3. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
The Great Smoky Mountains (also known as “The Smokies”) are wedged between North Carolina and Tennessee. With some of the most beautiful and lush country in the U.S., the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal summer destination for watching wildlife and being surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Plus, history buffs can explore some of the park’s more than 90 historic buildings, including log cabins, barns, churches and schools.
While in the area, head to the Bryson City Train depot and enjoy a ride around the mountains by hopping aboard The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, or visit the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina to watch an authentic Powwow.
Another great spot is Cataloochee Valley, one of the original pioneer settlements in the area with many of the original buildings to visit. With the reintroduction of Elk in 2001, you’re almost certain to spy some in Cataloochee Valley as well.
Travel Tip: The National Park Service offers a schedule of free events for the whole family this summer. Plan a guided walk with a park ranger, explore on a guided open-air hayride, and learn about the wilderness with nature bingo.
Did You Know? Bars are easy to pack and are a quick snack to keep your energy up – whether you’re on a big hike, or just exploring town. Available at Starbucks stores nationwide, Evolution Harvest Bars deliver great taste and natural nutrition, and two flavors are Certified Gluten-Free.