Why We Love the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center!

Cades Cove Heritage Tours is a not-for-profit organization that operates as part of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee. We are so proud to be part of the Heritage Center and its mission. We are the best tour of the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Heritage Center is the best museum and historical attraction in the area. What a pair! Read on to learn more about this wonderful place and some of what it has to offer this season. We can't wait to see you there!

About the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Visit the Heritage Center to celebrate the cultural heritage of East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains region. The center features gallery exhibits, educational programs, demonstrations, festivals, and cultural enrichment.

The center's mission is to preserve, interpret, and share the history and culture of the diverse peoples who have inhabited the Southern Appalachians and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is first and foremost a museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Great Smoky Mountains. They feature numerous interesting displays and attractions throughout the center, including the Native Americans of East TN and the East TN Mountain Culture exhibits. There is also a National Parks Gallery in the main building that pays tribute to the five National Parks in East Tennessee. You can even view a collection of historic buildings from around the region. There are also numerous temporary exhibits that rotate throughout the year, so keep in touch with the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and don't miss a thing!

Smoky Junction Model Railroad Exhibit

This fantastic exhibit is open every year over the holiday season for visitors to marvel at and enjoy. It officially opened on November 8th this year and lasts until January 5th, 2020. The exhibit features the landscape of Townsend and Walland and a garden-scale train in a winter wonderland setting.

This intricate exhibit takes hundreds of hours for the volunteers at the Maryville Model Railroad Club to create. In fact, they have spent up to 90 hours on just one piece! This makes sense when you consider that some of the buildings are comprised of over 1600 pieces.

This year, the Little River Sawmill, as well as several other new additions, will be displayed as part of the exhibit. Another new feature this year is the Smoky Junction Train Discovery Zone for kids. Take your children to the Heritage Center to create, design, and build their very own landscape. The Center supplies the track, trains, and toys. Just bring your imagination!

Gift Shop

The Heritage Center's gift shop is more than a typical shop with t-shirts and koozies. The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center gift shop features authors, artists, honey, jellies and jams, soaps and candles, jewelry, photography, pottery, music, and more!

Hours and Admission

The Heritage Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. They are also open on Sundays 12:00pm - 5:00pm between March 31st, 2019 to January 5th, 2020. For adults 18+, admission is only $8. Seniors (60+) and children (6-17) will enjoy a discounted rate at $6. Children 5 and under are admitted at no charge.

If you become a member of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, admission is free!

Your Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are an incredible place to visit! On your trip, make sure you stop by the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and book a tour with Cades Cove Heritage Tours. These experiences will show you the beautiful nature and rich history of the area like nothing else. We can't wait to see you!

P.O. Box 268
Townsend, TN 37882-0268


Popular posts from this blog

Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Newfound Gap - Fun Facts and Highlights!

Plan Your 2020 Family Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains!

5 Reasons to Book Our Shuttle Service for Your Event!