The Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee in the US are over 850 square miles of protected mountain landscapes. It’s the most popular national park in the States, known for its pristine nature, adventure sports and an abundance of beautiful black bears.
The area is big, and knowing where to stay can be the hardest choice when planning your trip. The best spot for you depends on the kind of experience you want.
The great thing is that Airbnb has an absolute abundance of options for stays in the Smoky Mountains, so whatever kind of trip you’re looking for, they’ve got you covered.
Limited accommodation exists inside the boundary of the park and people often choose to stay in ‘gateway cities’ which are just a short drive from the entrances to the national park. These towns – the most popular being Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – combine nature with classic Americana attractions including Dollywood, the theme park of local legend Dolly Parton.
We’ve chosen a range of different properties that are suitable for all kinds of travellers. Some are in the cities, others are in remote locations and everywhere between. Keep reading to find our top 15 Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains, including the best Airbnb Experiences in the region.
- Quick Answer: These are the Top 4 Airbnbs in Smoky Mountains
- What to Expect from Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains
- Types of Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains
- Why Stay in an Airbnb?
- The 15 Best Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains.
- 5 Top Airbnb Experience in the Smoky Mountains
- Final Thoughts on Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains
Quick Answer: These are the Top 4 Airbnbs in Smoky Mountains
Dolly’s Country Condo – Across from Ripley’s!
- > $$
- > 2 Guests
- > Copper bathtub with a view
- > Dolly Parton themed decor.
Rustic Campsite By a Creek
- > $
- > 2 Guests
- > Campsite next to creek
- > Very Budget-friendly
Mountain Liv-Inn 1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom Cozy Cabin
- > $$$
- > 4 Guests
- > Hot tub
- > King Sized Bed in Loft
Gatlinburg Log Cabin with Mountain Ridge Views
- > $$$
- > 8 Guests
- > Games Room
- > Sunset views from the balcony
Majestic Lakeside Estate
- > $$$$
- > 12 Guests
- > Jacuzzi
- > Luxury home on a private Island
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What to Expect from Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains
The most common listings you’ll find in the Smoky Mountains are entire homes or private rooms. There are also a lot of unique spaces like RV’s, tiny houses and campsites.
You’ll most often be dealing with a private owner, but the larger and more expensive properties are likely to be run by a business. Either way, the booking process is the same.
Many places outside of towns are only accessible by car, and if you are visiting in the winter when it’s likely to be wet and snowy, you might need a 4WD.
Types of Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains
This is the most common type of Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains. Renting an entire home on Airbnb is the best choice for families, groups and travellers who like to have space to themselves. It can also give you a more local feeling while you’re on a trip, giving you your own space while staying in your home away from home.
Many Smoky Mountains Airbnb’s are available to be rented long term. Hosts offer a generous discount on long term rentals which makes it an appealing option for digital nomads and ‘slow travel enthusiasts’.
Although renting a whole space is more expensive on the whole than other options, the price per person, per night, is often less than you would pay for a cheaper option once you’ve split the cost. This is a great hack to keep in mind if you’re travelling in a group or with your family.
A private room in a shared home is a great choice for those who want to have some space of their own without renting an entire place. Often the facilities like the kitchen and bathroom of these properties are shared with the other members of the house. It can be a more affordable option in many cases. These kinds of rooms are popular choices for solo travellers and couples.
If you’re staying in the private room of a local home, you’ll end up with a bunch of tips and tricks to best discover the region.
RVs and Campsites
Many Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains are RVs and campsites. There is a lot of range with these properties, and it’s a totally great and authentic kind of accommodation in the area. RV stands for Recreational Vehicle, and in many cases, these setups are in fixed locations like RV Resorts or on a private property. This is often a more affordable option than other entire homes listed on Airbnb, although don’t let that make you think it’s necessarily an inferior option. Many RVs have all the functionality of a house!
Campsites are rented in official camping grounds or on private properties. They may be simple setups with a regular tent, although some listings will take it up a few levels to make it glamping. This is definitely the most affordable option for a Smoky Mountains Airbnb and a great option for those who love nature and want to save a few dollars.
Looking for other types of accommodation? Check out our guide to Where to Stay in Smoky Mountains.
Why Stay in an Airbnb?
There are a lot of perks to staying in an Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains (or anywhere else for that matter):
- Local Experience: Tips from your local host can give your trip a real advantage. Check for Airbnb properties with a Superhost rating, these hosts are the ones who have been proven to go out of their way to make sure their guests have the best possible stay.
- Affordability: A quality Airbnb will almost always end up cheaper than a nice hotel room. Smart money choices can make a big difference while you’re on the road, especially when you’re on a shoestring budget. Who knows what you can do with the savings?
- Unique Properties: Realistically, why would you want to stay in a boring hotel room when you could stay somewhere unique? The Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains cater to all kinds of tastes, so whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find a unique place to call home.
- Privacy: Planning a romantic getaway or looking to avoid other humans altogether? With Airbnb, you can use filters to find completely private accommodation. Many Airbnbs have self-check-in too to keep any interaction at a minimum.
- Staying Long-Term: Long term stays on Airbnb are often rewarded with hosts setting up discounts for those who want to hang around a bit longer. This is a great outcome for slow travel enthusiasts and digital nomads who tend to stay for longer in each place and/or work online.
- Safety: Airbnb vets every host that signs up to their platform. There is customer service available 24/7, so if any issues arise, they’ve got your back.
- Last-Minute Booking: You can filter properties to show who is still accepting guests last minute which is a great option for those moments when you realise you haven’t organised a place to stay!
- Airbnb Experiences: Airbnb isn’t just a place to find accommodation. The platform also offers experiences which are unique activities with a local touch. We’ll get into this more later in the article and share the best Airbnb Experiences on offer in the Smoky Mountains.
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The 15 Best Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains.
Best Overall Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains | Dolly’s Country Condo
The hosts of this condo have curated the perfect Dolly Parton themed space for you to tumble out of bed, stumble to the kitchen, pour yourself a cup of ambition, and get out exploring the best of Gatlinburg. This home is the ideal Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for anyone who is a fan of the areas most famous person.
It’s bound to get you excited for your visit to Dollywood and any activity in the Smokies. As well as an impressive collection of Dolly paraphernalia, the condo also has a king-sized bed, a copper bathtub, a rain shower and a board game collection. Not included in the images of the space is a beautiful view out over the Smoky Mountains.
Best Budget Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains | Rustic Campsite By a Creek
This campsite is the most budget-friendly Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains, and you’ll be in touch with the stunning nature that the area is best known for.
Guests have access to the creekside two man tent, though campers are welcome to bring their own gear if they want to level up their camping experience. Check our camping packing guide to make sure you don’t forget anything important!
There is access to an outdoor refrigerator, hot and cold water, an outdoor camping toilet with a privacy tent and the host’s Camper shower upon request.
You’ll be close to nature and attractions around Fire’s Creek Recreation Area like hiking, trout fishing and horseback riding.
Budget Tip: Dorms in Smoky Mountains start from $10USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!
Most Over-The-Top Luxury Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains | Majestic Lakeside Estate
Have you ever dreamt of staying on a private island? Who hasn’t, right? With this Smoky Mountains Airbnb, you can! This spectacular property is located on Buck Knob Island in the middle of Lake Glenville. It has waterfront access and has truly majestic views of the surrounding nature. It’s a great spot to stay whatever the season. During the warmer months, you’ll have access to standup paddleboards and kayaks to explore around the lake, and in winter, you can admire the snow-covered scenery while sitting in the Jacuzzi.
While the property feels completely secluded and offers a lot of privacy, it’s still very accessible and conveniently accessed from the mainland and the nearby town of Cashiers.
Most Unique Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains | Camp G.R.I.T.S. Camper
This gorgeous vintage camper named “Bananza Jellybean” is our pick for a unique and charming Smoky Mountains Airbnb.
The emerald green light that filters through the window as you drink your morning coffee is sure to be a great way to start your day in the Smokies. You’ll be able to collect your own firewood from the yard and sit by an open fire under the stars. The place has a heater and a fan to make you comfy depending on the season.
Keep in mind, this camper is best suited to people under six feet tall.
You’ll need a car to access this property. It’s located 15 mins from the Greenbrier entrance into the national park. Gatlinburg and all its Americana charm is just a 25-minute drive.
Best RV in the Smoky Mountains | RV in Smoky Mountain RV Resort
This Smoky Mountains Airbnb gives guests some serious RV luxury. It’s located in a gated RV resort close to Gatlinburg which has two swimming pools, a fishing pond, a mini-golf course, a ping pong table and a laundromat. You’ll have access to all of this plus close proximity to nature. You can hear the peaceful sounds of the nearby creek while you’re lying in bed.
Inside there is a recently renovated kitchen, Wi-Fi, TV with cable, aircon and an indoor fireplace. What did we tell you about RV luxury?
Homey Smoky Mountains Airbnb in Gatlinburg | Comfortable Condo in Downtown Gatlinburg
This is an awesome private condo in the heart of Gatlinburg. It’s recently renovated and has great facilities, including a gas heater for the winter and access to the community pool in the summer months. This is the best Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for those travelling without a car. You can easily access the best of the town, such as minigolf, restaurants, arcades, etc, on foot. Plenty of tours run from the town if you want to get deeper into nature too.
There’s just one bedroom in this condo but you can easily fit 4 guests as there’s a big sofa bed in the living room.
Best Private Room in the Smoky Mountains | Chalet Room with An Incredible View
This cosy private room has a gorgeous view out over the Smoky Mountains. It’s got a comfy queen-sized bed, its own private bathroom and a huge deck overlooking the surrounding landscape too.
Located between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the two most popular towns in the region, this Airbnb is a great shout for one person or a couple who want to stay close to nature and all the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains. Breakfast is included so you can start your day right!
Best Smoky Mountains Airbnb in Pigeon Forge | Honky Tonk Hideaway
This Smoky Mountains Airbnb is as iconic as the folks it plays tribute to. The decor here is in tribute to the musical greats of Nashville and Old Country with nods to Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Minnie Pearl and more. While there’s a lot to do in the wonderful town of Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area, you don’t even need to leave the house to have a super fun time.
In the living room, there’s a replica of the Grand Ole Opry Stage with functional instruments and microphones for you to play around with. There’s even a dressing room/vanity area complete with costumes to dress up as your favourite star! The apartment is perfect for a couple or two people with a big comfy king bed in the bedroom named the “Slumbertime Saloon”.
Because of its close proximity to many of the city’s top attractions, this is one of the best vacation rentals in Pigeon Forge.
Perfect Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for Groups | Close to Downtown Gatlinburg
This big but cosy home is an ideal choice for groups or families. The living spaces are spacious with bright lighting and modern features. There’s even a fireplace where you can snuggle up in winter and a large wraparound balcony to enjoy the fresh air and green surroundings.
This Smoky Mountains Airbnb feels very private and secluded, but it’s just around the corner from downtown Gatlinburg, so you get the best of both worlds.
Ideal Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for Skiiers | Ski-In-Ski-Out Home
This stunning Smoky Mountains Airbnb is perfect for snow lovers. A set-up like this is pretty hard to come by. You can literally ski in and ski out right off the back decks and glide down to the village.
The home has been recently renovated but maintains its rustic charm with comfy living areas and a woodfire heater. There are three bedrooms including one with bunk beds. It’s the perfect Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for a family or group of mates who want a winter getaway.
Located on Beech Mountain, it is not just great for skiing but also for other winter activities like tobogganing and snowshoeing. You won’t be disappointed in the summer months either with hiking trails and fresh mountain air.
Affordable Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for a Peaceful Getaway | Quiet Mountain Getaway
This two-bedroom cottage is located in Cowee, a historic Cherokee site within the Nantahala National Forest. The home is cosy and comfortable with awesome nature views from the front porch. There’s an open living space that includes a comfy TV corner and a dedicated workspace.
It is a great option for people wanting a peaceful getaway or even digital nomads who want to relocate to the Smokies for a while. You’ll be surrounded by farmlands (goats are often spotted on the street) and close to pristine waterfalls, hiking trails and adventure sports.
Perfect Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains for Families | Gatlinburg Log Cabin with Mountain Ridge Views
This huge log cabin has absolutely magnificent views out over the mountain ridge. It’s got a big open plan and features that the whole family will love.
The loft area has been made into a games room, complete with a pool table, giant connect four, board games and bunk beds. There’s a beautiful fireplace, TV in each room and multiple outdoor balcony areas on both levels. You can eat outside, enjoy a BBQ and the spectacular sunset over the Smoky Mountains.
The house is very spacious and modern, but it retains the rustic charm of a cosy cabin in the mountains. It’s located in Gatlinburg and is close to all its best attractions.
Most Romantic Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains | Cozy Mountain Cabin
What could be more romantic than a cabin in the woods? This gorgeous Smoky Mountains Airbnb is the perfect spot to escape for a relaxing getaway. The cabin is surrounded by trees and the back patio is completely secluded for you to make the most of the Jacuzzi and bbq area with your loved one.
The living space is all open plan and modern with a fireplace, a couch downstairs and a king-sized bed in the loft above. If you want to spoil the romance, you can invite your friends or family, as there’s a sofa bed downstairs in front of the fireplace. While this home sets the scene for some serious romance in seclusion, you’re only 25 mins from Gatlinburg.
Best Smoky Mountains Airbnb Plus | Mountain Top Cabin, Minutes to Down Town Asheville
This spacious homey cabin is our pick for the best Airbnb Plus in the Smoky Mountains. This means the property has been inspected in person by Airbnb for quality and design. The mountain home is decorated with antique furniture, has high ceilings and wide-open windows.
There’s a giant decking area with gorgeous views out over the Smokies. It even has hiking trails that begin right off the property. The home is located in a quiet and secluded neighbourhood in the mountains nearby to Asheville, so you’re guaranteed peace and quiet during your stay. This Smoky Mountains Airbnb is well suited to families, groups of friends or even digital nomads, as it has a desk set up.
Most Accessible Smoky Mountains Airbnb | Accessible Mountain Home
This gorgeous mountaintop property is the top choice for an accessible Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains. There’s a disabled parking spot, and it has a ramp from the driveway to the front door to make the property wheelchair friendly. All living spaces have step-free access and wide entrances. The second bedroom of this home is fitted with a number of features to make it as accessible as possible, including wide access doorways, a low set bed, a no-step shower, a shower chair and handrails.
There are many other impressive aspects about this home too! Early risers will love watching the sunrise over the mountains. It’s got a spacious outdoor balcony, creek access, close to hiking trails, BBQ, and a separate office and workspace. It’s the perfect home for large groups of families or friends, and pets are welcome.
5 Top Airbnb Experience in the Smoky Mountains
So your Airbnb in the Smoky Mountains is sorted. Now it’s time to fill up your days with exciting activities to best explore the area. If you thought Airbnb was just a place to book accommodation, think again. Airbnb experiences are trips organised by locals. They can be anything from food tasting, urban exploration or in the case of the Smoky Mountains, an exciting mountain bike adventure.
What you get is an intimate insight into what makes that area special, plus the chance to explore with someone who knows the area like the back of their hand. These experiences are usually a lot more intimate than a commercially organised tour.
You can browse and book any Airbnb Experiences through the Airbnb App or website. This way you have all the important details about your accommodation and activities for your trip in one place instead of losing track in a complicated email trail.
We went ahead and picked out these top five Airbnb Experiences you can have in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, focusing on the nature and local booze culture that the area is most proud of.
- From $68 per person
- 3.5 hours
- Up to 10 people
This tour will have you sampling the best Tennessee wines and “grain to bottle” spirits including vodka, moonshine and whiskey. You’ll get a true backwoods style moonshine experience and avoid any tourist trap distilleries and posers that have popped up recently.
Your hosts first visited the Smoky Mountains as travellers and fell in love with the area. They now call the Smokies home and love to share their local perspective.
Transport is included, so no one needs to argue over who’s driving. It’s all about cultural immersion, after all. You’ll even get a delicious lunch to soak up all the booze too.
- From $97 per person
- 3 hours
- Up to 8 people
Explore the stunning hiking trails and waterfalls of the Great Smoky Mountains with an experienced guide. This is the perfect tour for those who love to get out into nature but prefer to have an expert lead the way.
These hosts have been leading hikes in the Smokies for the last 20 years and know everything about the local history, flora and fauna of this stunning region. You’ll see three amazing waterfalls on this trip which leaves from Bryson City. Snacks and water are provided.
- From $100 per person
- 3 hours
- Up to 4 people
Hit the best mountain biking tracks around Knoxville. Your local guide Alex is a self-described mountain bike and craft beer expert and has experience riding all over the world. Nothing beats the trails around Knoxville though. They will show you their favourite hidden spots and epic views on the trails.
You’ll need to be in a good shape to take part in this tour as it’s pretty physical, but riders of all experience levels are welcome. A visit to a local craft brewery is included after your ride.
- From $88 per person
- 2 hours
- Up to 6 people
Get out on the water on Fontana Lake, the biggest lake in western North Carolina. You have the option of using lake kayaks or stand up paddleboards for this guided exploration.
You’ll spend the two hours on the water with your experienced nature guide Mark, who will show off the coves and beauty of the Nantahala National Forest.
All gear, including life jackets, is included in the experience.
- From $160 per person
- 10 hours
- 4-7 people
This tour combines the best of the stunning Smoky Mountains nature and its renowned craft beer scene. The experience departs from Bryson City in the morning and takes you to discover four beautiful waterfalls and five craft breweries. Included in the experience is a pint of beer at each brewery, your designated driver and guided hikes to each waterfall.
Please note, the tour only runs with 4+ people over the age of 21 and you need to be staying in Bryson City for pickup and dropoff.
Don’t Forget Your Smoky Mountain Travel Insurance
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.
There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!
Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉
Final Thoughts on Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains
We went ahead and chose the top 15 Airbnbs in the Smoky Mountains, now it’s up to you to make your way through the list.
Whether you’re looking for a private mountain retreat or a huge cabin for all your family and friends, you’ll find the ideal Airbnb for you.
If you’re keen for some local insights and experiences during your trip to the Smokies, don’t forget to check out the Airbnb Experiences in the area. We took the liberty of choosing the top five. All you need to do is pick a day.
Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀
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