2. Less Time Driving = More Time Exploring
The closer you stay to the park, the less time you spend driving between your cabin and the Smokies. Time saved is time you can spend on longer hikes or more leisurely cruises along scenic highways. You know you can make it back to your cabin for supper with time to spare.
3. See More Wildlife
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 1,500 black bears, 240 species of birds, plus deer, synchronous fireflies, otters, bats and colorful salamanders. By vacationing close to the park, you can seek animals at hours like dusk and dawn, when many are more active and visible.
4. Discover Native Culture
Staying nearby means you can easily drive deeper into the park. Head for the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian gives visitors a hands-on experience with tribal history. Oconaluftee Indian Village lets you step into the past and see the traditional homes, crafts and lives of 18th-century Cherokee.
5. Try a Night Hike
Night hiking is easier when you don’t have a long drive back to your cabin after you’re done! Night hikes are a chance to see nocturnal creatures and enjoy the mountains by moonlight. Park rangers lead some hikes, or you can take your own. Try the historic valley of Cades Cove or the paved (but steep) path to Clingmans Dome. Be sure to bring flashlights, warm clothing and boots.
6. Have More Picnics
When the park is your neighbor, you can pop in just to have a picnic lunch before an afternoon of attractions in town. There are 68 formal and informal picnic areas, many next to rivers, and some with picnic tables and grills.
Choose a cabin that puts you close to the national park’s natural beauty. Book your vacation rental cabin now.