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Thanksgiving – food, family, football and giving thanks for all your blessings. It also can be a time of stress with all the preparations – house cleaning, hiding the clutter, decorating, and then there’s the food – all the food!

Eliminate some of the stress and make those family memories in a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains this Thanksgiving.

Give Thanks this Thanksgiving

Check out our top four reasons for moving Thanksgiving fun to a mountain cabin, along with some great family lodgings and holiday recipes!

1. Hosting Thanksgiving at home is stressful.

Our Smoky Mountain cabins will be clean when you walk in – with dishes, cookware and plenty of parking. If you need special cookware – pressure cookers, electric skillets, crockpots – be sure to bring those. You might have your favorite knives as well – bring them along – though there are knives and cutlery in each cabin.

Some of our cabins have two kitchens as well as outdoor grills – so there’s plenty of space for all the chefs and potlucking you might be doing.

Big Bear Lodge, which sleeps 26 with 7 bedrooms and 6 full baths and 2 half baths, is one cabin that has two full kitchens. A log cabin with five floors of spacious living and out of this world views of the Great Smoky Mountains, Big Bear Lodge has two identical master suites both with Jacuzzi tubs and king-size log beds, two oversized hot tubs, three spacious living areas, a theater room that seats 20 with surround sound and a 10-foot screen, pool table, foosball and plenty of rockers to enjoy the views. There’s a 42″ plasma flat -screen TV with DVD, VCR and Direct TV satellite system offering the NFL SUNDAY TICKET during football season on the main level. Dish Network TV throughout the rest of the cabin. Big Bear Lodge is a fabulous place for cooking, entertaining, lounging, relaxing and playing.

Big Bear Lodge - A Gatlinburg Cabin Rental

2. Plenty of Room

Everyone can stay over when you rent a mountain cabin. There’s plenty of parking and plenty of beds and bathrooms for whatever size family or friends’ gathering you’re planning.

Over Ober Lodge – Sleeps 16

Dining room at Over Ober Lodge

Located just above the famous Ober Mountain Ski Resort, & tucked away in the woods, guests will find the aptly named Over Ober Lodge. This incredible Gatlinburg Ski Lodge enjoys quick access to the slopes and snow tubing in the winter months, and all the hiking, exploring, & swimming in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when the weather is nicer. There’s so much to enjoy up the mountain, you’ll forget that the heart of Gatlinburg’s strip is just 3 miles away. Inside 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths spread out on 3 levels of mountain living, make space for as many as 16 guests to enjoy the lodge. Log beds, leather sofas, pool table, multi-arcade, and 8 LED TV’s offer guests a taste of the good life. Outside, long distance mountain views look down on Gatlinburg and beyond to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Soak in the view from the bubbly hot tub, or grill out and picnic on the back deck.

50-Mile View – Sleeps 20

No need to venture out for the views when you stay in this incredible 5-bedroom 4. 5 bath-cabin for up to 20 guests. Located in the scenic Little Cove area just outside Pigeon Forge, this outstanding lodge has views with layer after layer of blue mountains that can be enjoyed from all 3 levels of the home. Enter into a large vaulted living room with dining area, kitchen with new appliances & breakfast bar, stone fireplace, oversized LED TV and more. Four King bedrooms each has its own attached bath, and 3 have private access to the outside porches. Upstairs a lofted game room includes pool table, multi-game arcade, and a 55″ LED TV! Downstairs a theater room with surround sound and theater seating plays movies or your team’s ballgame.

Living room space at 50 Mile View

Pine Splendor – Sleeps 12

Equipped with hot tub, pool table, and TV’s in every bedroom family and friends will never want to leave! Enjoy the beauty of the Smokies from your own porch. Whether it be soaking in the hot tub or cuddling up in front of the fire in the gas fireplace you will find this a relaxing and restful retreat. With a full kitchen and charcoal grill you can feed the whole crew that Thanksgiving feast. Or you are near Pigeon Forge, make reservations and go out for the holiday. With internet access and a pool table there will be plenty to keep the whole party occupied.

Exterior of a cabin called Pine Splendor

Peace at the River – sleeps 6 with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths

Pigeon Forge’s PEACE AT THE RIVER offers guests a comfortable home in a convenient location.  Located less than one mile from the heart of Pigeon Forge, and accessed without any steep mountain roads, you’ll find PEACE AT THE RIVER when you stay at this charming 3 bedroom 3 bath mountain home. Two levels of elevated living will take your vacation to new heights! Each of the home’s 3 bedrooms include their own attached bath, making PEACE AT THE RIVER comfortable for both couples and families too! Take in a dinner show, shop, celebrate, and dine-out just up the street from the chalet, or just stop by the grocery. The full kitchen and charcoal grill makes eating-in a breeze.

Living room at Peace at the River

Lake Life – sleeps 9 with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths

There’s no better way to vacation in the Smokies. Enjoy the best of lakes and mountains with this comfortable 4-bedroom, – bath real log cabin in Douglas Lake Resort. Located in a lake community with private dock, boat launch, and community pool – LakeLife offers Douglas Lake access but is still just 15 miles to Dollywood. Spend a day fishing (don’t forget your fishing license), hiking in the mountains shopping in town or cooking and watching football at your cabin. Enter from the wrap round covered porch with rocking chairs and hot tub into an open concept living area with tall vaulted ceilings. A modern kitchen with breakfast bar opens to a dining area for 4. Each bedroom has its own attached bath with two main floor king bedrooms, and a king and bunk room upstairs. Guests can spread out on two levels of mountain luxury.

Lake Life - a rental cabin on Douglas Lake

3. The Leaves

September and October in Tennessee were warm so the leaf changes will be later and should continue through November this year. Forest animals will still be gathering too – you might say any number of creatures from your cabin balcony.

Fun leaf facts:

+ You can actually tell what species of tree you are looking at based on its Smoky Mountains fall color.

+ Leaves on trees like pines, cedars, spruces and first do not change colors because their leaves are covered in a thick wax that helps the plant hold materials that prevent them from freezing.

+ Why are fall colors so remarkable in the Smokies? One reason is the park’s amazing diversity of trees. Some 140+ species of native trees live in the Smokies and the vast majority of these are deciduous.

+ As summer ends, the green pigments in leaves deteriorate, giving other colors a chance to shine. Carotenoids, the pigment that makes carrots orange and leaves yellow, are exposed as the green fades. Reds and purples come from anthocyanins, a pigment that is formed when sugars in leaves break down in bright autumn sunlight.

4. Renting a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains for Thanksgiving makes for an extra memorable holiday and maybe even a new tradition – “remember that year we spent Thanksgiving in the Smokies? Let’s do that again!”

A Thanksgiving Spread on a table

Thanksgiving Traditions

My family has their meal at noon – precisely at noon. We gather around the table standing up holding hands while Grandaddy or Dad gives the blessing.

Then we feast. Mind you, mom starts days before preparing. And the morning of Thanksgiving, she is up at 4 to put the turkey in the oven. She starts the potatoes around 7 a.m., then heads to church.

Here are some Southern Thanksgiving recipes:

The turkey – fry it, beer can it or brine it and roast it upside down.

From my family’s cook book (click on the photos to enlarge!):

After our meal, we play with the small children – my many nieces and nephews, watch football, nap (this is very important) and watch movies or sometimes go out and see a movie at a theater. One year, my five siblings and I were apparently driving Mom crazy – so Dad took us out to see “An American Tail.”

Our favorite Thanksgiving movies include: A Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Addams Family Values – there IS a disturbingly awesome Thanksgiving play scene.

Thanksgiving Family Cabins

Ready to find your Thanksgiving mountain cabin? Search cabins by size at American Patriot Getaways or call and talk to one of our experts 800-204-5169 to find the best cabin for you and your family.

Find a Cozy Cabin for your Smoky Mountain fall adventure today! Check out our Smoky Mountain Travel Guide for more adventures. Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

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