When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit The Smokies
The park and its backcountry sites are open year-round. The off-season, which runs from late October through May, closes seven of the parks ten developed campgrounds Cades Cove on the Tennessee side and Smokemont in North Carolina stay open. Rest areas and picnic areas close, too, as well as most secondary roads. The main thoroughfare, Route 441, which runs from the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina to Gatlinburg, only closes for bad weather. Summer is the wettest seasonJuly has the most rainfallwhile fall, after the tail end of a typically humid August, is the driest. Every season has its draws and limitations.
Fall: When cooler temperatures hit, youll find more elk and bears in the valleys . Head to the remote Cataloochee Valley for likely sightings of elk and out to Cades Cove for the bears, though be aware that a trip to Cades Cove can be an hours-long, bumper-to-bumper, 11-mile drive. On foot you can expect to see black bears and elks anywhere in the park. Remember to keep 50 yards between yourself and the wildlife when you go looking for them. The park is also known for its foliage, so opt for a trail that cuts through old-growth, hardwood forest, like the Albright Grove Loop off the eight-mile Maddron Bald Trail and the six-mile Low Gap Trail up to Mount Cammerer and back.
Dorothys House Welcomes You To Oz
Classic movie fans will love a stay at Dorothys house, a classic farm cottage decorated with Aunt Ems old-fashioned sensibilities, movie memorabilia, and a yellow-brick road outside. The later is a favorite spot for weddings. Available from June through October.
Dorothys House sits inside the infamous Land of Oz Amusement Park. The park had a rough start as its developer passed away six months before it opened in 1970. The Land of OZ entertained families for a decade before closing but is now a private garden available for events and the annual fall festival.
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Most Romantic Restaurants In Gatlinburg
- The Greenbrier: The Greenbrier is historical, high-end, beautiful, and cozy place perfect for a special occasion with your sweetheart, especially a laidback mid-week date night spot. Are you here on a Wednesday? Dig into their $8 burger special! Also, the spirits and wine list reads like a whoâs who. What also helps is the peaceful mountain setting.
- The Peddler Steakhouse: Tucked at the entrance of the Smoky Mountains National Park entrance, this restaurant thats been around since the 1970s lies right along the Little Pigeon River. Whats more, it serves classic steakhouse fare, alongwith chilled shrimp cocktails and its signature chicken almond soup which are particular favorites. Do share the peanut butter mud pie for dessert with your sweetheart.
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The Hermitage Hotel Nashville
The Hermitage Hotel, located right downtown, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the five-star, five-diamond property is one of Nashville’s last old-world hotels. Designed in Beaux Arts style, it is an architecturally impressive property throughout with a very posh-looking lobby.
Expect rooms and suites that are elegant luxe here. They are done up in period decor, with thick draperies and upholstered furniture in bold colors, but also come with modern conveniences like large flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi.
Amenities include a spa and gym. There is also an on-site restaurant, the Capitol Grille, which serves up Southern classics paired with fresh, local produce. If you are looking to do a little shopping, the Hermitage also has a boutique on the grounds that carries products from almost 40 local artisans.
Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge
If your kids are adventurous and fun-loving, then youve got to spend a few nights at the Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge! It offers two enormous onsite waterparks full of thrilling water slides! You can enjoy the indoor water park or the seasonal outdoor water park as well as the miniature golf course.
The rooms at the Wyndham are actually fully equipped apartments that are quite spacious. You can enjoy your own kitchen with everything youll need to whip up meals for the family, as well as a balcony and a washer and dryer. Beds are luxuriously comfortable and youll have your own seating and dining area so you will never feel cramped.
The staff at the Wyndham are incredibly organized and willing to help you with anything you may need during your stay. Guests can take advantage of the other resort amenities including a fire pit, a large fitness center, two restaurants, and a game room. And the Sevierville Golf Club is just a 5 minute walk from the property.
The Wyndham is farther from the Great Smoky Mountains than the other hotels but its worth the drive because of how much fun your kids will have!
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The Inn At Christmas Place
One of the most unusual resort destinations in the Smoky Mountains-and, perhaps, one of the most fun-is the Inn at Christmas Place. As its name suggests, this 4-star Bavarian-themed resort has references to the Christmas season pretty much everywhere. In its well-appointed units, for example, don’t be surprised to bed down for the night beneath bedding festooned with references to Christmas. And yes, some of the larger units even come with fully decorated Christmas trees!
The Christmas fun extends beyond your accommodations, with kids enjoying a visit from Santa and his elves during the complimentary breakfast. Other amenities of note include lush gardens and grounds a large, indoor swimming pool a heated outdoor swimming pool, complete with waterslide and a hot tub. There’s also a fitness center, along with a variety of function rooms for those here on business – or a celebration, such as a Christmas party!
Address: 119 Christmas Tree Ln, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
What Kind Of Accommodation Is Right For You
The beauty of booking your accommodations with Bear Camp Cabin Rentals is that their properties are not at all limited. On the contrary, the fact that they manage over 150 individually-owned properties means that no matter what specifications you require for your visit, there will be accommodations that suit your needs.
With rentals in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Wears Valley, Sevierville, Townsend, Pittman Centre, and more, your options are near endless.
With the word built right into their name, you can bet that Bear Camp Cabin Rentals will have a cabin property perfect for you. They have everything from 1 to 10 bedroom cabins and beyond, with a wide range of amenities on offer.
Booking a cabin is great if youre going for a more unique, nature-filled experience, or if youre traveling with a large group.
Not only do Bear Camp Cabin Rentals offer their namesake accommodations, but they also have Hotel and Motel suites at the ready. Specifically, the Pigeon Forge Motel Suites are close to a ton of attractions, including hiking, mountain biking, and, when the time is right, Dollywood!
Looking for something a little more unique? Then try out one of Bear Camp Cabin Rentals Smoky Mountain Treehouses! Set to open in 2021, these treehouses are perched 10 feet off the ground, and come with all modern amenities including oversized windows from which to soak up the view.
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Hampton Inn Gatlinburg Historic Nature Trail
Couples who love the outdoors will love the Hampton Inn Historic Nature Trail. Besides being one of the best romantic hotels in Gatlinburg TN, its also one of the most romantic getaways in Gatlinburg Tennessee. The hotels standout feature is the enviable location along Le Conte Creek, right at the very edge of the Smokies. Rooms and suites are spacious with state-of-the-art mod-cons, with the highlight being the lovely balconies with Adirondack chairs that look out onto the greenery and the creek.
Aside from the digs, the rest of the hotel is very romantic too, especially the stone fire pits right in the middle of all the greenery. Begin your day with a hearty continental breakfast, after which you can enjoy a long soak in the hot tub, especially after all that sightseeing. During evenings, kick back with a cup of coffee at the onsite Starbucks and later enjoy grilling by the fire pit.
How Far Is Pigeon Forge From Gatlinburg Tn
You may be wondering how far is Gatlinburg from Pigeon Forge, and the answer is about 15 minutes, depending on traffic. If traffic is heavy during popular months, it could take you longer to get to either city. The distance is about 7.5 miles from one city to the other, depending on where you start at in either city. However, if you want to visit both cities, its definitely doable because they are so close. Now you know how far Pigeon Forge is from Gatlinburg TN!
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Modern Hotel In Sevierville: The New Hotel Collection
Although its a four-star hotel, the New Hotel Collection Smoky Mountains is surprisingly affordable! Rooms are spacious and come with their own private kitchen and bathroom perfect for self-catering guests. It is located right in the heart of Sevierville, making it an excellent choice for those that dont have their own transport. We also love the charming interior design throughout the hotel.
Most Romantic Bars In Gatlinburg
- Ole Smoky Moonshine: This is said to be the most visited moonshine distillery in the country, and features a host of moonshine flavors. Add to that the distillery also makes canned cocktails and whiskey, with regular live music performances as well as distillery tours. In fact, this behind-the-scenes tour allows you to enjoy 13 samples.
- Sugarlands Distlling Company: This distillery has partnered with Discovery Channelâs Moonshiners Legends, and boasts a roster of award-winning products, including canned cocktails, whiskey, and moonshine. Do hop on the 30-minute private blended cocktails tour where you get to try two handcrafted cocktails for $12!
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Things To See And Do In Sevierville
- Dont have your own vehicle? No problem! This day long excursion takes you to all the top attractions in the region, including moonshine, mountains, and meals.
- The Great China Acrobats is the closest dinner show to Sevierville about ten minutes by car, and with great packages on meals.
- Grab some budget bargains at Five Oaks Tanger Outlet Mall a great spot for picking up high street and designer goods at heavy discounts.
- We love Conors Steak & Seafood they have a welcoming atmosphere and an incredibly well-priced menu.
Where To Stay Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park Faq
Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina.
Where should I stay when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains national Park?
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are great and hugely popular options for where to stay when visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The towns are located near the park border and also offer a lot of activities for days off the park. Sevierville is located further away but is more budget-friendly. Wears Valley and Townsend are superb options if you look for great access and peacefulness. Finally, Cherokee is a very good alternative if you want to explore the Great Smoky Mountains from the south.
Should I stay in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg?
Gatlinburg is located closer to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Therefore Gatlinburg is the better choice for where to stay if you want to maximize the park time in the Smokies. But Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are not far from each other and both cities offer fun attractions for time not spent in the park.
Where to stay near Cades Cove?
Cades Cove is a Great Smoky Mountain highlight thats located in the very western part of the park. The best places to stay near Cades Cove therefore are Wears Valley and Townsend in the so called peaceful region. Of the two Townsend is the town very closest to Cades Cove. From the hotels near Cades Cove in Townsend its only 11 miles to the Cades Cove entrance.
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If You Have Time For A Detour
The parks nearby towns cater to tourists. Much of the traffic in Cherokee, North Carolina, outside the Oconaluftee entrance on the parks south side, located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, stops by Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the various shops selling crafts. Just west, in Bryson City, is the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, where you can take a train ride into Nantahala Gorge. In summer, in the Tennessee town of Pigeon Forge, near the Sugarlands entrance, you can visit the Dollywood theme park, and in winter, ski above Maggie Valley at Cataloochee Ski Area or take a tram up to Ober Gatlinburg.
Corrections: The original version of this story included a number of small errors. The story has been updated to correct them. Outside regrets the error.
Cherokee Nc A North Carolina Place To Stay In The Great Smoky Mountains
To stay on the Tennessee side is much more popular for exploring the Smokies than the North Carolina end. Accordingly all the options for where to stay near Great Smoky Mountains so far Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Wears Valley and Townsend are located on the Tennessee side.
But a good option for where to stay when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains from the North Carolina end is Cherokee. From Great Smoky Mountains places to stay in Cherokee its only a few miles to the southern part of the national park.
The great park access is not the only great thing if you make Cherokee your base when visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In Cherokee you also find the Oconaluftee Indian Village. The impressive indian village recreates life of an 18th century Cherokee village and makes it fun to learn more about the Cherokee culture.
From Cherokee you can also enter Americas favorite drive, the stunning Blue Ridge Parkway. A popular day trip is to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee up to Asheville and visit the famous Biltmore Estate.
Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains from the south side is not as popular as from the north. But Cherokee is a great option for where to stay near Great Smoky Mountains to explore the southern part of the park. From the Cherokee hotels near Great Smoky Mountains you only have a few miles to cross the park border. As a bonus you can also explore the stunning Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee.
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Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge may offer easy access to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but theres something truly majestic about camping or lodging within this national treasure. Yes, your experience may verge on rustic, but youll be rewarded with the most stunning views imaginable.
Because theyre slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountain accommodations provide a peaceful atmosphere ideal for those looking to escape the real world. Dining options may be comparatively limited, but its not too difficult to get into town. Recreational opportunities abound, with many campers able to hit the trail as soon as they put on their hiking boots. If youre not willing to hang out in a tent, hit up the LeConte Lodge for delightfully rustic accommodations.
Festive Hotel In Pigeon Forge: The Inn At Christmas Palace
This is one of the more unique hotels in the region but an absolute must if you are visiting over the holiday season. Inspired by Bavarian architecture, this Christmas-themed hotel is packed with festive cheer. The rooms are decorated in a cheerful style, and there is a small waterpark on-site for the kids to use. A breakfast buffet is included in the rate.
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Recommended Great Smoky Mountains Hotels In Pigeon Forge
Courtyard by Marriott Pigeon Forge Great Smoky Mountains lodging with pool and hot tub near the main strip
If you prefer to stay in Pigeon Forge it doesnt get more comfortable than Courtyard by Marriott. The location near the main strip in Pigeon Forge is very convenient and of course the Great Smoky Mountains hotel has both pools and hot tub for maximum comfort and fun. Courtyard by Marriott in Pigeon Forge is one of the best places to stay in the Smoky Mountains if you look for a combination of days in nature and quality entertainment in town.
Charming Chalet In Pigeon Forge: In The Woods
Nestled in the forest on the outskirts of Pigeon Forge, this calm little chalet is perfect for families looking for some peace and quiet. There is a private hot tub on the property, and because its located in a larger resort community, youll also have access to the shared swimming pool. The master bedroom comes with an en-suite, giving the adults some extra privacy.
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Authentic Farmstay In Cherokee: Dogwood Farms
This is another excellent farm stay near Cherokee! This quaint little cottage has stylishly rustic interiors and a large outdoor deck area. Alongside views of the Smoky Mountains and surrounding forest, youll be able to watch the farm animals. It comes with no steps, making it super accessible as well as great for small children. For a charming and peaceful stay, this is the place to be.
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