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Where to stay when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains

From cabins and campgrounds to resorts and treehouses, there are many options to find your Smoky Mountain home away from home on the Tennessee side of the park.

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — So you’re taking a trip to the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and trying to find a place to stay?

Fortunately, the national park covers a broad area so you have choices between Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville on the Sevier County side or Townsend and Walland on the Blount County side, also known as the "Peaceful Side of the Smokies." 

Once you decide on an area you’d like to stay in, it’s just a matter of picking your Smoky Mountain home away from home.

Of course, there are plenty of hotels all around, but if you’re looking for something unique to the Smokies, here are some options.

If you’re looking to get the authentic outdoor adventure experience, there are dozens of campgrounds throughout the park with front country, backcountry and group options. Some of the most popular include Elkmont, Cades Cove, Smokemont, Cosby and Abrams Creek. 

Keep in mind you have to make a reservation in advance, and backcountry camping requires an additional permit. There are also several regulations you need to follow to keep yourself and your fellow campers safe.

If you prefer a little bit of pampering to roughing it in the woods, there are many resorts near the park where you can relax and wash away the grime at the end of a long day of hiking. Margaritaville and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort are popular options.

RELATED: Vacationing near the Smokies? Bear safety tips for your cabin or hotel

If you still want to get a feel for the outdoors without pitching a tent, believe it or not, there are options for that as well.

You could try “glamping” at Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains. Essentially, it’s all the charm of camping in a tent with hotel amenities included.

RELATED: Glamping is the bougie travel trend even my squirrel-hunting, redneck uncle could get behind

You could live out a childhood fantasy and stay in a treehouse at the Treehouse Grove at Norton Creek.

RELATED: I spent the night at a new treehouse resort near Gatlinburg and never wanted to leave

Of course, you can go with an always classic cabin. There are so many around just type “Smoky Mountain cabins” into Google and pick one in your price range. If you need a place to start your search, try Chalet Village, LeConte Lodge or Dancing Bear Lodge.

RELATED: Local Luxe: The $1.5 million cabin that has everything

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