The holiday season is a great time to get in your car and head east to the Smoky Mountains. This area has so much to offer visitors, no matter their age, personal interests or abilities. The weather may be cold, but the beauty of the mountains and the hospitality of the state make it well worth a visit.
When you hit the Smokies, one of the first places you need to go is Smoky Mountain National Park, which encompasses a huge section of this area. As you drive through, you will be dazzled by a roadside waterfall, huge vistas of cloud capped mountain tops and perfect places to stop for little exploration. The Appalachian Trail runs through the area and there are a number of stops right off the road that you can park at. You can choose to take either a 15 minute or an afternoon long hike through a portion of the trail, going up to a mountain peak or just to see the woods.
Many times, at the higher levels, visitors will bring their sleds and find a place to go down a hill after a good snow. You can even get to the top of the highest point between the state and its neighbor to take in an incredible view. This spot is even better at night, as the cold clear air makes it easier to see the grand stretch of stars overhead. Along the way, you will also go through charming towns that provide good food and a place to stay overnight.
It is important to make sure you are aware of the weather in the area you will be traveling through, as the park will have to close off certain roads and access areas due to the weather. The higher elevations received more snow this time of year, which can impact travel. The Smoky Mountains are a vacation that you will never forget.