Smoky Mountains
April 13, 2022

One of the fantastic things about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that you can have fun without ever setting foot on a hiking trail! After all, not everyone enjoys hiking and some folks may have issues that limit or prevent them from physical activity. Luckily, there are plenty of awesome things to do in the park besides hiking, including excellent visitor center facilities, scenic drives and much more! Here are the top 4 things to do in the Smoky Mountains without hiking the trails:

1. Enjoy the National Park Visitor Centers

Cades Cove Visitor Center

There are several visitor centers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park where you can stop to enjoy natural history exhibits, browse through a bookstore and talk to a park ranger about anything you might want to see during your day in the park! This is also the perfect opportunity to use the restrooms and pick up some drinks or snacks from a vending machine! Many folks tend to start their day at the Sugarlands Visitor Center because it is conveniently located just south of downtown Gatlinburg, but you will also find visitor centers at Cades Cove, Oconaluftee and Clingmans Dome.

2. Park at Overlooks for Amazing Views

Another one of the things to do in the Smoky Mountains is visit the scenic overlooks, where you can park your car and soak in the amazing views of the Smokies! If you are visiting during the spring months, there may be gorgeous wildflowers for as far as the eye can see! The autumn season brings the beautiful sight of fall foliage to the area, while the wintertime features snow capped mountain peaks! Some of the most spectacular overlooks in the National Park include the Campbell Overlook, Morton’s Overlook and the Chimney Tops Overlook.

3. Take a Scenic Drive Through the Park

Cades Cove Loop Road

One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is with a scenic drive! There are 384 miles of road throughout the park, giving you plenty of chances to see panoramic views, mountain streams, historical buildings and maybe even some wildlife! Don’t miss Cades Cove Loop Road, an 11 mile one-way loop road that offers one of the park’s best places to see black bears! Some of the other popular scenic drives in the park include the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Newfound Gap Road and Clingmans Dome Road.

4. Take Some Stunning Photographs

Photography is one of the top things to do in the Smoky Mountains without hiking the trails because you’ll find plenty of great photo stops virtually anywhere in the National Park! Whether you want to take a group photo of your family among the backdrop of the mountains or a selfie to show off to your friends back home, you can be rest assured you won’t have any problem finding some incredible photo ops!

Now that you know the top things to do in the Smoky Mountains without hiking the trails, you’re ready for an exciting day in the Smokies! While we’ve let you in on some of the more popular drives in the Great Smoky Mountains Park, you’ll also want to check out these undiscovered Smoky Mountain scenic drives that you have to explore!