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How do you choose between a hotel and a cabin when you’re planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains?

As you probably know, there’s no shortage of entertaining activities when you vacation in The Smokies. Enjoy a day at a theme park. Get back to nature hiking in the National Park. Spend the day shopping and lunching in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

Yep, your vacation is sure to be a blast! But first you have to figure out where to stay. Should you rent a cabin or check in to a hotel? And just how do you know which is the right option for you?

There are really just three things you need to consider to make this decision: desired amenities, your budget, and personal preferences. Let’s compare the options and see what we find.


With a cabin, like Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins you can rent from Patriot Getaways, you get all the benefits of home. You can do your own cooking in a fully stocked kitchen.  Enjoy private bedrooms and baths.

Cabin rentals today offer everything from the simple basics to luxury accommodations, including hot tubs, fireplaces, HDTV, WIFI, and, most importantly for many vacationers, privacy. Cabin rentals are also perfect for large groups, allowing you all to live and play under a single roof, family-style.

Many cabins are also located close to the Parkway for extra convenience.

However, you might prefer the pampering you’ll receive at a hotel. You’ll find a helpful concierge to point out the local attractions, daily housekeeping and linen service, and on-property or nearby restaurants for meals. Plus you can stay in the middle of the action in town or near a popular local attraction. And if you stay at a national hotel chain, you can earn loyalty points.


For a family, or a close-knit group of friends, a cabin can easily be the more economical option. Depending on the size, time of year and extras desired, a Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge cabin will range in price.

An example- an average 2 bedroom cabin that will accommodate 2 families of 3 can run from as low as $50-$75 dollars per family per day (especially if you catch a deal). Compare that to a double occupancy hotel room which can cost at least $100.00 per room per night. Plus with a hotel, you’ll often have a mid-day checkout time. With a cabin, you can negotiate some flexibility on when you’ll have to leave. In both cases, it pays to shop around and ask about discounts and special offers.

Personal Preference

Ask yourself, what’s the “I love it!” factor for me? Is affordability most appealing or do you “long for luxury”? Are you a full-service fan or do you crave flexibility and freedom? Need to “feel at home” or want to be waited on hand and foot? The great thing about the Great Smoky Mountains – there are accommodation options for everyone.

No matter where you stay, the fun times are waiting for you with a trip Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning an unforgettable Smoky Mountain Getaway.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

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