17 Best Places to Stay in Gatlinburg for First Time Lovers | 2023 Study Abroad Guide

You can choose from a wide range of of best places to stay in Gatlinburg to create the ideal atmosphere for your romantic Smoky Mountain getaway while making travel plans. 

Hotels with cozy, romantic rooms may be found in plenty in the city’s core. Visitors love the Old Creek Lodge for its wonderful atmosphere and waterfront setting. 

In addition to king suites with a sitting area, in-room tub, fireplace, and specially made beds, every guest room has a private balcony that looks out onto a lovely Smokies Creek. 

A comprehensive range of Gatlinburg cabins, chalets, bed and breakfast choices, and even camping and glamping are available.

In this article, we have compiled everything you need to know about the best places to stay in Gatlinburg for first-time lovers. 

What are the Can’t-Miss Things To Do In Gatlinburg For First Time Visitors?

1. Stroll among the sharks

One of the best aquariums in the world can be found right in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg!

One of the most distinctive experiences you may have in the Smokies is at the well-regarded Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

Even while visiting this magnificent destination is ideal every day, a rainy or exceptionally chilly day is the ideal opportunity to prioritize it.

2. Go to the only ski resort in Tennessee.

Speaking of cold weather, Ober Gatlinburg is the perfect place to enjoy some snow-related activities!

Skiing, tubing, ice skating, and even ice bumper cars are all available when using the aerial tramway.

Are you traveling throughout the summertime? No issue! There are several activities and events happening all year round!

Whenever you’re in town, make sure you ride or drive up to Ober and enjoy the mountaintop activities!

3. Make the Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge In North America a Stretch.

This SkyBridge. You’ve heard about it, and you’ve probably already made up your mind about whether you must cross it or whether you’ll never cross it.

You won’t want to miss the most anticipated Gatlinburg attraction of 2019 whether you choose to face your fears or just enjoy the excitement!

Read also: 11 Top Colleges in England for Americans to Study Abroad in 2023

4. Surround Yourself With Views From The Space Needle

A tradition in Gatlinburg. Go. Don’t expect to be let down!

5. Get To Know Anakeesta

Gatlinburg’s Anakeesta is one of the nicest things you can do when in the Smokies is to visit Anakeesta!

There are three ways to get to the top, and once there, you may enjoy a canopy walk through the trees, ziplines, a beer garden, shopping, a rail runner, and other attractions.

What are the Best Places to Stay in Gatlinburg for First Time Lovers?

  • 1. Gatlinburg Cottage
  • 2. Barnwood Ridge
  • 3. The Seclusion
  • 4. Night Owl
  • 5. The Cedar Treehouse
  • 6. The Historic Gatlinburg Inn
  • 7. The Appy Lodge
  • 8. Bearskin Lodge on the River
  • 9. Buckberry Lodge
  • 10. The Park Vista
  • 11. Baymont by Wyndham Downtowns
  • 12. Old Creek Lodge
  • 13. Hilton Garden Inn
  • 14. Margaritaville Resort
  • 15. Hampton Inn
  • 16. The River Terrace Resort
  • 17. Courtyard Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown

1. Gatlinburg Cottage

Gatlinburg Cottage is one of the best places to stay in Gatlinburg as a first-time student.

This modern cabin provides visitors with a tranquil retreat that is close to Gatlinburg and the park’s entrance. Your attention will be drawn to the house’s lovely rocky facade and wall of windows. 

Inside, where the mid-century contemporary furnishings and lavish leather decor are illuminated by unending sunshine, the magic continues.

Two bedrooms make up this contemporary home, one of which offers a queen bunk bed to accommodate big families. 

Your stay will seem especially cozy thanks to fun extras like a vintage record player, a gas fireplace, and large games. The hot tub and hanging wicker seats on the deck, though, are where you’ll want to spend the majority of your time.

2. Barnwood Ridge

Barnwood Ridge stands out in all ways as one of the best places you can stay in Gatlinburg, or even explore as an international student who wants to study abroad.

The charming Barn Wood Ridge can be found through winding, mountainous roads. Wildfires that raged through the region in 2016 seriously damaged this lovely log cottage, which is older than 1800. 

Thankfully, the cast of the DIY Network’s popular program Barnwood Builders came to the rescue and brought this old log cabin back to life.

Today, guests may savor the cabin’s rustic appeal, where stone fireplaces and walls made of hewn logs make you feel at one with the mountains. 

Pull up a rocking chair on the nice covered porch and enjoy the tranquility of the nearby woods while you’re there. Despite being only three miles from the sights of downtown Gatlinburg, this property feels far away.

3. The Seclusion

The Seclusion is a distinctive cottage that resembles a yurt and has excellent amenities to help you unwind after a strenuous day in the mountains. 

It stands out in all ways as one of the best places you can stay in Gatlinburg, or even explore as an international student who wants to study abroad.

Enjoying the fantastic panoramic views from the upper deck is one of the nicest things to do here. The deck is additionally equipped with comfortable patio chairs and a hot tub that will relax your sore muscles.

Start a game of pool inside while a roaring fire creates the atmosphere. The memory foam mattress and the recently refurbished bathroom with a walk-in shower are further remarkable features. 

The house’s internal jacuzzi tub also contributes to making this one of the top romantic getaways in the Smoky Mountains.

4. Night Owl

The Night Owl is a contemporary cabin with magnificent architecture, distinctive asymmetrical lines, and soaring ceilings. 

We classify Nigh Owl as one of the best places you can stay in Gatlinburg, or even explore as an international student who wants to study abroad.

The kitchen and living area are located on the open ground floor, which is decorated in a modern style and has a wall of windows. 

The room is filled with additional interesting features, such as a cool marble wall behind the glass fireplace a game area with orange accents, and a wet minibar.

A wraparound deck and a campfire area outside offer the ideal location for taking in the clean mountain air. Guests receive a free Adventure Power Pass, which entitles them to free admission to one participating local attraction each day of their stay.

5. The Cedar Treehouse

At The Cedar Treehouse, where your childhood fantasies become a reality, wake up among the treetops.  

But because it has modern amenities like hot showers and a fully stocked kitchenette, this treehouse isn’t your typical child’s fort.

Instead of having to climb a ladder, there is a gentle incline that leads to the entryway. The primary bedroom’s lofted design does necessitate a short ascent, though. 

Other treehouses are positioned all around this two-bedroom structure along Norton Creek, which is bubbling. 

This gorgeous treehouse can be found at Norton Creek Resort, which is only a 15-minute drive from Gatlinburg.

6. The Historic Gatlinburg Inn

Since 1937, the Historic Gatlinburg Inn has been a mainstay of the neighborhood. Since first opening its doors, it has housed numerous notable singers and celebrities, including Liberace, making it one of the oldest hotels in Gatlinburg. 

Due to its comfortable lodging and ideal location in the center of the bustle, the Inn continues to draw tourists.

Choose from basic hotel rooms or roomy suites ideal for families. With your reservation, you’ll enjoy a free, hot breakfast each morning to make sure you’re well-fueled and prepared for your mountain adventure.

7. The Appy Lodge

A two-star hotel, The Appy Lodge welcomes visitors to Gatlinburg with its subtle charm and traditional resort amenities. 

For a flavor of home while you’re away, the guest rooms have hardwood floors and a Keurig coffee machine, a mini-fridge, and a microwave.

Additionally, upgrades like a fireplace, a private balcony, or a jacuzzi are available. The hotel has fun amenities for kids, like an outdoor free-form swimming pool with a water slide and an indoor hot tub. There is also a community fire pit and a large number of café tables on the terrace outside.

8. Bearskin Lodge on the River

Bearskin Lodge is a fun hotel in Gatlinburg that has been owned by the same family for many years. In keeping with its surroundings, which include unobstructed views of Mount LeConte and the babbling of a nearby mountain stream, the hotel emanates an earthy vibe.

We classify Bearskin Lodge as one of the best places you can stay in Gatlinburg, or even explore as an international student who wants to study abroad.

The heated pool with a lazy river where you may float to your heart’s content is one of the nicest features of Bearskin Lodge. 

But in addition, this hotel offers a fitness facility, outdoor fire pits, and a free grab-and-go breakfast that you can take into the park.

The motel is strategically situated alongside the busy Gatlinburg Trolly route, which takes guests to the city’s finest attractions.

9. Buckberry Lodge

The Lodge at Buckberry Creek combines the grandeur of a resort stay with the privacy of a vacation rental. You can be sure that you’ll experience the highest comfort during your visit thanks to the property’s exceptional four-star rating, which has gained the attention of AAA.

A fireplace, soaking tub, and a private balcony with breath-taking mountain views are included in each apartment.

Additionally, visitors take pleasure in a fully equipped kitchenette with a Keurig coffee maker and full-sized appliances in their apartment. There are only 14 suites in this little resort, ensuring solitude. 

In addition, it is located away from the bustle of Gatlinburg’s downtown on a sprawling 27 acres that look out upon the magnificent Mount LeConte.

10. The Park Vista

This beautiful hotel and convention center boasts a breathtaking view of the Smoky Mountains nearby.

We classify The Park Vista as one of the best places you can stay in Gatlinburg, or even explore as an international student who wants to study abroad.

You can get to Downtown Gatlinburg, which is where all the best entertainment and dining are located, by taking a quick trolley trip. 

For visitors, Park Vista offers a ton of fantastic amenities. Take in the expansive forests that give the hotel a natural vibe. Park Vista is the perfect destination for you if you enjoy the water!  Enjoy a little water park with a few slides and a pool with different levels. 

Use the fitness center to work out or take advantage of the helpful, round-the-clock room service. At the on-site Vista Grill, unwind after a long day of entertainment with a tasty margarita.

See also: 13 Best Countries for Americans Who Want to Live Abroad in 2023

11. Baymont by Wyndham Downtowns

Astonishing views are available to guests almost everywhere in the hotel. You may take in your favorite attractions and the shimmering river from the private terraces. 

The amenities provided by The Baymont By Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River will make your stay feel like a home away from home. With a selection of hot and filling breakfast options, get your day started. Flat-screen televisions, desks, and WiFi are all included in the cozy accommodations. 

The heated indoor pool, health center, and game room are also available to guests. Visitors can go to the adjacent Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum or Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

12. Old Creek Lodge

You’re in a terrific location to view some amazing sites when staying at the rustic Old Creek Lodge, which is located in the heart of Gatlinburg on River Road. 

Beautiful, rustic-style rooms in this luxurious hotel feature separate living spaces, fireplaces, hot tubs, and private balconies. Obtain a stunning view of the Great Smoky Mountains and other beautiful regions in the vicinity. 

Due to the fantastic location, you are close to the trolley line, where you can enjoy fantastic dining, sightseeing, and other entertainment opportunities. Check out the Rustic Old Creek Lodge if you’re seeking a hotel to make your trip to Gatlinburg special.

13. Hilton Garden Inn

Look no further than the Hilton Garden Inn if you want a fantastic hotel with all the amenities you want. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other entertainment venues are easily accessible by foot from the hotel’s opulent rooms and suites. 

To get to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood, you only need to travel 10 minutes down the road. This establishment provides heated indoor pools, pet-friendly accommodations, free WiFi throughout the property, room service, and flat-screen televisions. 

Most restaurants and tourist attractions are accessible on foot. A trolley line that travels the entire region is also available. Check out the on-site Garden Grille for a hearty breakfast that includes bacon, eggs, waffles, and other items.

14. Margaritaville Resort

Vacations at the Margaritaville Resort in Gatlinburg are described by guests as “paradise on earth.” You will comprehend why after you see the tropical splendour of this 4-star hotel. 

This resort is surrounded by the stunning Smoky Mountains and offers spa services, massages, and vibrant suites with patios. Swim in the water slides-equipped indoor and outdoor pools. A picnic area and a 24-hour front desk are both features of this motel. 

The opportunity to enjoy some sunshine is only a quick heartbeat away. It takes about five minutes to walk to Gatlinburg Skylift Park and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

15. Hampton Inn

Near the beginning of the Historic Nature Trail lies the Hampton Inn Historic Nature Trail, a totally contemporary hotel with a rustic ambiance. The hotel offers modern workout facilities, indoor pools, outdoor hot tubs that are open all year round, patios with views of Baskins Creek, and rooms with microwaves and mini-refrigerators.

16. The River Terrace Resort

Next to Ripley’s Aquarium, River Terrace offers stunning views of the creek below while overlooking the Little Pigeon.

The majority of the main Gatlinburg attractions are also easily accessible on foot. The level of convenience is outstanding.

They don’t have a chance to use either of the outdoor pools when it is late in the fall, but of all the mountain escapes, this is the one you will remember the most. 

A 42-inch flat-screen TV, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker are included in the rooms.

Enjoy an in-room fireplace when you upgrade to a River View Signature King Room, Signature King Loft, or River View Signature Queen.

17. Courtyard Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown

This brand-new, contemporary, and rather opulent lodging, which tops our ranking, is located a few blocks above the strip.

After a full day of dining, drinking, and shopping, getting to the strip might be a hassle, so this hotel has an edge.

Some accommodations do offer balconies with views of the mountains and Gatlinburg. Calling the hotel directly to make your reservation might be worthwhile if you value having a room with a view.

See also: 17 Best Universities in Switzerland to Study Abroad in 2023

How Can You Find a Great Gatlinburg Hotel?

One of the top vacation places in the United States is Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There are many excellent lodging alternatives in Gatlinburg, so keep that in mind while making your plans. 

In addition to being accessible to dining, shopping, entertainment, and sightseeing, Gatlinburg hotels also provide a wide range of fantastic amenities based on your individual requirements. 

The ideal accommodation is only a phone call away. Make lasting experiences in Gatlinburg, your temporary home away from home.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where in Gatlinburg should I stay?

The ideal place to stay in Gatlinburg for a first-time visitor is Downtown Gatlinburg. You’ll be close to all of the city’s top attractions if you stay downtown. There is a fantastic trolley system that will take you to all the attractions worth seeing. 

Is Gatlinburg a romantic destination?

Although the little mountain town of Gatlinburg is well known for its top-notch attractions and American-made moonshine scene, there is much more to the area than just those two highlights. A trip to Gatlinburg is exactly what you and your significant other need, with its grand scenery, inviting cottages, and wide range of activities.

Which Tennessee city is preferable, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?

Overall, both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are fantastic places to visit. You should go to Gatlinburg if you want to take in the whole tourist experience of the Smoky Mountains. Pigeon Forge is the place to go if you want an equally thrilling experience that is a little less crowded.

Which place is more affordable, Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?

Since there are more reasonably priced housing options in the area, Pigeon Forge is perhaps a better choice if you’re trying to save money.


It is impossible to dispute the allure and splendor of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. For the past century, countless couples have found themselves in the midst of a Hallmark moment in our little corner of Appalachia.  

You can always find someone in town who is getting engaged, getting hitched, or just falling in love for the first time! Gatlinburg is a charming mountain town that exudes magic and affection. 

The Smokies town has all you require for the romantic getaway of your dreams if you’re planning a trip to the hills for a romantic getaway.


Articles: 144

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *