Going from Washington D.C. to Nashville I decided to take the ‘scenic route’ as it were, and go through first the Shenandoah National Park and then the Great Smoky Mountains. I was so happy that I took this route, as it really is very different from the Shenandoah Park because here I was in between the mountains, rather than above them. And, just like Shenandoah, oh so beautiful. I realize that there is probably a lot of hiking and other activities to do in this national park, but all I was after this time was a beautiful drive from A to B.

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

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great smoky mountains

As in Shenandoah, there are plenty of overlooks when you’re driving through the Great Smoky Mountains.

great smoky mountains

My lonely little Ford Focus. Can’t believe how economical it was – I paid less than 250 dollars driving more than 4200 miles.!

great smoky mountains

I only met a few other visitors all the way through. Pretty impressive when the Great Smoky Mountains is one of, if not the most, visited national park in the United States.

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

Halfway to my final destination for that day, Gatlinburg, I took a detour to Clingman’s Dome.

great smoky mountains

There’s a view tower on the top of a mountain, so the view is pretty great.

great smoky mountains

But I actually thought the landscape was prettier further down. The mountains lived up to their name of ‘smoky’, and a lot of the trees didn’t look too healthy in this area.

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

Something that came as a surprise to me was that the great and famous Appalachian Trail came right by Clingman’s Dome. I can now rightfully say that I have been on the Appalachian Trail, if only for a few steps.

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

great smoky mountains

Exiting the Great Smoky Mountains national park and on to a night in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I got quite the sensory overload when I first drove through Gatlinburg – it is very touristy! I was lucky to find a motel in walking distance from all the fun, and the town turned out to be really nice on second sight. I started with a solid dinner at Texas Roadhouse:

great smoky mountains

Which was needed as the next thing I did was to go to a moonshine tasting at the Ole Smoky distillery. I learned that moonshine is super tasty, and ended up bringing a pint of raspberry flavor and java (coffee) flavor with me home.

great smoky mountains

I’ll never forget how she described the peach flavor: ‘Smells like kindergarten, tastes like college’, which was exactly what it did. Slightly tipsy on moonshine I spent the rest of the evening listening to bluegrass in the yard of the distillery – all round good evening.

great smoky mountains

Gotta love the rocking chairs and the grown men in overalls.! I could really feel that now, I was in Tennessee. The next couple of days were so filled with all kinds of good music and food as I went to Nashville and Memphis and thereafter to Mississippi and New Orleans. I absolutely adored this part of the States, and obviously hope to return for more.

Have you been to the Great Smoky Mountains or Gatlinburg? How did you like it? Comment below.

Read more:
The Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park
An Artsy Afternoon in Asheville, North Carolina
Memphis: 2 Days in the Birthplace of Rock’n’Roll
Natchez, Mississippi: Antebellum Heaven!
5 Weeks Solo Roadtripping Through the US Summed Up: Food & Numbers

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