7 Fun Things To Do In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Located in the rolling hills of the Southern Appalachians, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a haven of natural beauty and a treasure trove of outdoor activities. Spanning across Tennessee and North Carolina, this national park attracts millions of visitors each year, drawn by its lush forests, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural history. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or just someone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, the Great Smoky Mountains offer something for everyone.

From scenic drives to tranquil hikes, the park’s varied landscapes promise unforgettable adventures. In this article, we’ll explore seven fun and exciting things to do in this majestic national park. Each activity is a doorway to the unique charm and splendor of the Smokies, guaranteeing an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Exploring Cades Cove

One of the park’s most beloved areas is Cades Cove, a verdant valley surrounded by mountains and steeped in history. Here, visitors can take a step back in time as they explore the preserved homesteads, churches, and barns of early settlers. The 11-mile, one-way loop road around the cove offers stunning views and is perfect for a leisurely drive or bicycle ride, especially in the early morning or late afternoon when wildlife is most active. You can often spot deer, black bears, and wild turkeys in this area, making it a prime spot for wildlife viewing. Additionally, several trails, such as the Abrams Falls Trail and the Cades Cove Nature Trail, offer more intimate encounters with the area’s natural beauty. Whether you’re capturing the scenic landscapes with your camera or simply soaking in the tranquility, Cades Cove is a must-visit destination within the park.

Hiking To Clingman Dome

Another highlight of the Great Smoky Mountains is Clingman Dome, the highest point in the park and all of Tennessee. Standing at 6,643 feet, it offers panoramic views that are simply breathtaking. The journey to the top begins with a steep half-mile walk on a paved trail, which, though challenging, is rewarding with its sweeping vistas.

At the top, the observation tower provides 360-degree views of the smokies, with visibility up to 100 miles on clear days. The cool, spruce-fir forest that surrounds Clingmans Dome is a refreshing change from the lower elevations and is home to a variety of birds and plants unique to the area. The best times to visit are either early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and to fully embrace the serene beauty of the mountains.

Experiencing The Appalachian Trail

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a proud part of the famous Appalachian Trail, a long-distance footpath that stretches over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Within the park, the trail spans about 70 miles and offers a range of hiking experiences. For those not ready for a multi-day hike, day hikes to Charlies Bunion, a rocky outcrop with exceptional views, or to the Max Patch, a bald mountain with 360-degree mountain vistas, are great options. Hiking on the Appalachian Trail is like walking through a living museum of natural history. You might see blooming wildflowers in spring, hear the song of warblers in summer, or watch leaves change colors in fall. It’s a must-do for hikers, offering a chance to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the mountains.

Wildlife Watching Opportunities

Wildlife watching is a favorite activity in the park. The national park is home to a diverse range of animals, including black bears, elk, white-tailed deer, and numerous bird species. Cades Cove and Cataloochee Valley are excellent spots for wildlife viewing, especially in the early morning or late evening. Remember to keep a safe distance from all wildlife and use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens for a closer look. Spring and fall are particularly good times to see animals as they are more active during these seasons.

Enjoying Picnicking And Camping

Picnicking and camping in the Great Smoky Mountains are great ways to immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty. There are several picnic areas throughout the park, many of which are beside streams or rivers, offering a peaceful setting for a meal outdoors. For a more extended stay, the park offers a variety of camping options, from developed campgrounds with amenities to backcountry sites for those seeking a more rustic experience.

Camping under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of nature, is an excellent way for families and friends to connect and create lasting memories. Make sure to book your campsite in advance, especially during peak seasons, and always follow the park’s guidelines for storing food and waste to protect wildlife.

Horseback Riding Adventures

For a different perspective of the park, consider a horseback riding adventure. Several stables within the park offer guided horseback rides, which typically last one to four hours. Riding through the forest on horseback is a relaxing and enjoyable way to explore the park’s natural beauty. You’ll pass through lush forests and cross streams and maybe even spot some wildlife along the way. No prior horseback riding experience is necessary, making this a great activity for the whole family. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for a safe and comfortable ride.

Visiting Historic Buildings And Museums

The Great Smoky Mountains are not only rich in natural beauty but also in cultural history. The park preserves numerous historic buildings, including log cabins, barns, churches, and grist mills, which offer a glimpse into the life of early Appalachian settlers.

The Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill near Cherokee and the historic buildings in Cades Cove provide educational and interesting experiences for visitors of all ages. Walking through these historic sites, you’ll feel a connection to the past and gain an appreciation for the early settlers’ way of life. These sites are easily accessible and provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the park’s history and culture.

Wrapping Up

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a place of endless wonder and exploration. From the historic trails of Cades Cove to the breathtaking heights of Clingmans Dome, this park has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat in nature or an adventurous exploration of the outdoors, the Smokies offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

Remember to respect the park and its inhabitants, preserve its natural beauty, and, most importantly, enjoy the incredible experiences it offers. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not just a destination; it’s an adventure that calls you back time and again.

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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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READ MORE Hassle-Free Sightseeing In Rome

The Ultimate Guide To Hassle-Free Sightseeing In Rome

BY Abdul Aziz MondalJan 31, 2024

Although it’s undeniably a beautiful city, Rome is known for being a bit of a tourist hotspot, which can make sightseeing problematic. If you’ve already booked a trip to this popular city and are worried about how you’re going to take in all the sights, then the guide below is just what you need. Read on to explore the ultimate guide to hassle-free sightseeing in Rome, with top tips and advice for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. Book Attractions In Advance  There are so many must-see local attractions and landmarks in Rome including the Vatican, the Colosseum, and the Trevi Fountain. The only problem is that every other visitor has the same idea. Although you can’t control how many people turn up to each attraction on any given day, you can pre-book your tickets to make sure that you’re not turned away at the door. Pre-booking tickets can also help to save you money on sightseeing, especially if you take the time to shop around. Outsmart The Crowds It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit; Rome is always crowded with visitors which means that crowds are unavoidable. That said, there are ways that you can outsmart other tourists and make sure that you get to see all the sights on your bucket list. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting at less popular times of the day, such as first thing in the morning or much later in the afternoon. For example, if you want to marvel at the Trevi Fountain, you need to get there by 7 a.m. at the latest, or you’ll struggle to see past the crowds. Embrace Public Transport  The easiest, cheapest, and most convenient way to get around Rome is by taking advantage of public transport such as the Metro, trams, urban railway, and buses. Although public transport in Rome can get extremely busy, it’s inexpensive and reliable. Alternatively, there are several hop on hop off bus tours in Rome that allow you to explore the city at your own pace without the expense of car rental or booking local taxis. Look For Authentic Restaurants  For foodies, there’s no better city to visit than Rome, with some of the best food in the world. That said, there are still lots of restaurants and cafes in the capital that offer poor quality, over-priced food served by impolite waiting staff. To make sure you don’t splash your cash on an inferior dining experience, avoid booking a table at any of the known tourist eateries, and instead, look for more authentic restaurants that are favored by the locals. If you’re not sure where to find them, why not strike up a friendly conversation with a local in a bar or café and ask them where they like to go for lunch? Book A Guided Tour  If you’re worried about wasting your precious vacation waiting in long lines, then you may want to consider booking a guided tour. These often enable you to skip the lines, ensuring you can fit in as many local attractions as possible. Otherwise, if you’re really short on time, you could choose to marvel at some sights from the outside rather than waiting to explore within. Get Skip-The-Line Tickets If you want to avoid those long ticket queues in Rome, there are certain ways to do it as well. almost all of the major attractions that Rome has to offer have skip-the-line tickets that provide you with the fastest way to get to the place you want to visit. Whether you are looking for Borghese Gallery tickets, St. Peter’s Basilica tickets, Vatican Museum tickets, or Colosseum tickets, ensure that you get some skip-the-line tickets for yourself and visit the attraction with ease. get the tickets online before time and get to the security gates directly. You might have to go through the security checks, but after that, you can go and enjoy the place without any hassle. this is one of the easiest ways to have hassle-free sightseeing in Rome. Ensure You Are Choosing The Right Entrance It is always recommended that you do all the homework before you visit any of these world-renowned attractions in Rome. Needless to say, all of these places would be extremely crowded. Most of the time, these landmarks have more than one dedicated entrance. So, before you head to the destination, you need to figure out which entrance is going to be the one best suited for you. Get The Roma Pass It is best to get a Roma Pass and get hassle-free sightseeing in Rome. With this pass, you get a bypass through the tourist crowds and the ticketing queues. this pass gives you the luxury of visiting 35 monuments and landmarks. This pass gets you a discount on the tickets, and for some monuments, it is free as well for some monuments. It also gives you free access to some public transportation. You get to save almost 20 to 50% on the tickets, but that depends on how many attractions you are visiting. Visit Rome In The Off-Season The time from November to March is the shoulder season or off-season in Rome. during this time, most people have the tendency to go to a place where they can bask under the sun and enjoy the weather; Rome stays a little less crowded during this time. Well, even if I am saying it is less crowded, you will find some crowd over there. But it is less than the hundreds of thousands that you see in the spring and summer seasons. This is a lovely time to visit Rome, and you are not going to regret it. Ending Note Rome can attract over 10 million people in one year. This means that when you visit the city, you do it in queues and long lines. But to go through hassle-free sightseeing in Rome, you can try some of the things mentioned above, and I am sure you will notice the difference.

READ MORE best places to visit in sikkim

10 Best Places To Visit In Sikkim

BY Krishnendu SheetMar 23, 2019

Sikkim borders Bhutan, Nepal, and China and has been viewed to be among the Himalayan Shangri-las. This state was an independent Kingdom till 1975 when India took over it after a period of political unrest and anti-royal riots. Sikkim is not an easily accessible area in India because it is remote and you need permits. However, it is among the most refreshing and energetic destinations in India. The ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture and the mountainous beauty of Sikkim are soothing to the soul. The distance looks short but it will take you several hours to travel through it. Below is a list of some of the best places to visit in Sikkim. 10 Best Places To Visit In Sikkim: 1. Gangtok: Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim that is constructed on a crowdy ridge, 5500 feet above the sea level. When clouds clear, you are able to see all the way to the soaring peaks of Khangchendzonga National Park that was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. It is a well-organized and refreshingly clean and most tourists spend several days here to see the sights and make their travel arrangements. It is an excellent base for individuals heading off on treks. 2. Rumtek: Sikkim is a fantastic mediation place and close to two hundred monasteries dote these divine hilltops. Rumtek is the most popular monasteries in West Sikkim near Pelling and Tashiding. The other monasteries that you can visit are the old Sanga-Choeling monastery, Enchey monastery in Gangtok, Karma Kagyu monastery that has two hindered year-old murals in Phodong, North Sikkim. These monasteries hold several festivals especially near Losar in February. In July, Tse Chu features the Buddhist dances at Rumtek. Enchey is the other place that hosts the Charm festival in December and January. 3. Nathu La: Nathu La is three hours on the eastern side of the Chinese border was the main passageway on the Old Silk Route between Tibet and India before being closed in 1962. The border comprises a lone barbed wire fence and you will enjoy the strange thrill of viewing the Chinese soldiers on the other side. The most unfortunate thing is that only Indians are allowed to travel this far and only on Sundays, Saturdays, Thursdays, and Wednesdays. Also, you will have to obtain a special permit through a licensed travel agency in Gangtok. 4. Flora and Fauna Sanctuaries: Sikkim is well known for having astonishing varieties of animals, birds, and even flowers. It has more than 40 species of rhododendron, 450 varieties of orchids, 400 species of butterflies, and 450 species of birds. The Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in Singalila Range on Sikkim’s south-west corner and is the best place to visit during spring. You will get Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary close to Ravangla on the southern side of Sikkim. The other highlight near Lachung is the Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary. You can have an amazing butterfly, birding, and wildlife tour in Sikkim. 5. Yuksom and the Dzongri Trail: Sikkim is a trekking paradise and the historical Yuksom is a great trekking gateway towards Mount Khangchendzonga. If you are up to the challenge, you can trek to Rathong Glacier and Dzongri peak from Yuksom and even further on to the Goecha Peak. It is Sikkim’s most popular trek. You will pass through the powerful rivers of the Khangchendzonga National Park, magnificent rhododendron gardens, and the unspoiled forests. Spare ten days of trekking from Yuksom to the peak of Goecha and back. Foreigners must have additional permits for this trekking. 6. Yumthang Valley, Lachen, and Lachung: The Yumthang valley and Lachung are located on the northern part of Sikkim from Gangtok and nine thousand feet above the sea level close to the Chinese/Tibetan border. It is a dramatic pristine scenery that dazzles visitors. Lachung was a traditional post between Tibet and Sikkim before the annexation of Tibet to Chinese. Currently, it is the base camp for the famous trekking of the Rhododendron Valley from the Lachen valley to the Yumthang valley. The other attractions that you will find in this region include Yumesamdong or Zero Point, Lachung monastery, and the astonishing Guredongmar high-attitude Lake. It is among the highest lakes in the world with over 17,0000 feet above sea level. 7. Pelling: Pelling is a three to four-hour drive on the western side of Gangtok. It is a charmless tiny town but the best places to visit in Sikkim for the unapparelled viewing of Mount Khangchendzonga at dawn. You can lodge at the Ifseen Villa that has top budget homestays and guesthouses in the Indian Himalayas. In addition to these views, the other main attractions are the monasteries and the ruins of Rabdentse. Previously, it was Sikkim’s royal city from 1670 to 1814 and very little remains of Rabdentse nowadays. 8. Ravangla: Ravangla is along the way from Pelling to Gangtok and is highly notable for the Buddha park that has a 130-foot towering Buddha statue that surrounds the manicured gardens. The Monastic Palchen Choeling Institute is close to Ralong and houses a massive size of golden Buddha. It houses more than 100 monks and you will hear their chanting in the mid-afternoon and early morning. You can also visit a large number of other monasteries in this area. This is the only tea garden in Sikkim and it nests the tranquil Cherry resort amidst it. 9. Namchi: The giant statues are what make Namchi famous. Currently, it has two of them, one Hindu and the other Buddhist. Apparently, the third one is under planning. The Buddhist statue is approximately 140 feet tall and has a commanding position of 7,000 feet above sea level on the Samdrupte Hill. These two statues make Namchi the best places to visit in Sikkim. 10. Teesta River Rafting: The latest adventure activity is Sikkim is Rafting and you will get some world class opportunities at the Teesta River. The main path is Rongpo – Bardang – Sirwani – Makha. There is an interspersing of grade 2 to 4 with several white sandy beaches for camping at night. High gorges and cliffs, together with the strewn-boulder river beds increase the thrill. The Rangeet River has more turbulent waters that provide advanced rafting opportunities. The best time to rate in Sikkim ranges from October to December and March to May. Read Also: 6 Best Family Holiday Destinations in India10 best places to visit in ArgentinaTop 10 Places to Visit in Singapore15 Unexplored Destinations in India Worth VisitingDiscovering The 11 Most Beautiful Places Of Adventure In The World

READ MORE wedding venue

Luxurious Wedding Venues – Make Your Destination Wedding Glamorous

BY Ariana SmithFeb 28, 2021

A wedding is a big decision, but decisions related to the wedding are even bigger. Finding a location for a wedding venue is even more difficult, there is no lack of options for wedding venus, but deciding which one would be correct or in the budget is the main issue. The romantic destination wedding location options are multiple but choosing the right place is a little bit tricky. When you decide on the wedding venues, a couple of questions such as whether the wedding venue must a destination or should it be at the hometown, outside in open area or in the indoors, mountain view or beach view, after all, it is the wedding location which makes the wedding day feel special and look glamorous.  Choosing the correct place for your wedding reception and all other events is very necessary. We know all bride and groom have thousands of locations regarding choosing the best location for their wedding and related to the wedding venue. The day of the wedding is the day the big day for all Indian families and brides.  Indian wedding has always been famous, the term “big fat Indian wedding” arises from the concept of the Indians spending all their life long hard-earned money on a wedding. Read the post below to find the best places in India to ties your knot with your beloved. Luxurious Wedding Venue City Palace  Indian weddings are known for glamour, richness, decor, and rituals. The City Palace in Rajasthan is one of the best destination wedding locations. This luxurious royal palace gives you a combination of all the factors of an Indian wedding. The most luxurious wedding is held in the City Palace in Rajasthan.  The Mewar Royal family still resides in the City palace while the rest of the palace is led out for destination marriages. There are many Venues in the City Palace and you can choose any of the venues based on your budget.  The Venues are Jagmandir Island Palace, Manek Chowk, Zana Mahal, Mor Chowk.  Jagmandir Island Palace is one of the most premium choices and most chosen for a destination wedding. Many celebrities have married in this venue, this palace is situated on an island. It is one of the most admired wedding locations and it accommodates 5000 guests at a time.   Manek Chowk in City Palace Here, the wedding is held in typical Mughal Style and is encouraged by a lot of high-class, high-level Indians. The lavishness of the Manek Chowk has always caught the attention of the newspapers and the breaking news.  The Mewar royal families still dwell in this palace, and it is famous for the illumination all over the palace. It can accommodate up to 1000 guests in the most luxurious ways. Zana Mahal in City Palace The mahal is famous for its candlelight decoration. This feel and the ambiance of extreme fulfillment are relinquished by the floral decoration and the central fountain. Rajasthan is the city of the Palace, and this feature is making the pink city the best destination for a wedding.  The setting and the backdrop of the Zana palace are magical, and it marks the beauty of the pious knot to be made. The Zana Mahal is known as the Queen’s Palace, and it accommodates up to 500 guests at a time. Mor Chowk in City Palace This section of the City Palace is best for any homely or intimate Indian wedding. It offers a mesmerizing tunnel entry and is also referred to as a peacock courtyard, where it is said that often peacock is seen. When you are searching for the best destination weddings, then the City Palace’s name comes first. City palace itself has multiple areas suitable for big weddings. This is an exquisite location for any small family's luxurious wedding. It caters to up to 50 guests in the Mor Chowk, very comfortably. Budget in City Palace in City Palace In City Palace, you need not worry about the decoration because it will be included in the budget placed for any of the venues. But never the less if you want to hire decorators from outside, you may. City Palace charges 6,00,000 - 15,00,000 for the day of wedding while for events before and after it charges 2,00,000 to 4,00,000.  Serene Wedding Venue Rambagh Palace The hot burning sand of Rajasthan also offers you some most exquisite romance-drenched locations. The erstwhile, luxurious location of the rajas and maharajas of India also cater to the romantic starry night dream of any couple. The palace caters to the big and small functions of the city people as well as pan India. Couples from all over the world, come to this location to get married and make some beautiful moments here.  The Rambagh Palace has 79 rooms all together which serves all fat Indian weddings. All 79 rooms are catered under several venues in the Rambagh Palace. There are 10 venues in the exotic palace and they are named as the following,  Sunken lawn, Kesarbagh, Mughal Terrace, Jaigarh Hall, Mughal Terrace, Naksha Garden, Mubarak Mahal, Naksha Garden, Oriental Terrace, Panghat Lawn, Oriental Garden, Mughal Garden. Budget in Rambagh Palace The Rambagh Palace is much costlier than many other wedding locations in India. The budget in Rambagh Palace is much higher as it varies from 9,00,000 - 3 Crore. Decoration of the Rambagh Palace or the wedding venues is by the regular vendors of Rambagh Palace.  When you are planning for big weddings and destination wedding ideas, Rambagh Palace is the perfect place where you are getting all the modern amenities and decorations in the beautiful royal atmosphere. Romantic Wedding Venue Umaid Bhawan It is the 6th largest private residence in the world, this is the magnificent fort situated in Rajasthan, India. This is the Palace of Maharaj Umaid Singh and was built by his grandson. Umaid Bhawan is still the residence of the royal families and their descendants.  Nothing could be more majestic than this palace for a romantic wedding venue in India. The architecture of this palace is a mixture of eastern and western traditions, the finest and exquisite decor is found here. The Umaid Bhavan has six most beautiful wedding destinations for tying knots. Bricks of each of the venues speak the language of Rajasthan culture and tradition.  There are 3 indoor venues in Umaid Bhavan and 3 outdoor wedding venues.  Marwar Hall in Umaid Bhawan  It is said that the rajas and the maharajas used to host their private events in this section of the Umaid Bhawan. This is one of the indoor wedding venues in Umaid Bhawan. Now, the extravagant Marwar Hall of the Umaid Bhawan is open for all romantic weddings in India and it caters to mouth-watering Rajasthani and Continental buffet.  This banquet accommodates almost 100-180 guests in the indoor wedding section with all probable facilities. The modern decorations are making this one of the best destinations for weddings. Rathore Hall in Umaid Bhawan This place by looks has almost the same interior and decor as the Marwar Hall. Except for the fact that it is typically an old school with some Italian chandelier making the environment perfectly romantic.  The Rathore Hall accommodates almost the same amount of guests which ranges from 100-180 guests in the palace.  Chambers of Princes in Umaid Bhawan This is the comparatively indoor smaller wedding venue in the Umaid Bhawan, which accommodates 40 people in this section. Baradari Lawns in Umaid Bhawan This is one of the outdoor locations in the Umaid Bhawan Palace. This location is right in front of the palace with the palace in the backdrop so that it gives the perfect feel of royalty. This is the largest outdoor wedding venue that accommodates 750 guests at a time. Lancer Lawn in Umaid Bhawan This lawn in Umaid Bhawan also arranges equal royalty and facility for the wedding and the guests at the wedding. This romantic location holds up to 350 guests here and the decor and the ambiance is perfectly amazing. Also, the royal wedding locations mean all the richness comes together in one single royal palace. Museum Courtyard in Umaid Bhawan This is also known as the Fountain Courtyard and is best for morning weddings. It accommodates up to 75 guests here in the outdoor wedding venue with all major royalty.  Budget in Umaid Bhawan While Umaid Bhawan is one of the most exquisite and luxurious palaces in the entire country, the room changes start from 50,000- 80,000.  While you can definitely customize your package, negotiate with your decor and wedding planners. Mostly Umaid Bhawan has its own personal decor vendor unless you want to hire from outside.  Umaid Bhawan perfectly portrays the richness and the culture and tradition of Rajasthan all together.  Wrapping Up! While concluding we would also like to tell you that there are two more beautiful wedding locations or palaces that can be chosen for the same purpose.  They are the Jai Mahal Palace, and the Taj Lake Palace, which are glorious. Make your big day very special by choosing the correct marriage location. If you liked our post then comment below and let us know if we can help you with some more details.  There are many exotic wedding locations scattered all over the world. Right from the dreamy castles in France to scenic desert weddings in Dubai, it all depends on your personal preferences. In the past few years, many exotic are being planned because of the great service being offered by the different vendors. If you want to fly in exotic tulips from Amsterdam, you can always get flower delivery Dubai to get it done for you without any hassles. Read Also: The Most Unique Wedding Venues In The UK Top 5 Unique Things To Do In Udaipur 7 Key Points Remember While Planning Your Honeymoon Trip