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angjoyrn1 May 19th, 2010 07:21 AM

SMOKEY MOUNTAINS
 
My husband and I are looking to go the the Smokey Mountains in August with our daughter who will be a year old at that time. I have been trying to do alot of homework on the area. We want to stay close to the park, and Gatlingburg seems to be a tourist trap according to what we have been reading. We like hiking and biking, and want to stay outside the tourist trap area but close the park. We just need a recommendation of a good place to stay with outstanding views and possible other accomadtions (if is is a resort type cabin area) . We want to stay in a chalet or cabin (not in a lodge or hotel). I have also read about Angel's Rest Cabin in Wears Valley that was voted as a top place to stay on trip advisor. Any help with best cabins or chalets to stay in would be great.

jent103 May 19th, 2010 07:52 AM

There are dozens of cabin companies in the area. I've used Parkside Cabin Rentals and Dogwood Cabins and had good experiences with both. Gatlinburg itself is crowded with lots of things like laser tag and fudge shops and haunted houses (though Ripley's Aquarium is good, and there are some good restaurants). However, you can stay *near* Gatlinburg without having to deal with the crowds too much. The cabin I stayed in with Parkside was probably 15-20 minutes from Gatlinburg and we only went into town once.

Another option is to stay in/near Townsend. The town bills itself as "the quiet side of the Smokies," and it is very quiet - there aren't a ton of restaurants to choose from, for example. But if you want a quiet cabin close to the park and are okay with doing some of your own grocery shopping/cooking, it's a great place to stay. Townsend is very close to Cades Cove, which is one of the most popular spots in the park. (Biking the Cades Cove loop road is a popular thing to do - they close the road to vehicles at certain times so bikers can have it to themselves, though you could bike it any time you wanted.) Dogwood Cabins' properties are in Townsend.

I googled Angel's Rest. The location is good - it's not really in a town but is close to Townsend, Pigeon Forge *and* Gatlinburg, so that's nice. It is more expensive than other cabins you could get, but it looks like the views are better, so it's up to you in terms of cost vs. amenities.

angjoyrn1 May 19th, 2010 10:03 AM

You said Angel's rest seems to be more expensive then your typical cabin cost. What should we expect in terms of price to stay in a cabin for a week? Are there any cabin resorts that do your grocery shopping or offer cooking or meals? Some of the cabin resorts have a community provided area , such as a community pool, is this typical of a majority of the cabin resorts?

jent103 May 19th, 2010 11:57 AM

Well, taking Dogwood Cabins as an example (only because I just stayed with them in March), the most expensive two-bedroom they list is at $160/night. Most of them are more in the $100-$130 range. Our cabin wasn't huge and didn't have a spectacular view, but it was plenty of space for four women over a weekend, and the view was nice - just out over some trees and other cabins. In the research I did before our trip, those prices seemed pretty on par for a typical cabin. So $235/night seems pretty pricy to me.

Now, it may totally be worth it. I haven't stayed there, but it does look like the views are great. And consistently good TripAdvisor reviews are a plus. I'm just saying that if cost is more important than views, you could definitely find something cheaper.

Some of the places do have pool access (I believe Dogwood does). I'm not aware of any that will do your grocery shopping or cooking for you, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. If you stay in Townsend, it's easy to pick up a few things in town or stop at a Kroger or wherever in Maryville on the way in. There are a couple of grocery stores in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg as well. On my last trip, we just planned simple meals ahead - baked potatoes, crockpot barbecue, that kind of thing. I actually found it more relaxing than having to go out for every meal.

angjoyrn1 May 21st, 2010 03:26 PM

If you do not stay in Gatlingsburg where is the best p;ace tp stay? How far is Townsend from Gatlingsburg? We are really looking for a cabin with a great view.

jent103 May 21st, 2010 07:43 PM

Just for help Googling, it's <b>Gatlinburg</b> (no S).

Townsend and Gatlinburg are maybe 30-45 minutes apart if traffic is okay. Sometimes in the summer that road can be very busy, so it might take longer. There's no "best" place to stay; it just depends on what you want. In Gatlinburg proper you'll find hotels, mostly. You can find cabins close by, though, as I mentioned. If you don't stay in the Gatlinburg area, most people pick somewhere around Townsend. You could also check out the North Carolina side of the park, but I'm not as familiar with it.

If the view is the most important thing to you, the cabin you mentioned might be the best way to go.

SAnParis2 May 22nd, 2010 07:14 AM

You'll also find in many cases that vrbo.com will be cheaper then those places rented via a realty company. There are many acceptable places around Gatlinburg, that are not right in Gatlinburg.

angjoyrn1 May 22nd, 2010 07:32 AM

So a majority of the cabins in Gatlinburg are outside the actual town center itself away from all the shopping etc. is that correct. If you stay in Gatlinsburg (on the outskirts outside of the town center) does there tend to be noise and light pollution in that area due to its proximity to the town center? Thank you so much for your help.

jent103 May 22nd, 2010 08:06 AM

I am not aware of any cabins in Gatlinburg itself. It's possible that you may find some close enough to town to see the lights, but in the vast majority of cabins you will find, this is not an issue.

candlefool May 24th, 2010 06:28 PM

My family and I have travelled to the Smoky Mountains almost every year for over 20 years. I love staying in Gatlinburg (yes, there are ALOT of cabin choices in Gatlinburg) because of the proximity to the National Park. We spend 99% of our time hiking in the park and I want easy in and easy out. That said, I HATE driving through Gatlinburg - who doesn't?

For the last few trips (including one coming up next month) we are staying with Chalet Village. www.chaletvillage.com The great thing about their site is they list the cabin address so you can google it to see exactly where it is.

The majority of their cabins are in what is known as the Chalet Village area of Gatlinburg and with the right map you can drive from your chalet to Light #10 in Gatlinburg, turn right and be in the National Park. Or get yourself to the Gatlinburg bypass and not hit any lights in town.

We've stayed at #756 Leconte's Misty Glow 2 years in a row now and the view is SPECTACULAR. It's also very close to one of the Chalet Village pools which you get to use. I gave my kids (17 & 6) a choice of Leconte's Misty Glow again this year or Myrtle Beach and they both picked the cabin. We loved it.

Another rental company that looks good (though I haven't stayed with them) is Jackson Mountain Homes. One thing I did was check all the cabin rental companies with the Better Business Bureau and both of these get good ratings.


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