Laurel Crest Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Laurel Crest, a resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, provides a cozy home base from which travelers can explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which encompasses more than 800 miles of trails and more than 600 miles of trout streams. One of the most popular trips includes a hike along the Appalachian Trail where it runs through the park, though you can also enjoy the views by driving along the scenic Newfound Gap Road. Hikers may also want to explore the Laurel Falls Trail, which leads to an amazing 80-foot waterfall. True adventurers can climb to the peak of Clingmans Dome, the highest mountain in the park at 6,643 feet.

via krzysztofkieslowski

Water lovers, meanwhile, can spend their time on fly-fishing excursions with local guide companies or go white-water rafting on the Nantahala River or Big Pigeon River.

To get a taste of local history, head to Oconaluftee Indian Village, an accurate representation of the village as it existed in 1759. The experience includes workshops, demonstrations, and lessons about the history and culture of the Cherokee people.

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