in the beautiful mountain setting. As far as Smoky Mountains towns go, Gatlinburg offers some great dining options, including fine dining and classic steakhouses. In addition to the nearby Smokies, entertainment and recreation in Gatlinburg including moonshine distillery tours, a scenic aerial tramway, museums, and souvenir shops.

For visitors considering Smoky Mountains towns for their next trip, Gatlinburg is a great option. Where: Sevierville is located a bit north of Pigeon Forge, where the foothills meet the Tennessee Valley.

Why: Often overlooked for other Smoky Mountains towns, the small town of Sevierville is a hidden gem situated at the border of Pigeon Forge. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting, Sevierville is also a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. Why: Out of all of the Smoky Mountains towns, Townsend is one of the smallest.

This tiny outpost has just around residents, which is part of its charm. Because of its close proximity to the Smokies, visitors often use Townsend as a home base for hiking expeditions. Likewise, this has made Townsend a popular town for adventure seekers and lovers of the outdoors.

What Townsend lacks in shopping and entertainment it makes up for in pristine mountain views and outdoor activities. Why: Once touted as the Moonshine Capital of the World, this unincorportated town now tops out at just about 5, people. Cosby is just down Highway Hit the less-traveled Foothills Parkway for breathtaking views of the Appalachian Trail, which traverses the state lines of Tennessee and neighboring North Carolina.

Because of its easy access to the Smokies, visitors to Cosby can enjoy quick day trips for casual hiking. Use the Cosby Campground as a home base for camping or long-haul hikes. If you want to beat the crowds while still enjoying the beauty of the Smokies, Cosby is the place to do it. Wears Valley is brimming with scenic drives, tranquil views, and the kind of friendly faces that make this town so special.

With its small-town mountain charm, Wears Valley is the perfect place to visit when you want to trade city skylines for mountain vistas. Why: Cherokee is rich with culture, arts, crafts, and outdoor activities. The area is abundant with wildlife and offers native elk herd viewing, birding, and fishing. Visitors can also go horseback riding on scenic trails, or ride motorcycles through dramatic scenery.

Fly fishing is also a popular activity in the area. This gem of a city has a lot of history to discover and beautiful locations to explore. A good place to start is at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, which features numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Cherokee is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and offers a look at the history of the tribal community at the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Other Native American points of interest here include the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the 56,acre Cherokee Reservation where annual festivals and special events take place.

Step back in time with a visit to the Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill, where vintage farm buildings show how life was a century ago. Bring your camera to take pictures of Mingo Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls situated in the Southern Appalachians. Also, the Blount County Memorial Museum features additional historical artifacts. You can even explore the Pistol Creek Wetland Center.

It has a little bit of everything to entice visitors to North Carolina. This small town is considered the gateway for travelers heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During warm months, the most popular activity is river rafting on the Nantahala River. It also features superb hiking and biking trails in and around town. Outside of town, you can take a hike along Deep Creek Trail. A favorite attraction is the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

The steam-driven train transports passengers from the historic depot throughout the scenic Western North Carolina countryside along the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers. Ride and dine along the way as you take in the beautiful sights.

When you hear about Maggie Valley, you might only associate it with winter skiing at Cataloochee Ski Resort, but the town has a lot to offer year-round. Located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you have access to the many activities of the park any time of year, while the nearby cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer numerous attractions and things to do for all ages.

Sylva is a refreshing, picturesque, and quaint destination that aims to please indoor and outdoor enthusiasts. You can take a 7-mile hike in Pinnacle Park, listen to concerts at Bridge Park, and let the children play at Poteet Park.

For a flavorful afternoon, pick up a map of the Jackson County Ale Trail. There are plenty of opportunities to go fishing, horseback riding, and river rafting. Or you could take an eco-tour or visit local art galleries. At the end of the day, save time to enjoy the hot mineral springs that Hot Springs is known for. This quaint town offers a place to shop at local boutiques and antique shops, dine at local restaurants, and visit art galleries without traffic jams.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the foot Looking Glass Falls is eye-catching from above or below. Last, but not least, save plenty of time to explore, fish, go boating, or enjoy white-water sports when visiting the Pisgah National Forest.

When small-town America is calling, it includes North Carolina since the state has some of the best mountain towns around. The town is located in the Nantahala National Forest, which has plenty of things to do, including rafting the Nantahala River, zip lining through the treetops, kayaking, hiking, and biking. In town, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to sample while sightseeing and visiting local attractions.

Robbinsville is a rural mountain town in the Smoky Mountain foothills that takes you back to a time of solitude and natural beauty. Also, you can explore the stunning beauty of the ancient trees and delicate wildflowers that inhabit Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. A short figure-eight hiking trail takes you through a magical landscape of tall trees and babbling brooks and is suitable for all skill levels. When planning a trip to Tennessee, allow plenty of time to enjoy the many things to do that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

The area is rich in culture, history, spectacular mountain views, an array of wildlife, outdoor adventures, interesting excursions, exciting theme parks, plus shopping, dining, and Smoky Mountain distilleries.

If you plan to stay in Gatlinburg, no matter what time of year you visit, there are things to do and see. Just up the road, Pigeon Forge has its own list of things to do to keep everyone entertained.

Use our carefully curated list to start planning your Smoky Mountain fall…. Looking to enjoy a romantic Smoky Mountains picnic? Here are our favorite picnic destinations in the Smokies! Few activities can match a picnic in….

Looking for the best Smoky Mountain hiking trails for fall foliage views? That distinction belongs solely to Townsend, of which I am a full-time resident.

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16 Best Smoky Mountain Small Towns In Tennessee & North Carolina.

 
Sewanee TN., Great mountain/bluff/valley views, great mtn. hiking near by, town is bigger than Lynchburg, does have a hospital but no Wal-Mart, home to University of the South, beautiful . Mar 17,  · 3 Unique Towns to Explore in the Smoky Mountains. You know about Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville in Tennessee, and Asheville in North Carolina. All of . May 24,  · These towns near Smoky Mountains National Park include gateway hubs like Gatlinburg, cities with airports like Knoxville, and small communities nearby like Waynesville .

 
 

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