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Celebrate Mother’s Day in the Great Smoky Mountains

a family out for a smoky mountain picnic.

Mid-May in the Great Smokies is a wonderful time to visit and play, no matter the holiday. We’re well into full spring bloom and early summer warmth, gloriously green mountaintops, birdsong everywhere and so many opportunities to provide the Mothers in your life something perfectly suited for their individual style of pampering. Here are some […]

A Great Smoky Mountain Weekend Warrior Itinerary

a woman looking out at the north carolina smoky mountains.

A full weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains? Are you kidding? If you find yourself in this lucky predicament, then this weekend itinerary will help you make the most of your brief visit. The phrase “Weekend Warrior” will take on a whole new meaning while you experience some of the most iconic treats these mountains […]

Smoky Mountains Spring Break

Flowering rhododendron are hallmarks of spring in the Smokies

Have you been to the Great Smoky Mountains in the springtime yet?  Well, what are you waiting for?  The weather is lovely and unpredictable – sometimes there’s even a bit of all 4 seasons in one day, no joke.  The trees are greening, the wildflowers are blooming, the days are longer and sweeter.  And there […]

Springtime Festivals in the Great Smoky Mountains

Greening up the Mountains festival. Downtown Sylva.

Oh, spring! Who doesn’t love the new flowers blooming and the trees budding back into a season of pure lushness? After the long winter, who doesn’t crave temperatures that feel almost too pleasant to be true? If spring in general doesn’t get your motor revving, plan a visit to the Smokies and you are sure […]

Rainy Day Adventures in the NC Smokies

What to do when it rains in the Smoky Mountains.

The NC Great Smoky Mountains get just the right amount of rain to cultivate their abundant lushness, but no one wants downpours on their vacation. Here are our favorite rainy day adventures to help  chase away the rainy-day blues. Stay Warm and Dry Inside Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River […]

Winter Train Excursions in the Smoky Mountains

A train prepares to depart from The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City.

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad has extended its operating season into the winter. These train trips allow you to experience the beauty of the winter season in the Smoky Mountains. You’ll be able to see unobstructed mountain views from their cozy and festive train cars. An Incredible Experience – No Matter the Season Whichever time […]

New to You – Antiquing in the Smokies

shopper walking down street in downtown franklin nc

When it comes to antiquing in the Smokies, your experiences can range from curated show rooms to flea markets to giant warehouses that require treasure hunting through mountains of uncatalogued items. The quaint town of Waynesville is home to several antique shops worth visiting. One of our favorites is Spenceberry Antiques. They offer a wide […]

Where to Find Beautiful Fall Color in the Smoky Mountains – The Final Week

Hikers in Deep Creek Falls

This coming week, outside is where it’s at! Outside all day, if you can work that out. Soaking in these last warm fall days while the final leaves of the season change their hues and fall away is an excellent way to spend time here in the NC Smokies. You’ll still find leaves in transition, including the […]

Plan A Romantic Date In The Smokies

Couple looking at Cullasaja Falls' upper section in the NC Smoky Mountains

Many places can be considered romantic destinations, but few of them compare to the adventure and allure of the NC Great Smoky Mountains. Outdoor hot tubs, couple’s massages, candlelit dinners, and sweets for your sweet all add up to one very romantic getaway. Take Your Love To New Heights Start your day with an exhilarating […]

Smoky Mountain Winter Adventures

Blue Ridge Parkway winter vista

One of our favorite times to visit the NC Great Smoky Mountains is in winter! Explore outdoor sports and adventure in the beautiful snowy landscape, hike the trails without the crowds, and relax by a cozy fire in a resort or secluded cabin. Visitors will find plenty of fun activities all season long – both […]

Five Fave Hikes for Fall Colors in the NC Smokies

Fall Color in Clay County North Carolina

The brilliant fall foliage of the NC Smoky Mountains rivals the changing leaf colors anywhere in the country. But, because of our steep elevations and lower rolling foothills, the leaf-looking season here lasts longer than most. Beginning in mid-September and continuing through early November, the NC Smokies offer you plenty of weeks to plan your […]

Wehrloom Honey and Meadery

honey dripping from a stick

Deep in the Great Smoky Mountains, almost to the Tennessee border, Wehrloom Honey and Meadery invites you to experience the story of their bees and to sample their honey, honey and beeswax products, and, of course, that magical, golden elixir – mead. In 2012, Aron Wehr gave his wife Jessica 2 honeybee hives as a […]

How to Beat the Summer Heat in the Smoky Mountains

rafting the rapids on the Nantahala

Escape excessive summer heat and instead enjoy cool mountain breezes, and the even cooler waters of the Smokies. Here’s how you can beat the heat on your next summer vacation. Discover the Highest Peaks From the Smoky Mountains to the Blue Ridge, Western North Carolina has the highest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi River. […]

Drive the Smoky Mountain Scenic Byway

View of Fontana Dam

Every year, thousands of visitors trek to Western North Carolina to enjoy cool summers, take in stunning mountain views, and explore numerous outdoor adventures. One way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Smokies is by taking a scenic drive along the Smoky Mountain Scenic Byway in Swain County. Also known as Newfound Gap Road, […]

Top 5 Adventures in the Pisgah National Forest

Looking glass rock

Explore 512,000 acres of outdoor playground in the Pisgah National Forest, one of the first national forests established in the eastern US. Located in the southern section of the Appalachian Mountain range, Pisgah includes parts of the Great Balsam range, the Smokies, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. A primarily hardwood forest, Pisgah National Forest includes […]

Smoky Mountain Visitor Center – Your Travel Resource in the Smokies

Smoky Mountain Host visitor center

The sprawling North Carolina Smoky Mountains cover seven of the westernmost counties in the state, and to anyone unfamiliar with the region it may be a challenge to know where to go and what to do. For that reason it’s helpful to get guidance from one of the local experts at the Smoky Mountain Visitor […]

Traveling the Appalachian Folkways

Mingus Mill

Adjacent to the Oconaluftee Village in Cherokee N.C., you can step back in time to learn the history of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and the early settlers of the Smoky Mountains. Places like the Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill offer a glimpse into early Appalachian life. Early Scotch-Irish, German, and English […]

Top 25 Things To Do in the NC Smoky Mountains

Collage of images showcasing top things to do in the Smoky Mountains of NC

Planning a vacation that delivers on thrills, romance, family fun, and relaxation while exploring unfamiliar cultures and unparalleled adventures? The NC Great Smoky Mountains is your one-stop destination to it all. Here are the Top 25 ideas for your Vacation Bucket List! Outdoor Adventure 1. Discover serious Fly Fishing There is no end to the […]

Cozy Winter Escapes in the Smoky Mountains

Blue Ridge Parkway winter vista

With winter views that go on for miles, cozy cabin rentals, and plenty of indoor activities to pass the time, winter is a beautiful time of year to visit the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina! Sure the temperatures may be cooler, but get outside anyway! Enjoy hiking through the woods (and possibly through the snow!) […]

Drive the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway

A sweeping view from Newfound Gap Road

The Great Smoky Mountains are synonymous with adventure, even when your plan for the day is a serene drive along the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway in Western North Carolina. Close to the Tennessee border, this 75-mile trip takes about 2 hours to complete, not including stops. The Byway creates a partial loop, running from Almond […]