Where to Park in Gatlinburg: Tips from Locals

With our setting at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a great place to live. With our quaint downtown, tons of attractions, and natural scenery, it’s no wonder so many travelers come to visit us.

But with popularity come challenges, one of the most biggest being parking.  During peak tourist seasons it can be a challenge to find a parking spot in downtown Gatlinburg.

Parking Challenges During Peak Tourist Season

Gatlinburg experiences its peak tourist seasons during summer, fall foliage, and the winter holidays. During these times, the number of visitors can make finding convenient parking a chore.

One of the main challenges is the limited availability of free or inexpensive parking. On-street parking is scarce and limited to short durations. Many of the small, privately-owned parking lots fill up quickly, which means visitors have few options other than picking more expensive parking garages or lots.

Geography is part of the problem.  Gatlinburg is built along a narrow valley, which means space is at a premium. As a result, planning ahead and knowing where to park becomes crucial.

Parking in Gatlinburg

Parking Prices

Parking prices in Gatlinburg vary widely depending on the location, proximity to popular attractions, and time of year. During peak seasons, expect to pay premium rates, especially for spots closer to the downtown area. Here’s a general breakdown of what you can expect:

  • On-Street Parking: Rates typically range from $1 to $2 per hour. However, these spots are limited and often have a maximum time limit of 2-4 hours.
  • Public Parking Lots and Garages: Prices range from $5 to $20 per day. The closer the facility is to main attractions, the higher the rate.
  • Private Parking Lots: These can be the most expensive, especially those operated by businesses or hotels, with rates ranging from $10 to $30 per day.

List of Parking Lots, Garages, and Other Parking Areas

To make your visit more convenient, here’s a list of some of the main parking options in Gatlinburg, including addresses, number of spots, and prices where available:

  1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Garage
    • Address: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: Approximately 550
    • Price: $10 per day
    • Conveniently located near major attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium and downtown shopping areas.
  2. Ober Gatlinburg Parking Garage
    • Address: 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 750
    • Price: $8-$10 per day
    • Provides easy access to the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway.
  3. Reagan Drive Parking Lot
    • Address: 830 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 250
    • Price: $8 per day
    • Located close to the Gatlinburg Convention Center and various dining options.
  4. Gatlinburg Convention Center Parking Garage
    • Address: 234 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 300
    • Price: $10 per day
    • Ideal for those attending events at the convention center.
  5. Calhoun’s Village Parking
    • Address: 1004 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 150
    • Price: $10 per day
    • A great option if you plan to dine or shop at Calhoun’s Village.
  6. Bearskin Parking Garage
    • Address: 125 Cherokee Orchard Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 300
    • Price: $12 per day
    • Offers proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance.
  7. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Parking Lot
    • Address: 900 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 100
    • Price: $10 per day
    • Convenient for dining at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and exploring nearby shops.
  8. McMahan Parking Garage
    • Address: 600 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • Number of Spots: 400
    • Price: $8-$10 per day
    • Centrally located, providing easy access to many of Gatlinburg’s attractions.

Tips for Parking in Gatlinburg

  1. Arrive Early: To secure a spot, especially during peak seasons, aim to arrive early in the morning.
  2. Consider Alternative Transportation: Utilize the Gatlinburg Trolley, which offers a convenient and affordable way to get around town without the hassle of parking.
  3. Check for Real-Time Parking Information: Some parking facilities offer real-time availability updates online or via mobile apps.
  4. Plan Ahead: Research parking options and have a backup plan in case your first choice is full.

Navigating parking in Gatlinburg can be challenging, but with a little planning and knowledge, you can make your visit more enjoyable. By considering the various parking options and prices, and being aware of peak season challenges, you’ll be better prepared to explore all that this charming town has to offer.

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