Spend Your Vacation Outdoors

Spend your vacation outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer. As you plan your next vacation consider all of the amazing experiences that await you in the Great Smoky Mountains. Nature, wildlife, peace and tranquility that offer you time to disconnect. Whether you are traveling alone or with family, we want to make your next trip the best. Some of the places we mention are our personal favorites and offer great views and plenty of fun.

Spend Your Vacation Outdoors – Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is known for great views for up to 100 miles on a clear day. The concrete observation tower offers visitors a wonderful view of the Smokies in all directions.

To access the tower take a short 7 mile drive on Newfound Gap Road. There is plenty of parking available when you reach the destination. The rest of the trip entails a half mile walk on paved surface. Bring cameras, water and binoculars if you have them.

Newfound Gap Road

If you love being outdoors and a good drive then a trip on Newfound Gap Road is perfect for you. Newfound Gap is known as one of the most popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. With an elevation of 5,056 feet, it is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Newfound Gap Road is a 33 mile stretch that spans from Gatlinburg to Cherokee. The landscape during your drive is something everyone should witness. There are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the views during your trip.

– Rockefeller Memorial

– Clingmans Dome Road

– Mingus Mill

– Campbell Overlook

These are a are a few of the popular stops. There are many more places to pull over and get out for a stretch.

Spend Your Vacation Outdoors and Explore Cades Cove

Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers visitors a great chance to view wildlife in the entire park. Some of these include deer, black bear, turkey, fox, skunk and many others. Cades Cove is a valley with a long and rich history, from the Cherokee Indians to the first European settlers. In addition, There are many kinds of historic buildings and structures remaining in the cave, which will pique your interest.

Hiking in Cades Cove

If you enjoy hiking Cades Cove offers some wonderful options for everyone from beginner to advanced hiker.

These are some of our favorite trails in Cades Cove:

Abrams Falls – A popular 5.2-mile trail that attracts many hikers daily. The path takes you on a scenic journey through nature and provides a spectacular view. At the end of the path is a 20 foot waterfall that is well worth the trip. Moderate in difficulty, so practice good safety and always plan ahead.

Ace Gap – A relatively flat trail that is less difficult to travel. In addition, Great views and well worth the trip

The trailhead for the Rich Mountain Loop is located about 50 feet past the gate on the right. beautiful wildflowers can be seen on this trail. Take a camera and plan ahead, the trail can get rough.

Hike through the Alum Cave Trail

This is an incredibly scenic trail that gives amazing views of the natural mountainside and forest. Above all, the trail is challenging, gaining about 1100 ft in elevation. For their efforts and perseverance, hikers are rewarded with the amazing sights of Arch rock, Inspiration point, Alum cave buff, and Monte Le Conte.

Get To Know Townsend

Last but certainly not least on the list is Townsend, TN. If you decide to stay with us at The Highland Manor Inn you are already ahead of the game. Known as the peaceful side of the Smokies, this quaint lil town is located at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Townsend is the perfect place to kick back relax and take in all of the nearby shops, venues, attractions and of course the Smoky Mountains. No matter what age you are, you will find plenty of things to do in Townsend and our neighboring towns.


We make planning your escape to the Smoky Mountains easy. Call us to book your room with Smoky Mountain Views and let us do the rest: (865) 448-2211