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While you can always explore Cades Cove Loop Road in your personal vehicle, sometimes it’s more fun to leave the driving to someone else! This is especially true if you are a first-time visitor to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! There are several guided tours in the Smokies where you can sit back, relax, and learn more about Cades Cove from a professional guide. Here are 3 guided tours of Cades Cove Loop Road that are perfect for first-time visitors:
1. Tennessee Mountain Tours
Tennessee Mountain Tours offers a wonderful Cades Cove Loop Road tour with real local guides who know everything about the history and heritage of this area of the Smokies. By joining this tour, you will not only get to see the top sights in Cades Cove but have a deeper understanding of them. While riding along in the tour bus, you will also learn the history from video commentary from those who lived in Cades Cove and their descendants. Your guide will provide full narration throughout the entire Cades Cove Loop Road and will attempt to pull over if anyone spots any wildlife along the way. The only scheduled stop within the loop is a 45 minute break at the halfway point for the restroom and to stretch your legs. This stop is also a great chance to explore some of the historical structures, including one of the last working grist mills!
2. Double Decker Bus Tours
Another one of the guided tours of Cades Cove Loop Road that is perfect for first time visitors is the tour with Double Decker Bus Tours. This company uses authentic double decker buses to travel along the Cades Cove Loop Road, which makes the trip even more fun and allows for some unique photo opportunities. The driver even sits on the right side of the bus just like the ones you see in England. As you travel along the 11-mile loop, keep your eye out for wildlife and enjoy the largest assortment of historic structures. You can also plan to get out at several stops to see some of the fascinating historic churches, log homes, and cantilevered horse shelters.
3. Cades Cove Heritage Tours
Cades Cove Heritage Tours offers public and private tours of Cades Cove Loop Road, making it the top choice for small families and groups of friends. The tours take place on comfortable 14- or 18-passenger Educational Transportation Vehicles with friendly and experienced guides. Since you are leaving the driving to someone else, you can focus on the beautiful Cades Cove scenery and wildlife instead of worrying about the traffic. Although the tour does not involve much walking or hiking, there are frequent stops at several sites as well as a restroom break at the halfway point. Be sure to bring your camera along for the journey as you never know when you might see white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and other wildlife!
We hope you enjoy one of these guided tours of Cades Cove Loop Road and the unique chance to learn about the fascinating history of this beautiful part of the Smoky Mountains! Click here for some of the fun facts about Cades Cove that can help enhance your visit!