One of the things that people want to see most when visiting Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge is a black bear! After all, this iconic wild resident of the Smokies is the unofficial mascot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and can be seen on postcards in nearly every souvenir shop in the area! The awesome news is that there are several places near Amazing Views Cabin Rentals that you can visit for a glimpse of these incredible creatures! Here are the top 3 places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains:
1. Cades Cove
While bears can be found throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove is one of the best places to spot them due to its wide, open valley. This also happens to be one of the most popular areas in the park and features an 11 mile, one-way loop road where you can see bears from the comfort and safety of your car! The best times to visit Cades Cove are in the morning between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. or in the late afternoon between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. when bears are out searching for food. Be sure to keep your eyes on the trees as bears love to climb!
2. Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg
If you feel more comfortable viewing bears in a zoo setting, the Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg is a fantastic place to see bears in the Smoky Mountains! This privately funded, municipally sponsored zoo was established to provide visitors with an up close viewing of native wildlife in a safe environment. The highlight of the Wildlife Encounter is the adorable black bear family, which includes Minnie and BJ and their children Holly and Chief. While visiting the zoo, you also have the opportunity to enjoy an underwater viewing area with otters, an enclosed aviary with birds of prey and a nocturnal house with various species of native Smokies wildlife!
3. Three Bears General Store
One of the last places you might expect to see live bears is in a souvenir store, but that is exactly what you will find at the Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge! The name of this massive shopper’s paradise comes from the live bear habitat that is actually located inside the store. The 5,000 square foot habitat features 3 bears, each which has an individual den that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The bears were rescued nearly 25 years ago from a nearby hunting farm and receive excellent care in the habitat that comes complete with a pond and waterfall. You can view the bears from a 2 level observation area and even purchase a cup of bear food to give them a treat!
Where to Stay
Enjoy a fantastic vacation near these places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains with a stay at Amazing Views Cabin Rentals! In fact, many of our cabins are named after bears, such as Bear Creek Splash, Bear Mountain Getaway, Bear Hugs and Honey Bear Hideaway! We offer affordable cabins of all sizes to meet your needs, all of which contain amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, private decks with scenic views, bubbling hot tubs, fireplaces, game rooms and more!
Check out all of our cabin rentals in the Smokies today to stay close to these places where you can see bears in the Smoky Mountains! We look forward to seeing you beary soon at Amazing Views Cabin Rentals!