Hotels in Gatlinburg

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What you should know about Gatlinburg

It may be called the “Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains” but the Tennessee town of Gatlinburg does its best to lure visitors into staying awhile. A plethora of attractions, from wacky museums and theme parks to country music theaters and gigantic aquariums, are laid on for their benefit. And it’s not just family-friendly fun. Gatlinburg has enough wineries, breweries and distilleries enough to raise a smile from an old moonshiner, while routes are laid on to guide you around its arts, crafts, and music.

Hotels in Gatlinburg

You'll have no trouble finding accommodation in Gatlinburg, the city being packed with motels, inns, convention centers and deluxe hotels. The best hotels in Gatlinburg are on its south side, like the Bearskin Lodge on the River. This themed resort has transformed its adjacent river into a water park. Guests rate this hotel for its deluxe rooms, each with their own spa tub and fireplace. Another fine Gatlinburg hotel is the Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg, plush and modern and featuring an indoor pool and restaurant. The Holiday Inn Club Vacations Gatlinburg-Smoky Mountain goes one further, with an outdoor pool as well, with reviewers loving its spacious lodge-style rooms.

Things to see in Gatlinburg

There are 2 things you can't avoid seeing in Gatlinburg—the beautiful green peaks of the surrounding Smoky Mountains and the soaring tower of the city's Space Needle. This 400-foot high observation tower not only provides views onto those mountains, it also entertains with its theater, arcade, and restaurants. There are plenty of intriguing and bizarre museums in Gatlinburg but only one that officially breaks all records—the Guinness World Records Museum. As well as interactive exhibits covering extremes of every kind, it houses memorabilia of famed record-holders like Elvis Presley. Another record-breaking museum is the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. It has 10,000 critters swimming in its tanks, and boasts the world's longest submarine aquarium tunnel. Lastly, for a proper taster of all the Smokies have to offer, a ticket-to-ride on the Skylift Gatlinburg is hard to beat. Its chairlifts whisk you 1,800 feet high, right up to the summit of Crocket Mountain.

Good for Families

Gatlinburg, with its wacky museums, water parks, and amusement parks, is undoubtedly a town built for family fun. You'll find the hotels and resorts in Gatlinburg are family-friendly too, with many laying on kid-orientated entertainment. Not that Gatlinburg is only about keeping the children happy. You can enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of old-time moonshine at the city's distilleries. In the evening you'll discover live music that comes in both flavors—country and bluegrass —while in the day the excitement of hiking, skiing, or kayaking in the Smokies reminds you why Gatlinburg is so great for the great outdoors.

How to get to Gatlinburg

Knoxville Downtown Island Airport, 30 miles north of Gatlinburg, is the nearest commercial airport for those planning to fly in. It takes about an hour to travel to Gatlinburg down US-441, if you're driving a rented car from there. To drive in from cities to the northeast of here, you'll need to come down I-81, while I-75 gets you most of the way from the north or southwest of Gatlinburg. Once in-town you may prefer to use the city's trolley service, as the roads are often busy.

Gatlinburg travel guides