Hotels in Gatlinburg

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Gatlinburg Hotels

Set on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a traditional small Southern town, with a charming downtown area and cabins hidden amongst the mountain scenery. Close to Dollywood and other major theme parks, the town also has plenty of its own family-friendly attractions, from fun museums to themed theater. You can enjoy year round outdoor activities in Gatlinburg, from skiing and snow tubing in the winter, to hiking along rocky trails studded with waterfalls in the summer.

Things to see

Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee's only ski resort, taking advantage of the steep mountain slopes and powdery snow which generally falls between mid-December and early March. The resort has 9 slopes, from beginner to diamond slopes, and a ski school for those just starting out. You'll find a fun, unpretentious atmosphere, with cheap lift passes, and activities such as snow tubing that both kids and adults will love. You can still ride the aerial tramway in summer, with sweeping views of the Great Smoky Mountains, and at the top there's an animal enclosure, with adorable baby bears and otters to be seen up close. There are further exciting creatures to be spotted at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies; a large complex where you can see penguins lazing by their pool, walk under the glass tunnel and get close to exotic fish, or even pet the friendly rays in the rock pool tanks. Another attraction that's suitable for all ages is the Gatlinburg Space Needle and Family Fun Center. Simply step on the elevator and you'll be taken 400 feet to the viewing platform, with floor to ceiling windows and a 360 degree view of the mountains. Once you've had enough of taking photos and peeking through the viewfinders, there's a large arcade set over 2 floors, with laser tag, a hurricane simulator, and many fun arcade games for the whole family.

Hotels in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg has a great selection of hotels and resorts, many of them aimed at families on vacation, with a selection of family rooms and suites, and rollaway beds available. You'll find hotels overlooking the mountains, with seasonal outdoor pools, indoor pools, fitness centers, and laundry services to help you enjoy a relaxed vacation. Many hotels offer free WiFi and free parking, with a complimentary continental or buffet breakfast, and tea and coffee available in the lobby. You'll find many larger chain hotels in the downtown area, offering 2 to 3 star accommodation that's clean and comfortable, with daily housekeeping and extras available such as childcare.

Where to stay

Downtown Gatlinburg has a charming, small town atmosphere, with a friendly welcome wherever you go. The Village is an old fashioned shopping plaza, with shops selling handmade souvenirs and artisanal foods such as locally produced cheese and freshly ground coffee to take home. Downtown has a huge number of places to eat, with steakhouses, barbeque joints, and restaurants serving trout freshly caught from the mountain streams. The area also has many breweries, creating barrels of moonshine and craft beers, and you'll be able to enjoy the rustic taverns attached to the breweries, with tasting sessions and hearty food.

How to get to Gatlinburg

McGhee Tyson Airport is just outside of Knoxville; just over an hour away by car. The airport has flights arriving from cities across the USA, and has car rental desks or shuttle services to get you to your hotel. Gatlinburg is also accessible through major mountain roads, with the drive from Nashville taking about 3 and a half hours. Another option is to take a private coach, with many services running to Dollywood from cities across the USA. You can then take the charming local trolley bus to get to your destination.

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