Scenic Car Rides in the Smoky Mountains

A curvy road going through the mountains

When planning a vacation to The Smokies, you’ll definitely want to make a visit inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If hiking on foot isn’t in the cards for you then we’re here to tell you about those scenic car rides! Here are some of our favorite scenic car rides in the Smoky Mountains.

The Best Car Rides in the Smoky Mountains

Cades Cove Loop Road

Cades Cove is by far one of the most popular spots in the Smoky Mountains. This motor trail takes you on a one lane, paved, scenic route through beautiful Cades Cove. The 11 mile loop offers up one of a kind views. You’ll get a glimpse at Mother Nature at her finest and you might even get the chance to see some incredible wildlife! Plan on two to four hours to tour Cades Cove. On Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, however, the loop is closed to vehicular traffic until 10 A.M. Directions to Cades Cove


The Best Car Rides in the Smoky MountainsClingmans Dome Road

Clingmans Dome Road is one of the coolest views you can have of the Great Smoky Mountains. This side road is just off Newfound Gap Road and takes you on a 7 mile trip to the top of Clingmans Dome, which is the highest peak in Tennessee. There are several “pull offs” on your way to the observation deck that provide unique views of the Smokies.  On a clear day, you can expect views over 100 miles. Clingmans Dome Road, is open from April 1st, 2024 to November 30th, 2024. Directions to Clingmans Dome Road 


The Best Car Rides in the Smoky Mountains

Newfound Gap Road

The premier route from Gatlinburg to North Carolina, offers incredible views. Newfound Gap Road runs 33 miles of mountainous road and climbs all the way up to Newfound Gap. There are several pull offs with great panoramic views of the Smokies. To drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, NC, will take you around an hour. Once you arrive at Newfound Gap, there’s a big parking lot with restrooms.Directions to Newfound Gap

The Best Car Rides in the Smoky Mountains



Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one the most popular routes to see the landscape of the Smoky Mountains. The Parkway starts at the Cherokee Indian Reservation, which is just southeast of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the best parts about the Blue Ridge Parkway, is commercial vehicles are not allowed. If you are traveling from the Pigeon Forge area you can expect a further drive to access the Blue Ridge Parkway, but if you’ve got the time, it’s worth the drive!  Directions to the Blue Ridge Parkway


The Best Car Rides in the Smoky MountainsFoothills Parkway

The Foothills Parkway connects has four different sections. There’s a 17 mile stretch that begins in Townsend which is the access point to Look Rock. The northern section of the Parkway runs just over 5 and a half miles from Cosby to I-40 near Stone Mountain. The middle section is what connects Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. This Parkway provides stunning views the Great smoky Mountains. Directions to the Foothills Parkway 



The Best Car Rides in the Smoky MountainsRoaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

This five and a half mile, one-way loop is the closest vehicle trail to Gatlinburg. You can access the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail by turning on Historic Nature Trail Road at traffic light #8. You’ll travel down this road till you arrive at the Cherokee Orchard entrance. Buses, trailers and RV’s are not allowed on this trail. You’ll see some amazing shots that are worth taking, like, wildlife, log cabins and streams. The Rainbow Falls Trail is also accessible from the Roaring fork Motor Nature Trail. You will have to hike up to the Falls, which is just under five and a half miles roundtrip. The Motor trail is open from March 29th-December 1st 2024. Directions to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail 




The Best Car Rides in the Smoky MountainsThe Road to Nowhere- Lakeview Drive

Have you ever decided to drive until you got to the middle of nowhere? If so, you’re in luck! Lakeview Drive, which is known as “The Road to Nowhere” is a 6 mile road that starts just outside of Bryson City, NC and ends…literally, in the middle of nowhere. Seriously…the road just ends! You will find a man-made tunnel at the end of the road however and some great views along the way! Directions to The Road to Nowhere




Featured Posts


10 Reasons to Visit Sevier County, TN

If you are looking for ways t.


Field Trip Destinations in the Pigeon Forge Area

Are you looking for field tri.


Indoor Things To Do in Pigeon Forge, TN

All the Things To do Inside i.