Since you’ve finally decided to take some time off from your busy routine, the next step is choosing a travel destination. If you need help, stick around to learn a few tips for choosing a travel destination.
Tips for choosing a travel destination
The length of your holiday is critical in choosing a travel destination. Pick a location that doesn’t eat up your days; otherwise, a long-haul flight will make you tired and stressed and deduct days from the time you have.
Your budget also matters when deciding upon a destination. Despite several destinations offering a great travel experience on a budget, it is helpful to set a limit on the amount you wish to spend.
Some remote areas might have a high flight price, with relatively affordable day-to-day expenses. However, it is the opposite for European countries, fights can be cheap, but accommodations and food can get expensive.
Lastly, ask yourself, what kind of travel experience do you want? Why not stay within the country for a holiday? Why not get away from the city and upwards towards the mountains?
If you want the best of both worlds, stay in the U.S. and head to the Great Smoky Mountains.
From gorgeous waterfalls, scenic drives, hiking, and Smoky Mountain Ziplines, there’s lots to do here. So without wasting any more time, let’s discuss a few things you could do when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.
Things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains
- Go Hiking
If you love hiking, don’t skip the hike up to Mt. LeConte. Despite being a long way to the top, the hike to Mt. LeConte is a great experience. Apart from hiking through the caves, you could also cling to the side of the mountain, getting a front-row ticket to a mesmerizing view.
There are several routes to reach the summit of MT. LeConte; from the Alum Cave Trail to Boulevard Trail and the Rainbow Falls. The Alum Cave trail is an 11-mile trip that takes up to 6-8 hours of your time.
It is a go-to trail because you can choose any time of the year to visit. However, late spring and early summers are the best time to pick this trail.
While hiking along Alum Cave Creek, you come across some beautiful views. Rhododendrons lining the Alum Cave Creek are a must-see, especially when they bloom during June and July.
- Witness the Freedom of Wildlife
Visitors to the Smokies see an abundance of wildlife, from over 200 species of birds to all kinds of woodland creatures. Whether you hike or go on a scenic drive, you will get a first-hand experience observing some amazing creatures up close.
Among the popular creatures you will see are coyotes, deers, bobcats, and elk. The mountains provide the largest protected habitat for bears in the eastern United States, with the black bear being the symbol of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Clingsman Dome is a great place to view birds that love higher elevations. Some species of birds you will get a chance to see include the Canada Warbler and Winter wren. The Great Smoky Mountains is a true wildlife paradise; however, to prevent your experience from turning sour, remember to follow safety guidelines.
- Experience White Water Rafting
Whether you are planning for a weekend gateway or a month-long vacation, white water rafting must be on your bucket list.
If you prefer going in the spring and fall, the water level can be unpredictable, so we suggest a leisure ride or a more thrilling float down the river.
A huge perk of rafting is that you don’t have to be experienced. Even if you are new to the rafting world, you can still enjoy your time on the water. Since traveling is about making memories, going rafting is a perfect opportunity to bond with family, friends, or even strangers as you work together to row down the river.
Instead of visiting the same old tourist spot, trying something new is exciting and will also get your adrenaline pumping when you are out on the water. After all, you never know if white water rafting makes the Great Smoky Mountains one of your favorite traveling spots.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you want a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, nothing’s better than taking the hot air balloon tour. Fly high above and take a bird’s eye view of Smoky Mountain’s famous landmarks.
As you go higher, jaw-dropping landscapes are already taking your breath away – take a moment to imagine how priceless the panorama of glory from above would be. Before hopping onto the adventure, remember a few things to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Be prepared to spend some money on hot air balloon tours as they are not cheap. A package deal is a plus, especially if you are traveling in a group; check with your chosen vendor to find out if they offer a discount.
- Visit Anakeesta Theme Park
Anakeesta means the ‘place of high ground’ in the Cherokee language. It is an award-winning theme park with activities that visitors of all ages can enjoy. Situated on 70 acres and 600′ above Gatlinburg, the theme park offers various rides and activities, from skywalks to rollercoasters and gem mining.
Another reason why Anakeesta theme park must be on your travel list is Astra Lumina. It is a multimedia experience unlike any other. With lighting, projection, and a cosmic soundtrack, you will be immersed in a show showing how the stars came to greet us.
Furthermore, you also get to see Mt. LeConte from the center of Heart Twigloo. It is a spot tucked away at the edge of the Anakeesta theme park.
The Heart Twigloo is made out of twigs decorated for every season.
As one might decide upon taking a break, choosing a travel destination can be tricky. Several factors play a part in picking the perfect destination, from budget to the kind of experience you want.
That said, staying in the U.S. is an excellent way of saving and experiencing one of the world’s most beautiful holiday spots – The Great Smoky Mountains.
Whether you love participating in outdoor activities or visiting theme parks, visiting the Great Smoky Mountains is an experience you’ll cherish for years.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t visited the place, but you’ll surely come again once you do.