Looking to go to Gatlinburg in the near future? It’s a great place to spend time with the family especially in the fall when the mountains are so beautiful. Before you start planning your trip, you may be wondering where to stay…
The Different Lodging Options
There’s many different lodging options available and they all book up quickly during peak visiting season. So if you’re planning on making a trip to Gatlinburg, you need to decide on what works best for you and your family…
Here’s the places I’ve stayed:
- Cabin in the mountains – This is a great option if you plan on going with a large crew. My sorority sisters and I stayed in a luxurious cabin with an indoor pool and movie theater for our sisterhood retreat. We didn’t venture out into the Gatlinburg or go hiking, so we needed something that had tons of entertainment for the entire group.
- Campground – I’ve stayed in Great Smokey Mountain National Park numerous times as a child and teen. My father had a passion for camping. So we’d take our pop-up camper up to Tennessee for a 3-day weekend and enjoy the fresh mountain air. This option is really more suited for the nature enthusiast who wants to spend the majority of their time hiking, grilling out and making s’mores.
- Downtown condo – A condo is perfect for a relaxing trip in the mountains especially one with a fireplace. When you stay in Gatlinburg, you can easily walk to everything as you’re in the heart of the city. In the winter, it can be difficult to get up and down the mountain for people who aren’t experienced at driving in snowy weather.
- Downtown hotel – Staying in a hotel is another great option if you want to be in the middle of Gatlinburg. You won’t have to do much driving. However, this option is best when you plan on being out of your room for most of the trip. Since Gatlinburg is so small, there really isn’t much to keep you out all day and night long. But if there’s only you and one other going, then the hotel is the most affordable option.
My recommendation: Stay at a condo in downtown Gatlinburg to get the total experience. Here’s the thing… While the mountains and Gatlinburg are captivating, they will not keep you entertained 24/7. There will be a lot of downtime and you’ll want to stay some place where you can comfortably relax. After testing out all of the options above, I feel that a condo is best preferably one with a fireplace. This way you can cozily sit around as a family, play board games and share stories.
- Stay away from Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge has become a roadside attraction of a city. It’s completely over run and totally depressing. There’s nothing unique about it.
- Book 6 months to a year out and get the best deals. Places book up quickly and prices surge.
- Use sites like AirBnB to find cheaper places to stay that still have that homey feel to them.
- Bring board games and snacks to make the trip more eventful.