6. The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
From eastern Tennessee to Western North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains form a sprawling national park that encompasses lush forests and beautiful mountain waterfalls, among other things!
Of course, nearby is Gatlinburg, American’s eastern mountain vacation tourist spot. Loaded with tons of fun things to do, Gatlinburg combines all the outdoorsy fun of a mountain retreat — think skyways and Ober Gatlinburg — with the kitschy fun of a beach vacation, complete with homemade fudge, touristy t-shirts and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. If outdoor activities are your style, you’ll enjoy hiking along the Appalachian Trail, as well as miles of other trails. Make sure to visit the observation tower atop Clingman’s Dome; it provides 360-degree views of the mist-covered mountains.