By Leif Palmer
Posted on October 23, 2018
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.
One of the challenges of visiting Gatlinburg, however, can be the parking situation. We're a small town, and there's a lot squeezed into this little valley winding through the mountains. One of the results is that most of the businesses you'll want to visit in the downtown area either have very limited parking or no parking at all. (The hotels and motels usually have plenty of parking, but unless you're a guest there, parking in those lots will get you either towed or ticketed.)
So what to do? The easiest and most cost-effective solution is to take advantage of our public parking in Gatlinburg. We have seven different downtown locations where you can park all day for one very reasonable price, and you'll be close to just about anything you'd want to do in downtown Gatlinburg, depending on which lot you select.
Which lot should you choose? We recommend consulting the Gatlinburg parking map on our website. You can zoom in and find the places you're most interested in visiting and then pick the lot that's closest to those destinations.
We have four lots very near Historic Nature Trail and Reagan Drive areas, just off the parkway, which are handy to shopping/dining stops like Baskins Square and Bones BBQ Joint. We have three more lots right on the Parkway. In fact, one of them is right at the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the south end of town, and another is closer to the north end of town, near the intersection of East Parkway (U.S. Hwy. 321). That one in particular is just steps away from Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.
Once you've parked, you'll have no trouble getting where you want to go on foot, or if you're headed somewhere that's too far to walk, just hop on one of Gatlinburg's many trolley routes and let someone else do the driving. The trolleys are very inexpensive, and some of the routes will even take you to Pigeon Forge, Dollywood and the national park.
(Note that rates may be a little higher during peak visitation periods like holidays and special events like the annual 4th of July and Christmas parades.)
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.