The awesome destinations for your Jeep adventure are nearly endless! What do you love to do? You can likely find it in the Smokies. Often people ask us where they can get their feet wet in the creek and get out and discover some of the historical areas of the park. We have provided some of our favorite areas to visit and learn more about what makes the Smokies such a special place.
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
Probably the finest museum capturing all the nature, beauty and spirit of Southern Appalachia you will ever see, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization dedicating to preserving the history and culture of the Tennessee man from Native American to European Pioneer and on. The Heritage Center provides scout programs, field trip opportunities, facility rentals, and special events like the Fiber Arts Festival, Music of the Mountains, Spring Concert Series and more. See more information. http://www.gsmheritagecenter.org
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Hosting over 9 million visitors annually, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park. It is a landscape that combines natural and cultural history beautifully. History unfolds before the eyes, emerging from lush forests and rich lowland valleys. Over 1,500 flowering shrubs and plants, 124 species of trees, 60 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, nearly 70 kinds of fish and 80 varieties of reptiles and amphibians all call the Smokies home. You can hike, fish, bike and even camp in certain parts of the park. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/grsm.
Just a short distance away from Townsend is the city of Maryville. Think of it as a funky, smaller version of Knoxville and you have a starting idea of what to see and do in Maryville. There are plenty of your favorite shops and many other chains you likely don’t get regular access to. Restaurants a-plenty as well as the Foothills Mall where they have something for everyone – including movies. See more information on Maryville at http://www.maryvillegov.com/
One of the most popular recreational riverbeds in East Tennessee, the Townsend Wye is a tradition for thousands of locals and visitors every year. The Wye is just a single river cutting through the National Park running alongside the main road of Townsend, but it’s just wide enough without needing to be too wide, and shallow enough for people to enjoy swimming, fishing, tubing, what have you! There are also plenty of good spots to enjoy a simple picnic or family get-together as well. Parking is free, but you need to expect parking spaces will fill up quickly during the Summer and most vacation periods outside of Winter. Shuttles may also be available for transport. Also, as the river has no lifeguard or safety regulation in place, exercise good judgment at all times.