Top 4 Attractions in the Smoky Mountains for Animal Lovers
If you love animals, you’ll feel right at home in the Smokies! You’ll not only have the chance to see plenty of wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but you can visit several local attractions that focus on animals! This is a unique opportunity to see the area’s famous black bears, as well as all kinds of other beautiful creatures including tropical birds, otters, deer and more! Here are the top 4 attractions in the Smoky Mountains for animal lovers:
1. Smoky Mountain Deer Farm and Exotic Petting Zoo
The Smoky Mountain Deer Farm and Exotic Petting Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the Smokies for animal lovers as you can interact with deer and many other critters! While visiting the Deer Farm, you’ll be able to walk among some of nature’s most graceful creatures, pet the deer and even hand-feed these delicate animals! As if that doesn’t sound good enough, the petting zoo area offers the chance to interact with a wide variety of other animals including camels, zebras, goats, reindeer, miniature horses, Highland cattle, Rocky Mountain Elk and many more!
2. Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg
The Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg is a privately funded, municipally sponsored zoo that features up close viewing of native wildlife! One of the highlights is the black bear family, consisting of Minnie and BJ and their now adult kids Holly and Chief! You’ll also find a Nocturnal House with various species of Smokies wildlife, including raccoons, skunks, flying squirrels, turtles and snakes! While visiting the Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg, be sure not to miss the underwater viewing area where you can see river otters at play and the enclosed aviary with various birds of prey!
3. Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo
Another one of the top attractions in the Smoky Mountains for animal lovers is the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo in Sevierville TN! As you might expect from the name, this wonderful zoo features over 600 animals from the rainforests of the world! The majority of the animals in the zoo have been born or hatched in captivity, with many on loan from zoos across the country. If you love birds, you’ll encounter many tropical species such as parrots, toucans, blue and gold macaws, cockatoos, finches and more! You’ll also enjoy the unique theming of the zoo, which has been designed by zoological contractors whose work includes Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
4. Three Bears General Store
The Three Bears General Store is not only one of the most impressive souvenir stores in the Smoky Mountains, but is also home to several adorable live bears! The 5,000 square foot live bear habitat features a pond and a waterfall, as well as individual bear dens that are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You can view the bears from the two level facility, so keep your cameras handy to capture the bears in action! You can be rest assured that these bears are in great hands as the Three Bears General Store has cared for them for over 25 years, and the store is fully compliant with all state and federal regulations!
Check out all of our cabins in the Smokies today to stay close to all of these fun attractions in the Smoky Mountains! We look forward to seeing you soon!