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Top 5 Reasons to Rent a Gatlinburg Cabin. In need a peaceful retreat? By the end of this list, some fresh mountain air and a cabin in Gatlinburg is going to be at the top of your getaway list.

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1. Cabin Life is Good Life

Picture this: as you wake, the early morning mist is burning away in the mountain sunshine. Instead of alarm clocks and garbage truck beeps, you hear birdsong and something so big and beautiful you didn’t even know even you missed it —  the sweeping sound of the vast silences among the valleys, coves, and hollers surrounding the highest peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s a reason great traditions in American life include escaping to a mountain hideaway and living in a cabin; it’s a way of life outside the hectic pace of the city, one in which peace drops down slow. But the cabins near Gatlinburg, Tennessee offer a rare and perfect combination —  you can go into town and enjoy an array of restaurants and entertainment, an aquarium and even an amusement park, then retreat back to your mountain getaway.

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2. Hotels Aren't the Same as a Cabin

A cabin doesn’t have an ice machine down the corridor or a noisy family on the other side of the wall. You won’t accidentally try to enter the wrong room because all the rooms look the same. Your view will be of mountains and meadows, not the swimming pool and the parking lot. But here’s the thing: the cabins of Gatlinburg may be rustic, but they are also modern. You can get away from it all in style. These are genuine log cabins but they come with all the best amenities —  including fully equipped kitchens, WIFI, state-of-the-art home entertainment systems, outdoor grills, and comfortable beds where you can drift to sleep like a mountain cloud. Some even feature a hot tubs, jacuzzis, billiards tables, and indoor swimming pools.

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3. Gatlinburg is Cool!

A few years back, Gatlinburg was listed by TripAdvisor as one of the world’s top five up-and-coming destinations    the very top in the U.S. —  for a very good reason. Nowhere else in the world offers a similar array of things to do. Feel like a hike? This charming little town of 4,000 folks has three separate entrances straight into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. How about just a cool view? Take an elevator to the top of the 407 ft. Gatlinburg Space Needle for 360 views of the mountains and the town, or take a ride on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. Got kids? Take them to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or to the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park, which among other thrills features a 1,000 ft. uphill ride through the woods bordering the park aboard the Ski Mountain Coaster. Are you an outdoor sports enthusiast? In the summer, try whitewater rafting along the Pigeon River, or in the winter go snow tubing or skiing at Ober Gatlinburg. Are you a foodie? This is the South, so there are BBQ choices aplenty, including the famous hickory smoked Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que, or check out Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp for its savory pecan-smoked bacon, and then there’s the European-style Village Shops offering 27 different restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. Like a tipple? There are several moonshine tasting tours daily in Gatlinburg. Music? Well, this is the Appalachians, the birthplace of bluegrass and country music, so pretty much every establishment offers live music; of particular note, Blake Shelton plans to open his Ole Red Gatlinburg next spring, and six miles down the road in Pigeon Forge is the mecca of mountain music, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood.

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4. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Indeed Great

The 800 square mile Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited of all national parks. It includes the highest peaks in all the Smokies and some of the most untrammeled wilderness in the U.S. (scientists just discovered the thousandth new species within the park this year). The park offers hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, historical exhibits, scenic drives, waterfalls, and frequent sighting of bears, elk, deer, and the occasional bobcat.

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5. Gatlinburg Mountain Air is FREE

It’s worth noting that all the above, relative to most getaways, is super affordable. You can rent cabins, ranging from romantic secluded getaways for a couple to a spacious mountain lodge big enough for a family reunion, for a lot less than what hotels and motels would cost. There is no admission fee to the National Park. Freedom abounds in the cabins of Gatlinburg, nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, where you’ll feel free.