The compact city of Sevierville seems like a sleepy enough place, with rows of historic buildings and an 1890s courthouse suggesting a typical small-town vibe. But Sevierville is a lot livelier than you might expect, mainly because America’s most-visited national park—the Great Smoky Mountains—is just a few miles down the road, and it attracts millions of visitors each year. Sevierville’s most famous citizen is Dolly Parton; the country music legend grew up here, and there’s a statue of her right outside the courthouse. Nearby you’ll find all sorts of spectacular natural attractions, including the atmospheric Forbidden Caverns.

Weddings galore in Sevier County

Sevier County has a reputation as a great place to get hitched, and it claims to rank second only to Las Vegas in terms of the number of visitors who get wed here. Thousands of couples every year take advantage of Tennessee’s marriage-friendly laws, which allow you to get a marriage license without any waiting period. Wedding chapels dot the county—you'll find some in Sevierville itself and also in the nearby towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. And for many happy couples, a romantic cabin with views of the Smokies makes the perfect honeymoon hideaway.

Romantic Sevierville cabins

Of course, it’s not just newlyweds who crave a little intimacy, but the number of weddings taking place in Sevier County does mean that there are dozens of cozy and quaint cabins just for 2 in this beautifully scenic area. You can take in panoramic views of the Smokies from your sun deck, or enjoy complete seclusion in a quiet forest cabin. Either way, snuggling up in front of a roaring log fire—or in your own private hot tub—is about as romantic as it gets.

Where to stay in picturesque Sevier County

You could easily spend a few days exploring the restaurants, museums, and galleries in Sevierville, but the surrounding area offers a variety of charming destinations, too, ranging from the bustling to the relaxing. North of Sevierville lies Douglas Lake, a paradise for fishing and water sports, while a few miles south you’ll find theme parks and ski resorts around the little resort towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. West of Gatlinburg, pretty Wears Valley is a tranquil destination that’s a little off the beaten track. And don’t forget the main event—the Great Smoky Mountains are right there on your doorstep.

Pigeon Forge cabins

The historic town of Pigeon Forge is a great home base while on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. Besides the spread of stylishly cozy cabins on offer, there’s plenty of eating, drinking, and shopping to be done right here in town, along with several live music venues. The biggest local attraction is the Dollywood theme park, where you can enjoy Southern hospitality cortesy of local gal Dolly Parton. The park has fairground rides and roller coasters, a water park with a wave machine and slides, and a museum full of Dolly’s costumes and memorabilia.

Gatlinburg vacation homes

The small town of Gatlinburg is right up against the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which begins at the end of the main street. Surrounded by steep hills and forest, the town attracts all sorts of visitors—from hikers to honeymooners—and is home to numerous attractions, including a large aquarium and a ski resort. There’s also a huge cable car that will take you high up into the mountains, whether it’s ski season or not.

Douglas Lake getaway cabins

Just north of Sevierville, the reservoir of Douglas Lake covers an area of 44 sq miles. It’s a mecca for fishermen, swimmers, and water sports fans, who flock here to enjoy the lake’s 550 miles of shoreline and dozens of little coves and islands. The lake is dotted with rental cabins, some with their own dock, others with private hot tubs. The surrounding area mostly consists of low forested hills, with the Smokies rising in the distance—the national park is only a half-hour drive from the lake.

Wears Valley cabins

If peace and tranquility are your main vacation priorities, scenic Wears Valley offers some amazing views of the Smokies but is set back from the main routes into the national park, so it feels more like a sleepy backwater town. It’s a great place to base yourself for hiking or cycling trips, with trails from here heading up into the mountains. More visitors drive through Wears Valley in the fall months, when the tree-covered mountains turn from deep green to bright reds, oranges, and yellows.