Take the Mississippi Blues Highway on a Festive RV Vacation

Take a musical journey on a stretch of highway made famous for the Mississippi Delta music that has filled the air along this byway. The Mississippi Blues Highway will take you from Memphis, TN and through Mississippi and the historic towns that were written about by many memorable blues artists. You will experience the thrill of the legendary junction of Highways 61 and 49 where a blues master sold his soul. Allow enough time to stop at the blues spots and enjoy many incredible performances along the way.

While in Memphis, you should stop by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music to marvel at the more than 2,000 exhibits, including photos, instruments and costumes for stage performances. When you want the real thing, you can take a tour of the Memphis nightclubs in

Beale Street Music Festival

Beale Street Music Festival

the evening and a trip down the delta during the day. Hit the famous Beale Street and don’t forget to try some of the amazing barbecue in town.

Travel south on Highway 61 until you reach Tunica. Go to the visitor center to find out all available for you here, because there is a lot to do and see. Tour the Blues Markers for a feel for all the musical endeavors that went down in the area. Visit the Tunica Museum for more history of a bit different nature. Admission is free, and who can pass that up?

Clarksdale, a bit further down the road, offers more live music. Plenty of blues joints to visit, and a historic cotton farm to see – the Hopson Plantation. It is a pleasure to sample some of Mississippi hospitality here, and visit with other like-minded souls. The delta has its own flavor and culture which gives you a wider view of our world today.

While in Clarksdale, be sure to visit the famous nightclub Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by actor Morgan Freeman. Next door you can stop by the Delta Blues Museum for another taste of history and to explore our musical heritage. Stay a while and park your RV at Coahoma County Expo Center – reasonable rates and great amenities.

Taking Highway 49 south from Clarksdale, you will reach Greenwood with its wide variety of blues culture. There are three museums that display many historical artifacts. The Museum of the Mississippi Delta may not focus on the blues, but you can see many original paintings, drawings and a collection of items on the animals, antiques and agriculture of the Mississippi Delta. If you are in the area during October, don’t miss the Cotton Capital Blues Festival, a must for any blues lover.

Whether you take 49 or go back to Highway 61, the rest of your trip is a pleasant one, until you get to Vicksburg, when it takes on new meaning. This is a town of importance on the Mississippi Blues Highway, but also for its part in the Civil War. You can visit Vicksburg National Military Park to discover the past. Blues clubs are abundant and you can still find a lot of toe-tapping music, as well as plenty of festivals and events that happen all year long. What an RV vacation! You will have to do this again!

Posted in Mississippi RV Camping Vacation, Music Festivals, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | 1 Comment

Take Time to Smell the Roses (and Other Wildflowers)

If you’re looking for an ideal way to see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, consider

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

driving along the Newfound Gap Road, also known as US Route 441. This 33-mile road  traverses the entire park, and is the only road that does so. You can drive the length of the road in one hour as part of a longer vacation, or you can stop at all of the points of interest for many hours of enjoyment. When you do this, your motorhome really comes in handy, as you can make dinner, decide to stay for the night, or just be in the comfort of your RV rental while enjoying the scenery.

Be aware that the park’s busiest season is the summer tourist season in June through August, as well as leaf peepers who come to view the spectacular fall foliage in October. However, the wildflowers are in bloom as early as mid-March, and are abundant in April making for excellent motorhome vacations while the other tourists are still scarce.

You can drive the route from either end, starting at Gatlinburg or Cherokee. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is located less than one mile from Gatlinburg. The visitor center can provide you with maps of the park, displays of the park’s natural history, and well-informed park rangers that can answer any of your questions regarding the best sights to see on that particular day.

If it’s a warm day, you may spot other RVs on the pull-offs beside the road. Join them and splash in the crystal waters of the Little Pigeon River. After just a few miles, you’ll reach the best view in the entire park, the Campbell Overlook, where you can see Mt. LeConte, the third highest mountain in the Smoky Mountain range.

If you want to leave your motorhome and walk around, you can take a “quiet walkway” that lets you see the remains of a number of homesteads that used to occupy this area of the Smokies. Look at the remnants of foundations and chimneys, and imagine what it was like to live there.

Large parking areas at the trailheads allow tourists to park and either take the two mile hike to admire the ever-changing views of the Smokies, including a view of Mt. Mingus, or take the challenging five mile hike up to the LeConte Lodge and intersection with the Appalachian Trail. You can also get out and walk a short distance on the Appalachian Trail as you pass through Newfound Gap itself.

An easy hike is the half mile to the observation tower on top of Clingmans Dome. From this highest point in Tennessee, you can see seven different states on a clear day. There is also a 4.2-mile round-trip hike to Andrew’s Bald, which contains truly amazing displays of flowers in June.

There are also two picnic areas in the park, although you can stop and eat in the kitchen of your RV at any of the pull-offs or parking areas.

Finally, you can stop at the Oconoluftee Visitor Center before leaving the park, and see the Mountain Farm Museum. This remarkable museum consists of buildings of the original pioneers that have been relocated from throughout the park.

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Ten Great Things to Do in Goodlettsville, Tennessee!

Strategically located for fishing and hiking, fall leaf peeping tours and easy access to Nashville’s attractions, there’s always something great to do near Goodlettsville, TN! RV travelers will find dozens of historic, cultural and natural attractions within two hours’ drive of Goodlettsville. Here are ten great things to do near Goodlettsville to get you started.

  1. Belle Meade Plantation, a glorious representative of the state’s antebellum past, offers tours and educational opportunities for visitors. Relax in the slower pace as you absorb the beauty of one of Tennessee’s finest residences.
  2. Goodlettsville Antiques District is a favorite with Tennessee RV campers. Quaint shops and cafes line Main Street, tempting shoppers to spend a day hunting for treasure. Plan your day with this handy Goodlettsville Antiques District Guide.
  3. Grand Ole Opry Museum in Nashville is the heart of Music City, with performances, tours and special events sure to thrill country music fans. Check their website while making your Nashville RV campground reservations and reserve tickets to see your favorite Opry stars.
  4. Golf in Nashville – With more than two dozen golf courses in Music City and the surrounding area, you’re sure to find one that suits your style. From the Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, TN to Two Rivers in Nashville, it’s a natural for RV travelers to play golf in the Goodlettsville area.
  5. Leaf Peeping in Tennessee draws millions of visitors each year, with brilliantly colored hardwood forests, fall festivals and special foliage tours. Nashville RV camping visitors can take the train to see some of the nicest foliage, thanks to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s vintage train tours.
  6. Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

    Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

    Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area stretches across the Kentucky/Tennessee border two hours northwest of Goodlettsville. A lush reserve between two picturesque lakes, Land Between the Lakes is the kind of place RV campers won’t want to leave. Reserve your spot at one of the many campgrounds and then hike, fish, swim, ride horses, photograph wildlife and learn about this inland peninsula’s history to your heart’s content.

  7. Muddy Pond Mennonite Community, an hour and a half east of Nashville in Monterey, TN, is a step back in time. Visit the sorghum mill, shop at the mercantile for homemade goods and learn more about this close-knit community with no modern technology.
  8. Old Hickory Lake, twenty five miles up the Cumberland River from Nashville, has four hundred miles of shoreline and promises plenty of outdoor fun. Fantastic bass and crappie fishing, several full-service marinas and three Old Hickory Lake RV parks make this a wonderful way to spend your Nashville-area RV camping vacation.
  9. Study Tennessee’s Civil War History as memorialized by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area in Murfreesboro. Whether you hike one of the Tennessee Civil War Trails or tour one of Tennessee’s many Civil War battlefields, you’ll soon learn why the Volunteer State was so pivotal in the War Between the States.
  10. Take a Cruise on the General Jackson! One of the country’s largest paddlewheel riverboats, the General Jackson cruises the Cumberland to delight Nashville visitors. Take a dinner cruise or join a Tennessee Titans tailgate cruise to the game and back (tickets are included!) No matter which riverboat cruise you select, this attraction is top-ranked by our RV camping friends.

This is just a small sampling of what’s in store for you when you go RV camping in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Contact an RV rental location to book your motorhome and get ready for a terrific time in Tennessee!

Posted in Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | 3 Comments

Southwest Tennessee RV Itinerary

All along mighty I-40 in Southwest Tennessee, RV travelers will find interesting attractions and unforgettable scenery. Combine that with RV parks brimming with Southern hospitality, and you have the makings of a great springtime adventure! Follow along with us as we map a Southwest Tennessee RV itinerary.

Memphis to Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
Memphis, of course, is a rollicking Mississippi River town and home to all things Elvis. Start your trip with a stay at Graceland RV Campground, next door to the late superstar’s estate. Once you’ve toured Graceland, eaten a little barbecue and absorbed the blues on Beale Street, plan time for a stop at Shelby Farms Park, just east of the Memphis metro area off Germantown Parkway. More than four thousand acres of well-planned parkway, including thirty bodies of water, will give active campers the chance to hike, bike and fish in a beautiful setting.

Then it’s on down the road (I-40) about an hour east of Memphis to Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, where an incredible variety of songbird species fill the spring skies with song and color. You might also have the good fortune to see bald eagles, river otters and dozens of other wildlife species along the park’s scenic drives.

If you’re ready to rest for the night, we’ve heard good things about Joy-O RV Park at Denmark, TN. It’s just off I-40 in a beautiful country setting.

Alamo, Bell and Jackson
The next morning, you’re in for a treat. Two great attractions can be found just sixteen miles north of I-40 on Hwy 412. Located between the towns of Bells and Alamo, Green Frog, Tennessee is a quaint village determined to preserve the state’s great past. Be sure to visit the Cotton Museum of the South before heading one more mile up the highway to the entrance of the Tennessee Safari Park. Endangered species share the rolling pastures of Hillcrest Farm, owned by the same family since the days of Andrew Jackson.

Once you’ve absorbed the beauty and history of the Tennessee countryside, turn back toward I-40 and the multiple attractions of Jackson, Tennessee. One of the most popular is Casey Jones Village and Museum, where history, entertainment and great southern hospitality blend to create a day-long destination for RV travelers.

Have more time to spend in Jackson? Old-time music fans will love a trip to the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame. We’ve also heard rave reviews about Century Farm Winery near Jackson, where the Spivey Family has farmed since 1830.

A railroad museum, a movie car museum and Civil War Salem Cemetery Battlefield add to the appeal for RV campers lucky enough to find Jackson, Tennessee. Hoping to enjoy some baseball while on vacation? Be sure to check the schedule for the Jackson Generals, minor league team for the Seattle Mariners.

The natural beauty and historical significance of Southwest Tennessee shouldn’t be missed by RV travelers. Start planning your springtime itinerary now, and be sure to let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

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RV Travel Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway

Did you know there’s a road RV travelers can follow, from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN, that beautifully brings to life American history and a wide range of natural wonders? The Natchez Trace Parkway starts in the Mississippi River town of Natchez and rolls four hundred forty four miles north across the northwestern corner of Alabama on its way to Tennessee. Drive the entire route and you’ll come home with a deeper knowledge of early American history and the beauty of the South.

Places to See Along the Natchez Trace Parkway
So what, exactly, is there to see along this legendary Southern parkway? You won’t see flashing signs and the clutter of commerce, thanks to great planning by the National Park Service. But just off the road there’s everything an RV camper might need.

Because there are absolutely dozens of attractions along the way, let’s break the route highlights down into two types – natural and historical:

Natchez Trace Parkway Natural Attractions

We mentioned the beauty of the South along the Natchez Trace Parkway, and you’ll discover it in every season. Here are some highlights along the route:

  • Rocky Springs Trail north of Port Gibson, MS, where horseback riders and hikers will find themselves challenged by steep ridges and rocky outcroppings in a gorgeous forest setting.
  • Ross Barnett Reservoir in Central Mississippi offers some of the nicest RV campgrounds around, plus the chance to fish for the lake’s legendary catfish.
  • Tombigbee National Forest south of Tupelo, MS is a great place to stop and hike, bike or visit historic Owl Creek and Bynum Burial Mounds
  • Freedom Hills Overlook in Alabama is worth a stop, to see the sights from the highest point along the Trace.
  • Alabama’s Tishomingo State Park is a photographer’s dream, with gigantic boulder formations and a scenic drive through the heart of the Appalachian foothills.
  • Cross the mighty Tennessee River into Tennessee and find prime hiking spots like Sweetwater Branch and favorite fishing holes such as Laurel Hill Lake.
  • Continue north through southern Tennessee mining country to Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area for a chance to hike along the Highland Rim.
  • If you’re up for a strenuous hike, by all means visit Jackson Falls and Baker Bluff Overlook north of the Meriwether Lewis Memorial.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the splendid scenery to be found along the Natchez Trace Parkway! Plan time in your itinerary to follow side roads and make spontaneous detours as the sights unfold.

Natchez Trace Parkway Historical Attractions
Here are some of the historic places our readers highly recommend along the Parkway (from south to north):

All along the Natchez Trace Parkway, you’ll be offered the chance to visit historic colleges, plantations and a number of burial mounds sacred to Native American tribes. NPS visitor centers in spots like Tupelo, MS feature special events such as Dulcimer Day, Pioneer Day and living history re-enactments of early river travel and exploration.

Immerse yourself in the time of trappers and traders in towns like Pigeon Roost and French Camp, Mississippi. Make a stop at Tupelo National Battlefield for a better understanding of the war that changed the South forever. There’s literally an historic place waiting to be explored around every bend in the Parkway.

So, are you ready to follow the Natchez Trace in your RV? You’ll be happy to know the National Park Service has provided a helpful list of private and public campgrounds near the Natchez Trace Parkway (PDF). Whether you choose to camp at Elvis Presley Lake Campground near Tupelo, MS or Many Cedars Trail Ride & Campground near Hohenwald, TN, you’re sure to find a friendly, scenic campsite waiting.

Posted in Historical RV Vacation, Mississippi RV Camping Vacation, State Parks, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation | 2 Comments

What Kind of RV Traveler Are You?

Because our RV rental customers come from all fifty states, plus a fair number of overseas locations, we’ve learned there’s not just one kind of RV traveler. Depending on the way you like to travel, some RV camping destinations will have you packing your bags while others simply don’t register on the excitement meter. To help you plan the best RV vacation possible, we’ve pulled together a list of destinations likely to be enjoyed by each kind of RV camper. We hope you find it helpful!

Family-Style RV Campers
Some RV travelers love to gather up the kids and grand kids and hit the road for an adventure. If that describes you, you’re likely to love visiting amusement parks, big events like state fairs and state or national parks. Here are two great family fun destinations for your next RV camping trip:

  • Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, TN: Bring your whole family for down-home fun in the Smoky Mountains. Special events year-round make Dollywood an exciting destination anytime. Abundant area RV campgrounds keep vacation planning simple.
  • Acadia National Park – Maine: This gorgeous national park on Maine’s Atlantic Coast has something to please every member of your family. Bring the bikes and explore the park’s carriage road system and don’t miss the lighthouse tour. Bass Harbor Campground on Mount Desert Island is family-centered and friendly.

Couples Who Love RV Camping
What’s more romantic than a peaceful night spent under the trees, without actually having to sleep on the ground? RV camping is a favorite activity of couples who love spending time together. Here are two places sure to light a spark between you and your favorite RV camping companion:

  • Eureka Springs, Arkansas: This historic city in the Ozark Mountains is the perfect destination for romantic RV camping. Here’s your chance to get out into nature, visit an amazing array of shops and restaurants or have a couples massage at one of almost a dozen area spas.
  • Big Sur, California: Relax with your partner in the beauty of California’s coastal paradise. Big Sur campgrounds such as Fernwood Resort offer scenic campsites and as little or as much outdoor activity as you’d like to enjoy on your romantic getaway.

Guys or Girls Getaway RV Camping
For those who live for time away with a group of friends, RV camping offers an affordable option. Here’s one possible destination for the guys and one the girls are going to love exploring!

  • Pismo Beach, CA Classic Car Show: Load the RV with guys and gear and head for Pismo Beach, CA the third weekend in June. One of the largest classic car shows on the West Coach, this event also gives you and your friends the chance to surf, swim, fish from the pier or just relax in the sun between car show events.
  • Sedona, AZ Women’s RV Getaway: Where could you spend a more relaxing girl’s getaway weekend than in Sedona, AZ? There’s a spa on nearly every corner! Park your RV in spectacular redrock scenery and then allow yourselves to relax and be pampered at Sedona New Day Spa or any of the luxurious health and healing centers in this relaxation mecca.

Recognize yourself in any of the categories of RV campers we’ve listed? There are exciting, relaxing, romantic destinations all over America, and there’s almost always an RV campground close by. Decide what kind of camper you are and then start planning the kind of RV camping trip that suits you best.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, Arkansas RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Maine RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Theme Park RV Vacations | Leave a comment

RV Road Trip Idea – Country Music Hall of Fame

Country music has come a long way, but you don’t have to go very far to learn all about your favorite stars. Turn your RV toward Nashville, Tennessee and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. That’s where country music fans can learn about legends like Brenda Lee and  Hank Williams, while reveling in the art form that made Nashville a music epicenter.

Since 1961, the Country Music Association has been honoring the very best in country music. That tradition led quickly to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where fascinating multimedia exhibits now showcase the lives and music of the stars. Check the Hall of Fame’s website as you’re planning your vacation to learn which live performances and autograph sessions you can also enjoy during your visit.

The Hall of Fame and Museum building, located on Fifth Street in Nashville, is a visual vacation in itself. Your camera won’t stop clicking as you record the excitement of this impressive structure. Spend time soaking up the sights and sounds of country music’s home by spending at least a day roaming the Hall of Fame, as well as watching live performances and collecting autographs.

One fascinating side trip while visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame is a tour of historic RCA Studio B. Learn how great country songs were recorded there by legends like Elvis Presley.

What Else Can I See in Nashville?
If you’ve never been to Nashville, you’ll soon learn why it’s the country music capital of world! Historic Ryman Auditorium, just steps from the Country Music Hall of Fame, was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Today’s Opry is equally popular with Nashville-bound RV campers, so be sure to reserve your tickets and get in on the act.

Honkytonks featuring the hottest in country music abound near the Hall of Fame. And if you’d like to experience the zenith of country music enjoyment, plan your trip to coincide with the CMA Music Festival in June.

Where Can I Camp in Nashville?
Coming to Nashville by RV is a great choice, because Music City boasts plenty of comfortable campgrounds. Two favorites among RV campers are Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Resort and Two Rivers Campground, both conveniently close to Nashville area attractions. Nashville Country RV Park, north of downtown in Goodlettsville, can also arrange a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame and other area attractions.

Will I Be Able to Park?
Nashville’s country music tourism means you’ll find plenty of places to park around the Museum. Public lots behind the Country Music Hall of Fame are RV-friendly, if you don’t plan to bring your own vehicle. Get in touch with ParkitDowntown.com to find your best parking options.

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RV Camping Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The magic of the Great Smoky Mountains is waiting to thrill you, especially if you’re traveling in the comfort of an RV. This vacation season is the perfect time to explore the ridges and

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

hollows, forests and rivers that make Great Smoky Mountains National Park a favorite destination of our RV rental clients.

We asked our clients what, exactly, keeps drawing them back to “The Smokies” and here’s what they had to say:

  • Abundant Wildlife: The variety and abundance of wildlife you’ll find in Great Smoky Mountains National Park may come as a big surprise on your first visit. Large species like black bear, elk and white-tailed deer can be safely viewed without disturbing their natural habitats. They share the Park with smaller birds and animals such as coyotes, barred owls and salamanders, promising wildlife lovers and nature photographers plenty of vacation memories.
  • Glorious Scenery: Breathtaking sunsets and sunrises are only two of the reasons not to miss this National Park. You’ll never forget finding a secret valley filled with the famous blue haze that gives the Smokies their name. Natural attractions such as Cades Cove, Roaring Fork and Newfound Gap Road are spectacular places you’ll want to see for yourself.
  • Endless Outdoor Sports: Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn’t just for seeing from the road. Biking or hiking the trails will give you a front row seat to waterfalls, forests and streams not easily seen from the roads. If you’d like to try your hand at brook trout fishing, the streams in the Park are the place to go. There are also several horseback riding concessions and exciting whitewater rafting excursions available.
  • Unforgettable RV Campgrounds: Even though this Park features many remote areas, there are several unforgettably beautiful “front country” campgrounds accessible to RV campers. Use this link to find information on NPS campgrounds suitable for RVs within the Park. Just in case those are full, there’s an extremely helpful website, Smoky Mountains RV Campgrounds, with full information on two dozen campgrounds nearby.

There’s no doubt about it, Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be on your list of “must camps.” Our El Monte RV Rentals location in Louisville, KY is closest to the National Park. Call us to reserve your RV, and be sure to let us know about your own Great Smoky Mountains adventure!

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RVing to the CMA Music Festival!

Want to see the country music fans in your crowd go crazy? Offer to take them by RV to the annual CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee in June! The Fest is one wild and crazy fanfest filled with concerts, meet ‘n greet opportunities with the stars and a non-stop, four-day photo op. Find out how comfortable traveling to Nashville by RV can be and share the costs with several friends to make the trip very affordable. Here’s the scoop on country music fun at this annual extravaganza.

Where’s All the Action? The Country Music Association hosts this huge, four-day festival at several venues throughout Nashville. Fortunately for festival goers, shuttle buses run between venues, making getting to concerts and other events on time super easy. You’ll get to see famous country acts at LP Field, Riverfront Park, Fan Fair Hall and Sommet Center Plaza during the festival. The lineup in past years has included stars like Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift and Sugarland.

How Much Does it Cost?
To attend the CMA Music Festival, purchase a four-day pass that gives you access to every concert, party and event open to the public. Prices range from $300 to $110, depending on the level of seating at LP Field. By the way, these passes sell out months ahead of time, so start making your plans now if you’d like to attend in June. Here’s the link for ticket information. One more note: to make this trip really affordable, share costs on the RV rental and plan to cook at least part of your meals in your convenient RV kitchen.

Where Should We Camp?
The Tennessee State Fairgrounds is open for first-come, first-served RV camping for $35 per night. If that’s the option you’d like to take, click here for more CMA ticket information, and plan to arrive early!

If you’d rather stay at a campground with more amenities, you’re in luck! There are literally hundreds of RV campsites within a fifteen minute ride from downtown Nashville. Jellystone Camp – Park Nashville is twelve miles north of downtown, and very near the Grand Ole Opry. If you’re traveling with younger country music fans, this is the place for you.

Nashville Country RV Park is another highly-rated campground with fantastic amenities. Free wi-fi, a fitness center and shuttles to area attractions are all waiting at this premium campground.

Another campground possibility is Nashville KOA Campground, near the Cumberland River. The campsite hosts are well-versed in Nashville attractions, and their campsites are very pleasantly well-equipped.

How Do We Rent an RV?
Whether your group decides to RV in from Florida or pick up an RV rental at another RV rental location, El Monte RV is able to help. Contact us today at 888-337-2214 to reserve a motorhome at any of our nationwide locations.

Heading to Nashville by RV for the CMA Music Festival is an experience you won’t soon forget. Call your friends, make your plans and get ready to have a magical time in Music City!

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Smokey Bear Campground in Gatlinburg, TN

This post is provided by our friends at the Smokey Bear Campground in Gatlinburg, TN.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Bear Campground is located across from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park,  which is the most visited National Park in America. The Park offers many hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. The trails offer beautiful waterfalls, panoramic vistas, and serene old growth forests. For those who prefer to enjoy nature in the comfort of their car, the Park offers many scenic drives such as Cades Cove Loop and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. During these drives, there are many opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife…..hopefully even see a few BEARS! For the fishermen, fly fishing for native and rainbow trout is a must. The Little Pigeon River located in the Greenbrier section of the Park is only 6 miles from the campground. The real beauty of the area is in the mountains and it is FREE. Bring a picnic basket and wear good walking shoes.

Approximately 12 miles from Smoky Bear Campground is the mountain resort town of Gatlinburg, which has over 400 shops, artisan galleries, and boutiques. A few attractions include: Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium, Scenic Chair Lift, and Ober Gatlinburg, which can be reached by driving your car or riding the scenic aerial tram to the top of the mountain.

Also located in Gatlinburg is the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Travel the 8 mile Loop to enjoy the area’s time honored mountain crafts and traditional art forms. Over 180 crafts people demonstrate their skills.

For even more shopping and entertainment, Pigeon Forge, only 18 miles from the campground, is the shop-till-you-drop “Mecca” of the South and home to Dollywood Theme Park and Splash Mountain. Shopping at the many outlet mall stores will ensure that you save money on everything from clothing to home furnishings. Also visit the many theaters which offer musical productions to entertain you.

Other area options include horseback riding, white water rafting and tubing, boat rental and fishing at French Broad River and Douglas Lake. Golfing options include Bent Creek Golf Course, located only 2 ½ miles from Smoky Bear Campground, rated in the top 50 golf courses in Tennessee and designed by Gary Player.

Finally, come on back to the campground, build a fire, sit back and relax in the quiet setting of Smoky Bear Campground.

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