Renting a cabin in the Smoky Mountains can be a great lodging choice for any need. Whether it’s a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a large family wanting to get together, a cabin can provide the perfect “home away from home” feel. The challenge though is knowing where to stay and what to expect.
That’s where we come in. We have gathered the information you need to make sure that your cabin stay checks all your boxes. We make sure you know what you need to bring (or not to bring), what’s close by, what amenities to expect, and who to book with. If you are looking for Smoky Mountain cabin lodging, you’ve come to the right place.
Booking a Cabin in the Smoky Mountains
There is no shortage of companies offering cabin rentals in the Smokies. Google it and you will find dozens of sites with rentals available. One of the best is Cabins of the Smoky Mountains. This site features cabins of every size. From one-bedrooms to 20-bedrooms, you are sure to find something that will fit your needs. Nightly prices for a one-bedroom cabin can range from just under $100 to close to $500 per night. Prices are dependent upon amenities provided as well as seasonal pricing. If you are looking for something not as luxurious (or pricey), but just as nice to stay in, check out Affordable Cabins in the Smokies. One-bedroom prices range from under $100 to just over $200 per night. Both of these sites are easy to use and provide extensive photos of the interiors and exteriors of their cabins, so you won’t be going in blind.
What Can I Expect when booking a cabin in the Smoky Mountains?
When you choose a cabin experience instead of a hotel or resort, you have a lot of freedoms. First and foremost, you aren’t being a bother to (or getting bothered by) others. In a hotel or resort, you generally have people rooming above or below you.
Anyone who has ever overnighted on a trip with kids knows how that goes. It can be stressful when you have a tired, grumpy kid throwing a tantrum who you are trying to calm down so they don’t wake up half of the floor. It can also be a pain when you finally get the kids to sleep after a long day, only to have the bachelorette party bus drop off the ‘Bride Tribe’ after a wild night.
In a cabin, you have the place to yourself. The kids don’t have to share the pool, everyone can have their own space when they need it, and there is no need to wait for the elevator to stop at every. single. floor.
The convenience of a cabin doesn’t stop there. Most cabins have full kitchens, allowing you the freedom to choose your dining. Sometimes, you may decide to go into town and grab breakfast, but other times you may want to have some burgers on the grill. If you decide to go for a hike during your stay, having a kitchen is great for making snacks and sandwiches to take with you on your hike! Some of the cabins also include a washer and dryer, which is great if you are planning on staying more than a night or two.
Even though cabin life begs you to get away from it all, in today’s reality, that’s hard to do. We are a connected society and some of us need to feel in touch. A solid majority of cabins have Wi-Fi available, although being in the mountains, that can sometimes be spotty. Televisions are also a standard feature in cabins, although with all the other things to do, they might not get much use.
Being in a cabin just screams nature, and you will get plenty of it. From balconies with stunning views to picture windows on all sides, you will never miss enjoying your surroundings. The Smokies are notorious for their wildlife, particularly their bear population. To look outside your cabin and watch a bear pass by your window, possibly with some cubs bouncing along behind, is truly a remarkable experience.
There are so many different amenities and extras provided in these cabins that there is no way to list them all. Some have pools inside, some have hot tubs outside. Some have game rooms with arcade games and billiards, while some have home theatres. What you get depends on your needs and your budget. Remember, though, that you are in the Smoky Mountains and while all the other stuff is great, nothing can beat the beauty right outside.
What Should I Bring When Renting a Cabin?
Outside of what you would normally bring on vacation, such as clothes and toiletries, we would suggest the following:
- Swimsuits and swim safety gear (floaties, vests, water shoes, etc.)- You will probably have a pool or hot tub at your cabin.
- Bug spray- even if you aren’t going hiking, you will be out in a forested area and there will be bugs.
- Laundry needs (detergent, fabric softener, basket or hamper)- depending on how long you will be at your cabin or what you will be doing on vacation, you may need to do laundry.
- Food and Snacks-as mentioned before, almost all cabin choices have full kitchens. If you are going with extended family, especially, you may want to have everyone bring specific food items and snacks to keep on hand. Nothing worse than wanting to make s’mores and not have the proper supplies. Just a tip, though: DO NOT leave food in your vehicle. Bears have a great sense of smell and have been known to break into cars for a snack. Take all food inside your cabin and properly store it.
- Entertainment- while there are plenty of things to do in and around your cabin, bringing some board games or favorite movies along can really help round out those slow evenings when you just want to stay in and relax.
- Car needs- it’s always important to have an emergency kit in your vehicle for any type of trip, but for a mountain cabin trip, you might want to bring a couple of extra items. Tire chains are good to have on hand if you plan your trip during wintertime, just in case you run into some snow. This is super important if there is a steep drive up to your cabin.
- Hiking Gear (poles, boots, water bladders, etc.)- if you plan on exploring on foot around the park, make sure you pack all needed hiking gear. If you are an experienced hiker, you probably have all you need for any hike, but if you are a novice or just not planning on anything too strenuous, here are some things to have on hand: good hiking shoes/boots, a water bladder (such as a Camelback) or water bottle, snack or trail mix, sunscreen, bug spray, a whistle (just in case you need help on the trail), and a flashlight (just in case it gets dark before you are done).
What are the best activities when visiting the Smoky Mountains?
Smoky Mountain National Park has several tourist destinations within its confines. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are two of the most well-known. Gatlinburg has plenty of family activities, both indoor and outdoor. Ober Gatlinburg is an amusement park and ski area in Gatlinburg. With activities year round and the famous aerial tramway, this is a great place to visit with the kids. Other spots to check out in Gatlinburg include:
Activities in Gatlinburg, Tennessee:
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are two of the most well-known. Gatlinburg has plenty of family activities, both indoor and outdoor. Ober Gatlinburg is an amusement park and ski area in Gatlinburg. With activities year round and the famous aerial tramway, this is a great place to visit with the kids. Other spots to check out in Gatlinburg include:
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Nantahala Outdoor Center
- Gatlinburg Skylift Park and SkyBridge
Activities in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee:
Pigeon Forge is the home of Dollywood, the amusement and water park namesake of country star Dolly Parton, who grew up in nearby Sevierville. Other things to do while in Pigeon Forge include:
For other areas to visit and places to check out, go to our related articles Things to do with Kids in Gatlinburg and Six Things You Never Thought of Doing in the Smoky Mountains.
Where To Stay in the Smoky Mountains:
With so many cabin options and so many features, it’s really a personal decision on where to stay. Your decision should be based on how long you will be staying, how many people will be staying with you, what amenities you are looking for, and your budget. However, we can tell you some of the most highly rated cabins in the following categories: budget, luxury, and best views.
Best Budget Cabins in the Smoky Mountains
Just because these are budget cabins, doesn’t mean they skimp on the upkeep. These cabins have everything you need to be comfortable, but don’t have the extra flashiness. These cabins all start at under $150 per night.
- “Secret Hideaway”- 1 BR/1 Bath cabin. Free Wi-Fi, hot tub, full kitchen, washer/dryer, secluded with great views. Rates as low as $130 per night.
- “Tranquility”- 1 BR/1 Bath cabin that can sleep 4. Two TV’s with DVD players, hot tub and free Wi-Fi. Rates as low as $105 per night.
- “High Enough For Me”- 2 BR/2 Bath cabin. One King bed, One Queen bed, and full kitchen. Perfect for a family getaway, close to Pigeon Forge. Rates as low as $119 per night.
- “Cabin Fever”- 3 BR/3 Bath cabin. Full kitchen, washer/dryer, and a game room. Sleeps up to 8 people. Rates as low as $145 per night.
- “Sunny Side Up”- 2BR/2 Bath cabin. Hot tub, TV, and pool table. Sleeps up to 6 people. Rates as low as $135 per night.
Best Luxury Cabins in the Smoky Mountains
If you are willing to splurge a bit and bask in the lap of luxury, one of these cabins may be for you. Sure to make you comfortable in every way, this would be the perfect choice if you plan on staying in your cabin as much as possible.
- “Greenbriar Lodge”- 5 BR/5 Bath cabin. Can sleep up to 16; great for large family gatherings. Features an arcade/game room, theatre room, and deck with gorgeous mountain views. Rates start at $230 per night.
- “Peaceful Creek”- 2 BR/ 2 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 6. Features an indoor swimming pool, full kitchen, hot tub and firepit. Rates start at $220 per night.
- “Pool’s Paradise”- 3 BR/3 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 10. Private indoor swimming pool, theatre with sofa seating, washer/dryer, and full kitchen. Rates start at $235 per night.
- “Wild Bill’s Hideout”- 2 BR/3 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 8. Features include home theatre room, jacuzzi, hot tub, and XBOX 360 game system. Rates start at $235 per night.
Cabins with the best views:
If you are going to stay in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, you might as well snag one with a view. Get a mountain view, a wooded view, or even a water view. Whatever view you choose, be prepared to wake up to a beautiful scene and enjoy the serenity.
- “Lumber Jack Lodge”- 1 BR/1 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 4. Spectacular wooded and mountain views. Hot tub, full kitchen, and pool table. Rates start at $219 per night.
- “Capstone View”- 2 BR/2 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 8. Views of Mount LeConte. Netflix, arcade, hot tub with deck TV, and outdoor fire pit. Rates start at $160 per night.
- “Bear Tracks Vista”- 3 BR/3 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 12. Enjoy Smoky Mountain views from either the open deck or screened-in area with fans. Includes full kitchen, game room with home theatre and washer/dryer. Rates start at $165 per night.
- “Stargazer”- 3 BR/ 3 Bath cabin. Sleeps up to 8. Enjoy views of Mount LeConte and the Great Smoky Mountains. Features full kitchen, hot tub, and pool table. Rates start at $165 per night.
We hope you found this information helpful in deciding on your Smoky Mountain Cabin vacation. As you can see, cabin prices can vary greatly and paying more doesn’t equal getting more. If you are going with a group of friends or a large group of family members, one of the larger cabins may be for you. Choose what if best for your needs and family.
Did you stay at a great Smoky Mountain area cabin? Tell us about it.