There are countless numbers of fun and exciting things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, starting with visiting a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center. From historical exhibits to unique programs, there is a ton of fun things to do here you cannot find anywhere else in the area.
To discover all of our favorite things about visiting a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, read below!
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Newsletter
One of our favorite things you can find at a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park newsletter. Issued in conjunction with the National Park Service, the Smokies Guide newsletter is an amazing way to stay up-to-date on park information and to discover fun and exciting things planned during your visit. This information can include tips about the wildlife, upcoming events or programs, historical tidbits, and more!
The best part is, they are completely free to pick up! All you have to do is swing by your favorite Smoky Mountain Visitor Center and there they will be.
In addition to the Smokies Guide newsletter, a trip to the Smoky Mountain Visitor Center is also the best place to find a variety of unique books all dedicated to the national park. Whether you want to learn a bit more about the park’s history, the people who once lived there, the intricate ecosystem, or anything else, you are sure to find a book to match these needs.
Our favorite are the books that contain pictures of what the area once looked like. There is also a collection of unique souvenirs and memorabilia you can pick up when you’re here that make the perfect gifts or mementos from your trip.
Books and other reading materials are not the only reason to visit a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center. There is also a slew of exciting events planned at the centers that you and your loved ones are sure to enjoy, including the ranger-led programs.
During these events, you and your family or group are invited to join one of the experienced National Park rangers on an exciting tour of the area. These tours include walking around the visitor center, exploring a hiking trail,
These activities are particularly exciting for kids as it allows them to experience a side of the park they may not have had the chance yet. It also introduced them to the popular Junior Ranger Program where they can learn even more about the park.
For the current list of all of the upcoming Smoky Mountain Visitor Center ranger-led programs, click here.
4. Indoor and Outdoor Natural History Exhibits
Last, but not least, we love spending time at a Smoky Mountain Visitor Center because there is always a fun new exhibit to discover there. Whether it is a collection of ancient artifacts or touring one of the two working grist mills, there is never a shortage of exciting things to learn and see when you visit one of the centers.
Our favorite is the 20-minute films about the history of the national park found at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. There is also a dedicated exhibit to Southern Mountain life found at the Cades Cove Visitor Center we enjoy.
Your Favorite Smoky Mountain Visitor Center
There are several visitor centers found in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To find the location of your favorite Smoky Mountain Visitor Center, use the map below!
If you enjoyed reading this, check out our blog about The Only Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Smoky Mountain Visitor Center Map and Guide You Need for Your Vacation.