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Answering Your Question: Where are the Smoky Mountains?

If you’ve never been to the Smoky Mountains, you are probably wondering where they are. We want to tell you where the Smokies are located, what towns you can find nearby, and where you can enter the national park. Keep reading to find out where the Smoky Mountains are:

Where are the Smoky Mountains?

sunset in the Smoky Mountains during summerThe Great Smoky Mountains are located in Eastern Tennessee and stretch into the western portion of North Carolina. The state line goes right down the middle of the national park. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most well-known parks in the southeastern United States. It is also one of the most visited national parks in the entire country because there is no entrance fee to enter the park. The park is in Sevier County, Blount County, and Cocke County in Tennessee and Swain County and Haywood County in North Carolina.

Towns Near the Smoky Mountains

There are several towns located near the Great Smoky Mountains. They are all within a reasonable driving distance of the national park. We want to tell you more about these cities and what you can do there.


aerial view of downtown GatlinburgGatlinburg is the closest town to the national park. Travel time is about 12 minutes, and distance is 5.5 miles. Gatlinburg has all kinds of great attractions, from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. If you love Appalachian history, you should visit the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. In this area, you’ll find all kinds of shops where people make art and continue old fashion crafts. This town is also home to a ton of amazing restaurants, including Tennessee’s first pancake house, The Pancake Pantry.

Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is the next closest city to the Smoky Mountains. This town is 20 minutes from the park and is about 13 miles away. It is a great city for family fun. You can visit Dollywood, a popular theme park with shows, rides, food, and much more for the whole family. There are all kinds of dinner shows where you can be entertained and enjoy a great meal. You’ll also find plenty of shopping opportunities in this area.


knoxville tennesseeKnoxville is the largest major city near the Smokies. It is about 40 miles away and is about a 1 hour and 5 minute drive. Downtown Knoxville is somewhere you would definitely want to visit, especially if you love delicious food and eclectic shops. There are also plenty of places to shop, eat, and have fun!


On the North Carolina side of the Smokies, the largest major city is Asheville. Asheville is known for its downtown life full of little shops you can browse through, delicious food, and plenty of art. Plus, you’ll want to visit Biltmore if you decide to head to this town near the Smokies.

Entrances to the National Park

great smoky mountains national park signDid you know there are multiple entrances to get into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? The most popular entrance is the Sugarland entrance. To get to this one, you have to drive through downtown Gatlinburg. If you want to be closer to Cades Cove or Newfound Gap, you should take the Townsend entrance. This one will take you through a small mountain town. In North Carolina, you can enter the national park through the Cherokee entrance, which will take you along Newfound Gap until you reach Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Now you know where the Smoky Mountains are located and much more! Want to know more about the national park? Find out everything you want to know about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!