10 Reasons to head to Smokies right now!


“Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee to me has always been too far to fathom. If it wasn’t for the cheap Allegiant Air that we flew for the very first time to Knoxville, our trip would have never been possible. If you have ever been in a complex frame of mind like me debating Smokies in your head, you must go there to see it for yourself. “

I still vividly remember that every time when I would think of going there, either I wouldn’t find enough places to motivate me into going there or I simply would discard it as any other park. I would often ask myself, is there any difference between this one and the mountains in upstate New York. And if not, then why would I burden myself into going there. After all its a long drive. And most hills are the same everywhere. Except that it’s not.

We were there in the Smokies for 2.5 days (3 nights) and we had a great time! Our day wise itinerary was:

Day 1: Knoxville airport -> Drive to Cades Cove and overnight stay at Cades Cove Campground.

Day 2: Drive to Sugarland Visitor Center for information / maps and then drive all the way to Blue Ridge Parkway. Overnight stay in Elkmont Campground for synchronous firefly viewing.

Day 3:  Drive to Newfound Gap & Clingmans Dome and Gatlinburg. Overnight stay in Elkmont Campground for synchronous firefly viewing.

So, here are my favorite reasons on why you must head to Smokies in Late May - June!

1. The World-Famous Synchronous Fireflies are a phenomenon in the Smokies.

2. Allegiant has the cheapest flights to Knoxville from Newark (We got two tickets + 1 checked bag round trip for $230, costing us just $115 per person round trip)

3. The Elkmont and the Smokemont campground is by the river. The Cades Cove has picnic area by the river.

4. The rivers and the mountains and even the ground has the smoke! And it’s for real.

5. There are many sightings of Black Bear. We saw two sightings of Black Bear in the Cades Cove area.

6. The Smokies are the southern Gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway - one of the scenic road trips in the USA.

7. Who can miss the Dolly Parton show in Gatlinburg and pork chops!

8. 3 hours’ drive from Smokies is Nashville (best known as the capital of country music) and Lynchburg (Jack Daniel’s Distillery anyone?). If you are adventurous enough, head to The Blues Highway - Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans.

9. Cades Cove Loop has a great scenic drive too. You get to see the Log Homes, Primitive Churches and the Old Mills from the 80’s in the Cades Cove area.

10. The forests here is pretty dense. 95% of the park is forested. There is no entrance fees to the park.

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