Driving Tours in the Great Smoky Mountains
If you want to enjoy the Smoky Mountain scenery by car rather than foot, there are several beautiful drives in the area.
- Foothills Parkway – About 8 miles from the inn, this mountain shortcut has three parking pull-offs for panoramic photos of the Smokies. Stop at the second one and see if you can spot Christopher Place.
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail – The entrance to this one-way loop road is about 33 miles from the inn in Gatlinburg, and it is one of our favorites. You pass scenic overlooks, settler cabins, and small waterfalls.
- Cade’s Cove – It takes about an hour and a half to find this small valley, and if it is crowded it could easily take another 2 hours to drive the 11 mile loop, but it’s one of the most popular spots in the Smokies for picnicking and spotting wildlife.
- Rocky Top – Yes, this is the Rocky Top from the song. Although the road is mostly paved or graveled, a 4-wheel drive is best to visit this scenic overlook.
- Brush Creek – This loop takes you through a narrow canyon with rhododendron-covered sandstone bluffs.