Updated: Jul 12, 2022
I have allot of clients confused about the different popular areas to stay in and near the Smoky Mountains. This pros and cons list is a helpful guide to assist in picking where you want to stay and visit in the Smoky Mountains region.
Pigeon Forge, TN:
Hokey, cheesy Tennessee family fun!
Pros: closest to Dollywood Park if they’re interested in that (fun for kids). Close to shopping, things to do, and places to eat. All dinner shows and hokey museums/arcades are here. I emphasize HOKEY (Hatfields & McCoys Dinner Feud, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, World of Illusions, Ziplining, rollercoasters, Hollywood Wax Museum), but fun for kids.
Cons: Terrible traffic since everything to do is one both sides of one road. Loud and crowded since everything is so centralized. Hokey Tennessee activities and decorations. Think Vegas strip, but more hokey and cheesy.
Best for those looking to truly get away, have space from others, and looking for picturesque views.
Pros: much more space between you and other people. A true getaway since you are less likely to be staying somewhere where you can see others. More sightings for wildlife. Quieter and more peaceful because of less road traffic.
Cons: Adds 20-30+ minute to driving each way to get to Smoky Mts National Park. Less choices for places to eat and grocery stores (have to drive some distance). Curvy roads with drop-offs to get to cabins at top of mountains, can be daunting for those not used to that kind of driving.
Best of both worlds. More updated and upscale feel than Pigeon Forge and closer to National Park hiking. You get the gorgeous views of mountains and nature, but still close to restaurants, shopping, and things to do that don’t feel hokey.
Pros: more updated and walkable than PF. Closer to National Park than either PF or Sevierville, so you can start exploring and hiking more easily.
Cons: traffic and difficult to find parking. More populated than Sevierville if you’re looking for a true secluded getaway.
Has such a cute, quaint downtown area. Not hokey at all. Great for walking around exploring small local shops, restaurants, and bars.
Pros: quaint, cute, and quiet. Most home and cabin rentals here have lake access! For those interested in doing any water activities, this is their destination. Closer for a day trip to the Biltmore. Close proximity to both Smokey Mountains National park and famous Blue Ridgeway Parkway.
Cons: doesn’t offer as the family museums and activities that places like Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg do. It’s a completely different vibe and vacation.
Looking at Properties in the Smoky Mountains area? I have a list of some of my top picks. CLICK HERE TO VIEW BAILEY'S SMOKY MOUTIANS ACCOMMODATIONS