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Is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park the Best National Park in the U.S.?

GSMNP welcome signIf you are like us, you grew up visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Every year you could hardly wait until it was time for you and your parents to pack up the car and head to the mountains! However, if we hadn’t grown up visiting the area, would we still love it just as much?

(See Related: Where and When to Spot Your Favorite Smoky Mountain Wildlife)

In a recent article by the Huffington Post, writer Tommy Burson breaks down the top 6 national parks in the United States based on admission cost, things to do, and weather patterns. Want to know how the Great Smoky Mountains National Park held up to the comparison? Continue reading!


Did you know the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the only national parks that doesn’t charge an admission price? When the park was first founded, it was the group of private citizens banding together to raise money that made the dream a reality. Thanks to the efforts of these men and women, there will never be a cost associated with visiting the Smokies.

Girl sliding down water slideThings to Do

If you have ever been to the Smoky Mountains, then you know that there are tons of fun and exciting family-friendly activities to enjoy. Inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, guests will find auto tours, hiking trails, visitor learning centers, bicycle paths, and so much more! There is no such thing as a boring day in the Smokies.


In the article, Burson named spring the best time of year to visit the Smoky Mountains. Though we at Visit My Smokies enjoy all four seasons in the Smokies, we do agree that spring is especially pleasant for vacationers looking for a calm climate to relax in.

Want to know what the weather will be like during your family’s trip? Be sure to follow our weekly weather forecasts with Smoky Mountain meteorologist Paul Poteet. You can find a new weather video every Monday and Friday on our website.

Aerial view of GatlinburgLocation

Though not specifically mentioned in the article, it is hard to talk about how amazing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is without mentioning the location. Not only are the Smokies within a days drive of two-thirds of the United State’s population, but the area itself is home to so many great things to do. If for some reason you and your family don’t feel like hiking on one of the days of your vacation, you all can just as easily find an adventure outside the park by spending the day at Dollywood or strolling the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. There is truly something for everyone that visits here.

Want to learn more about what makes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park different from other parks across the country? Be sure to check out the tab on our website dedicated solely to all things Smoky Mountains. Here you can find hiking information, fishing tips, auto tour routes, and more!

While you are there, be sure to also visit our Where to Stay tab to find the perfect vacation rental on your family’s next trip to the Smokies.