During our visit to Tennessee last year, my parents planned for us to spend a day in Gatlinburg, a city on the border to North Carolina. Gatlinburg is a (kitschy) mountain resort town, but although we had lunch and moonshine tastings there later in the day, the major draw for us was Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the park is also the most visited national park in the US.
The Great Smoky Mountains (or “Smokies”) are actually part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which in turn are a part of the Appalachian Mountains. When we went, it was mid-March, which means we were a couple weeks too early to catch the real beauty of the park. Much of it was still trees without leaves and melting ice and snow on the side of the road.
Nonetheless, it was still a beautiful drive. We went all the way to the state border, where the Appalachian Trail runs through. Since there are more trips to Tennessee in the future, I am looking forward to seeing more of the park during the spring and summer months.