Friday, September 22, 2023

Places To Stay In The Smokies

Legendary Treehouse Treehouse Grove

Best Places to Stay in Gatlinburg TN – Smoky Mountain Resort Preview

These are treehouses built by the Treehouse Master himself, Pete Nelson. Treehouse Grove has a unique collection of treehouses built near the Smoky Mountains and the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The specific one you should look at is the Maple which they designed a s a retreat where you can enjoy your forest surroundings in comfort. Dubbed the Honeymoon Treehouse, you’ll have a large viewing deck, screened porch, kitchenette, couch with TV, second floor bunk, modern rainfall shower bathroom, and one master bedroom.


Not sure how to plan your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and looking for inspiration? Here is an adventure-filled itinerary that will certainly get you started with a ton of our personal experiences and insider tips.

Log Cabin In Christmas Tree Farm Boyd Mountain Log Cabins

The Meadow Fork Cabin is one of the many cabins on the Boyd Mountain Log Cabins property and is a quintessential and historic log cabin. Located in Waynesville, North Carolina, the cabin is surrounded by a family-owned Christmas tree farm, fishing ponds, and hiking trails. When you walk in from the idyllic porch with rocking chairs, you’ll see how they’ve modernized and transformed the cabin into a cozy and spacious place to stay with full dining room, air conditioning, fire pit and dining space outdoors, and three bedrooms good for 8 people.

Recommended Great Smoky Mountains Hotels In Pigeon Forge

Top Great Smoky Mountains lodging

If you pick Pigeon Forge, it doesnt get more comfortable than the towns Marriott. Its a place to stay near Great Smoky Mountains National Park that offers maximum convenience.

Its location near the main strip in Pigeon Forge makes it easy to get around. With superb facilities including pool and hot tub its also one of the best places to stay in the Great Smoky Mountains for quality time off the park

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Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown Gatlinburg

The Fairfield Inn & Suites in downtown Gatlinburg is a gorgeous, modern hotel located near downtown Gatlinburg, but outside of the hustle and bustle. Rooms are huge, with simple decor and ultra-plush beds. Once you get into bed, youll never want to get out again! If you enjoy a modern hotel with every amenity at your fingertips, this is the perfect place to stay during your trip to Gatlinburg.

Youll also have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and state-of-the-art fitness center. You may never want to leave the hotel to explore the Smoky Mountains!

A yummy continental breakfast is included with your stay!

Sleep In A Caboose On A Bison Ranch

Great Places to Stay in the Great Smoky Mountains

Two authentic cabooses on tracks at Buffalo Creek Vacations are just 30 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks Cherokee entrance. With room to sleep five, including a bed in the cupolas, and a window view of the ranchs roaming bison, it will make a vacation your family wont forget.

For more

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Pigeon Forge Tn Great Smoky Mountains Lodging And Fun Attractions Slightly Further Away

Pigeon Forge is another popular option for where to stay near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the town is located 8 miles north of Downtown Gatlinburg, youre slightly further away from the park if you pick Pigeon Forge.

Another key difference between the two towns is that Pigeon Forge is less compact than Gatlinburg. That makes Pigeon Forge less walkable than its southern neighbor.

But Pigeon Forge certainly offers appreciated Great Smoky Mountains lodging and things to do off the park. The town has become a family favorite with attractions such as the the theme park Dollywood and the Titanic Museum.

Pigeon Forge also provides the places to eat and stores to browse that you need to have the best Great Smoky Mountains vacation. In Pigeon Forge you stay at Great Smoky Mountains hotels near the wilderness, but still have access to all the comfort you crave for.

In conclusion, Pigeon Forge is a great choice for where to stay near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The town offers good access to the Smokies and celebrated attractions for the days that you dont spend in the park.

  • Pick Pigeon Forge for: Popular Great Smoky Mountains attractions.

Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In The Smoky Mountains

This vast region is packed with stunning mountain views, engaging entertainment venues, and insightful local highlights. Whether youre here to relax, get your adrenaline pumping, or admire some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a great staycation destination this year.

If I had to choose a favorite, I love Gatlinburg! It can get a little touristy, yes, but it has easy access to both Pigeon Forge and Sevierville and the easiest access to the park. That being said, if you want something more unique, I recommend heading to the North Carolina end of the park.

Did I miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

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Whats The Most Beautiful Part Of The Smokies

With that in mind, the most beautiful place to stay in the Smokies may well be LeConte Lodge. However, not all of us are ready, willing or able to make that hike or plan that far in advance.

So lets start with something a little less specific, popular places that are a little more attainable.

Certainly, there are a lot of private cabins, bed and breakfasts and condos in remote locations in the mountains with beautiful views. But were not coming at this from a micro level.

This isnt about one place with treehouse cabins or Hobbit-holes. This is about the Smoky Mountain towns that offer the best mountain views and experiences.

For my money, its Gatlinburg.

Pigeon Forge is fun and convenient, but unless you find a cabin off the beaten path, its not beautiful. Gatlinburg combines the best of both worlds. You can get majestic views of the mountains and still have access to all the other stuff that makes the Smokies fun.

If you want something a little less touristy, Maggie Valley, North Carolina might be your cup of tea.

Im enamored with the North Carolina side of the mountains. We recently drove through Wears Valley on our way to Cades Cove.

There was a time I might have said Wears Valley is the prettiest area. But the expansion of businesses there as well as the number of cabins and chalets on the mountains have kind of lessened the visual experience.

Gatlinburg Overall The Best Place To Stay In The Smoky Mountains

5 Best Things To Do On A Smoky Mountains Getaway Trip

Gatlinburg is a favourite for many people because of not only how close it is to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but also being a hub of entertainment and fun activities.

I will admit that it’s a bit kitschy with its themed restaurants and wax museums. As someone from Canada, it reminds me a lot of Clifton Hills in Niagara Falls. That said, it has it’s own mountain frontier vibe that makes it charming and retro at the same time.

It’s undeniable that there are a lot to see and do in Gatlinburg itself. It has a family-friendly entertainment focus. In this, it’s very similar to its sister town, Pigeon Forge, but it does so nestled in the mountains.

From a national park perspective, it almost feels like Gatlinburg is part of it as many of its key roads all lead straight into the Great Smoky Mountains and that’s a huge plus. It’s also a short drive to Pigeon Forge and Sevierville which opens up even more things to do.

Accommodation wise, you have a wide selection of family resorts and hotels but on the other end of the spectrum, you also have a grove of treehouses that can’t be missed.

Legendary Treehouse Treehouse Grove

Next Level Log Cabin Bear Necessities

Can you believe that in one log cabin you can get a hot tub, pool table, arcade, indoor hot tub, and be mere 5 minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg?

Bear puns aside, you can’t go wrong with this cabin.

Prime Family Lodge Greystone Lodge on the River

Things to do in Gatlinburg

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Pigeon Forge Larger Than Life In The Smokies

Driving along the main parkway of Pigeon Forge, you’ll know what I mean by larger than life when you pass by replicas of Alcatraz, the Titanic, King Kong atop of the Empire State Building, dinosaurs, and castles to name a few.

This mountain town is all about fun for the whole family, making it a perfect companion to the Smoky Mountains. While offering some of the things Gatlinburg has to offer, you could say that things are at a bigger scale here.

Well-known celebrities also have a huge footprint in town. Country star, Dolly Parton, has her Appalachian-themed Dollywood theme park and her Dixie Stampede show. There’s also American chef and culinary personality, Paula Deen, who has her own experiences including the Lumberjack Feud show, store, and family kitchen.

Mountain Sunset View Destiny Den

This is the near perfect luxury cabin in the Smoky Mountains. Fitted with 1 bedroom and 1.5 baths and hot tub on deck, this is in the Hidden Spring Resort area of Pigeon Forge with ridiculously good views of the mountains while also being close to Dollywood and 20 minutes from the national park.

Another bonus is that it has the perfect angle to view the nightly fireworks at Dollywood which runs from June to August.

This is easily one of the most-reviewed property on VRBO in Pigeon Forge that somehow manages to hold 5 stars. Everyone that has left feedback has exceptional things to say about Destiny Den.

License to Chill Camp Margaritaville

*cues* Escape by Rupert Holmes.

Unique Places To Stay In Gatlinburg Tennessee

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As the gateway to Americas incredible Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg treats visitors to untouched nature and pleasant creature comforts.

Its hard to believe that Gatlinburg was once a quiet logging community nestled amongst the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Today, this famous mountain town has transformed into a bustling resort destination that attracts approximately 12 million people every year. Its claim to fame is its close locale to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but the town offers so much more than that.

Gatlinburg is also known for incredible restaurants, family-friendly attractions, and delightful places to stay. Visitors can take their pick from highly-rated resorts to private vacation rentals that range from rustic cabins to upscale homes. But no matter where you choose to stay, many of Gatlinburgs accommodations boast a distinct charm and incredible features.

Make your trip to the Smokies extra special with one of these unique places to stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

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Wheres The Best Place To Stay On The North Carolina Side Of The Mountains

Again, we love Hendersonville. Its a great place. The apple picking in the fall is fantastic. The mountain views are wonderful. The downtown is lively and full of interesting shops and artisan restaurants. The area is rich in history. Its wonderful.

Certainly, Cherokee has grown over the years, has natural beauty and celebrations of native culture. Its also the best place in the mountains to see an elk. And they offer gambling at Harrahs if youre into such things. But for us, Hendersonville and nearby Flat Rock is the spot.

Also, Bryson City is a bit off the beaten path, but the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and its museum make for a fun getaway. There are just enough interesting restaurants and you can see locations used in the Harrison Ford classic movie, The Fugitive.

Secret Den In Sevierville: Secluded Sunrise

Great Places to Stay in the Great Smoky Mountains

Nestled in the outskirts of Sevierville, this is an excellent choice for those that want somewhere calm, without all the noise of the main tourist areas. Guests are given free entry passes to a number of local attractions, helping you save some money on your trip. Rainy day outside? No worries, there is also a small game room and pool table indoors to keep you entertained.

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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.

Panther Creek Cabins Cherokee North Carolina


Cherokee, North Carolina, is full of cozy mountain cabins to serve as basecamps for a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But reviewers especially love the Panther Creek Cabins, which gives you both easy park access and an incredible lodging experience that embodies the true spirit of Appalachia. Hike the surrounding property, head into Cherokee for dinner, soak in the hot tub, or even do a bit of gambling up the street at Harrahs Casino, if thats your thing. You sacrifice by leaving WiFi and civilization behind, but you gain a truly immersive experience in the Smokies something we could all use right about now.

Price: From $109 per night


Far from the hustle and bustle of the Sugarlands entrance is the Historic Tapoco Lodge. Its an ode to the good ole days of early tourism in the Smokies, back when it was all about getting out into nature and leaving the city behind. From the lodge, you can kayak Chilhowee Lake , raft the Cheoah River, or see the lesser-traveled side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be sure to grab a pizza and a beer from Tapoco Tavern one night, perhaps to celebrate being one of the few who actually hike their way into the park .

Price: From $159 per night

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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.
  • Play with knives at the Smoky Mountain Knifeworks.
  • We love Conors Steak & Seafood they have a welcoming atmosphere and an incredibly well-priced menu.

Final Thoughts On Places To Stay In The Smoky Mountains

10 Things You Must Do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

When we first started planning on Smoky Mountains itinerary, we thought it’d be pretty straightforward and expected to book the standard hotels and motels along the way.

After researching the region, we realized that not only do things get complicated by the fact that you have two very distinct sides of the Great Smoky Mountains, but there are so many more cool unique stays than you can count.

The challenge is 1) figuring out which city/town to be in and 2) finding all of your options. If you simply look at TripAdvisor, you’d never find most of these incredible properties.

Hopefully with our curated list of properties in Waynesville, Bryson City, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, you’ll get a head start in finding that perfect place to stay in the Smoky Mountains.

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Scenic Cabin In The Smoky Mountains Mountain Views

This gorgeous cabin, nestled in the mountains just outside Pigeon Forge, really is one of the best accommodation options around the mountains. This cabin in Tennessee is excellent for winter trips to the Great Smoky Mountains, when the trees lose their leaves and you can enjoy the epic view from the outdoor hot tub.

Types Of Places To Stay Near Smoky Mountains National Park If You Dont Like Camping

  • Date: April 29, 2022

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to 10 campgrounds where you can sleep under the stars! However, what do you do if you want to stay in the park but youre not really into camping? While there is just one lodging option located within the park, the LeConte Lodge, it is situated on top of the parks third highest peak and is accessible only by foot! The good news is that there are a ton of excellent options that are just minutes away! Here are 3 types of places to stay near Smoky Mountains National Park if you dont like camping:

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Bryson City Center Of Adventure Near The Smoky Mountains

North Carolina provides a different look to the Smoky Mountains than its counterparts in Tennessee and Bryson City is a more natural and laid-back town that will appeal to many.

This gateway to the mountains is not only close to the entry to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but is also next to the Nantahala River Gorge and Fontana Lake.

Adventure is one of Bryson’s calling cards because of highlights such as the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, wildwater rafting on the Nantahala River, chasing waterfalls at Deep Creek within the national park, Road to Nowhere, and plenty of opportunities to go tubing, horse riding, fishing, kayaking, SUP, and more.

Tiny Home Gina’s Great Getaways

You might not’ve heard of Gina’s Great Getaways but they have an amazing collection of unique stays in and around the Bryson City area that will blow you away.

The one we stayed at is called the Sweet Pea Tiny Home. It’s truly an adorable small space that backs into a tumbling creek. While small, it isn’t lacking in features with tons of privacy, firepit, charcoal grill, full kitchen, queen bed, air conditioning, and full size bathroom. No shortcuts were made with this home.

1800s Homestead Smokey Mountain Overlook

If you’re looking for a spacious cottage with views of the Smoky Mountains, this is a quiet part of Bryson City to stay in.

Being on the Booking platform, if you have Genius status, you’ll be able to apply a 17% discount too which makes this a great stay for those on a budget.

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