Top Picnic Spots in the Smoky Mountains
One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the Smokies is to pack a lunch of all your favorites, (throw in a blanket), and find a beautiful outdoor spot to enjoy your feast. Whether you want to bring along the whole family and picnic near a rushing river or nestle in a basin surrounded by mountains and enjoy a romantic lunch just for two, these top picnic spots in the Smoky Mountains will provide the perfect setting!
Cades Cove isn’t just a favorite Smoky Mountain destination for its 7-mile loop scenic drive. It also is home to 81 picnic sites, all situated in the beautiful Cades Cove basin near the entrance to the driving path. Most of the picnic sites, which feature charcoal grills, are nestled along a beautiful, flowing creek.
Conveniently open year-round, this beautiful, riverside park has everything from a fishing stream and baseball field to tennis courts. There is a large, covered pavilion plus plenty of picnic tables, so it’s the perfect spot to bring the family for an afternoon picnic.
And with its picturesque, middle-of-nowhere setting, you’d never guess you’re only minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg!
If you’re looking for lunch with a view, look no further than Chimney Tops picnic area. With many of its 68 picnic sites overlooking the rushing river, this area is extremely popular with visitors, so get there early if you want to grab a river-side seat.
And if you fancy a hike after lunch, check out the Chimney Tops Trail (challenging, but the view is worth it!). The Chimney Tops picnic area is open from March 11 to November 26 and is only 20 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.
Twin Creeks picnic area holds the title of being the largest picnic area in Smoky Mountain National Park. With no individual picnic sites and completely surrounded by wooded forest, this is the perfect place to spread out a blanket and enjoy a secluded, romantic picnic.
The area does have a reservable large covered pavilion with electricity, charcoal grills, a sprawling fireplace, and restrooms, so if you have a large group (up to 150 people, in fact), Twin Creeks picnic area is an ideal spot!
If you’re looking for scenic picnic spots in the Smokies, you can’t do much better than the Greenbrier picnic area. Nestled along the Little Pigeon River and known for its gorgeous growth of wildflowers in the spring, Greenbrier is a worthy picnic destination for any nature lover.
And if you like to hike, two of the Smoky Mountian’s best hiking trails, Porters Creek Trail and Ramsey Cascades Trail, are conveniently situated right near the picnic site. Greenbrier is located only about six miles from downtown Gatlinburg.
After a day exploring the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors, head back to your Pigeon Forge cabin to soak in the hot tub, rock on the porch, or gather around the firepit. Because when you’re in the Smokies, the fun never stops!
Mountain Air Cabin Rentals vacation homes are located throughout the Smoky Mountains: Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Wears Valley. We are close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium, many dinner shows and theaters, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other activities.