A resort with an 18-hole golf course set in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains; guest rooms feature TVs and full kitchens
Hotel at a Glance: Bent Creek Golf Village
An entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only 5 miles away from Bent Creek Golf Village. The park encompasses more than 520,000 acres filled with trees, majestic waterfalls, and rugged mountains. Visitors can hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail or watch for elk and white-tailed deer roaming the dense forests.
- One- or two-bedroom condos feature full kitchens equipped with refrigerators, stoves, and microwaves.
- Face off against your relatives in the game room and take in spectacular mountain views from the picnic area.
- Newly-renovated 18-hole championship golf course: designed by three-time Masters and British Open–winner Gary Player. Set in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the course features a bubbling stream framed by valley forests.
- Family-friendly attractions nearby include Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre.
- Splash around in the indoor heated pool or relax in the indoor hot tub.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Charming Artists’ Village amid Great Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg rests near Tennessee’s eastern border, less than 3 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here, you can hike more than 100 trails that wind past waterfalls and pioneer-era log cabins tucked deep within densely forested mountains. Or, take a bicycle ride on the 11-mile loop through Cades Cove, a broad valley of open meadows where you can see deer, black bears, and wild turkeys. Clingmans Dome, the park’s highest point of elevation at 6,643 feet, is a great place to catch the sunset.
Gatlinburg’s main attraction is probably the artists’ loop. It comprises more than 100 craft shops, studios, and cafés, and you can watch artisans as they hand weave baskets and whittle wooden figurines. Downtown Gatlinburg itself is a mountain village filled with old-fashioned ice-cream shops and boutiques selling housemade jams and decorative gewgaws.