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Gatlinburg, TN is 97 miles, 1.9 hours west of Hendersonville. You can walk with the sharks in the enormous underwater tunnel of Ripley's Aquarium or take in a sky-high view from the tramway or Space Needle. Or, just walk down main street and enjoy the scenery and excitement.
Not far from Gatlinburg visit Laural Falls which is a easy paved hike. The falls is 80-feet high and is named for the mountain laurel. During the summer the falls can be quite crowded. Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park.
Take a driving tour on Roaring Fork and visit some of the old homesteads from the past. Also, hike to see some beautiful waterfalls such as Grotto Falls and Rainbow Falls. Ride the ski lift or tramway up to the top of the mountain. Visit Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Also, have some fun playing mini golf, and check out the haunted adventures, a mirror maze, a moving theater. Other activities are hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing and whitewater rafting. Or take it easy with a leisurely stroll down the Riverwalk. For more information visit Gatlinburg.
Not far from Gatlinburg is Cades Cove which is 33.6 miles and 1.5 hours away. Cades Cove is one of the most popular areas to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Cades Cove has a wide variety of historic buildings which range from churches, working grist mill, barns, log houses and other restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures.There are many hiking trails in Cades Cove and don't forget to visit Abrams waterfall.
The 11 mile one-way loop road that circles the cove is quite popular during the summer and can create a traffic jam.