The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA. Millions of people have visited the National Park of Smoky Mountains, and it’s the most visited national park in the country.
There is no entrance fee to be paid when you visit this national park, and it’s one of the few places in the USA that allows visitors to explore the various attractions and natural beauty for free. The Smoky Mountains National Park has gorgeous mountain views with stunning scenery, plenty of hiking trails to explore, and many beautiful waterfalls.
On your trip to the Smoky Mountains National Park, it might take you a while to find suitable accommodation since there are plenty of options to choose from. When you have so many choices, it could be hard to find the best place.
Being a hotspot for tourists with its abundance of fun attractions, it can get overwhelming to find the best lodging. Most of the famous lodgings are in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Here’s a comprehensive list of some sites that can be regarded as the best place to stay.
1. Overall best place to stay in the Smoky Mountains TN: Margaritaville Resort, Gatlinburg
This resort is located around downtown Gatlinburg, and it’s one of the most popular places to book. Since Gatlinburg is right outside the Smoky Mountains national park boundary, which is the most visited park in the country, the hotels around this area are in high demand compared to Pigeon Forge.
Margaritaville has a wide range of amenities to enjoy during your stay there, and there are plenty of outdoor attractions merely minutes away from this location. If you’re looking for the most popular tourist choice to stay.
Types of rooms and check-in & check-out timings
Margaritaville has a wide range of suites, pool-facing rooms, double bedrooms, one-bedroom, and an exclusive bungalow at a short walk from the main resort. After you’ve reserved a room here, you get a guaranteed parking spot, and there are valet facilities available as well. The check-in starts at 16:00, and the check-out is at 11:00.
These rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with free wi-fi, smart televisions, minifridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers. The bedroom suites have their separate dining area as well. Some of these rooms come with a private balcony that can offer you stunning views of the city and the pool areas.
At this three-star resort in Gatlinburg, there are indoor and outdoor pools available. Their indoor pools are open all year round, but they close their outdoor pools, a large area with waterslides, during the beginning of November. There’s a splash pad available for children as well. They have a hot tub outside where you can enjoy the warmth. The pool timings are from 8:00 to 23:00 hours.
Being a smoke-free hotel, this family-friendly resort could be the best place to stay if you’re visiting with your family. They also have a full-service spa, 24-hour gym, and a covered terrace equipped with a fireplace.
Dining areas & Bars
There are many dining areas around the resort, such as Landshark Bar and Grill, Daiquiri Shack and Grill, along with other snack bars and poolside bars. In-room dining is also provided here. For more information about their resort, you can check out their website here, filling you in on all the details you need to know before your visit.
2. Wears Valley Cabin Rentals, Sevier County
If you’re looking to get a more nature-oriented experience off the beaten path on your stay around the Great Smoky Mountains national park, then renting a cabin at Wears Valley is one of the best options for you.
Considered to be a hidden gem in Tennessee, away from the city buzz of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, this valley has a variety of stunning views and outdoor activities that you can indulge in.
Located off the beaten path, without visiting the cities.
What type of cabins can you find here?
At the Volunteer Cabin Rentals and Maples Ridge Vacation Rentals at Wears Valley, the staff can help you find a cabin or variety of lodging according to your liking and price range. There are lakeside cabins, log cabins, luxury cabins, private cabins, two-bedroom cabins, one-bedroom cabins, and family cabins.
You can even find cabins with specific amenities such as a fire pit or pet-friendly cabins. Many other cabin rentals around Pigeon Forge rent out offsite places in Smoky Mountain.
This valley runs parallel to the Great Smoky Mountains national park. These cabins in the valley offer fantastic views of the smoky mountains, and it’s just a short drive away from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge city.
Since this valley is more suitable for private cabins, these cabins are usually luxury cabins and are no less than $130 per night.
The Mountains Are Calling Cabin
This luxury two-bedroom cabin in Wears Valley can accommodate six people, and it guarantees some of the best views of the Smoky Mountains. It stays true to its name when it comes to that.
Looking at the ethereal mountain views from this tranquil cabin at Preserve Resort will make you desperate to visit the national park and explore the smoky mountains.
A perfect cabin for family get-togethers or to spend time with your spouse or friends, it comes with a wide range of amenities that you can enjoy. A master bedroom, two queen beds, one king bed, game room area equipped with a pool table and air hockey, indoor hot tub, a couple of big-screen TVs, free wi-fi, loaded kitchen, electric fireplace, barbeque grill, and so much more.
Unfortunately, this cabin is not pet-friendly, if you’re looking forward to bringing your furry friend along on this smoky mountain vacation. It’s smoke-free as well. The rate ranges from $180 to $300, depending on the season and availability.
Wears Valley cabins offer an experience like none other with its particular milieu of a small-town feel away from the city yet close to the local attractions. This could be the best place if you want a nature-rich experience.
If you pick a cabin at this valley instead of the local cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you get special easy access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through the Metcalf Bottoms entrance.
Cades Cove Campground
Around a thirty-minute drive from Wears Valley, this campground in Townsend is filled with beautiful trails and scenic views, perfect for a campfire night. There are basic amenities available here with fresh drinking water, flush toilets, general stores, picnic areas, and many more.
Driving around 11 miles, the Cade’s Cove loop is one of the favorite activities enjoyed by tourists here. You can set up your RV camps and enjoy the warmth by the fire pit while enjoying nature in its purest form. You can hike on the Cades Cove nature trail and spot a couple of deers, and on rare occasions, you might come across a bear.
If you’re one of those people who prefer camping around so they can feel closer to the wildlife.
3. Leconte Lodge, Gatlinburg
If you’re someone who loves hiking, then this is the best spot for you in Gatlinburg. Leconte Lodge is situated on top of Mount Leconte.
It takes around six to nine hours of hiking to reach the top of this mountain, so although it’s not the toughest hike, it’s not for beginners either. The Leconte Lodge in Gatlinburg sits at an elevation of 6,390, thus making it the highest guest lodge in Eastern America.
If you’re someone who wants the whole countryside experience while hiking.
Features, amenities, and meals at Leconte Lodge
Leconte Lodge is guaranteed to provide you with a cozy, warm atmosphere within its rustic cabins, which are furnished to accommodate four to five people in a room. It’s one of the perfect places for lodging for people looking to get away from city life and fully delve into the countryside lifestyle and the sense of being part of a small community.
Basic amenities are provided here, ranging from kerosene lanterns, propane heaters. Although there are no showers available here, they will provide you with a bucket to take a sponge bath.
You can watch the gorgeous sunset view from the clifftop, views of the Smoky Mountains, and if you’re an early bird, you wouldn’t want to miss the sunrise view from Myrtle Point.
There are family-style meals provided at the lodge, and all meals are accompanied by water. The rates are set per person, and the prices differ based on the type of lodge you’re looking to book. The food rates are calculated separately. You can check out all the rates here.
4. Fairfield Inn & Suites, Gatlinburg
This modern hotel is located in downtown Gatlinburg and has a wide range of guest rooms and suites to pick from. This place is perfect for people who are looking to travel around the local attractions of Gatlinburg on their trip to the Great Smoky Mountains national park.
Guest room amenities include air conditioning, alarm clocks, coffee maker, play yard, microwave oven, and the bathroom includes all the basic facilities. Other services around the hotel include a whirlpool, indoor hot tub, and outdoor pool, which is open from April to September.
Other recreational activities around the hotel include horseback riding, river rafting, a gym center on-site, and golf club courses.
The rates per night range from $195 to $220 depending on the type of room you’re looking for, and you could get a member discount if you apply for a membership there.
Points of interest around downtown Gatlinburg
Fairfield Inn is a great place to stay if you’re looking to visit some of the most popular tourist spots in the Smoky Mountains and the famous Gatlinburg attractions.
This hotel is only a five-minute drive from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. It’s a perfect vacation spot and one of the best hotels to stay at if you’re looking to explore the city and go to the Great Smoky Mountains national park.
So if you’re looking for a place where you can explore downtown Gatlinburg as well.
The Gatlinburg Space Needle is only a three-minute drive from this modern hotel. There are other popular destinations you can traverse from here, such as the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and Gatlinburg SkyBridge, some of the most beautiful places with a view that you need to see once in your lifetime. The Great Smoky Mountains national park is a short drive from this hotel.
5. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, Pigeon Forge
Many of the acclaimed country singer’s fans would argue that this resort is undoubtedly the best place to stay.
Pigeon Forge’s tourists often come here to see the Smoky Mountains and visit the grandeur of theme parks and a museum made for the acclaimed country singer Dolly Parton. Dollywood is one of the major tourist attractions in the city, and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is the perfect spot for people who are looking to visit the Great Smoking Mountains and enjoy the fun theme park available in the city.
If you’re a fan of Dolly Parton or enjoy a glamorous hotel setting.
What are the different types of rooms available here?
DreamMore Resort, being one of the best hotels in the city, has a huge assortment of standard rooms and suites to choose from. In addition to that, it has a special ‘Dolly Parton Suite,’ which is a luxurious and beautifully decorated penthouse inspired by the star herself.
Complimentary parking and wi-fi are available for all guests. This resort also offers a wide range of luxurious cabins to rent for the people who see the Great Smoky Mountains.
You can find some of the best restaurants in the city during your Smoky Mountains holiday at this hotel. Song & Hearth and DM Pantry are some of the best restaurants available here at the resort.
There are both indoor and outdoor pools available here. This hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool with a cascading waterfall on one end. Their indoor heated pool is a perfect spot to relax after a long day of traveling and offers a gorgeous view of the Smoky Mountain National Park from the poolside.
6. The Inn at Christmas Place, Pigeon Forge
True to its name, this is a Christmas-themed hotel like no other at Pigeon Forge. This four-star hotel is located near the Pigeon Forge Snow and offers an experience like none other with their quirky theme style. This hotel is also the perfect Christmas holiday destination.
Each room has free wi-fi, a coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, DVD player, and flat-screen television. You can choose amongst the different lodgings available there, such as king suites, two-room suites, and the Santa suit. There are private hot tub facilities available here as well, along with an outdoor hot tub.
This hotel also has a gorgeous courtyard filled with vibrant flora, which will make you want to stop around here and observe the serene, scenic surroundings. The rates range from $160 to $250+ per night, depending on how early you’re booking or during which season you’re booking.
This could be the best place to stay if you’re into the quirky setting and variety of attractions near the hotel.
You can check out interactive museums like the Titanic Museum Attraction, a six-minute drive from this hotel. You can learn about the history of the famous Titanic ship and have a fun time navigating through the exhibits and artifacts. It’s high in demand, so it’s recommended to make a reservation beforehand if you’re planning to visit.
7. Nantahala Village, North Carolina
Since the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is situated along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, there are some incredible places to check out on the North Carolina side.
If the ones on the Tennessee side didn’t catch your attention, maybe the best place to stay isn’t even in TN for you.
There are many beautiful places to check out on the North Carolina end of the Treat Smoky Mountain National Park. The North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains offers many beautiful sites to look out for, such as the Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley, Nantahala Village in Bryson City is a mountain resort that offers cabin rentals and is quite a popular wedding destination.
At the resort, you can find many fun amenities to utilize, such as a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, fishing pond, lounging area, bistro, and the offsite amenities include kayaking, zip-lining, and whitewater rafting, amongst many other activities.
From homey cabins to mountain suites, you’re sure to find something based on your liking at this resort in North Carolina. Nantahala Village is around blue ridge parkway, which is a popular road taken by people who love to drive around the country as it offers numerous scenic views along the way. The Smoky Mountain Railroad is close to this resort as well.
You can visit the Nantahala National Forest, which has many trails for hiking, biking, and campsite opportunities for RV camping. You might even catch a couple of Elks and deers on your hike here.
The blue ridge parkway ends near the town of Cherokee. At the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, you can learn about the Cherokee culture and observe the various artifacts and art preserved here.
Hopefully, now you have an idea about the best place to stay. So you’ll have the most memorable time exploring the Great Smoky Mountains area and a perfect vacation at the Smokies after reading about all the fun places you can check out!