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Vacation Rentals: Gatlinburg

Updated on September 1, 2013


Looking for Gatlinburg vacation rentals? Gatlinburg, TN is an extremely popular vacation destination in the Unites States. Located just outside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the area is absolutely beautiful. We haven’t been in two years, but we’re returning to Gatlinburg next month with another couple, and we can hardly wait to get back to the Smoky Mountains! On our last trip, we traveled through the park on our way to Gatlinburg, TN from Cherokee, NC. The drive through the Smoky Mountains was amazing. On our way in, the trees at the higher elevations were just beginning to get their fall colors. When we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on our way home, the trees above 3,500 feet or so were dressed in golds, yellows, reds, and shades of orange. We stayed in a great condo, but there are all sorts of other accommodations. For a review of the condos and an overview of other vacation rentals in Gatlinburg, read on!

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, TN:
Gatlinburg, TN, USA

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Source
Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains | Source
Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains | Source
a tall peak in the Smoky Mountains
a tall peak in the Smoky Mountains | Source
Ice skating at Ober Gatlinburg.
Ice skating at Ober Gatlinburg. | Source
Aerial tram to Ober Gatlinburg
Aerial tram to Ober Gatlinburg | Source

Vacation Rentals

You’ll find all sorts of vacation rentals in Gatlinburg, including hotels, motels, resorts, cabins, cottages, rustic lodges, apartments, studios, townhomes, chalets, and vacation homes. You can pretty much pick the size you need, whether it’s one bedroom or enough room for twenty-five or fifty people. You can find Gatlinburg rentals in town, close to town, near the arts and crafts community, in secluded woods, on a lake, or on a river or trout stream.

If you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg or some other part of the Great Smoky Mountains, I suggest you plan as far ahead as possible if your vacation will be during the busy tourist seasons. Generally, the busiest times of year are during the summer and during the fall foliage display, which is almost always in October. The type of Gatlinburg rentals you choose might be affected by the seasonal weather. Winters are cold, and springs and falls are cool. If you’re going in the summer, be sure to find vacation rentals that have adequate air conditioning. Gatlinburg is hot during the summer! With that in mind, you might want to find lodgings that include swimming pools or cold mountain streams. During the colder months, a cozy fireplace and/or a hot tub might fit the bill. If the weather is too cold for enjoying outdoor activities, you’ll most likely want your accommodations to provide great views and lots of indoor things to do.

We've found some great Vacation Rentals By Owner on VRBO!
We've found some great Vacation Rentals By Owner on VRBO! | Source

Vacation Rentals By Owner

If you’re not exactly sure where you want to stay or what type of Gatlinburg rentals you want, a good place to begin your search is on Vacation Rentals By Owner, or VRBO. To learn more about the site and their services, click the link. We’ve used VRBO many, many times for our family vacations. Oftentimes, you’ll find cheaper rates for lodging on the site, and you’ll usually deal directly with the property owners.

If you go to VRBO and click on Tennessee, choose East Tennessee, which includes the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville. With just a quick glance, you’ll see lots of different locations within Gatlinburg, with lots of individual choices. These include chalets, cabins, cottages, lodges, large vacation homes, townhomes, condos, resorts, and even an estate. Take your time and do some enjoyable browsing! Instead of looking at hundreds of vacation rentals, narrow your search. How many people will be in your group? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you need to see only Gatlinburg rentals that are pet friendly? What sorts of features and amenities are you looking for – a swimming pool, a fireplace, a hot tub?

Don’t worry – there are plenty of Gatlinburg rentals available, so you probably won’t have any problem finding exactly what you want. In fact, VRBO has more than 900 properties for rent. You’ll also find a huge range of prices, so even if you’re on a tight budget, you can find accommodations that are affordable, especially if your vacation is during the off season. If you’re planning to go in October, at the height of the fall foliage color, plan your trip as far in advance as possible.

Gatlinburg Cabins - Elk Springs:

Gatlinburg Cabins might be close to town or secluded.
Gatlinburg Cabins might be close to town or secluded. | Source

Gatlinburg Cabins

Gatlinburg cabins might be located as close as five minutes from downtown, or they might be in remote locations. You’ll need to decide which is more important for you and your fellow vacationers. A cabin offers more privacy, in most cases, and you’ll generally have more room in a cabin than you would in a hotel or condo. Depending on the specific cabin you rent, you might also have your own private swimming pool, hot tub, outdoor cooking area, and/or other amenities. Some cabins feature other amenities like in-room massage and romantic dinners prepared or delivered right in or to your private mountain cabin.

Of course, the downside to Gatlinburg cabins is that you probably won’t be within walking distance of the downtown area and most of the Gatlinburg attractions. This might not sound like a big deal to you, but if you’ve ever been to Gatlinburg when it’s crowded, you know what a huge headache parking can be. If you stay in one of the Gatlinburg hotels or condos, you can stay right in the downtown area and walk just about everywhere.

Still, many vacationers prefer the privacy and seclusion of Gatlinburg cabins. My daughter and her family, for example, almost always rent a cabin on their trips to Gatlinburg. She has two boys, and a cabin generally provides them with more space to run around and be boys. Also, mom doesn’t have to worry about the noise level bothering other guests. You’ll have to decide which Gatlinburg rentals are the best fit for you and your family.

Gatlinburg Resorts include all sorts of pampering!
Gatlinburg Resorts include all sorts of pampering! | Source

Gatlinburg Resorts - Westgate:

Gatlinburg Resorts

Gatlinburg resorts are a great choice if you want lots of amenities. The term “resort,” however, is broad and can include different sorts of lodging. One of the luxury resorts in Gatlinburg is Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort, which features spacious guest rooms, heated outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, a playground, a water park, a game room, concierge, a fitness center, and a luxurious spa. Also on site are a restaurant, a snack bar, a lounge, an ice cream shop, and a market that’s open 24 hours a day.

If you’re a golfer, you might want to consider Bent Creek Golf Village Resort, which is centered around a Gary Player-designed course. Also on site are a pro shop, a playground, a grilling area, a game room, a fitness center, a hot tub, an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a picnic area, a basketball court, and a gift shop. The accommodations at Bentwood include one and two bedroom condos.

Several of the other Gatlinburg resorts are communities of cabins, villas, condos, and/or chalets. The individual units are often luxurious, with hot tubs, home theaters, fireplaces, grills, Jacuzzi tubs, pool tables, and rich furnishings. The resort communities might also have shared areas and amenities, including outdoor swimming pools, indoor pools, playgrounds, clubhouses, walking trails, gift shops, fitness centers, restaurants, lounges, putting greens, basketball courts, billiard rooms, shuffleboard, meeting facilities, picnic areas, trout streams, gardens, and/or spas.

Gatlinburg Hotels:

Gatlinburg Hotels

Included in the Gatlinburg Hotels category are mountain lodges, motor lodges, inns, and traditional hotels. Some of the Gatlinburg hotels are popular chains, while others are privately owned. Some of the names you’ll recognize are Holiday Inn, Econo Lodge, Sleep Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn, Days Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Howard Johnson, Best Western, Motel 6, Clarion Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Microtel Inn & Suites, Super 8, Scottish Inns, Knights Inn, Red Carpet Inn, Family Inns of America, and Red Roof Inn & Suites. And this list doesn’t even include all the other hotels in Gatlinburg that aren’t part of national chains!

With Gatlinburg hotels, you can pretty much find anything you want. Even some of the downtown Gatlinburg hotels are located on rivers or streams, so you’ll get that natural, outdoorsy atmosphere even when you’re lodging within walking distance of all the downtown Gatlinburg attractions, shops, and restaurants. Choose from opulent lodgings with lots of amenities, or choose a bare-bones place that’s economical, somewhere just to lay your tired body after a day of activities and exploring.

Summit Manor Gatlinburg rentals
Summit Manor Gatlinburg rentals | Source
Pool and hot tub at the Gatlinburg condos
Pool and hot tub at the Gatlinburg condos | Source
Creek behind Summit Manor
Creek behind Summit Manor | Source
Kitchen | Source
Living room
Living room | Source
Dining area
Dining area | Source

Gatlinburg Condos

In my opinion, Gatlinburg condos provide the best features of hotels, cabins, and private vacation homes. The units we like are Summit Manor Condos. They’re located just off the main drag that runs through downtown Gatlinburg, so we never have to drive to eat, to shop, to see the Gatlinburg attractions, or to ride the tram to Ober Gatlinburg. Since the condos are a block away from all the traffic, however, we get to experience some peace and quiet. The condo we like to stay in has two bedrooms, two baths, a large kitchen, and a living and dining area with a fireplace, so we have plenty of room.

Summit Manor consists of two buildings, each with four stories. In between the two condo buildings is a hotel, and there’s also an A-frame cabin available for rent. Summit Manor is atop a hill, but there’s an elevator that takes guests down to the street level.

Our Gatlinburg condo was on the ground floor, right next to the pool and hot tub. The master bathroom had a Jacuzzi that was large enough for two. We also had a patio that provided great views of the surrounding mountains. Our Gatlinburg condo also had a washer and dryer, which was very convenient. We were traveling with another couple, so the condo was perfect for us. It was within walking distance to numerous places of interest. Within just a block or so, we could shop, ride the aerial tram up to Ober Gatlinburg, enjoy a brew and live entertainment at a microbrewery, or walk to restaurants that served steaks, barbecue, pizza, seafood, burgers, and sandwiches.

I’m not sure when the Summit Manor Gatlinburg condos were built, but they’re fairly new and are very well maintained. A noisy creek runs just behind the condos, and sometimes a bear stops by for a visit. One morning we saw a groundhog near the elevator – the first one I’d ever seen in the wild.

If you’re trying to decide among the world of Gatlinburg rentals, consider staying at Summit Manor Gatlinburg condos. They’re far enough off the street to be quiet and relaxing, yet they’re close enough to all the action and Gatlinburg attractions so that you don’t have to drive. The staff is super friendly and helpful, and the prices were reasonable. It was great having some room to “spread out,” and it was nice to have a washer, a dryer, a microwave, and a full size refrigerator. Like I said, the condo is the perfect fit for us when we're traveling alone or with another couple. It's comfortable, and it's super convenient. When we take the grandkids, we'll need something larger. At that time, we'll probably explore some other Gatlinburg rentals, however.

Choose Your Vacation Rentals Wisely!

You’ll probably be somewhat overwhelmed by the number of choices you find with Gatlinburg rentals. Choices are always good, but when you’re faced with too many, it can get confusing and frustrating. Think about exactly what you want before searching for vacation rentals, and don’t go by price alone – value is much more important. Try to think about how much time you’ll actually be spending in your accommodations, along with what you and your family enjoy doing. Paying extra for a lot of amenities you won’t use is a waste of money that could be used on other things. Explore all your options once you’ve narrowed down your search. Check VRBO, Trip Advisor, and individual websites. Read reviews written by other vacationers. With a little effort on your part, you’ll find numerous Gatlinburg rentals that will fit perfectly into your Smoky Mountains vacation!


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