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8 Ways the Smoky Mountains Are Different From the Rest of the World

Black bear cub playing on pile of woodFrom the smoky fog that blankets the mountaintops to legendary music icon Dolly Parton, there’s so many things that make the Smoky Mountains different from the rest of the world. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, but here’s what we think makes the area so special:

1. National Park: Of all 58 national parks that stretch across America, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited. With over 9 million visitors each year, it’s clear that the Smokies are a top vacation destination. It could be because visiting the national park is completely free for exploration all year long.

2. Smoky Fog: The Great Smoky Mountains doesn’t hold on to the name ‘smoky’ for no reason. If you’ve ever visited the area, you’ll recognize the dense fog that covers the trees, especially in the morning hours. This fog that appears as smoke over the mountains is proof that we’re one of a kind.

3. Currency: When you travel the world, you notice many places have their own currency. While the Smoky Mountains don’t operate on their own form of money, on January 29, 2014, the U.S. Mint released a quarter featuring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

4. Dollywood: Who doesn’t love a trip to Dollywood? This is the state’s number one attraction, and it’s located right in the heart of Pigeon Forge. Dollywood is a 130-acre amusement park that is known for having exciting thrill rides, fabulous shows and true southern-cooked meals and treats. Recently, Dollywood announced a new 10-year expansion project that will total in at $300 million.

5. Black Bears: What would these mountains be, without the beautiful wildlife and gorgeous Smoky Mountain black bears? According to the National Park Service, nearly 1,500 black bears live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so there’s a good chance you’ll see one (or two!) when you visit. There may be black bears in other parts of the world, but none roam in majestic mountains like we have here.

6. Seasonal Weather: When you choose to take a vacation to many areas of the country, you typically decide whether you want a summer or winter experience. When you visit the Great Smoky Mountains, the possibilities don’t stop with summer or winter. With 4 distinct seasons, the area offers a unique experience year round. There’s a season for everyone, whether you want to stand in awe at the vibrant fall colors or the spring wildflowers, each season shows guests a little bit of a different view of the mountains.

7. Dolly Parton: Born and raised in the Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton holds a special place in each of our hearts. Even on her road to fame, she remembered her deep Smoky Mountain roots and the place that will always be her home. Still today, she continues to give back to the community that nurtured her to stardom. Not every area of the world has a lovable icon like Dolly. You can take a look at some of her milestones in our blog, ‘Dolly’s Top 5 Moments of 2013.’

8. Largest Rental Cabin: Traveling with large groups is a lot of fun, but it’s never easy trying to find a place to stay. . . unless you’re visiting the Smokies. The Big Moose Lodge is the largest cabin rental in America, located in Pigeon Forge. It can sleep up to 74 people, so no one group has to separate when vacationing together. Check out pictures of this Pigeon Forge cabin in our ‘Inside Look’ post.

With thousands of accommodations throughout the area, every group or family will be sure to find a great place to spend time together. At Visit My Smokies, we make it easy for you to find the perfect place to stay. Take a look at the ‘Where to Stay’ page on our website for a full list of accommodations and rentals.