Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a charming mountain town nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, offering stunning vistas, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife. But what sets Gatlinburg apart from other mountain towns is its unique selection of accommodations. From cozy cabins to luxurious treehouses, there’s something for every type of traveler. In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore some of the most unique places to stay in Gatlinburg, TN, ensuring a memorable and one-of-a-kind experience.
Which is better to stay at, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?
All in all, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are both incredible spots to visit in the Smoky Mountains. Each town offers a unique experience, so the choice really depends on what you’re looking for in your stay.
Gatlinburg is known for its charming, mountain town atmosphere. It is a popular tourist destination with a wide range of attractions, restaurants, and shops. The town is nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering breathtaking views and easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking and wildlife spotting. Gatlinburg is also home to iconic attractions like the Gatlinburg SkyLift, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Ober Gatlinburg ski area. If you’re looking for a vibrant, bustling town with plenty of entertainment options, Gatlinburg is the perfect choice.
Pigeon Forge, on the other hand, offers a slightly different experience. Located just a few miles from Gatlinburg, it is a larger and more commercialized town. Pigeon Forge is known for its family-friendly attractions, including Dollywood, a popular theme park owned by country music legend Dolly Parton. The town also features a wide variety of entertainment venues, dinner theaters, and outlet malls. While Pigeon Forge still offers beautiful mountain views, it tends to be less crowded and more spread out than Gatlinburg. If you’re looking for a slightly quieter and more laid-back atmosphere, Pigeon Forge is a great choice.
Ultimately, whether you choose to stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you’re sure to have a fantastic time exploring the natural beauty and attractions of the Smoky Mountains. Both towns offer a range of accommodation options, from cozy cabins to upscale resorts, making it easy to find the perfect place to stay during your visit.
Is it cheaper to stay in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville?
When comparing the cost of staying in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville, Pigeon Forge generally comes out as the cheaper option. This is true for various factors such as lodging, activities, and restaurants. In Pigeon Forge, you can find a wider range of affordable lodging options, including budget-friendly hotels, motels, and cabins. These accommodations offer competitive rates and often have deals and discounts available, especially during the off-peak seasons.
Additionally, Pigeon Forge is known for its abundance of free or low-cost activities. From exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to visiting the numerous museums and attractions, there are plenty of options that won’t break the bank. The area also offers a variety of dining choices, ranging from affordable fast food and family-friendly restaurants to casual dining options with reasonable prices.
What is the prettiest part of the Smoky Mountains?
The Smoky Mountains offer breathtaking beauty at every turn, but there are a few spots that stand out as some of the prettiest. One of these spots is the Smoky Mountain Deer Farm, where visitors can interact with and feed various animals including deer, goats, and more. It’s a unique and charming experience that allows you to get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures.
Another stunning spot is the Gazebo at Applebarn in Sevierville. This picturesque gazebo is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a peaceful and romantic setting. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic or simply to sit and take in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
For those seeking panoramic views, Clingmans Dome is a must-visit. It is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The hike to the observation tower is a bit challenging, but the reward is well worth it.
Newfound Gap is another beautiful spot in the Smoky Mountains. It is a mountain pass located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a popular spot for taking scenic drives and is particularly famous for its vibrant fall foliage.
If you’re looking for a picturesque waterfall, Laurel Falls is a must-see. This 80-foot waterfall is easily accessible via a paved trail and offers a stunning display of nature’s beauty. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Mount LeConte is another spot that offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains. It is the third-highest peak in the park and can be reached via several hiking trails. The views from the summit are truly awe-inspiring and make for a memorable experience.
Cades Cove is a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains and offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains. It’s a popular spot for wildlife viewing, with opportunities to see deer, black bears, and other native animals. The scenic drive through Cades Cove is a must-do for any visitor to the Smoky Mountains.
If you’re a fan of waterfalls, Rainbow Falls is another spot to add to your list. This 80-foot waterfall gets its name from the rainbows that often appear in the mist. The hike to Rainbow Falls is a bit more challenging, but the reward of seeing this beautiful waterfall up close is well worth it.
What is the secret entrance to Gatlinburg?
The secret entrance to Gatlinburg is the Wears Valley entrance. While the majority of visitors drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to access the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Wears Valley entrance offers a hidden gem for those looking to avoid the crowds and traffic. Located on the western side of the park, this entrance provides a more peaceful and scenic route into the park.
By taking the Wears Valley entrance, visitors can skip the heavy traffic often experienced on the Parkway, especially during peak seasons. This hidden entrance allows for a more direct route into the park, saving time and providing a more enjoyable experience. As you drive through the picturesque Wears Valley, you’ll be treated to stunning mountain views and a quieter atmosphere. It’s the perfect way to start your adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
So, if you’re looking for a secret entrance to Gatlinburg that allows you to bypass the crowds and traffic, the Wears Valley entrance is the way to go. Enjoy a peaceful and scenic drive as you make your way into the park, ready to explore all the natural wonders that await you.
Is it more expensive to stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge both offer distinct experiences in the Smokies, but when it comes to affordability, Pigeon Forge tends to be more budget-friendly. While Gatlinburg is known for its scenic mountain setting and walkable shops and attractions, it can also be a bit more expensive compared to Pigeon Forge. In Gatlinburg, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to cozy cabins, but the prices can be higher due to the demand for its picturesque location.
On the other hand, Pigeon Forge offers a more affordable option for visitors. The town is less crowded compared to Gatlinburg, which can result in lower prices for accommodations and attractions. Pigeon Forge is particularly popular for families, as it offers numerous kids’ interests, such as Dollywood theme park and other family-friendly attractions. Additionally, Pigeon Forge is home to various shopping outlets, where you can find great deals on clothing, accessories, and souvenirs.
In conclusion, while both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have their own unique charm, if budget is a concern, Pigeon Forge might be the more affordable option. With its lower prices, family-friendly attractions, and shopping outlets, Pigeon Forge offers a great value for those looking to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains without breaking the bank.