Gatlinburg National parks

Our most recommended Gatlinburg National parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Self Driving Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discover why it’s the most visited National Park in the country. Buckle up and prepare for a deep dive into the most famous stretch of the Appalachians. Enjoy a flexible route that allows you to take all the time you need to admire the timeless wonders of the mountains. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Drive through the scenic mountains and hear all about parts of Cherokee history, like the ancient Cherokee monarchy and the revolutionaries who fought against it. Get detailed accounts of Cherokee ancestral legends, from the great buzzard who shaped the Smoky Mountains from clay to the witch whose droplets of blood bloom into stalks of corn. Experience animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. Be pointed towards some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the park. Gaze at the majestic Rainbow Falls, the breath-taking 360-degree views atop Clingmans Dome, and hear about the deep-rooted history of the Elys Mill. Learn about the complex flora and fauna which call the mountains home. Get to know the creatures of Cades Cove and learn how wildfires form an integral part of the vast and interconnected ecosystem. As you drive, audio stories will automatically pop up and start playing, allowing you to keep your attention on the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

2. Great Smoky Mountains NP & Cades Cove Self-Guided Tour

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains at your own pace with a self-guided and self-driving tour. Hike to Alum Cave, enjoy a panoramic view from Charles Overlook, and discover Cades Coves from the comfort of your own car. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one.. Drive to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to start your journey. After exploring the Visitor Center, head past the Mingus Mill, a remnant of a once-thriving town. As you drive to Beech Flats Quiet Walkway, hear accounts of the Cherokee people who once lived here. Learn about their legends and their struggle to hold onto their land. Once you arrive, enjoy a meditative stroll through nature. Hop back into your car and head to Charles Webb Overlook, which offers a panoramic view of the park. Once you’ve snapped some stunning photos, continue toward Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, for more unparalleled views of the mountains. Continue to the trail for Alum Cave, one of the most popular hikes in the park. If you wish, take the moderate 4.4-mile roundtrip trail for beautiful panoramas and fascinating rock formations. After your hike, drive to Chimney Tops Overlook, offering more stunning mountain views. Next, enjoy an easy wilderness walk at Balsam Point. As you continue past yet another incredible vista and another secluded walkway, hear little-known park history. Jump back in your car and drive towards Gatlinburg, stopping on the way to check out the pristine Cataract Falls. In Gatlinburg, pass the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Drive past Ogle Place, an old-timey homestead dating back to the 1800s, before arriving at Rainbow Falls. Continue your drive past several more waterfalls and the historic cabins of Ephraim Bales and Reagan Tub, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. Finally, finish your Great Smoky National Park tour with a visit to the old Ely’s Mill, which is still in operation today. Start the second part of your combination tour, discovering Cades Coves, just west of Gatlinburg. From there, continue west toward the scenic loop. The first landmark on your route is John Oliver Place, once home to some of the first homesteaders to make a living here. After that, pass 3 churches dating back to the 1800s and uncover the devastating impact of the Civil War on this community. Drive to Elijah Oliver Place, a beautifully-preserved homestead offering an authentic look at early pioneer life. If you wish to stretch your legs, hike to Abrams Falls, a secluded, powerful waterfall. Next, drive to Tipton Place. Finally, reach the Carter Shields Cabin, another idyllic homestead from a bygone era. Finish your tour at the start of the loop as you hear about the last family to call the cove home.

Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

3. Smoky Mountains: Sightseeing Flex Pass

Discover the thrilling, dazzling, historic, and adventurous with a Tennessee Sightseeing Flex Pass. Access top attractions and tours throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the scenic Smokies all in one pass. Take advantage of full admission to attractions or save up to 30% on entry costs. Let your Flex Pass take you into the great outdoors and see the natural splendor of the Smokey Mountains up close and personal: select between a 3-attraction or a 5-attraction pass and choose what you want to enjoy when you arrive. Coast down whitewater in a raft or take in the sights from a thrilling vantage point on the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Ride. Have your breath taken away from the top of Gatlinburg Space Needle. Experience the awe-inspiring vision of the Great Smoky Mountains, where colorful fog-rich forests surround majestic Appalachian peaks this renowned Tennessee UNESCO World Heritage Site. Partner Tennessee’s exciting outdoor marvels with family-friendly and group-friendly attractions. Play around at the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum or Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud. Learn the history of the world’s most famous tragic transatlantic ocean liner at the Titanic Museum Attraction, then catch a dazzling magic show at Wonderworks. Whatever activities you choose, enjoy the convenience of an all-in-one pass. Top Attractions: • Best of Smoky Mountain Special Tour - Rocky Top Tours • Beyond the Lens • Escape Game Pigeon Forge • Smoky Mountain Rafting - Upper Pigeon River• Smoky Mountain Rafting - Lower Pigeon River • Titanic Attraction • Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud • Dolly’s Rags to Riches - Rocky Top Tours • Rocky Top Mountain Coaster • Gatlinburg Pinball Museum • Rainforest Adventure Zoo • Wonderworks • The Best of Three Cities Tour - Rocky Top Tours

From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

4. From Pigeon Forge: Roaring Fork 2.5-Hour Jeep Tour

With your hands on your camera and your guide’s hands on the steering wheel, head toward a road where tour busses can’t go. The heavily forested Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a single lane road.  Along the way you’ll learn of the hardwood forest in the Smoky Mountains. A narrow, paved path through chestnut oak, white oak, magnolia, maple and tulip trees take you to the pinnacle, where stops at overlooks give you striking views. Historic structures dot the road’s edges. This was the American Frontier in the 1830s and 1840s.  From Roaring Fork, it’s one last pass through Gatlinburg on the way to a thrilling off-roading ride through a trail on private land. Your professional guide has been expertly trained to give you an experience unlike any other in the Great Smoky Mountains.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Gatlinburg

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What people are saying about Gatlinburg

Without this app, we would not have had the information about the site or spot and would have bypassed sites by just driving by. It kept the kids amused and informed as well. It made for good conversation along the way in our vehicle!

We really enjoyed the narration, great history to the entire park. I wish they did this for other N.P. There were a couple times the narration cut off and started a new area, but you can go back on the app to complete that area.

give your self time to set it up and allow it to synch. i put it on apple play and the entire vehicle enjoyed the history and guidance. excellent. program. It triggers when you reach a key point and is very informative.

Was very interesting. Nice drive work good information provided. Worth the money

Loved hearing the history of the Smokey Mountains.