Best Places to Stay in Downtown Gatlinburg TN
In this local guide, we’ve got the best places to stay in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. Gatlinburg is the best town for exploring the Smoky Mountains.
Living nearby, our family spends a lot of time in Gatlinburg. It’s still one of our favorite destinations out of everywhere we’ve traveled worldwide. Here are our picks for the best places to stay.
Where to stay in downtown?
We always recommend staying downtown along the main road, Highway 441, or the Parkway. Gatlinburg is a small town, and finding parking can be challenging. Hotels further south, like the Park Vista (Doubletree), are not really walkabout to attractions like Anakeesta.
While there are several parking garages in Gatlinburg, they can fill up, and traffic slows to a crawl in the summer. We find it’s easier to stay somewhere you can leave your car and walk around town.
Let’s get right into our favorite list:
Our top choice is Margaritaville. Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is a 4-star resort located on the main parkway (Hwy 441) in Gatlinburg.
We have stayed at this resort several times, and while it’s not the cheapest resort in Gatlinburg, it’s by far our favorite. It’s the first resort we check when making reservations for us or friends and family.
This resort offers spacious rooms, an outdoor swimming pool with slides, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and even real parrots. The Margaritaville restaurant is on-site (well, just outside the resort), and a smaller bar serves drinks and snacks by the pool.
The resort’s convenient location across the street from Anakeesta makes it a perfect base for exploring the best of Gatlinburg.
The Gatlinburg Inn is a piece of Gatlinburg’s history. Built in the early 1900s, Gatlinburg has transformed from a sleepy mountain town to a bustling tourist hotspot. It offers comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, and it’s just a stone’s throw away from the Gatlinburg Sky Lift.
The inn also has an outdoor heated pool and a picnic area, making it an excellent place for family reunions.
Located just south of the parkway (About a 6-minute walk), the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Smoky Mountain Resort offers easy access to the best of Gatlinburg.
One of the best features of this resort is the indoor water park it shares with the Holiday Inn Express Gatlinburg Downtown (Check prices on both hotels, as they’re connected), promising a splash of fun for all. Each unit at this resort features a kitchen, making it perfect for longer stays.
Holiday Inn Express Gatlinburg Downtown
Holiday Inn Express Gatlinburg Downtown is a fantastic choice for families. About a 6-minute walk south of the parkway, the highlight of this hotel is the indoor water park, which it shares with Holiday Inn Club Vacations (Make sure to check prices on both hotels, as they’re connected). The hotel also provides a complimentary breakfast, perfect for fuelling up for a day of adventure.
Bearskin Lodge on The River
Located on the south end of Gatlinburg near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s rustic charm and modern amenities make it a great place for your mountain getaway, and kids will love the lazy river.
While its location on the south end of the parkway makes it easy to get to from places like Cades Cove, it’s a hike to the attractions on the north end of town like Ripley’s aquarium.
Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in early 2023, our preferred Hilton-brand resort in Gatlinburg. It offers an indoor pool and a large outdoor jacuzzi. Plus, it’s just a block away from the Parkway and Gatlinburg’s favorite restaurants and best attractions, making it one of the best places to stay in downtown Gatlinburg, TN.
The Greystone Lodge is a charming hotel nestled on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. Its rustic charm and warm hospitality make it a favorite. Some rooms have private balconies overlooking the river. It’s a short walk from Ripley’s Aquarium, making it a great place to stay if you want to explore downtown Gatlinburg.
Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown
The Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown, just a 5 minute walk south of the parkway, also puts it near the Gatlinburg Convention Center. The hotel offers spacious rooms with modern amenities. After a day out, you can relax in their heated indoor pool or large outdoor jacuzzi. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves delicious meals, adding convenience to your stay.
One major benefit of downtown Gatlinburg hotels is their easy access to many attractions. You’re just a short walk or a short drive away from everything. Most of these hotels have great amenities like an indoor pool, free WiFi, and a fitness center. Some even have private balconies where you can enjoy the beauty of Gatlinburg right from your room!
Park Vista by Doubletree
Perched atop a hill, Park Vista is a hotel with stunning views of the Smoky Mountains. The hotel offers spacious rooms with private balconies to soak the mountain vistas.
While a great hotel, the Park Vista is further down the list because its location is further from downtown. Getting downtown would take about 25 minutes of walking.
The amenities here are top-notch, including an indoor pool, fitness center, and an onsite restaurant. The hotel’s unique circular design ensures every room has a great view.
That’s our list of the best places to stay in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. There are plenty of places to stay, but the selection of newer hotels tends to book up on weekends, so book early for the best price.