This post is sponsored by Moon Travel Guides. All opinions and tips given are as always, my own.
Smoky Mountain National Park is a natural magnet for those in the midwestern states, like those of us here in Kentucky, who want to breathe in the fresh mountain air but can’t travel as far West as they would like.
Just to make sure that everyone is up to speed on their geography, the Smoky Mountain National park spans the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.
This National Park has a wide variety of activities, some you would expect like hiking, wildlife watching and chasing waterfalls. Other activities are a little more off the beaten path and hard to come by, which is where a good guidebook comes in handy, I suggest Moon Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
No matter where we end up traveling to, we always love to hit destinations that are off the beaten path and uncovering these things in the Smoky Mountains is no exception for us.
Check out these 6 Things You’d never thought of doing in the Smoky Mountains:
Visit the highest point in the Smoky’s
Clingman’s Dome is 6,643 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views.
Here is the thing, it can get crowded here, but if you take our advice you can beat some of the crowds. Take the dirt path to the left, instead of using the concrete stairs. As long as you are in shape for a bit of hiking, but the relief from the crowds is worth the hike!
Ask the locals for restaurant recommendations
This is a tip that we give no matter where the destination may be. Think of it this way, you can eat at a chain restaurant when you are back home. But places like the Wild Plum Tea Room and the Restaurant at Buckberry Creek, aren’t spots that you can visit just any old time when you are at home. Get brave, try something new!
Travel back 150 years when you visit Mingus Mill
This historic mill gives visitors a glimpse into the way things were for those living in the area in the late 1800s. Anything that shows kids that food doesn’t just magically appear on grocery store shelves is a bonus in my book, the people of Mingus Mill worked hard for the grains that they processed.
Visit a baked bean factory
Yeah, we said it. Go and visit the Bush’s Baked Beans Visitor Center. There are a lot of interactive exhibits and how often do you really get the chance to say that you got up close and personal with baked beans.
Find your new favorite playground
One of our favorite things to do as a family when we visit places is to find a new playground to explore. It gives our kids the chance to stretch their legs after a long car ride and mom and dad get to see the local scenery on the way to and from the playground. Wear Farm City Park has some of the coolest play structures that we have seen, which results in tired kids and lasting memories, a win-win in our book!
Get out and find a new favorite trail or waterfall.
You didn’t think that we would let us get away with not mentioning taking a hike or going to find a breathtaking waterfall. This is where using a quality guidebook like Moon Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will come in really handy. The trails that you pick doesn’t have to be one that is the most popular, pick one that you think that will suit you and your family the best.
Discover a ghost town
I am fascinated by ghost towns, there is something about them that leave me wondering about the stories that are left behind. Why did someone pack up and just leave? The Elkmont Ghost Town is no exception, it leaves you wondering about the people who once made their homes and businesses in this town. Rumor is these buildings are scheduled for demolition sometime in the near future, so make plans to see the town while you can.
Tell us, we would love to know what your favorite thing to do in the Smoky Mountain National park?
If you want more ideas of things to do in the Smoky Mountains, check out our article about things to do with kids in Gatlinburg.