A guide to Great Smoky Mountains vacation rentals

Deciduous forests that change shades with the seasons. Ancient hills where black bears roam. Appalachian towns with their rollicking hillbilly bars. This is the Great Smoky Mountains. Nestled on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, these Blue Ridge peaks and their surrounds call to outdoorsy types, fun-loving families, and romance-seekers alike, with plenty of nature and action-packed tourist hubs to appease all. And picking Smoky Mountain vacation rentals will put you right in the center of it all. Let this guide point you to the best spots.

The different types of Smoky Mountain rentals

Looking for Smoky Mountains house rentals for that next getaway to the Appalachians? Great choice. These accommodations will have you feeling right at home, whether you're traveling with that special someone or have the whole crew in tow.

Classic log cabins

Nothing says mountain getaway like a pine-scented cabin on the fringes of these lushly forested hills. These types of stays will really help you connect with the nature around you, thanks to the earthy and organic touches throughout. Maybe it's all the wood-paneled walls instead of bright paint colors. Or perhaps the rustic furnishings that look carved by hand.

Smoky Mountain chalet rentals

After something a little more luxurious? Maybe you're traveling with a group of friends or extended family? Smoky Mountain chalets are just the ticket for packing in a big crew, with multiple sleeping spaces and bunk beds for the kids, large living rooms with stone fireplaces, and timber decks with outdoor grills and dining tables. Luxury cabins will even add in perks like game or movie rooms, indoor swimming pools, and walls of windows overlooking the rolling hills.

Private Smoky Mountain retreats

If you're heading the Appalachian way for some much-needed R&R, or perhaps a romantic trip for two, you'll want to give a second look to secluded cabins available here. Surrounded by soaring trees, these peaceful getaways are far away from noisy traffic, where you can wake up to the sounds of birds in the morning and sleep in absolute dark away from the light pollution of cities. Honeymooners and loved-up duos might appreciate all the cozy spaces and bubbling hot tubs, too.

Places to stay in the Smoky Mountains

With so much ground to cover on a Smoky Mountain vacation, it can be hard to narrow down just where to stay. Should you go for vacation rentals in Bryson City, NC, for its white-water rivers, or cross over to Tennessee for amusement parks and foot-stomping tunes? A few top contenders are listed below.

Mountain rentals of Gatlinburg, TN

Ah, Gatlinburg. Ever a family-favorite, this rollicking town on the outskirts of Great Smoky Mountains National Park packs in quite a lot while retaining a small, friendly feel. There are the touristy favorites like Ripley's Believe It or Not and mini golf courses to keep things entertaining, and a wealth of barbecue joints and roadhouse grills to keep bellies full. It's also one of the top spots for vacation rentals in the Smoky Mountains of TN.

Pigeon Forge – a quirky tourist town

Ever heard of Dollywood? That's Pigeon Forge's claim to fame. Water slides, laser tag, wax museums, and gem-mining are scattered about here, so you'll never run out of things to do. And that's not even mentioning the string of live entertainment venues, burger joints, and dinner shows along the main parkway through the mountain resort. Plus, the Smoky Mountains are less than 15 miles away for when you want to mix in some hiking and bike rides.

Bryson city rentals on the NC side

If you've come to the Smokies for all the outdoorsy adventures, Bryson City vacation rentals might be just up your alley. The North Carolina town is practically surrounded by forest, and the Tuckasegee River runs right through, so everything from woodsy walks to white-water rafting is on the menu. Even though the small-town vibes run strong here, you'll still find plenty of NC-style BBQ to chow on, and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is based in Bryson City for train trips through the park. Look for Great Smoky Mountains vacation rentals both around town and off in the nearby woods.