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Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 123 Cromwell Dr, Townsend, TN 37882-4323
Phone Number:
+1 865-448-0044
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Mon - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

A nonprofit organization formed to preserve and present the heritage of the...

A nonprofit organization formed to preserve and present the heritage of the East Tennessee region.

  The mission of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center is to preserve, protect and promote the unique history and rich culture of the residents and Native Americans who inhabited the East Tennessee mountain communities that were incorporated into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its surroundings.

The Heritage Center is located on a five acre site along state highway 73 in Townsend, Tennessee.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 176 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 107
  • 53
    Very good
  • 10
  • 2
  • 4
Well done !

Nice place to stop and see the old buildings that have been saved and reconstructed from the local area. Very nice gift shop and they have concerts on Friday nights in the tourist... read more

Reviewed 28 March 2015
Dry Ridge, Kentucky
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176 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 176: English reviews
Dry Ridge, Kentucky
Level Contributor
172 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2015

Nice place to stop and see the old buildings that have been saved and reconstructed from the local area. Very nice gift shop and they have concerts on Friday nights in the tourist season.

Thank bigjake392
Augusta, Georgia
Level Contributor
61 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2015

The Mountain Heritage Center is a modest but highly enjoyable facility in Townsend, Tennessee known as the quiet side of the Smokies. You reach it by leaving Pigeon Forge on the road by Mel's Diner and heading through scenic Wear Valley. The Center has a modest admission fee. Visitors get a very accurate education on the Indian Heritage of prehistory... More 

Thank Michael M
Den Haag
Level Contributor
145 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2015

An unexpected surprise! The reception was manned by a friendly and knowledgeable volunteer. There is a little museum. Outside you can walk from one historic building to another. Inside the houses, barns and a church you'll find artifacts from the late 1800's.

Thank YoYo118
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2015

We found this place just travelling through, and what a delight! The cabins and church were fascinating, as well as the museum. The kids loved it too !

Thank Grace G
Rhode Island
Level Contributor
513 reviews
346 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2015

You enter a little store where you also purchase your tickets. Two galleries display Native American and early settler artifacts dating from 3,000 BC to the 1930's. A massive archeological dig took place which uncovered some amazing artifacts. After investigating this small museum head outside to visit the re-created pioneer village with many historic buildings. We were fortunate on the... More 

2 Thank yaflincoln
Cleveland, Tennessee
Level Contributor
225 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2015

This was our first time visiting. We were there for a little over an hour. I believe my kids would have liked to stay longer. They really enjoyed the pottery simulation activity and the "Chunky" game on another computer. We used this as a homeschool field trip on our way to Gatlinburg. It was laid out very well...orderly, concise and... More 

Thank MREA5
Maryville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2015 via mobile

Probably the best part was the little town set up they had. Stuff for all ages to enjoy- we had 60 down to 21 looking around. Also, you're very close to the park and places to eat for a full day event!

Thank Emily C
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
110 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2015

Walking through the Heritage Center gives us a feel for life in the mountains long ago. We enjoy the exhibits and information about local families and history. The wonderful staff and volunteers make the experience even more special. We recommend joining the Association.

Thank SandAngel13_12
Severn, Maryland
Level Contributor
213 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2014

I stopped in here on a Monday, after I had taken the Cades Cove Loop in the National Park. I'm glad I timed it as I did. The video presentation (about 20 minutes) at the beginning of the tour takes you through the local history of Cades Cove, and the surrounding area. In the video you will see a lot... More 

Thank Billibong64
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2014

Just down the parkway toward Townsend, a welcome stop for even those who have been to these mountains before.

Thank myraleb

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?