We are planning our summer vacation and decided to stay in the Smokey Mountains. We are planning to book a cabin, but not sure where the best location is. Can anyone give me the one paragraph run down on Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge? What is the ideal spot and why? I know many of you have cabins there so figured you should all know better than an online travel guide! As an AIrBNB superhost, we are planning to book through Airbnb to keep it in the family so to speak.
Gatlinburg tiny crowded town with terrible traffic and great views and lots of fun stuff to do with the fam and kinda trashy. Walk from Point A to Point B.
Pigeon Forge a bit bigger. More stuff to do but spread out. Must get in car and move from point A to Point B.
Traffic is so horrible it really doesn't matter where your cabin is. You will end up in cades cove/suglarlands/Clingmans dome/newfound gap. These things are all hours apart from each other.
Just pick a cabin you like with a ton of reviews. I wouldn't worry too much about location. Pretty good chance that cabin will be mine. If you are far enough in advance that is because mine book fast!
While traffic can be pretty bad in high rental times, it really depends on your group's ages and what you want to do on your vacation.
If you want to spend most of your time in the park, it might make sense to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg, on the Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, or in Townsend. But you can usually take the Gatlinburg Bypass or Townsend entrance and go around most of the traffic.
The Arts & Crafts community on the East side of Gatlinburg is usually a little older crowd, and is not as crowded.
Pigeon Forge is a little younger, and has a lot of amusement parks, rides and shops.
Let me know if you have any specifics on what you want to do.
And when you decide you locale, think about your desired amenities. Some cabins look right onto their neighbor's porch. Some have their own pool, or a community pool or none at all. Being on top of your neighbor is not always known until you arrive. There's no checkbox for it.