Area: Gatlinburg, TN
Expert: Shawn Spiezio
Years living in Gatlinburg:8
Company: Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals
Subject: Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals
What makes Gatlinburg a great destination to visit and rent a vacation home?
Gatlinburg is quaint small town within a short driving distance to most of the Eastern U.S.’s population and is one of the main entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Over the years, the 11 million annual tourists have become accustomed to staying in Gatlinburg vacation rentals up on the mountain ridges, tucked away in the woods, or nestled on the river. The cabin rentals offer affordability, luxurious amenities, & the comforts of home which are great for a romantic weekend getaway, family reunion, and corporate retreat. After a long day of hiking, shopping, or nothing, a little relaxing in a hot tub feels very good. There is something for everyone in Gatlinburg.
What are the top things to do (attractions, activities, events, etc.) in the area? Are there any hidden gems that people may not be aware of?
Most tourists enjoy the Smoky Mountain National Park, Ripley’s Aquarium, Dollywood, Dixie Stampede, music theaters, shopping, golfing, hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding. Cades Cove is an early pioneer area in the national park that is great for biking, hiking, and sightseeing for bears and deer. The Herbert Holt park in Gatlinburg is tucked away on the Little Pigeon River with picnic tables and a kid designated trout fishing area. The Arts & Crafts area is home to beautiful galleries and local artisans honing their craft.
What are the top 5 ‘must-try’ restaurants in the area?
The Pancake Pantry is a must for breakfast enthusiasts. For lunch, I would recommend the Pottery Barn Café and the Bullfish Grill. For dinner, try the Cherokee Grill, The Apple Barn farmhouse, and the Peddler.
What popular entertainment/nightlife options in the area would you recommend?
If you don’t feel like shooting a game of pool or relaxing in the hot tub at your cabin, Gatlinburg offers a variety of nightlife options. The Smoky Mountain brewery has live music and lots of tvs(I like their micro-brew Velles Helles.) Many locals enjoy Hellbenders Grill, Jared’s Grill at the Ship, and TGIFridays. If you feel like dancing, Blaines restaurant doubles as a club at night. Also, Gatlinburg is host to the Smoky Mountains Tunes and Tales event in the summer which offers free musical entertainment and storytelling that appeals to all age groups along the streets of Gatlinburg.
You rent homes to hundreds of guests each year….so you must have a funny story or two about people that visit Gatlinburg?
I’ve got a few. Originally called White Oak Flats, there are many stories as to how Gatlinburg got its name, all involving a controversial figure who settled here in 1854. Radford C. Gatlin opened the town's second general store and when the post office was established in his store, in 1856, the town name changed to Gatlinburg. Legend has it that if he left town for good, he could keep his life and the town would bear his name.
Many people that come on vacation are looking for a little R&R. Instead of following directions or a map, people have become spoiled by their GPS devices. One of our homeowners who was from Alabama and has been here a million times programmed his GPS for Gatlinburg TN. At a stop, he hit a button on his GPS and followed its directions. Several hours later, he realized he was in Missouri!!