The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park, and it’s easy to see why! Straddling the borders of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, the national park has picturesque valleys, an abundance of wildlife, and beautiful natural wonders to enjoy. The park is named after the dense fog that lingers around the forested peaks and mountain tops, creating a mist-like haze.
With nearly 800 square miles of wilderness to explore, this park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you want to hike, ski, or whitewater raft, the park provides a myriad of activities to enjoy. Visitors can enjoy the dramatic canyons, majestic forests, cascading waterfalls, endless fields of wildflowers, and over 800 miles of easily accessible hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains.
In Tennessee, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are the main gateways to the park, while Cherokee and Bryson City are great bases for exploring the park in North Carolina. If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies and looking for the best Airbnbs near the park, this post has you covered.
Check out our list of the top 12 Airbnbs near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to make your trip planning a breeze!
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Top 10 things to do in the Smokies:
- Hike part of the Appalachian Trail to the observation tower on the summit of Clingman’s Dome. It’s the highest peak in the park and provides 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge mountains.
- Check out the Newfound Gap Overlook, a viewpoint that sits right on the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina.
- Go horseback riding in Cades Cove. Carriage rides and hayrides are also options for a fun daytime activity.
- Visit the Mingus Mill and Mountain Farm Museum on the North Carolina side of the park to learn about how people lived in the mountains hundreds of years ago.
- Ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway for magnificent aerial views of the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains.
- For a drive that is big on views and light on crowds, drive the lesser-used Foothills Parkway in Tennessee.
- Take a train into the Nantahala Gorge for an unforgettable experience. Ride in one of the open-air gondola trains for unobstructed views of the scenery and Nantahala River.
- Bike the Cades Cove Loop. On Wednesdays during high season, the road is only open to foot traffic and bicycles from sunrise until 10:00am.
- Explore the waterfalls on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail including Rainbow Falls, one of the park’s most popular waterfalls. Nearby, there’s also access to the Trillium Gap Trail to reach the impressive Grotto Falls.
- If you need a trail that is stroller friendly, visit the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It’s one of the area’s only paved trails so it’s wheelchair accessible and is suitable for all skill levels.
Why Stay in an Airbnb near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
While there are some really amazing hotels near the Smoky Mountains National Park, there are many advantages to choosing an Airbnb. In general, Airbnbs have more amenities than hotels so they’re a better value for your money. And if you’re traveling as a large group, it’s much more cost-effective to split the cost of a single large vacation home rather than multiple hotel rooms..
Another reason to choose an Airbnb near the national park is that the properties are much more unique than a typical hotel room. You’ll have a vast array of rentals from which to choose – a glamping yurt in the forest, a custom-built treehouse, or a luxury vacation home to name a few.
While there are no Airbnbs found within the park, there are plenty in the quaint little towns surrounding the park. With everything from cozy log cabins to luxury vacation homes, you’re sure to find a vacation rental that fits your style and budget.
Best Great Smoky Mountains Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
This funky 1-bedroom dome home is one of the most unique Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains! Stay on a 140-acre farm in the only modern camping dome in the Smokies and immerse yourself in nature. Make S’mores by the firepit and then enjoy the night sky from the comfort of your bed through the 4 skylights after a long day of exploring the park.
The inside of this dome tent is decked out in hip modern furnishings and a macrame hanging chair. The large bay windows provide lovely views of the surrounding forest. The space has electricity, finished floors, beautiful views, and comfortable furnishings. The tent is not insulated but there is air-conditioning, a heated blanket, and a heater for your comfort.
This Smoky Mountain Airbnb is perfect for those that want a glamping experience and don’t mind using an outdoor shower and a portable toilet.
If you’re willing to tear yourself away from this dreamy Airbnb, downtown Gatlinburg is a scenic 30-minute drive away. You’ll also be 15 minutes from the Cosby entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The magical TreEscape treehouse is the perfect Airbnb to make your trip to the Smoky Mountains a memorable experience! You’ll want to spend all your time outside on the wrap-around deck which features 2 outdoor bar areas. Follow the suspension bridge to the crow’s nest deck that serves as a lookout point over the forest.
This custom-built treehouse is packed with unique amenities including live trees incorporated into the interior design, galvanized ceilings, shiplap walls, and a spiral staircase. The loft bedroom offers spectacular views from multiple windows found around the room.
Unwind in the private hot tub after a long day of sightseeing or have a drink in the secret mini bar area. There’s a pub table built on an old tree stump surrounded by hanging egg chairs for late night chats. Roast marshmallows from the fire pit or grill up dinners using the charcoal camping grill.
The treehouse is located just a 10-minute drive from both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. It was built by the Treehouse Guys from the DIY network channel, so a stay at this Smoky Mountain vacation home will be an unforgettable experience.
This charming 1-bedroom tiny home is located in Cherokee, North Carolina so it’s just a short drive away from the national park. Don’t let the “tiny home” title fool you! It was designed to seem spacious and cozy, offering lots of storage, a roomy bathroom, and a super soft queen-sized bed.
The Lady Luck Getaway has everything that you would need during your stay including a kitchen with full-sized appliances. The host has added thoughtful touches throughout the home like extra chargers, a stocked Keurig coffee machine, a sound machine, quality toiletries, and board games to keep you entertained.
This Smoky Mountain Airbnb may be snug but it packs a mighty punch!
Located near the Cosby entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this adorable tiny home is the perfect Airbnb pick for nature lovers or couples looking for a romantic retreat.
This charming 1-bedroom guesthouse is filled with natural sunlight, creating a warm, cozy atmosphere. The downstairs is one open room with a comfortable seating area and a small kitchen that includes basic necessities like a refrigerator and coffee machine. The couch can be converted into a bed for extra guests. Upstairs you’ll find a cozy loft area with a full-size bed that includes a plush foam mattress, crisp white linens, and plenty of extra blankets.
This Airbnb has a small portable electric heater, a heated blanket, an AC window unit, and a fan to keep you comfy no matter what time of year you visit. There is a portable toilet nearby as well as an outdoor shower with a heater so you can rinse off under the stars after a long day of exploring. This tiny house sits on a 140-acre farm right next to a picture-perfect red barn.
The small front porch is perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee and taking in the breathtaking mountain views. And at night you can gather around the shared fire pit and enjoy one another’s company under the stars.
This tiny home is located about 15 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains Park entrance and about 30 minutes from the attractions of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Best Great Smoky Mountains Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
Book a stay at the luxurious Magnolia treehouse for a memorable tranquil mountain getaway in the Smokies. The treehouse is 15 feet above the ground and built with impeccable craftsmanship.
You will love waking up to views of the forest canopy from your plush queen-sized bed. There are large windows throughout the home to take full advantage of the surrounding landscape. The Magnolia Treehouse features 2 bedrooms and a small kitchenette with a microwave, a Keurig machine, and all the dishware and utensils to make a gourmet meal.
The climate control system ensures you’ll be completely comfortable during your trip. After a nice shower, refresh yourself with the resort-style grooming products and then enjoy a glass of local wine from the wrap-around balcony.
As for the location, this dreamy treehouse is off-the-grid, making it an ideal stay for some much-needed rest and relaxation. If you’re hoping to see the best area attractions, you’ll be just 20 minutes away from the park entrance and 20 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
This modern 2-bedroom, 2-bath cabin is the perfect Airbnb for your family getaway in Pigeon Forge! Located near the Dollywood Theme Park, your home away from home includes a private hot tub, a pristine pool, and a pool table for your enjoyment.
This stunning cabin is furnished with a mix of leather couches, wooden furniture, brand new appliances, double-height ceilings, and pine interior. Guests will find themselves drawn to the music-themed room which has a full-size pool table, an arcade-style video game, and a selection of records to play.
Curl up with a book next to the indoor fireplace or use the bathtub in the master bedroom to help you unwind. The home feels like a secluded cabin while still being nearby the major Pigeon Forge attractions and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you are looking for a secluded and homey stay, this private Airbnb provides impressive scenic views of Cove Mountain and surrounding valleys. As soon as you arrive at the property you’ll be wowed by the front patio and wrap-around deck and the soothing waterfall feature built right into the rocks!
This charming mountain cabin can sleep up to 6 people with 2 separate bedrooms and plenty of amenities to keep you entertained during your stay. The game room features a retro arcade game and an air hockey table. Plus there’s a high-definition home theater system in both the living room and the game room. You can even watch your favorite shows from the hot tub on the deck!
You can unwind in front of one of the multiple stone fireplaces and relax to the sounds of a crackling fire. Guests love the jacuzzi tub in the master suite and the cathedral ceilings found throughout the home. The home features multiple patios with a Chiminea fireplace, a large propane grill, and even a smoker!
You’ll have access to the community pool at Honeysuckle Meadows where you can swim, picnic, and fish at the catch and release pond. This Airbnb is located in Wears Valley so it’s just a 15-minute drive to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. It is also close to a few lesser-used entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you’ll have easy access and have to contend with less traffic.
For groups looking for a unique Airbnb near the Smokies, say hello to the Black Bear Lodge! This 3-bedroom cabin is surrounded by nature and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just one mile away so it’s the ideal setting for a dreamy off-the-grid getaway.
This beautiful Airbnb is made entirely of timber and honey-colored pine – from the hardwood floor to the ceilings. The amazing living room features an A-frame style with enormous windows and spectacular views of the forest. It has a built-in stone fireplace with new leather couches and chairs. Guests also love the unique stone shower in the master bedroom.
The kitchen is fully stocked with modern appliances and the dining area has a large custom-made log table to enjoy meals with the whole family.
Outside you’ll find a wrap-around deck and a large hot tub that can fit your whole crew. There are benches made from timber and a fire pit that’s perfect for nights around the campfire. If the weather is nice you can take a tube down to the river which is just a few steps away from the backyard.
The Black Bear Lodge is in the Deep Creek community, an area that’s popular for its waterfalls, hiking trails, and swimming spots. This Airbnb is just a few minutes away from Bryson City and a 20-minute drive from Cherokee.
Best Great Smoky Mountains Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events
If you’re organizing a vacation or a large group, then this expansive Great Smoky Mountains vacation home has it all! The Summit Castle has 6 bedrooms, 11 beds, 6.5 bathrooms, and can sleep up to 16 people!
This one-of-a-kind luxury log castle has a stone turret and log exterior. The spectacular living room has a massive stone fireplace and a barn-style theater room with recliners and surround sound. It’s 4,570 square feet in total and has huge glass windows that flood this gorgeous home with natural light.
Adults will love the 5 king-sized bed master suites with attached bathrooms – a rare find in an Airbnb in these parts. If you need to catch up on emails, the castle has its own mountain-view office furnished with rustic wood furniture and fast Wi-Fi.
After work, unwind by playing pool or poker in the game room loft that boasts a wet bar and an impressive ceiling with reclaimed wood beams. Plus you’ll have access to an air hockey table, an arcade game, and an electronic basketball shooting game. For the cook in your family, the kitchen has granite countertops and two sets of appliances and the dining area has large log tables that seat up to 20 guests. The kids and kids-at-heart will be ecstatic about the double set of custom bunk beds and the TV with Xbox One.
This castle sits on 3.5 acres of heavily wooded land with magnificent views of the mountains. You’ll have your very own large hot tub and a resort-style gas fire pit, as well as many rocking chairs for relaxing. If you can pull yourself away from this magnificent home, it’s located just a short drive to Pigeon Forge and about 10 miles to the Wears Valley entrances to the park.
Boasting 3,500 square feet, the Swimmer’s Delight Cabin is definitely one of the best Airbnbs near the Smokies for large groups. This 3-level home has 7 separate bedrooms and 7.5 baths, accommodating up to 16 guests in total!. The inviting open floor plan allows guests to socialize and the vaulted ceilings and large windows fill the home with natural light. You might even spot an elk or two!
Inside the large living room, there’s an octagon-shaped roof with skylights, a large flat-screen HDTV, and a fireplace so you can enjoy movie nights cuddled up on the couch. And you’ll be able to prepare tasty meals for the whole group in the gourmet kitchen with commercial-grade appliances and granite countertops. This entire home is designed with unique features like refurbished barn doors and reclaimed wood flooring in each bedroom.
On the upper level there’s a loft area that’s great for entertainment. It has a pool table, dartboards, and a small kitchenette area for late-night snacks. For the outdoor sports enthusiasts in your group there’s even a deluxe 8X15 foot heated swim spa that can fit up to 24 people! And for movie buffs there is a wood-paneled theater room with surround sound and comfy recliners to watch your favorite shows.
Outside, there’s plenty of parking spaces and a huge front deck with picnic tables for everyone in your group. This Airbnb is near Gatlinburg, so it’s just a short 20-minute drive from Pigeon Forge. You’ll be able to drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance in under 20 minutes if you can tear your group away from this stunning Airbnb.
With luxury amenities, stunning views, and nearby access to the national park, you’ll be sure to have an amazing family vacation while staying in this newly-built contemporary cabin.
The interior of this Airbnb is beautiful, with leather furniture and a stone fireplace that adds to the cozy ambiance. The log walls and ceiling will make you feel like you’re staying in a secluded mountain cabin but without forsaking any modern conveniences. In the master bathroom suite there’s even a claw-foot bathtub to relax your muscles after a day of hiking. This home has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 spa-like bathrooms, comfortably accommodating up to 14 guests.
You’ll have access to a fully equipped kitchen with brand new stainless steel appliances and an island area for dinner prep and seating, perfect for big family dinners. The space next to the kitchen opens up to a designer living room with floor to ceiling windows that flood the room with plenty of natural light. For the gamers in your group, there’s also a deluxe game room that includes a billiards table and a wet bar for making cocktails.
The overall architecture and outdoor space are equally impressive as you’ll be able to enjoy the large deck and private hot tub for soaking under the stars.
This home is centrally located between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg so it’s just a short ride away to major entrances to the park and popular attractions like the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. This is the ultimate Airbnb for your Smoky Mountain vacation!
If you’re looking for an Airbnb large enough to fit your entire group or family on the North Carolina side of the park, you’ll want to check out the Casa Fantasmic. This Airbnb is a great choice for large families or groups looking for a spacious home with modern amenities.
It can comfortably sleep up to 10 people, with 5 separate bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. This 3-story home features multiple living room areas, 2 full-sized kitchens, and many decks to soak in the mountain views. Another highlight of this Great Smoky Mountains Airbnb is the gym, equipped with a treadmill, an exercise bike, and weights so you’ll never miss a day of your workout.
The entire family will enjoy spending the evenings barbecuing on the back deck or enjoying a drink and good conversation around the fire pit. If you need more entertainment, there’s also a ping-pong table, a dartboard, and a pool table on the lower level. Younger kids will love the playroom full of toys and books and the large playground outside.
There are many trails nearby and after a long day of hiking you’ll love to recuperate in the hot tub or pool. This Airbnb is an ideal base to explore the park as it’s situated right down the street from the Lakeview Drive entrance. And you’ll be less than a mile from Bryson City so you’ll get the best of both worlds!
That’s it! Our top 12 picks for best Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains. Did we miss your favorite? Comment below so we can add it to the list!
* All vacation rental photos courtesy of Airbnb.
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