How to Find Your Perfect Cabin in the Smoky Mountains – Part 1: What to Look For

[Also see Part 2: Getting the Best Value, to learn about cabin PRICING & AVAILABILITY]

hot tub on the deck - *sigh*

hot tub on the deck – *sigh*

When traveling to the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, how do you find your perfect rental cabin in the Smoky Mountains? Here’s our advice.

(Bottom Line: browse through the web site, pick the cabins you like, then call us with your questions and to book – our phones are open 24/7 and we’re happy just to advise you. Call toll-free 866-34-SMOKY.)

The Cabins of the Smoky Mountains web site has detailed descriptions of each one of the more than 380 cabins we operate. Use the Cabin Quick Find page to begin your search. We have standards we apply to every cabin, but cabins are different and the experience will vary from cabin to cabin. So the first question becomes:


We always recommend you call us before you come, especially if it’s your first time. And to get you thinking about how the rubber may hit the road, here are some real-life common questions and observations from previous guests, gathered from our Facebook comments and review sites.

  • Call ahead and explain what you are looking for (scenery, seclusion, convenience, furnishings, pool, etc.). Staff are very helpful and can recommend the right cabin for you.
  • The web site is very accurate with cabin descriptions. If you want the best view look for “spectacular” and that’s what you’ll get.
  • Book far in advance to get the most choices available. Call to ask about location if you want privacy.
  • Remember it’s a mountain cabin, some of the roads are pretty twisty! Find out about steepness, curves, and make sure you’re okay with the driving, especially in winter.
  • Don’t count on GPS – it may get you lost! Get directions ahead of time.
  • Bring heavy trash bags because you may have to walk to the dumpster (ask in advance).
  • For health reasons there’s no food at all in the cabin – so bring your own salt and pepper, etc! And coffee filters! Also bring your own movies and PS2 games.
  • Lots of cabins are pet friendly [here’s our Pet-Friendly cabin list].
  • Cabins have wi-fi but things can go wrong (it’s the mountains). If Internet is a deal-breaker bring a backup mobile phone connection.
  • Bring an EpiPen if you have allergies!
  • If you want a pool be sure to ask. If you have kids get a cabin close to the pool.
  • Many cabins have multiple levels, so get a loft for the kids (or to escape from them). Different levels for different folks is great!
  • Cabins are great for privacy whereas hotels make noise. But a cabin’s not a hotel so there’s no room service or instant gratification. Plan ahead, bring supplies, then just relax.
  • [School of Thought A] If you have small children, there is no need to get larger than a one bedroom. There are usually 2 pull out couches and bunk beds.
  • [School of Thought B] To avoid couch beds and bunk beds, choose a cabin that has many bedrooms.
  • Check for special rates. Avoid big holidays and weekends, rates more than double. Last minute deals are incredible!

The last comment touches on a great point: PRICING. How do you get the best value for money? The short answer is that when you book ahead you get exactly what you want. If you have some flexibility you may want to take a chance with last-minute special offers. Read the second part of this guide for more information.

[Also see Part 2: Getting the Best Value, to learn about cabin PRICING & AVAILABILITY]


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About Carrie Waxler

Carrie Waxler

I’ve worked for Gatlinburg Falls since March 2011. Lived in TN since 1996.

I have now hiked Mt. LeConte three times. I’ve been on every trail that leads to the top. The last one we hiked up the Boulevard. I have walked my first 2.7 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Only 2176 miles to go.

I plan to hike the Appalachian Trail when my children graduate.

I also love lake kayaking on Cherokee Lake and Douglas Lake. We take our kayaks camping to middle Tennessee as well for river kayaking.

I love talking to guests from the places I’ve visited or lived. Brings back many good memories. I love to be where people are having fun.