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Best Landmarks in Great Smoky Mountains

By: Cityseeker
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Clingmans Dome

Climbing to the top of Clingmans Dome may be challenging, but the view at the top is well worth the strenuous half-mile (0.8-kilometer) climb. At 6,643 feet (2,024 meters), Clingmans Dome claims the title of both the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the highest point in Tennessee. This spot offers unparalleled views of the Appalachian Mountains, rolling hills, lush forests, and pristine streams that are a treat to the eye. Visitors at the top of the dome can enter the observation tower to witness stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. This spot is a must-visit for those who wish to enjoy breathtaking views of the national park.

107 Park Headquarters Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Newfound Gap Road

True to its name, the Newfound Gap is a mountainous pass that was discovered more recently (1872 to be exact) than the other passes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In Appalachia, the term "gap" is used in much the same way as "pass" in the west or "notches" in New England - it means a low point found in a mountain range. To this end, the Newfound Gap is the lowest drive-able gap in the Smokies. Driving the Newfound Gap Road is one of the quickest ways to witness the wide variety of ecosystems that the national park encompasses.

Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Laurel Falls

The name Laurel Falls was inspired by the evergreen Mountain Laurel, a plant that grows and blooms near the falls in the Spring. These falls feature a height of 80 feet and cascade down smooth rocks, creating a beautiful mist that fills the air. Visitors to Laurel Falls can gaze at both the upper and lower sections of the falls from on top of a walkway that runs across the base of the upper falls. These falls can be reached by hiking along the moderate Laurel Falls trail, where hikers can also see the famed Mountain Laurel. This is a great spot to relax and admire the ethereal beauty of nature.

Laurel Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37862
Gatlinburg Space Needle

Towering at a height of 407 feet (124 meters) above Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg Space Needle is in a league of its own when it comes to offering dramatic views of the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains. For visitors to the needle, the journey is half the fun - glass elevators shoot up to the top, all the while showing off the panoramas of the surrounding areas. Visitors can also take in the views by night, when Gatlinburg is transformed into an inky-black, starry landscape.

115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Ole Smoky Moonshine

Tennessee has a history of being one of the finest produces of moonshine in the country. Today, the legal Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine distillery takes up the mantel of its Tennessean forefathers to produce some of today's finest marketable moonshine. Visitors to the distillery can sample Ole Smoky's products, including their famous "Apple Pie" moonshine which is a 'must-have'. Take a tour and learn how the distillers craft these tasty concoctions, then buy yourself a bottle to take with you.

903 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Dollywood

Named after the famous Hollywood personality Dolly Parton, Dollywood is an amusement park of epic proportions. The park is the perfect place to reconnect with your family, enjoy the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, and go on some crazy fun rides. Some of Dollywood's main attractions include rides like Blazing Fury, Dizzy Disk, and the Tennessee Tornado. Of course, Dollywood wouldn't do Dolly Parton justice if there wasn't some live entertainment - visitors to the park will be wowed by the energy that the park's performers put forth, and may even get a chance to see Dolly Parton herself!

2700 Dollywood Parks Boulevard, Pigeon Forge, TN, United States, 37863
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Standing over 200-feet (60-meters) tall, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel offers up views that are hard to beat. Sit in one of the comfortable all-glass compartments and sail up into the sky as the wheel turns 'round. The gondolas can fit eight people each, which means you can enjoy the incredible views of the Smoky Mountains with your whole family or group of friends.

131 Island Drive, The Island in Pigeon Forge, Pigeon Forge, TN, United States, 37863
Cades Cove

Despite its name, Cades Cove is a stunning valley, not a cove. Located promiscuously on the border of both Tennessee and North Carolina, the valley is known for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. Visitors to Cades Cove will marvel at the Thunderhead Mountains towering over the valley. Keep a sharp eye on the landscape - bears, white-tailed deer, coyotes, ground hogs, and turkeys have been spotted throughout the area. Visitors can also learn about the Cherokee tribes that used the valley as a hunting ground for hundreds of years and explore the 19th-Century buildings left behind by the area's first European settlers.

Cades Cove Loop Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
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