Top 6 Places to See Animals in The Smokies!

When heading to the Smoky Mountains for a vacation or weekend getaway you’re sure to have a bucket list full of activities, restaurants, and more! Towards the top of your list most likely has something to do with exploring the National Park, seeing lots of wildlife, and nature trails. Did you know, it’s so easy to see animals all throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg? To help you check off part of your list, we’ve put together a few of the best places to see animals in the Smokies!

  • Cades Cove 

Cades Cove is the best place to see nature wildlife in the smokies! With each trip you take, there’s no telling what you may see. Deer, bears, elk, turkey and so much more. For those wishing to spot some white-tailed deer, be sure to head into the park early in the morning or later in the afternoon. If it’s your dream of seeing a black bear in the Smokies, head to the park in the late afternoons. Of course, you always have a chance to see animals at any time of day, however these tips will give a bigger chance of spotting one!

  • Ripley’s Aquarium of The SmokiesRipley's Aquarium of the Smokies Gatlinburg penguins swimming water pigeon forge

Explore the lush, unique and beautiful worlds of the Tropical Rain-forest, Ocean Realm, Coral Reef, and Gallery of the Seas, and the Best Shark Exhibit in the Most Spectacular Underwater Tunnel in Shark Lagoon. You are sure to see hundreds of different species of marine life at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies including the Penguin Playhouse and Splash with the Stingrays!

  • Parrot Mountain 

Explore the four acres of lush greenery and beautiful flowers at Parrot Mountain, where you’ll be transported to the tropics! Experience being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of tropical birds in their habitats right in the Smokies! As you walk around the property, you’ll notice birds on their perches. Once you walk into the secret garden, sights of toucans, silvery- cheek hornbills, and so much more will surround you! Watch as they sit and fly around you!

  • Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is so much more than skiing, snow tubing, and more. Did you know, they their own wildlife encounter?! Meet their black bear family, Minnie and BJ and their two 6 year old cubs! Not only can you see black bears, but also, river otters, bobcats, owls, snakes, flying squirrels, and so much more!

  • Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud

Join the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s for their nightly country feudin’! They’ve added a 24- foot deep diving pool and also the long- jumping canines! See the canines in action as the leap into the 300,000 gallon pool during the show. Be careful, you may be sitting in the splash zone!

  • Three Bears General Store

The Bears at The Three Bears General store are all rescue from hunting farms and have been well cared for for over 25 years! Their  bear habitat is 5,000 square feet, complete with a pond and waterfall. Each bear has an individual den that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. For guests, there is a two-level facility offers a unique versatile observation area.

Hours of Operation: 10 am til Dusk
Admission: $3.25 per person; Children Under Age 2 FREE!
Feed the Bears! Cup of Bear Food only $1.25
Feeding Hours: 10 am – Noon, 3-4 pm, 7-8 pm

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