When you come to the Smoky Mountains area it can be overwhelming with all the attractions, hiking, restaurants, shopping, and so on. With the average stay being between 3-4 days you simply can’t see it all. Over the next few days we’ll be posting a sample Smoky Mountains Vacation Itinerary of things to see and places to go during your visit.
Day 1 of your Smoky Mountains Vacation Itinerary…..Heading into the National Park. Almost everyone wants to see some bears during their vacation. There is approximately one bear per square mile in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but your best chance to see the black bears are at Cades Cove. TIP-Look for bears in the morning or early evening hours! Try looking for them in the morning around their favorite feeding places such as oak or fruit trees, streams and berry patches. Just remember to stay away from these areas and view the animals from afar.
Cades Cove is roughly a one hour drive from the cabin. The Cades Cove Loop Road is open daily from sunrise until sunset, weather permitting. There is one exception, the road is closed to vehicle traffic every Wednesday and Saturday until 10 a.m. from May 10 to September 27, 2017.
Get up early….before dawn and have breakfast at the cabin and head out to Cades Cove. We also suggest packing your lunch and taking it with you as there are not many places for you to stop and eat.
The Cades Cove Loop Road is a scenic roadway that stretches 11-miles in total around the secluded area. Along this drive, you will find historic home sites, rolling mountain views and acres upon acres of open fields.
After taking in all the sights at Cades Cove head back towards Townsend and tour the Tuckaleechee Caverns, known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies” Carved inside the earth’s oldest mountain chain and estimated to be between twenty
to thirty million years old. You will find the “BigRoom” on one end of the tour that could almost fit a football stadium inside it. On the other half of the tour you get to view “SilverFalls”. It falls 210 feet from top to bottom and the tallest subterranean waterfall
in the Eastern US . Millions of formations are viewed along the 1.25 mile round trip adventure. Cost is Adult – $17.00
Child (5 – 11) – $8.00, Child (4 – Under) – FREE.
Head back into the park towards Sugarlands (Gatlinburg) and you can see Meigs Falls. Meigs Falls is viewable from a pull off along Little River Rd between Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Townsend Wye. Nearby on the Little River is an area called “The Sinks” with a small but powerful cascade.
Continuing back towards Sugarlands (Gatlinburg) you now come upon Laurel Falls. Laurel Falls is an extremely popular destination within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thus, parking can be a problem during peak season. Roundtrip, the hike to Laurel Falls and back is 2.3 miles. Hikers will climb roughly 314 feet in elevation before arriving at the 80-foot waterfall. The hike is well worth it though – Laurel Falls is very photogenic!
Once your done hiking to Laurel Falls, head back to the cabin, soak in the hot tub, shower and head out to dinner at “The Old Mill” restaurant in Pigeon Forge. The Old Mill Restaurant is known for their old-fashioned, classic Southern food; and they’ve gained reputation as one of the best restaurants in the Smokies.
After a day like this, you’ll be tired but it was well worth it. Tomorrow I’ll be posting an example of day two of your Smoky Mountains Vacation Itinerary.
Looking for more ideas about where to stay, what to do and places to dine? Check out our full website www.dancingbearfoot.com
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