Hotel at a Glance: Rocky Waters Motor Inn
The Pigeon River flows past the tree-lined Smoky Mountain foothills; it’s just outside Rocky Waters Motor Inn. The inn’s riverside location is one of its biggest draws. It’s popular year-round for people who want to hike at the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and go fly fishing for trout even in the winter. Several restaurants and attractions sit within driving distance of Rocky Waters Motor Inn, including Dollywood and the Hard Rock Cafe.
- Private balconies with views of the Pigeon River and the forests that surround your double queen or king room; rooms with wood-burning fireplaces available for a nominal fee
- Free continental breakfast available for guests at the sister property, a Days Inn across the river
- Stay connected with free WIFi
- Nearby attractions: Hop in the car and take a scenic drive to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or walk to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
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, wild turkeys, and vacationing college mascots. 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.