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 Center in Franklin. The folks there are knowledgeable on all of the activities, events, history, and natural beauty the region has to offer.
The Visitor Center is located inside an NC public restroom facility, but it often surprises visitors to learn that it’s so much more than that. It’s also the best place to get suggestions on activities that meet your interest, and details on outdoor adventures that fit your fitness level. You can also pick up some keepsakes at the gift shop to remember your trip through the world’s oldest mountains.
Visitors passing through can find a comfortable picnic area and super clean bathroom facilities on site. It’s also a great place to get a sneak peak of the beauty of this region. People actually rave about this place, which is interesting for a rest area, but it’s a testament to why this place is worthy of a visit for local information as well as to see the beauty of the area where it’s located. Here are a handful of the almost 2,000 reviews received online.
☆☆☆☆☆ “One of the nicest Visitor’s Centers around. The people that work there are very friendly and could answer any questions that we had. They have items for sale in the center. Extremely clean rest rooms. It was well lit. Easy to maneuver a wheelchair. Plenty of parking. Easy to get to.” ~Jacque W.
☆☆☆☆☆ “The helper behind the counter was so gracious and kind. So friendly. We stopped for a picnic it was so beautiful. We even met others who are enjoying all this as much as we did.” ~ Mel F.
☆☆☆☆☆ “100 percent the nicest rest area I’ve ever seen. Clean, spacious and well stocked. They have a wonderful little shop with a great supply of local products as well as visitor information. Courteous and friendly staff complete a wonderful traveling experience.” ~Monte W.
☆☆☆☆☆ “This is the best Visitor’s Center I’ve ever been too! They had an amazing gift shop featuring locally made items. You get an amazing cup of locally roasted coffee, great conversation and tips for your travels from the great staff. The bathrooms are a work of art and super clean.” ~Michele M.
☆☆☆☆☆ “The visitors center is a must see!! Very educational, lots of maps for hikes, lots of gifts to take home.” ~ Lil R.
Location & Hours of Operation
4437 Georgia Rd
Franklin, NC 28734
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving