Hiking, biking and fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains are the most astounding and affordable ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Tennessee. If you thought you’d have to rough it under a tent to avoid high-priced hotel rates, think again: there are plenty of options in town that’ll keep both your family and budget comfortable. Who said mountain views don’t come cheap? These budget-friendly hotels in Pigeon Forge – all bookable on Culture Trip – are practically giving away picturesque vistas like hot cakes.
You’re going to save a load on gas by staying at Tennessee Mountain Lodge. The homely, wood-paneled rooms are surrounded by a number of fast-food joints, but a riverside picnic at Patriot Park beats any restaurant in the area. Your family can also hopscotch up to an amusement park and minigolf course. Got a few little ones who wanted to stop walking before you made it to the parking lot? The Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolley stops at the Tennessee Mountain Lodge every 20 minutes.
Not much time for your stop in Pigeon Forge? Stay at Comfort Inn & Suites so you don’t waste a second of your time or budget. Right on Dollywood Lane, you’re within walking distance to everything from Captain Jim’s Seafood Buffet and Smoky Mountain Pancake House to Ripley’s Super Fun Park and FunStop Family Action Park. Gatlinburg and the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are straight down the road, getting you to where you want to be as stress-free as possible.
Quality doesn’t have to be costly, at least not at Quality Inn and Suites. You’ll be pretty psyched when you stumble upon a balcony, hot tub, and fireplace in your room. The young ones will be equally impressed by the outdoor pool’s splash pad, and y’all will be able to fill up on a hearty Southern-style breakfast which will surely keep everyone full enough for an early afternoon hike. Little perks such as free coffee in your room and a picnic area outside let you embrace the little luxuries that make family vacations memorable.
Free wine. Now that’s got your attention, listen why the Howard Johnson is a great affordable hotel besides the fact that its neighbor Rocky Top Wine Trail dishes out free samples of vino. They’ve got two pools, plus a host of activities for your middle child who hates getting pruney; and none of the kids will mind you spending a little longer at the winery if you let them run wild at Rowdy Bear Ridge amusement park across the street.
A budget motel on the Little Pigeon River? No, it’s not a joke. The aptly named Pigeon River Inn will gladly give you river views from your room’s balcony. Want to please your partner without emptying your pockets? Book the honeymoon suite complete with a fireplace and heart-shaped jacuzzi. Use the extra cash you’ve saved on an intimate helicopter ride over the mountains, taking off and landing right behind the Inn.
You don’t need to budget for a pet sitter, just bring your dog with you to the Oak Tree Lodge. These Sevierville suites have plenty of space for your furry family member. Oak Tree Lodge is right on the 441, which leads to Pigeon Forge in less than 15 minutes. You’ll definitely want to explore Sevierville’s outlet mall across the street, and when you’re ready to go into town, Oak Tree Lodge will hook you up with a free downtown parking pass to help you save a little extra cash.
You’ll get some serious old-school road trip vibes from Riverside Motor Lodge. The same family have owned and operated the hotel for decades and will give you local advice on where the best hiking and fishing spots are in the mountains. Their standard and deluxe two-bedroom suites are equipped with mini fridges, coffee makers and two-burner stoves which only makes the grocery store next door even more convenient. Just make a point to try a plate of ribs at Corky’s across the street before you leave – they’ll put you in hog heaven.
Since you promised to stick to a budget for your Gatlinburg golfing trip, stay within three putts of the Gatlinburg Golf Course at the Conner Hill Motor Lodge. You can read up on the greens every morning over a free breakfast then compare them to your own course notes as you settle into a pool chair after 18 holes. When your foursome is ready for a night at the 19th hole, head to Funky Budha next door, where you can drink and dance until it’s time to hit the first tee again.
It’s only fitting that you’ll be 8mi (13km) away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance when you stay at Super 8. The 20-minute drive will be worth the few drops of fuel, especially since you’ll cut through Gatlinburg and check off two popular mountain towns in a single stay. Super 8 has a pool and pet-friendly rooms as well, but let’s be honest, your gang will be spending every moment possible on the mountain trails.
For more options, discover our guide to the best hotels in Pigeon Forge. If you decide you want to splash some cash, opt for a luxury hotel in Pigeon Forge. To cater for your four-legged friend, check out the best pet-friendly hotels in Pigeon Forge. Heading elsewhere? Gatlinburg has some great hotels – plus they’re bookable on Culture Trip.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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