There are many things that one must keep in mind when planning to travel. After all, a vacation is a chance to relax and forget about our other worries for a time. However, one of the biggest questions isn’t just location, but where specifically you will stay and call your own. Well, here at Kaizen Rentals we have gone ahead and done some of that research for you. So, read on discover our choice for the best places to stay in Pigeon Forge, TN during your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains!
Baby Bear Cabin
For those who are looking to travel alone, or perhaps with a special significant other, you are sure to find this cabin the perfect place. Not only is it easy on the wallet, but the studio-style layout is perfect for those looking to have some intimate time with their loved one. Featuring great views that look out into the forest around you, it is the perfect place for those looking to relax amongst the trees and natural world. Furthermore, despite the studio layout, you’ll also find a jetted tub just off the living room and tucked against the wall. This allows for the unique ability to not only allow the warm jets to massage your muscles after a day of exploring, but also watch a movie on the provided television in the living area. You’ll also find that this cabin also comes with a full kitchen that is perfect for cooking up a romantic feast for you to dine on as you listen to the cricket’s chirp outside your windows. If you walk outside, you’ll also find this unit comes with a patio that has a wonderful view and is perfect for waking up with the world as you sip a warm cup of coffee and listen to the twittering of birds around.
Covemont Way Cabin
This 2-bedroom cabin is one of the best places to stay in Pigeon Forge, TN for the small family looking to enjoy the mountains and forests and do so while feeling tucked away. This feeling is only accentuated when one considered the use of wooden floors, walls, and ceilings which truly give it the feel of a cabin. You’ll also find that with the large comfortable sectional and gas fireplace, the living room is the ideal area to relax and unwind while you enjoy a film or the warmth of the fire. You’ll find the kitchen comes with plenty of counter space as well as all you’ll need to whip up a feast, and the open floor plan means you can do it while still interacting with the rest of your group. In addition to the two bedrooms, you will find a large upstairs loft that comes with three beds, making it the perfect place for any teens in your group. In addition to the sprawling lawn outside, you’ll also find a wood-burning fire pit which is perfect for those late nights under the stars while a marshmallow turns golden over the fire. All in all, you are sure to find Covemont Way Cabin the perfect place for you to relax during this vacation time.
For those looking for a secluded stay in the forest and mountains, then Mountain Laurel is for you. Tucked into the woods, this newly renovated rental comes with an open floor plan that ensures plenty of space for you and your guests to relax. Further, you’ll find the unit is perfect for the slightly larger family and features three bedrooms, as well as two full bathrooms with jetted garden bathtubs that are perfect for relaxing after a tiring day of exploration and adventure. You’ll also find a large bunk room featuring six beds which makes it perfect for any little ones who came along and lets them have their own space within the home. Further, you’ll find that this unit comes with not only a Roku Television for those lazy afternoons where a good streaming binge is in order, but also a foosball table so that the competition can flare well into the night, and very well might give you a slight taste of nostalgia. In the living area, you will also find a gas fireplace which is the perfect way to warm your new home on those cold winter nights. You’ll also find the kitchen is quite spacious and comes with more than enough counter space for you to create the feast for you and your guests to gather around and enjoy. Altogether, with the spacious layout and secluded woods view, you are sure to find that Mountain Laurel is the perfect place for a large family or group of friends to stay when you head out on your Smoky Mountain adventure.
Tickled Trout Lodge
Here we start to come to our larger and more elaborate rentals, and the Tickled Trout Lodge is truly the perfect place to stay in Pigeon Forge, TN for those with many guests, and who wish to have a taste of luxury. One thing that truly makes the lodge one of the best places to stay is the game room which comes with shuffleboard, darts, an arcade game, and a small kitchenette for the stomach rumbles but the competition cannot be stopped. As well, you will the lodge comes with breathtaking views that can be enjoyed from the multi-level deck. You’ll find this is the perfect place to either visit or perhaps curl up under the sun as you lose yourself in a good book. Further, you’ll discover it comes with sitting areas and dining areas for those afternoons enjoying the fruits of your culinary nature out in the fresh air. Outside, you will also find a firepit which is ideal for late-night bonfires as you sit under the twinkling stars and chirping crickets. One will also find a private hot tub which is always a nice perk and ensures that after a tiring day of exploration and seeking adventures, you can come home and allow the warm jets to massage the stiffness away.
In addition to the large yard, you will find the inside is spacious, warm, and welcoming. As well, you are sure to find the strategically placed bear décor that truly reminds you that you are in the forest. The indoor fireplace in the living space always makes for a special kind of ambiance, and you’ll find the furniture quite lovely, nice, and the perfect place to plop down and enjoy a movie or show on the provided television. The large dining table is perfect for gathering around during mealtimes, and the full kitchen boasts a large cooking island that ensures you will never be wanting in more counter space. As for sleeping quarters, you will find that the master comes with a walk-in shower, which is always a nice perk, as well as a bunk room. To finish things off, you’ll also find a loft bedroom upstairs that also comes with a small couch to relax on while you wait for your next exciting activity to begin.
Big Bear Lodge
For those looking for not just a spacious and luxurious rental, but also some of the best views you can find, make sure you check out Big Bear Lodge. You’ll find the lodge is not only tucked away but comes with breathtaking views of Mt. Leconte in the distance, not to mention the sprawling forest around. As you explore the outside, you’ll find one of the bigger perks of this unit which is the private waterfall pool which is ideal for those warm summer days floating upon the surface as your loved ones relax poolside and work on their tans. You’ll further discover a private hot tub that is perfect for winter night as the steam rises into the air as you unwind in the warm waters. The wrap-around deck provides breathtaking views of the surrounding forests that one can call their temporary home. You’ll also discover a gas grill that allows for those summer cookouts that we all remember from our own youth. To allow the best of both worlds, you’ll even find a screened-in portion that is perfect for those summer months where some shade away from the bugs is what is needed.
If you head inside, you’ll notice quite a few other perks that make this one of our best places to stay. Besides the open floor plan which always helps to make a home feel even more spacious, you’ll also find a quant games room featuring the good-old classic arcade game of Pac-Man, as well as a foosball table. This makes it ideal for those afternoons where hanging around the house is ideal. As you explore further, you’ll even find a quant theater room that even comes with a small popcorn maker, after all, can it really be called a movie without some salty and buttery popcorn? Sleeping 14, you’ll find that there are more than enough bedrooms and space for your large party of friends and family. You’ll find though that the master is especially nice as it comes with not only a private walk-out deck but also a fireplace so you can sit comfortably in bed as the dancing flames cast a flickering light upon the walls.
In the living area, you will find a further gas fireplace that is sure to make for the perfect ambiance as you all relax and watch a film on the provided television. You’ll also find the modern kitchen to be a perk as well, after all, cooking for that many people requires a proper place to work your magic! As well, you’ll find that the kitchen comes with a rather large breakfast bar, which is perfect for those moments when you just need to grab a quick bite before rushing off for another adventure. This also ensures that you will never be lacking in counter space and that while you create your feast, you’ll have plenty of company to keep you entertained and ensure that you can connect with your guests even while doing the duties of a host.
For those looking for the best view around, you really and truly can’t beat the view of Vista Infinita, which roughly translates to “the infinite view,” and it’s named this for good reason! You’ll find that when relaxing upon the deck you’ll be able to see over 60 miles into the distance with the sprawling mountain forest stretching out before you. To make it better, you’ll find this multi-level home is perfect for those coming with a large family considering it can sleep a staggering 12 people, making it one of the best places to stay in Pigeon Forge, TN for large groups. When you walk in, you’ll first notice the open floor plan which gives the inside as spacious of a feel as the incredible view. However, if you explore, you’ll start to find the perks that make this rental one of our best. For instance, you’ll find a game room complete with a foosball table, Golden Tee (a golfing arcade game), a poker table complete with chips, a large TV, and a selection of board games. This ensures that at no point will you be hanging around bored as there is sure to always be something to do in the game room. You’ll even find a separate living area/cinema room which comes with a dartboard for those moments where you are waiting through an ad or commercial.
The master also has a rather unique and special perk hidden in the private bathroom. You’ll find yourself doing a double-take when you see the vast walk-in shower that comes with both an overhead/waterfall style showerhead above, and a normal one to the side ensuring a relaxing, and unique, experience. The living area, of course, is the ideal place to relax as a group and you’ll find the beautiful blue couch just calling your name to relax within its embrace as you watch something on the large television in front of you. It even has a gas fireplace which is sure to add that extra touch of warmth to your home’s ambiance. In addition to the large full kitchen, there is even a small wine bar for those sommeliers in your group. As well, the final touch that makes this home so lovely is the large floor-to-ceiling windows which ensure not only plenty of natural light but also ensures no matter where you stand, you’ll have access to a beautiful view.
Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, millions of people visit the premier vacation destination of Gatlinburg each year. Gatlinburg is full of fun attractions, activities, and restaurants that make for a fun-filled vacation destination year-round. Since Gatlinburg is packed with amazing things to do, it can be a pretty intimidating place to plan a trip. To help guide you through the dos and don’ts of this amazing Southern gem, here is a guide to the best activities, food, shopping, and accommodations in all of Gatlinburg.
Local Attractions and Activities in Gatlinburg
There are loads of local attractions and activities in Gatlinburg, but we have narrowed down our list to the best few that you won’t want to miss in our Gatlinburg travel guide.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a forested region with skyscraping mountains that reach more than 6,500 feet high. The central range of the Appalachians run east to west and provide pristine views of the natural beauty that surround the area. The Smokies get their name from the mist that frequently rises out of the valleys and creates a one-of-a-kind view. For those who love to get outside and experience nature, this National Park is a must visit. Travelers come to this park year-round and enjoy outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and more. In total there are more than 900 miles of hiking trials that run across the park. Many visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park also come for the fishing and winter sports that vary on the time of year you visit. Make sure that your trip begins at the visitor’s center, where they offer guides and maps to the area and allow for easy access to the most scenic areas.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is a much loved local set of attractions that feature exotic collections of the strange and unique. One of their best attractions is actually a more informative collection of exotic marine life. The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies highlights many exotic creatures from around the world and features exhibits on various marine life. Highlights include a submerged acrylic tunnel that allows visitors to see sharks and other ocean predators up close and interactive exhibits, including the always popular “touch a ray bay.” One of our favorite experiences is the penguin exhibits. You can sign up for one of their activities that include swimming with the sting rays, a glass bottom boat ride through the exhibit, or even touching one of their penguins. Other Ripley’s attractions in the area include Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Ripley’s Moving Theater, and the Guinness World Records Museum.
One of the most beautiful areas of the Smoky Mountains lies just outside of Gatlinburg and was named after the area’s once dominant sugar maples trees. The Sugarlands is an extremely popular day trip destination from Gatlinburg. The area stretches from the Roaring Fork in the east to Sugarland Mountain in the west and is overlooked by the 5,000-foot Mount le Conte. The Sugarlands are extremely popular among avid hikers when the leaves change in October and create a truly magical view. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Old Sugarlands Trail, open to hikers and horse riders. A gentler trail leads from the Sugarlands Visitor Center and loops past the John Ownby Cabin, built in 1860. Not far away is Noah Ogle Place, a former homestead with an old barn, cabin, and mill. Another popular hike through the Sugarlands, one that’s great for families, is the trail to Cataract Falls. This 25-foot-tall waterfall is a great end to a small and easy hike from the visitor’s center at the Sugarlands.
Dolly Parton’s Dollywood
Considered one of the world’s premier theme parks, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood combines the rides, food, and entertainment of a theme park with a distinct Southern charm, all surrounded by the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Dollywood starts with its incredible lineup of live artists performing various musical acts, including country, Southern gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll, and Appalachian music. Along with the rich musical heritage, Dollywood also showcases some of the Smoky Mountains amazing crafts like glass blowing and blacksmithing. To capture the attention of the thrill seekers out there, Dollywood is also the home to over 40 different rides and attractions that vary enough to entertain all ages. These amazing attractions include the Lightning Rod, Wild Eagle, FireChaser Express, Mystery Mine, Blazing Fury, Barnstormer, Daredevil Falls, Thunderhead, and more. The Lightning Rod is the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster, The Wild Eagle is the country’s first wing roller coaster, and the FireChaser Express is the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster.
In addition to the year-round entertainment options, Dollywood also hosts some of the South’s largest festivals. The Festival of Nations is a fascinating multi-cultural celebration featuring traditional music, dance, food, and art of nations from around the globe. Enjoy Dollywood’s Barbecue & Bluegrass Festival in the spring and the Harvest Festival with Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the fall, offering delightful concerts and tasty foods that highlight the changing of the seasons.
The best seasonal offering is the Dollywood Splash Country. This is Dollywood’s take on the traditional waterpark. The park is full of amazing water attractions for the whole family. The water park is also open later for a nightly fireworks extravaganza. These are amazing options for great summer and fall attractions while in Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg Restaurant Guide
Gatlinburg is well known for attractions and natural beauty, but its restaurants are just as amazing. Here are some of the best restaurants we recommend in Gatlinburg.
Southern Comfort at Westgate Mountain Resort and Water Park
Southern Comfort is a pristine representation of comfort food. The restaurant lies on the grounds of the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Water Park and features all of your Southern classics. If you are a fried chicken lover, their Southern Fried Chicken and Biscuit is made with tender, juicy bone-in chicken and served with straight out of the oven biscuits and grilled watermelon. The Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf is another prize on their menu we can’t say enough about because it tastes as good as it looks. Just imagine grilled meatloaf wrapped in crispy delicious bacon goodness. Finally, you have to try the Creole Jambalaya and the Chicken and Dumplings on their homecooked menu. These two favorites cover the homecooked staples of any good Southern kitchen. When you are all finished with your meal, make sure to hit up the amazing water park to cool off in the pool and a load of extra attractions.
Cliff Top at Anakeesta
This amazing dinner with a view is a must visit while you are in Gatlinburg. Cliff Top at Anakeesta requires admission to Anakeesta to dine there, but the added cost is well worth it. Guests will board a scenic gondola and ride up to the top of the mountain where you will be surrounded by pristine views of the Smokies. Cliff Top is located in the Black Bear Village area of the attraction. Cliff Top serves up modern American cuisine for guests to enjoy while they take in the views of Mount Le Conte. When booking your reservation for this amazing dining spot, you are able to choose to dine inside or outside on the patio. Both areas offer amazing views of the mountain scenery surrounding the restaurant. After you eat, make sure you grab one other Cliff Top’s amazing desserts to eat while you watch the sunset.
Pancake Pantry is one of the best Gatlinburg restaurants in the downtown area. This amazing little breakfast spot is Tennessee’s oldest pancake house and has been a local favorite for years. Pancake Pantry serves both breakfast and lunch options, but their pancakes are the star of the show. Their menu features amazing takes on classic pancakes including peach, blueberry, buttermilk, and whole wheat varieties to name a few. Pancake Pantry also has an amazing selection of waffles as well, which include some of our favorites in their pecan and strawberry. Other popular menu items include their large egg omelets, traditional egg breakfast platters, and more.
The Peddler Steakhouse
The Peddler Steakhouse has become a Gatlinburg institution to which many locals and visitors alike flock to get their meat fix. The Peddler Steakhouse is built in the former home of Chares “Earl” Ogle Sr., a fourth-generation merchant from Gatlinburg. In 1958, Ogle and his wife constructed their dream home on the banks of the Little Pigeon River from old county cabins. Ogle was the descendant of some of Gatlinburg’s oldest founders, including Noah Ogle, who established the city’s first grocery store. The dream house was converted to preserve its historic value and opened as this amazing restaurant in 1976. This little piece of Gatlinburg history serves up some of the most delicious cuts of steak around. They perfectly pair classic Southern favorites like fried dill pickles with upscale options like filet mignon to create a comforting yet sophisticated experience. This amazing restaurant will fill you up with great meals and leave you with amazing stories for years to come. This is definitely a must-visit spot during your stay in Gatlinburg.
Where to Stay in Gatlinburg, TN
Most people probably think of the popular tourist destination of Gatlinburg and immediately jump to staying in a hotel or some kind of resort, but we are here to tell you that there are better ways of staying in this amazing town. If you are staying in a resort or hotel, you would be missing out on the best options for your vacation. A vacation rental is really the best way to stay in Gatlinburg and get the most out of your vacation!
Vacation rentals allow guests to book an entire home rather than just a small hotel or resort room at a comparative price to the large resorts and hotels around Gatlinburg, but with many more customizable options. Our cabins in Gatlinburg provide you with amazing amenities and customizable experiences depending on your needs. You can filter your options buy searching for number of rooms, amenity options, or location to make sure you are getting the most out of your trip to Gatlinburg.
Save Some Money Eating at Home
The biggest complaint we hear when people are planning their vacation is that they have to spend so much money on food. Your food budget is a sneaky cost that will probably eat up a bunch of your overall budget. With a vacation rental you have a fully equipped kitchen at your disposal which saves you money. Having a full kitchen is an underrated feature of the vacation rental since it allows you to cook your own meals rather than being forced to eat out for every meal. Guests are free to bring their own food with them or visit one of the local grocery stores to stock up on your favorites and save money eating at home. Gatlinburg has a lot of great dining options which you should try, but just cooking the occasional meal at home will save you money to spend elsewhere. This includes eating at fancier restaurants or even extending your trip for an extra day.
Extra Amenities Included
Vacation rentals also include premium upgrades that you will never get with a resort or hotel option. These extra amenities can include in home movie theaters, pools and spas on property, large outdoor decks and much more. You can check out all these extra options to see what amenities will work with your Gatlinburg vacation. Our goal is to make sure you have the best Gatlinburg vacation that we can possibly provide!