Best Smoky Mountains Cabin Resorts

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Staying in a log cabin may be the quintessential American getaway. Whether you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in a lofted A-frame in the North Carolina backcountry or in a 15-bedroom lodge in Eastern Tennessee, we've culled six great cabins resorts near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is famous for its scenic overlooks, picturesque streams and waterfalls, wide-ranging wild- and birdlife, and 850 miles of hiking trails. In addition to hiking, other popular Smoky Mountains pastimes include fishing, rafting, horseback-riding, and skiing -- and gathering around your cabin's fire pit or relaxing in its outdoor hot tub. Here are our favorite cabin resorts in the Smoky Mountains.

  1. Chalet Village is a secluded, peaceful getaway that's still close to ski resorts and popular attractions, like Dollywood and the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. Decor and layout differ throughout Chalet Village's cabins -- which range from one to eight bedrooms -- but all units feature gorgeous views of the woods and nearby Smoky Mountains. The spaces combine rustic character (log wood bed frames, fireplaces, animal skins) and modern conveniences (kitchens, flat-screen TVs, whirlpools). Note that there's no on-site restaurant, as is common for cabin-rental properties.

  2. Timber Tops' secluded accommodations are true cabins, with notched logs, stone fireplaces, and knotted wood everywhere (ceilings, walls, stair banisters). The one- to 15-room cabins are unique, but most have large, wraparound balconies with outdoor furniture and sweeping views of the Smoky Mountains. Other features may include game rooms, whirlpools, washer/dryers, grills, flat-screen TVs, and fully functional kitchens. Timber Tops has no common features to speak of, but guests receive free passes to local attractions (like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Legacy Mountain Zip Lines), plus have access to facilities at the Chalet Village Clubhouse, which include tennis courts, pools, and game rooms. Wi-Fi is free is certain areas. Note that both Chalet Village and Timber Tops were impacted by the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, and are rebuilding the affected areas.

  3. At the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lands Creek Log Cabins is a family-owned retreat sitting on an 80-acre tract with Lands Creek winding through. The 17 cabins come in a variety of sizes and settings -- the best cabins are arguably those with mountain views. All have full kitchens and fireplaces, and some have outdoor hot tubs. Since these are self-catering cabins, there's not much in the way of common space; guests can typically be found relaxing on rocking chairs on their private porches or gathered around their campfires. Some cabins have Wi-Fi, and there are hotspots throughout the grounds. Lots of nearby activities, such as hiking the Appalachian Trail and tubing in Deep Creek, make this a great option for families. 

  4. A river runs through Hidden Mountain Resort mountainous landscape, which is dotted by small lakes and ponds. Each of the 300-plus cabins has been individually decorated by its owners -- most are well-kept and some are even superb, but others might have serious cleanliness issues that may need to be addressed upon arrival. (The Lands Creek cabins are more consistent.) All cabins have full kitchens (some with granite countertops), fireplaces, gas or charcoal grills, and at least one hot tub, and some might have amenities like sleeper sofas, pool or foosball tables, arcade games, and porch swings. A major perk here is that all cabins have free Wi-Fi; not all of the cabins at Gatlinburg Falls Resort, below, offer this. There are two pools and fitness centers (the resort is split into two sections), but no on-site bars or restaurants.

  5. Gatlinburg Falls Resort offers decked-out wooden cabins in a rustic and secluded setting with great mountain views. Most of the 450 cabins have nearly the same structure -- think cookie-cutter suburban subdivision meets log cabin in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Though they look identical from the outside, the cabins' interior decor depends on owners' tastes -- same as Hidden Mountain. Amenities and number of bedrooms also vary (one- to nine-bedrooms units are available). Each cabin has at least one large deck with a view and a full kitchen with a dining tables, dishwasher (sometimes two), refrigerator, microwave, and coffeemaker. Both Hidden Mountain and Gatlinburg Falls have quality disparity due to their owner-rented cabins, but we gave Hidden Mountain the edge since its cabins feel less cookie-cutter than the ones at Gatlinburg Falls. Note that Gatlinburg Falls Resort was impacted by the 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires.

  6. Rock Creek Cabins offers rustic one-, two-, or three-bedrooms near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, about five minutes from Bryson City. Three-bedroom cabins are the most secluded, though all cabins feel private, with lots of plants and elevation changes contributing to a hidden, authentically woodsy atmosphere. The property is beautiful throughout, with an outdoor fire pit overlooking the mountainous region -- up to 30 miles' worth of views on clear days. Cabins are unique in structure, ranging from a traditional log cabin to a mountaintop green cottage to an adorable A-frame chalet. Some cabins are near a farm, where the sound of a rooster crowing can be a charming nuisance. All units have kitchens, dining areas, living rooms with TVs, outdoor hot tubs, and wood or gas log fireplaces.

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