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Tennessee Places To Stay > About > Smoky Mountains

About Smoky Mountains

Information for Vacations in The Smoky Mountains

The native Cherokee Indians used the word “Shaconage” to describe the mountains that now make up the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The Indian word means “blue, like smoke,” and is an excellent description of the area.  Located in the Appalachian Mountains, the Park includes some of the oldest mountains in the world.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited of any U.S. National Park, attracting over 9 million visitors annually, many of whom choose to stay in the local vacation rental homes, cabins and condos.

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The area around The Smoky Mountains National Park offers accomodations in Georgia, Tennessee, or North Carolina. Choose a vacation near any of the Smoky Mountains's local attactions that offers quiet comfort while making the most of the beautiful mountain areas at affordably priced rates.

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You can choose to hike the trails throughout the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, fish or raft on the streams, or ski the nearby mountain slopes. In addition, in Gatlinburg, the northern gateway to the Park, many man-made attractions have been built in the area, including Dollywood, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and the Guinness World of Records Museum. The North Carolina gateway is Cherokee, is a Smoky Mountain vacation destination with plenty of fun activities, including museums, amusement parks, casino, hiking trails, and scenic drives.


Arts In The Park takes place on Memorial day in nearby Blue Ridge, Georgia, featuring over 200 arts, crafts and food booths in downtown Blue Ridge City Park. The Annual Cherokee Indian Fair in October on the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds  is a nearly century-old celebration, including artwork, crafts, agricultural items and traditional food items made by local artisans. Gatlinburg hosts the North American Country Music Association awards ceremony in early March, and celebrates Independence day with the Midnight Parade in the early morning hours of July 4.

Mountain Activities

Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area offers 8 ski trails, served by 3 lifts and boasts access to the ski area from downtown Gatlinburg on America's Largest Aerial Tramway using two 120 passenger cars. While well known for the skiing and snowboarding, in the summer and fall it offers spectacular backgrounds for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, and fishing.


The Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course is open year-round with modern facilities and a fully equipped pro shop, and has been acclaimed as one of the most picturesque courses in America with breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Cherokee offers two classic mountain golf courses, both offer challenging 18-hole play on scenic rolling hills with wide vistas.


Before the arrival of Europeans to the area, The Smoky Mountains were in the area settled by the Cherokee Nation, a peaceful tribe that did extensive farming.  The area of Cades Cove was the first settlement within what is now the National Park, established in 1818. Many of the structures in Cades Cove have been preserved and the area is the most visited in the Park.

When the U.S. Congress established the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1934, the town of Gatlinburg and the surrounding area had a population of about 600. The Park drew 40,000 visitors the first year it opened, and an estimated 500,000 visitors in the second year. The Park and the surrounding areas have been a major holiday vacation destination ever since.












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