The Great Smoky Mountains rise along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The national park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A few secondary roads, campgrounds, and other visitor facilities close in winter but you’re always welcome on the main thoroughfares and to the many attractions and hotels. About 8 inches of snowfall top the peaks each winter and an average 54 inches of rainfall pour each year, keeping the millions of trees in top beauty. From Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, there is something for everyone to see and do in the Great Smoky Mountains. Search hotels in Pigeon Forge, TN, today for your next trip into the wild.
History of the Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the first to receive federal funding. As a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, the park covers 522,419 acres and was established in 1934. With over 11 million visitors per year, the park is the most visited in the United States. The name Smoky comes from the fog that often surrounds the range giving the illusion of great plumes of smoke lifting into the air. Did you know that the fog is created by huge amounts of vegetation exhaling? A third of the trees still standing today have been exhaling for over a century.
Major Smoky Attractions to Visit
If some of those 54 inches of rain are falling during your stay, there are indoor attractions for everyone. Ripley’s Aquarium voted best in the country, is located in Gatlinburg. In the Shark Lagoon area of the aquarium, you can board a glass-bottom boat to view through 3 inches of glass the many teeth of a shark. Other features of the aquarium include colorful saltwater fish, stingrays you can touch and penguins.
Dollywood, located in Pigeon Forge, boasts a simple one-room replica of Dolly Parton’s childhood home where she lived in with her parents and 10 siblings. Her humble beginnings inspired her songwriting. She has produced 26 number 1 songs on the country billboard, making her the top female country vocalist of all time. Dolly’s amusement and water park, Dollywood, is filled with breath-taking amusement rides, musicals, festivals, holiday celebrations and more. Nestled in the peaks of Pigeon Forge since 1961, the park is 150 acres of family entertainment from mid-March through the holidays. Take the Dollywood Express, a full-sized steam-engine locomotive train through the biggest ticketed attraction in all of Tennessee. All aboard!
Visit The Great Smoky Mountains today and check out the hotels in Pigeon Forge, TN, for evening comfort and rest.