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The only accommodations actually in the park, besides camping, are at LeConte Lodge. Outside the park, you have a gargantuan selection of hotels of every ilk. On the Tennessee side, in Gatlinburg you'll see a street sign that says "2,000 Hotel Rooms" and points up the hill, and that's just in one section of town. On the North Carolina side, lodging is mostly more low-key, but you can choose from
old mountain inns, B&Bs, and motels in the small towns of Bryson City, Waynesville, and Robbinsville. A seemingly ever-expanding number of hotel towers are connected to the giant Harrah's casino in Cherokee. With more than 1,200 rooms, it’s the largest hotel in North Carolina, and one of its towers is the tallest building in North Carolina west of Charlotte. About 50 miles away, in and around Asheville, you can choose from among one of the largest collections of B&Bs in the Southeast, along with hip urban hotels and classic mountain resorts.
Camping is abundant and reasonably priced. The park has 939 tent and RV camping spaces at 10 developed campgrounds, in addition to more than 100 backcountry campsites and shelters. The cost ranges from $4 per person (backcountry sites and shelters) to $14–$23 per night for front-country sites. All but one of the campgrounds accept RVs and trailers, though most have size limits. Immediately outside the park are many commercial campgrounds and RV parks. Permits are required for all backcountry camping. You can get a backcountry permit online at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov or at the backcountry office at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Sites at four campgrounds—Elkmont, Smokemont, Cataloochee, and Cades Cove—can be reserved in advance by calling 877/444–6777 or visiting www.recreation.gov; reservations are required at Cataloochee. Other campgrounds are first-come, first-served.
Looking back on eight decades on making travel history.More