FAQs | Vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains

Wanting to head to the Great Smoky Mountains but have questions or concerns? Never fear, Cabins for YOU is here — with answers to frequently asked questions about vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains, from how to get around to the best indoor attractions to what to do if you see a bear! Read on to collect your thoughts, ease your mind, and step away with a sense of preparedness for your vacay in the Smokies.

Getting Around in the Smokies

How do I get around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Driving and walking are the top 2 ways, but if you’re looking to check out all the sights and forget about the woes of GPS, take the trolleys! Routes run throughout each city and fares cost as little as $1 per person. And the best part is Parkway rides in Gatlinburg are FREE in summer!

What about traffic?
As with any city, traffic can be a bit congested during major holidays and annual events in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Make sure to understand what events will be in town before you arrive and plan your drives accordingly, leaving plenty of time to reach your destination.

Outdoor Fun

What outdoor activities are there?
Tons — hiking, biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, ziplining, scenic helicopter rides, and oh-so-much more! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great place to start.

Are there any outdoor attractions?
You betcha! Below are some of our favs.

  • Watch lumbermen show off their incredible skills at Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud.
  • Soar through the forest (and see adorable goats) at The Coaster at Goats on the Roof.
  • Play at Dollywood, the area’s famed amusement park, and keep cool in summer at Splash Country!
  • Get lost (figuratively) on The Island in Pigeon Forge, a popular shopping and entertainment complex.
  • Ski, snowboard, and snow tube in chilly months at Ober Gatlinburg.
  • Zoom to the finish line aboard European go-karts at the Xtreme Racing Center!

Indoor Fun

What can I do on a rainy day?
Play at indoor attractions (there are plenty!) or take a scenic drive around Cades Cove in the national park (as long as it’s not pouring). Better yet, book a cabin rental with a private indoor pool, fully loaded rec room, and a home theater…trust us, you won’t want to leave rain or shine!

What are some top indoor attractions?
Yeah, our recommendations are pretty sweet.

  • Visit Ripley’s 8 awesome attractions — the aquarium, odditorium, moving theater, mirror maze, haunted house, world records adventure, and 2 mini golf courses!
  • Fly, climb, and transform into a ninja at TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena.
  • Putt putt for 19 holes, drink milkshakes, and grab candy to go at Crave Golf Club.
  • Break out of prison, find the missing masterpiece, and repair your spaceship…before it’s too late at The Escape Game.
  • Eat and be entertained at Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Smoky Mountain Adventures dinner shows.


How much is the national park?
Absolutely FREE!

What’s the best time to visit the Smokies?
Year-round: spring for wildflowers, summer for outdoor fun, fall for colorful leaves, and winter for cozy cabin eves!

What if I see a bear? (Note: attacks on humans are extremely rare.)
Do NOT play dead, run, or turn away! Slowly back away facing and talking (in a low tone) to the bear. If it persistently follows you (without vocalizing or pawing), change direction, make yourself look large, and intimidate the bear with aggression, throwing non-food objects (like rocks) at it if necessary. If it is after your food, separate yourself from the food.

Are there any pet-friendly places?
Yes! There are plenty of pet-friendly places in the Smokies, from churches and picnic sites to pet shops and restaurants. And if you don’t want to leave your pup at the cabin but need a little dog-free time, drop off your furry friend for a day of play at Barks and Recreation! You’ll even find 2 pet-friendly trails in the national park: the Gatlinburg Trail & Oconaluftee River Trail.

Which airports are nearby?
McGhee Tyson Airport (serving larger aircraft 12 miles south of Knoxville) & Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge Airport (serving private and smaller aircraft)

Where’s the best place to stay?
A Smoky Mountain cabin stay can’t be beat. With 340+ cabin rentals ranging from 1-16 bedrooms in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Cabins for YOU is the largest cabin rental company in the area. Opt for budget-friendly to luxury or something in between. Vacation Specialists are ready to help via the Options for YOU form or over the phone at 1.800.684.7865. Or you can book online yourself — easy-peasy!

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