Gatlinburg is known for packing tons of attractions, restaurants and shops into a fairly small footprint. The city is wedged into a narrow mountain valley, and real estate is at a premium. That's great if you're interested in visiting lots of different businesses when you're vacationing in the Smokies. Pretty much anything you could want to do while you're in town is within walking distance.
One comment we've heard frequently from Smoky Mountain visitors over the years is that they sometimes are tempted to avoid visiting downtown Gatlinburg because they're concerned that finding parking will be a big hassle.
Downtown Gatlinburg has an awful lot going for it – attractions, shops, restaurants and cool special events, not to mention the awesomely spectacular backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Some visitors associate Gatlinburg with inaccessibility due to the city's small footprint and tight mountain-valley setting. And this is true to some extent, but this week, we're going to make a case for why Gatlinburg is the best place to base yourself for the day if you're wanting to easily access the entire Smokies area.
We understand that for many travelers, the idea of public parking can be a painful prospect. Some vendors have been known to charge outrageous rates just for the privilege of leaving your vehicle in a place you won't even be around most of the day. Lots and garages that charge by the hour can make that experience seem even worse.