5) Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
The UNESCO World Heritage site of the Great Smoky Mountains runs along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Tourists can hike, camp and explore the cove hardwood, northern hardwood and spruce fir forests, as well as enjoy the abundant species of wildflowers. Alum Cave and Rainbow Falls are two of the park’s most popular hiking destinations. The park is a natural habitat black bears, bobcats, foxes, bald eagles and many other species. In the summer, whitewater rafting and tubing are popular activities. If you’re a skier, head there when the snow starts to fall. Skiers flock to the area in the winter months for some of the best slopes in the area. Popular nearby towns to to include on your itinerary are Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Cherokee, North Carolina, site of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. More than 11 million people visited the park 2016.