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Vacationing In The Beautiful Smoky Mountains

Oct 31, 2007
One of the greatest places to spend a family vacation is at a National Park. There are literally dozens of National Parks to select from in the United States, each with its own unique characteristics and activities.

One of the most popular National Parks in the United States to visit is the Great Smoky National Park in Tennessee. Not only is the park a beautiful treasure, there are many activities to enjoy right outside of the park as well.

If you enjoy shopping and looking at crafts created by local artisans, the city of Pigeon Forge is a must-see. In addition to its dozens upon dozens of shopping opportunities, you can also take in great shows and even be entertained at one of the many different dinner shows the area has to offer. If you are looking for a thrill, on the other hand, you might want to visit the famous Dollywood. Here, you will find rides and attractions to please every member of your family.

Another town to visit while at the Smoky Mountains is Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg also offers many shopping and dining opportunities, as well as a number of unique and interesting museums. The Ripley's Believe it Or Not museum and a museum displaying memorabilia from the Guinness Book of World Records can both be found here. The Ripley's Aquarium is also a great experience, containing everything from seahorses to sharks and everything in between.

The park itself is the biggest draw. In fact, millions of people flock to the Smokey Mountains each year. One of the biggest attractions within the park is Cades Cove. This 11 mile, paved loop takes you through some beautiful scenery within the park. You can also pull off the road at several locations in order to take hikes. Some of the hikes will take you to old churches, houses, and more, all of which have a wonderful historical meaning. You can also take hikes to waterfalls, such as Abrams Falls, while driving through Cades Cove. Don't be surprised if you see several deer and even a black bear or two!

The number of hiking opportunities are immense in the Smoky Mountains, with many trails leading running alongside meandering rivers and ending in spectacular waterfalls. If you aren't up for hiking, however, many of the sites can be seen by car. Even some of the historical buildings in Cades Cove can be easily seen as you drive by. If you are more interested in nature, a drive down Highway 73 through the park will lead you past many treasures, including the spectacular Sinks as well as several waterfalls trickling down the sides of the mountain in many different locations.
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