According to the National Park Service, 12.5 million people ventured there in 2019, making it the most visited national park in the United States. And it’s not just their data that shows just how popular the park has become: Airbnb saw a 191 percent increase in bookings from 2017 to 2018.
One possible reason for Great Smoky Mountains’ runaway numbers? It’s more easily accessible from major cities than many of the other natural reserves. Plus, 71 miles of the Appalachian Trail—which an average of 3 million people hike a portion of each year—run through its scenic terrain.
Inspired to visit yourself? Stay at Blackberry Farm, the bucolic 4,200 acre estate that rests on its foothills. It’s an outdoor adventurers fever dream: there’s fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, paintballing, and archery. Much of the property’s delectable cuisine is sourced from its own farm—including the blackberries in their signature blackberry iced tea. In 2019, they opened Blackberry Mountain, an additional alpine property seven miles up from the original.