If you are craving a little time to commune with nature, there is no better place to scratch the itch than the Smoky Mountains. East Tennessee is a popular mountain destination because of the sheer beauty of the area. You can stay in a rustic cabin staring out across the peaks. It is the perfect way to leave the stress of the urban world behind.

While there is plenty of mountain vistas to enjoy, don’t think your trip to the Smokies will be boring! There is so much to do in the various towns dotting the area, you will never have a moment to be bored. You will find world-class dining options, adventure activities, museums, and even roller coasters.  To help you create the perfect vacation, we have put together these five tips.

#1 Rent a Cabin

While there are plenty of different types of accommodations available in the Smoky Mountains, one of the best ways to get the full experience is by renting a cabin. It will make you feel more at home in the mountains. Plus, it will come with an absolutely incredible view. You can find cabins to suit all sizes of groups from one to thirty, and you can get all the amenities that you desire. There are pet-friendly options for those with four-legged family members.

#2 Don’t Think Gatlinburg is All There Is

Some people make the mistake of thinking the only destination in the Smokies is Gatlinburg. While the town is lovely and full of things to do, there is more to the Smoky Mountains than G-Town. Make sure you check out some of the other amazing spots in the area including Maryville, Townsend, Rockford, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Cades Cove. You will find that each spot has its own unique flavor to add to your trip.

#3 Make Time for Dollywood

You don’t want to miss a chance to visit this world-class theme park. There are plenty of rides for the thrill seekers including roller coasters and water slides. Plus, there are amazing live performances featuring Appalachian style music, among others. The artisans will demonstrate things like glass-blowing and blacksmithing. Plus, you can catch one of the fantastic dinner shows. Make sure you take a ride on the Lightning Rod. It is the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster.

#4 Go to the Park

No matter where you are staying in East Tennessee, you need to plan to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There is no admission fee to get into the park, and there are plenty of things to do. You can hike, bicycle, check out waterfalls, camp, and look for wildlife.  Keep your eyes open, and you may see a black bear or two, but no matter what, you are guaranteed to see the beauty of nature. Wildflowers bloom the majority of the year, and the gorgeous mountain scenery is worthy of a million Instagram pictures.

#5 Check Out a Festival

When picking your vacation dates, make sure to check for festivals! There are plenty of weekends per year where you will find a fun festival to attend. You never know what you might get to experience. Hot air balloons, bluegrass, craft beer, and Scottish games are just a few of the festivals that happen in the Great Smoky Mountains.

As you can see, there is plenty to see and do. What are you waiting for? Get to planning!