Clingmans Dome Observation Tower Closed for Repairs Through 2017

Photograph of the Clingmans Dome tower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Clingmans Dome observation tower is getting a long-awaited facelift, and it’s all thanks to you! Back in 2016, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entered a contest to win a $250,000 grant from the National Historic Preservation Trust to repair the tower. We asked you to cast your vote for the Smokies, and thousands of you stepped up to the plate to help the Great Smoky Mountains National Park win the contest. Now, all of that money is being put to good use! Continue reading

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6 Exciting Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in September You Don’t Want to Miss

fall leaves in the Smoky Mountains

September is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains! Not only is this when the weather starts to cool off and fade into fall, there are also a variety of fun and exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September that you and your family are sure to love. Continue reading

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Start Making Plans to See the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 in the Smoky Mountains

Total Solar Eclipse in the Smoky Mountains

On August 21, 2017, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will offer a front row seat to the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in almost 100 years! For a few minutes, the moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, creating an unforgettable experience for spectators. The total solar eclipse 2017 will cross the entire United States, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. Continue reading

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Famous Bluegrass Song “Rocky Top” Turns 50 Years Old

Stunning view from Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.

One of Tennessee’s most beloved songs is celebrating a milestone birthday this year! 2017 marks half a century since Felice and Boudleaux Bryant wrote the bluegrass tune “Rocky Top” in Gatlinburg, TN. Recorded by the Osborne Brothers, Lynn Anderson, and countless other artists, the song became a cultural phenomenon when it was adopted by the University of Tennessee as their football team’s unofficial fight song in the 1970s. In honor of Rocky Top’s 50th birthday, Visit My Smokies did a little research to bring you the history of the classic song. Continue reading

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Volunteer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with “Smokies Service Days”

A beautiful photo taken from an overlook on Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If you’ve always wanted to lend a helping hand in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here is your chance! The National Park Service recently announced a series of “Smokies Service Days” where ordinary people can pitch in to help maintain the park’s trails, campgrounds, cemeteries, and vegetation. Continue reading

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Smoky Mountain Black Bear Goes for a Swim in Backyard Pool [Video Included!]

The head of a black bear sticking out of the water.

When Christelle Ribeiro visited Gatlinburg, TN for her vacation, her number one goal was to see a black bear…and her trip certainly didn’t disappoint! Christelle and her family got an up close view of the area’s most famous critter when a Smoky Mountain black bear decided to take a dip in her friend’s inflatable pool. The bear’s unexpected visit was filmed on a smartphone, and the resulting video has been viewed thousands of times online. Continue reading

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Harry Potter Birthday Bash Coming to the Smoky Mountains

The Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter.

If your kids are fans of the Harry Potter series, they will definitely want to visit the Smoky Mountains this July 31st! As any devoted book reader can tell you, the 31st is Harry’s birthday, and the Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg, TN is marking the occasion with a special celebration. To help you plan your trip, Visit My Smokies has put together a guide to everything you need to know about the Harry Potter Birthday Bash in Gatlinburg. Continue reading

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5 Reasons to Have Your Family Reunion at Large Cabins in the Smoky Mountains

Grandparents and grandchildren on a deck with scenic views.

Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains are the perfect place to have your next family reunion! Located just a day’s drive from 60% of the nation’s population, the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are a convenient meeting place for your far-flung relatives. When you rent one of the large cabins in the Smoky Mountains, you’ll have an incredible home away from home for your family. Here are the top five reasons to choose a cabin for your reunion: Continue reading

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Couple Takes Epic Year-Long Road Trip to All 59 National Parks

Beautiful winding road in the Smoky Mountains.

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. National Park Service, and one American couple decided to celebrate the occasion in a big way. Stephanie Payne and Jonathan Irish set out to visit all 59 national parks in 52 weeks! From January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, Payne and Irish crisscrossed the country in an SUV and Airstream trailer, stopping at a new park each week (and sometimes, multiple parks per week). Continue reading

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Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund: Adventures in the Smoky Mountains (With Videos!)

Crusoe and Oakley at their cabin

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund visited the Smoky Mountains this summer! We had a great time with Crusoe while he was here! In case you missed any of the videos from Crusoe spending time in the Smoky Mountain area, take a look at all of his adventures with his brother Oakley in the videos below. Continue reading

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