Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Townsend

4.6
#7 of 36 in Things to do in Townsend
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a private non-profit museum located in Townsend, Tennessee, United States, near the city's entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its mission is to preserve the heritage and culture of the inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains, including both the region's Native American inhabitants and the pioneers and residents of the region's Appalachian communities. The center was organized in the early 2000s, and officially opened in February 2006.

The center houses over 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of indoor and outdoor exhibits. The outdoor area includes several structures from around the region, including a log cabin, two cantilever barns, an AME Zion chapel, a logging town "setoff" house, a sawmill, and a still once operated by a local moonshiner. The indoor gallery displays tools, furniture and musical instruments used in the mountain region, as well as a sizable collection of Cherokee and other Native American artifacts, some dating to the Archaic period (c. 8000–2000 B.C.).
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Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
255 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We loved this museum. The hostess was very knowledgeable. The fee was very reasonable. The exhibits were done expertly in both the out buildings & the inside displays. In my opinion, people learn... 
    We loved this museum. The hostess was very knowledgeable. The fee was very reasonable. The exhibits were done expertly in both the out buildings & the inside displays. In my opinion, people learn...  more »
  • This was one of our first stops after arriving in Townsend. The staff was friendly and exceedingly helpful. The cost is minimal especially if you are a senior. Perhaps that’s the only good thing... 
    This was one of our first stops after arriving in Townsend. The staff was friendly and exceedingly helpful. The cost is minimal especially if you are a senior. Perhaps that’s the only good thing...  more »
Google
  • Very well organized and informative. The displays inside were particularly interesting to me. The restored buildings were well done and the underground moonshine exhibit was fascinating and unusual. My husband really enjoyed the transportation museum.
  • Beautiful place with a decent museum, the outdoors area walkthrough was cool with multiple building to check out (told there are demonstrations sometimes), the indoor museum was also interesting although small it's a great walk through. The best part is definitely the cat Steven's, sweet and loves attention happy to sit with you or follow around, best tour guide I've ever had. Definitely worth the visit!

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