Great Smoky Mountains
The national park has four visitor centers—Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, Oconaluftee, and Sugarlands—where you can pick up maps and obtain pertinent information regarding road closures and bear warnings. Read up on bear safety and heed posted notices in active areas. Temperatures can change in the mountains by as much as 10–20 degrees, depending on elevation, and can fluctuate quickly. Dress in layers and bring bottled water no matter the season, as high elevations can provoke dehydration. Try to avoid Gatlinburg during peak season (June–July and October), when parking is difficult and streets become overcrowded.