The Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee draws throngs of visitors to Gatlinburg. What’s great about the beautiful southern city is that it is easily accessible by less than a day’s drive for more than half of the country’s population. On a good day, you can get there by taking I-40 to Exit 407 and going south through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. For alternative routes consider the following:
-If coming by way of Virginia, consider a drive via I-81 South to I-40 East and get off at Newport (Exit 435). Then, follow Highway 321 South into Gatlinburg.
-For those coming from Lexington, Tennessee, take I-75 North and follow Highway 321 to I-40 East to Exit 435.
-From Chattanooga, Tennessee, take Exit 81 on I-75 North, following Highway 321 North to Gatlinburg through Maryville and Townsend. Expect to be on 321 North for approximately an hour and ten minutes.
–Nashville dwellers, you will take I-75 South and follow the same directions as if you were coming from Chattanooga.
-Those arriving from Asheville, North Carolina can take I-40 West to Exit 440 and follow Highway 321 South to Gatlinburg.
–Atlanta residents can take a leisurely road trip along I-85 North to I-985 North to US 23. Take US 23 to Highway 23/441, changing to Highway 74/441 through Cherokee, North Carolina. It will take you about 4 hours and ten minutes. This will allow for maximum sight-seeing potential along the drive!
For those who may balk at taking a road trip but still want to take in the unique fun and foods of Gatlinburg, consider flying into Knoxville. McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) is 55 miles north of Gatlinburg. Most major airlines fly there daily and once you are on the ground, renting a car is quite easy for maximum enjoyment of the trip. Hop in the car, turn up the radio, and be prepared to enjoy some good ole southern hospitality! Gatlinburg is waiting with open arms.