Destination Guide: Tennessee

Notable Cities: Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville


Beyond the Great Smoky Mountains lies a vibrant community of rustic arts, Appalachian culture and people who know how to have fun. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge sit right near the scenic mountains, which are ripe for exploring. And there always seems to be some kind of festival or celebration going on, so be sure to immerse yourself in everything that makes this region so unique. With all the wilderness and attractions you can handle, are you ready for a vacation to the Smoky Mountains?

Must-See Attractions


Cade’s Cove. Photo courtesy of Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
You most likely came to Tennessee to visit the Smoky Mountains, which are the most popular national park in the country. There is so much to explore for every kind of difficulty, it’s hard to narrow it down: Rocky Top, Grotto and Laurel Falls, Cades Cove, Alum Cave, Chimney Tops, Trillium Gap, Mt. Le Conte (top photo), Ramsey Cascades – the mountains are guaranteed to keep you busy. Get out there and see where the trails take you. Just watch out for bears!

Ober Gatlinburg
No matter what season it is, bring your skis. Ober Gatlinburg is one of those rare parks that are open daily, year-round, so you can enjoy the snow whenever you’d like. You can even snowboard or go tubing, which is one of the most popular activities at the park and Gatlinburg. Though some attractions are seasonal, Ober Gatlinburg features an alpine slide, ice rink, mini-golf, life-size maze and more.

Wild Eagle photo shoot for promotions. Photos by

Photo courtesy of Dollywood Company.

Named after Smoky Mountains native Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the premier attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. And like any amusement park, it has its fair share of thrilling rides – Blazing Fury, Barnstormer, FireChaser Express, Wild Eagle – as well as special shows and events for the whole family. Spend a couple of days at the park and bring your swimsuits during the summer for Dollywood’s Splash Country.

Also Try…

Festivals and Events

  • SpringFest/Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade (Throughout spring)
  • Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival (Summer)
  • OktOBERfest (October)


Smoky moonshine

Photo courtesy of Ole Smoky Moonshine.

  • Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort in Gatlinburg is the largest artificial skiing surface in the world.
  • Most people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than any other national park in the United States. More than nine million visitors explore the park each year, compared to the four million who visit the Grand Canyon, which is second on the list.
  • Here’s an interesting one: the Great Smoky Mountains are actually considered the “Salamander Capital of the World,” with a total of 30 species roaming around. Some can be quite colorful!
  • It is legal to drink moonshine in Tennessee.

Suggested Resorts


Photo courtesy of Charlie S. from White Oak Lodge and Resort.

Member Feedback

Photo courtesy of member Donald K.

Be on the lookout for bears! Photo courtesy of member Donald K.

“We had the time of our lives during our five-day adventure. The only negative: we didn’t get to stay longer. Perhaps we will the next time.”
Jerry S. (Wyndham Smoky Mountains Resort – Sevierville, Tennessee)

“We went hiking for our entertainment but we do plan to go back as a family. There are so many things to do, it would take at least a month to do them all. We plan to do the Space Needle, aquarium, sky lift, and take in a show on the next trip.”
Danna W. (White Oak Lodge and Resort – Gatlinburg, Tennessee) 

“We had a wonderful time at the White Oak Lodge and Cabins. The view of the mountains was awesome! The cabin was cozy and very comfortable. The staff was very helpful and friendly. We were only 10 miles from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The drive to both places was scenic and beautiful. We enjoyed the quietness of the cabin location. We will definitely stay there again. Keep up the great job!”
-Rebecca R. (White Oak Lodge and Resort – Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.

2 thoughts on “Destination Guide: Tennessee

    • Hi Roger,

      We aren’t sure what dates you are looking for, so we suggest giving our Vacation Specialists a call at 866-467-9007. We generally don’t put Peak Season online, which may be why you aren’t finding any units. You can also book units up to 12 months in advance if you’re looking for next summer. Hope this helps!

      -Happy Travels

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