Frequently Asked Questions about visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Great Smoky Mountain Cabins
Those planning a Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountain vacation usually have similar questions in mind when making their plans. Below are a number of frequently asked questions.
Cabins, Chalets and Condos
- How many cabins does American Patriot Getaways rent?
- We manage between 350 and 400 cabins in the Smoky Mountains.
- How big are your Gatlinburg cabins?
- We have any size cabin you could need, from a one-bedroom romantic hideaway to lodges that can house up to 25 people.
- Can I get a private cabin in the Smoky Mountains, or will I have neighbors?
- We have a wide variety of cabins available. You can choose a completely private cabin, a semi-private cabin or a cabin with neighbors, depending on your specific desires.
- Are all your cabins in Gatlinburg?
- American Patriot Getaways manages cabins in and around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Just ask us for the Smoky Mountain area you prefer.
- What kinds of amenities do your Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge cabins come with?
- Our cabins feature just about any comfort you could want. Most have porches or decks providing beautiful mountain views, and many have outdoor hot tubs to let you fully appreciate those views. About three-fourths of our cabins feature pool tables, while all of them include fireplaces to let you enjoy a cozy fire during a cool mountain evening. Gatlinburg cabins also have gas or charcoal grills, full kitchens and TVs. Some cabins even feature flat screen plasma televisions, and several carry NFL Sunday Ticket during football season.
- Do you have any Gatlinburg cabins by the water?
- Yes, we have many cabins with water or mountain views and many cabins with swimming pools for the summertime.
- Can we get directions to our cabin from MapQuest?
- No. Most cabins are located on mountain roads with no physical addresses. American Patriot Getaways will e-mail, fax or mail you directions to your cabin in the Smoky Mountains.
- How do we get into our Smoky Mountain cabin?
- Check in time is after 4 p.m. You can stop by the American Patriot Getaways office in Gatlinburg or you may call us when you reach the cabin. We will give you a four-digit pass code that will open up a lockbox at the cabin door. The lockbox will contain the key to your cabin. When you leave (checkout time is by 11 a.m.), put the key back in the lockbox and we will set a new code.
- Are Gatlinburg cabin rates always the same?
- No. Rates vary according to the time of year. We price cabin rentals with low rates, mid rates and high rates, depending on the season and if your stay is over a holiday weekend. Call American Patriot Getaways’ professional staff at for details about the best time to rent a Gatlinburg cabin for the ideal mountain getaway.
Timing Your Trip
- When is the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains?
- Basically, anytime is a good time to visit the Smokies. The determining factor for deciding when to visit is: What are your likes and dislikes? For example, the color extravaganza of fall appeals to nearly everyone--evidenced by the crowding at that time. The floral show of spring attracts lots of people too. But consider the relative non-crowding of the wintertime. Winters are very mild in the Smoky Mountains. Mountain vistas are enhanced by the lack of foliage on the trees. And hiking is easier in some ways. For example, in the winter, one can dress in layers and remove layers as the need arises.
- When is the best time--and where is the best place--to view wildlife?
- Without question, the best place and time to see deer, wild turkey, and other small wildlife is Cades Cove. In years past, wildlife were very shy and you had to time your searches for the feeding times at dawn and dusk. However, through the years the wildlife have become more tame as Park visitors have grown in number and you can now even see the deer feeding at midday in Cades Cove. Bear can be found out on some trails and near campgrounds--looking for food. A word of caution, however: Don't feed the bears. It shortens their lives and creates dangerous circumstances for other travelers. Remember--don't feed the bears. Also, avoid the mother bear with her cubs. She might sense a threat to her cub and become unpredictable.
- Does everything close in the winter?
- No, not nearly as much as in years past, visitors to the Smokies number approximately 11 million--and visitation continues to grow yearly. Businesses are remaining open all year to accommodate travelers. The National Park remains open all year, with only a few unimproved roads closed due to storm damage or harsh weather. Parson's Branch and Rich Mountain Roads (off the Cades Cove loop road) and the road to Clingman's Dome are two examples.
- What is the weather like in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg?
- Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall: you're guaranteed to like them all. Tennessee enjoys mild winters and summers. Spring arrives to stay in mid-April, although warm weather begins to appear in mid-March. Temperatures are in the upper nineties during the hottest part of the summer. Afternoon thunderstorms are not rare during the summer so it is a good idea to be mindful of the potential for storms as the day heats up. The summer heat lasts until late September, when cooler weather begins to settle in, bringing with it the color spectacular of changing leaves in the Smokies, which peak in mid to late October, depending on weather conditions such as the amount of rain as well as duration and frequency of cool nights. Snow is possible in the Pigeon Forge Area from late November through late March, but accumulation is not always guaranteed when snow begins to fall. Bear in mind that higher elevations in the mountains will have different weather. The Smoky Mountains are a temperate rainforest because when warm moist air from the valley ascends into the cooler air of the mountains, the water vapor in the air condenses and rain falls. The highest elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains are comparable to Canada in terms of weather and even wildlife.
- Do I need a special license to fish in the Park? Where can I purchase a fishing license?
- A regular fishing license that is good all year in both the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of the Park can be purchased in any town adjacent to the Park. Local gas stations and Wal-Mart sell fishing licenses.
- What's the best hike in the Smokies?
- The answer to this question will vary depending on who you talk to. However, our favorites include Abrams Falls, Rainbow Falls, Grotto Falls and of course Mt. Le Conte.
- Are lodging accommodations available in the Park?
- The only true lodging in the Park itself is LeConte Lodge, which can only be reached by hiking trail. There are 5 major trails to Mt. LeConte. The most popular route is the Alum Cave Bluff trail. American Patriot Getaways specializes in Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins. We have a variety of log cabins and chalets in locations near both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. If you're planning an exciting family weekend at Dollywood or hiking some of the wonderful trails in the Smoky Mountain National Park, why not consider the convenience of our Gatlinburg cabins to complete the experience?
- Are there any special places for honeymooners?
- American Patriot Getaways offers several packages for romantic getaways. Packages are designed with a variety of options and prices for people seeking truly unique romantic vacations. Imagine your romantic getaway that includes your own private log cabin with a hot tub, pool table, king bed and a cozy fireplace. Perhaps you'd think romantic getaways are difficult to plan. One call to our vacation specialists and they can help you arrange all the details. They help guests customize their romantic vacations to include such options as a private catered dinner at their cabin. Or, maybe you'd choose to have a dozen roses or a gift basket delivered to let that special someone know how much they mean to you. American Patriot Getaways specialized in helping our guests create romantic getaways that make memories they will always cherish. Whether you are planning a honeymoon or one of those romantic weekend getaways with someone special, we can help.
- Where are the best places to eat?
- We don't generally like to recommend particular restaurants as opposed to others (questions of bias involving advertisers); however, we've never had a bad steak at the Peddlar in Gatlinburg, and you will always have an amazing meal at the Park Grill in Gatlinburg. We have a list of Gatlinburg Restaurants and Pigeon Forge Restaurants to help you pick your favorite.
- Where can we find a grocery store?
- There are several groceries stores in the area to choose from. Below is a list by city:
- Food City
220 Wears Valley Road
- Food City
1219 E Parkway
- Food City
741 Dolly Parton Parkway
702 S.R. 66
- Wal-Mart Super Center
- Where is there a 24 hour pharmacy?
- Walgreen’s Pharmacy
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863-3311
- What stores are open 24 hours?
- Where is the nearest U.S. Post Office?
- U.S. Post Offices in Pigeon Forge
3235 Rena St
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
U.S. Post Offices in Gatlinburg
1216 E Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
U.S. Post Offices in Sevierville
711 Dolly Parton Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862
- Where is the closest airport?
- Knoxville's McGhee-Tyson Airport is only 40 miles away and is served by eleven airlines with connecting services from cities including Memphis, Houston, New York/Newark, St. Louis and Philadelphia. The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Airport, seven miles from Pigeon Forge and has complete airport facilities for small private aircrafts.
- Where is there a movie theater?
- There is one movie theater in Sevier County located in Sevierville on the Highway 66 portion of the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway.
- Where can I work out?
- Visitors can purchase a day pass from the Pigeon Forge Community center for six dollars; a weekly pass is 20 dollars; a monthly pass is 50 dollars. The Pigeon Forge Community Center, a recent addition to recreation opportunities in Pigeon Forge, is 86,000 square feet with a 5,000 square foot fitness center with free weights, machines, and a cardio studio. The community center features three basketball courts, two racquetball courts, an indoor jogging circuit, plus indoor and outdoor pools. For more information, contact the center with inquiries:
Pigeon Forge Community Center
170 Community Center Drive
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- When do the leaves reach peak color?
- Peak color varies slightly each year, but you can pretty much count on great color at the higher elevations during the first two weeks of October and in the valleys in the second half of October to early November. For more information visit our Fall Color in Gatlinburg page.
- When do Rhododendron, Flame Azalea, and Mountain Laurel bloom?
- Rhododendrons bloom in June and early July, and mountain laurel in May-June.
- Where are the largest trees in the Park?
- Some of the largest are found in the Greenbrier section of the Park. From Gatlinburg, drive east along US 321 (stop-light #3 in Gatlinburg) for approximately 6 miles, turn right on Greenbrier Road and travel 3.1 miles along the Little Pigeon River to Greenbrier Cove. Turn left at Ramsay Prong Road and travel 1.5 miles to the parking area. An eight-mile roundtrip hike will take you through virgin stands of chestnut oaks, poplars, and black cherry.
- Can we get married in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
- Yes--if you can hike or drive to it, there are ministers who will accompany the wedding party to conduct the ceremony. American Patriot Getaways offers several packages for Gatlinburg weddings.
- Just how do you say Pigeon Forge? Sevierville?
- Pigeon Forge is the site of an historic iron forge, or blacksmith's shop, on the banks of the Little Pigeon River that served residents of the area. The pigeon in Pigeon Forge comes from the passenger pigeon, an extinct bird native to the area that once darkened the skies when flocks took flight. The last passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. The pronunciation of Sevierville is a source of frustration for many visitors. Sevierville is the county seat of Sevier County. Sevier County is named for the Revolutionary War Hero John Sevier of the celebrated "Over mountain Men" who fought the pivotal Battle of King's Mountain in South Carolina. Sevier's name is pronounced the same as "severe." Sevierville was named in the same tradition of naming communities after famous individuals that found names for the Tennessee communities of Knoxville, Nashville, and Greeneville.