When you plan a family vacation near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you must make a decision.
Do you want to be close to the action and attractions in Gatlinburg or do you want to be out and up in the Smokies?
Personally, I like to be downtown in Gatlinburg. It’s a place where I only need to get the car out if I want to go up into the national park, over to Pigeon Forge, Dollywood or other attractions.
It’s great to be able to walk to the Pancake Pantry and/or the lift to Ober Mountain – formerly known as Ober Gatlinburg.
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So what are the best downtown Gatlinburg cabins?
It depends on your needs. Many of the places you’ll find downtown are more like condos or hotel rooms. After all, it’s prime real estate.
So what’s the difference between a hotel and a cabin? To me, if it doesn’t have a full kitchen and is attached to other rental units, it feels more like a hotel.
The good news is, there are still some options that are close to downtown Gatlinburg that still make you feel like you’re getting a true mountain getaway.
Remember, pricing is always subject to change. Be sure to check VRBO for even more cabin options for your Smoky Mountain trip.
Our staff stayed at this prime location cabin once, and it has quickly become one of our favorite rentals in the area.
It is located in the heart of Gatlinburg, and you can easily walk to most major downtown Gatlinburg area attractions. For example, it is a six-minute walk to the Gatlinburg SkyPark. It also has an amazing view of the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
It also has a huge private two-story wrap-around balcony with a private hot tub and city views. Basically, it’s everything you could want in a downtown cabin.
At the time of this writing, this rental runs at an average of $249 per night.
This one certainly has plenty of room for guests. It’s a three-bedroom chalet. It’s a house- with three full baths that sleeps six, and it’s a 5-minute walk from the Parkway or a 10-minute walk to Ripley’s Aquarium.
It features a gas fireplace and your own private deck with a hot tub.
It’s also part of the Mountain Brook Community that allows access to the heated pool and gym. There’s free wifi as well. It’s rated 4.8 out of 5 on VRBO and currently averages $277 per night.
This wood-beamed cabin has four bedrooms, five beds and sleeps up to eight guests. There are also two full baths. It is about a five-minute walk to the Parkway or a 17-minute walk to the Gatlinburg SkyPark.
The Old Gatlinburg Inn, formerly known as Aunt Nina’s Cabin, apparently once served as a cozy inn. Now it is a bright, remodeled rental located on Circle Drive.
It has an average cost of $271 per night.
Located near the intersection where East Parkway splits off at the lower end of the strip, Zen Garden is an A-frame bungalow designed to be a romantic getaway for two but will sleep up to four. It’s also part of a small log home community and is rated 4.2 stars out of five on VRBO.
It’s a great location, with only a five-minute walk to the aquarium or an 11-minute walk to the SkyPark.
There’s also a hot tub that is perfect for relaxing after a day of adventuring.
The average cost per night is $169. It is semi-pet friendly for additional fees, and limitations will apply.
This two-bedroom cabin sleeps 8, offers access to a new resort pool and is located not far from the parking garage at the lower end of the strip. Furthermore, it’s only a five-minute walk to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or a one-minute walk to Ole Red.
In addition to the cozy living area, there’s a pool table, air hockey table and arcade game for hours of entertainment.
The facility has a 4.3 out of five rating. It averages $232 per night on VRBO at the time of this writing.
This cabin is a bit on the smaller side, but it has an exceptional 4.9-star rating and an incredible location.
It’s a 10-minute walk to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a 15-minute walk to the SkyPark.
It only has one bedroom, but can sleep up to four guests with a king bed and sleeper sofa.
It averages for $250 per night on VRBO.
The VRBO information states that this rental is within walking distance for some. Therefore, it’s a rare example of truth in advertising.
Very close? Maybe. The walk down to Gatlinburg wouldn’t be too bad from this rental, which is located near the edge of the national park on Historic Nature Trail. However, the walk back up could be challenging.
This rental has two bedrooms – one king and one queen – and sleeps four. There is one bathroom. It also has an outdoor patio space and grill. Above all, it is under a mile from the main strip.
Rated 4.9 on VRBO, it has an average rate of $227 per night.
This rental would probably be higher ranked, but the walking distance – being the main purpose of this assignment – has me concerned.
This cabin is in a secluded area yet is still located just minutes from downtown. For example, it’s a 17-minute walk to Anakeesta.
With only one bedroom, it can still accommodate up to four guests with a queen bed and a sleeper sofa. Of course, it also has a private hot tub as well as a view of a small stream.
As a bonus, it’s also pet-friendly with a small fee. It currently averages $149 per night.
This condo can be a good option for a small family vacation rental. It’s a one bedroom with a queen bed and sleeper sofa, so it sleeps four. It also has a full kitchen and a single bath.
There’s a balcony offering some mountain views in terms of looking over the power lines and various hotels and other condos. Amenities include a swimming pool, fireplace and hot tub.
It’s a great location back off Baskins Creek Road and also not far from the popular Pancake Pantry and Anakeesta. It has an excellent 5 rating on VRBO with an average cost of $199 per night.
The downside? It may not have the traditional cabin feel that you’re looking for.
Do you have a favorite downtown Gatlinburg TN rental? If so, let us know in the comments!