The Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee have been one of the nation’s premier vacation destinations for decades. Ever since the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1930s, people from all over the world have gravitated toward this easily accessible yet uniquely beautiful part of the country. The national park itself is a treasured recreational resource thanks to some 800 miles of hiking trails as well as numerous campgrounds, picnic areas, fishable rivers and streams, historic structures and some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River.
An initial surge of tourism in the 1940s eventually led to the growth of nearby Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, to the point that today, those communities collectively are a major draw in their own right. The arts and crafts industry got its start in Gatlinburg and helped fuel the early evolution of tourism in the Smokies. Following in those footsteps, family-friendly attractions began to flourish throughout the area, the most notable of which is known today as Dollywood, one of the most popular theme parks in the nation. Along the way, shops and outlet malls, restaurants and Smoky Mountain hotel properties began to grow in number to help serve the needs of all those visitors.
Today, Tennessee’s Smokies are the answer to the question, “Where can our family go for a vacation everyone will remember?” From the awe-inspiring beauty of the mountains to the action-packed streets of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, your options are virtually endless when it comes to planning the trip of a lifetime.