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Secrets to Getting the Best Cabin 

Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg & Sevierville

Questions to Ask When Renting a Smoky Mountain Vacation Cabin

Fall scenery on winding road in Gatlinburg TN
Cabin rentals in Gatlinburg TN and mountain view


What can ruin your trip or vacation fast? 

Unpleasant surprises when you arrive. Always ask the following questions, you will be glad you did!

It's overwhelming when you have so many choices of cabins to rent. There are 1000's of cabins listings and sites to consider. Narrow your search easily by

what is most important to you.

Remember: Location can make or break your vacation.

Check out the Area Guide I created for more info on this topic.

See All My Cabin Recommendations Here

10 Questions to Ask

When Renting a Cabin in

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville

1.) What is the Terrain Like?

For many cabins, this is a biggy.  Google Maps and your smartphone or laptop can be amazing partners here. Enter your address and find Menu Options and choose "Terrain".  When visiting unfamiliar areas, this will be incredibly helpful.  Ask if 4-wheel drive will ever be needed to get to your cabin. 


Check out

Cabins with Good Road Access, for Winter Driving, Christmas and holidays, Motorcycles, and those who prefer not to drive on mountain roads.

Biker & Motorcycle Friendly Cabins

2.) What Attractions are Near the Cabin?

What attractions would you like to be nearby your cabin? How far will you need to drive to go to the places you like? Or maybe you can even walk.  Are there noises or new construction near your cabin that might bother you when you are trying to sleep? 

Online Tickets & Attraction Discounts

Cabins near Anakeesta and Downtown Gatlinburg

Pet Friendly Cabins Near Dollywood

Cabins Near The Island

3.) How is the Cell Signal?

Ask. Don't assume anything. Using a Cell phone in your cabin is pretty important if you need it.  Unless you want to purposely disconnect from the grid, ask this question... Check your phone carrier's map of coverage, too.

4.) Will there be Bears??

The Smokies are full of wildlife.  The more remote, the more wildlife you may encounter ranging from black bears, raccoons, wild turkeys, field mice, rabbits, gophers, deer, just to name a few. Bears and raccoons are most common, and even populated areas attract them as they look for food.


  • NEVER feed bears, and heads up, there is a fine as well. It is against the law and causes bears to be put down.

  • NEVER get too close, keep a safe distance

  • ALWAYS keep food indoors, and NOT in your car. Bears will open your car door or break your windows out to get food in your car.

  • Most bears are docile, but some are not.  Always give bears the right of way. The Smoky Mountains are their home. 


Here's a link to help:  The Truth About Black Bears

5.) Distance from Cabin to Downtown and Main Roads?

Consider the driving distance from the cabin or chalet to get to the main road, the store, gas and town. How are the roads? Google Street View is excellent for driving your road "virtually" before you actually drive it in

real life. One mile is way different on a wide, flat road, vs one mile on a steep, curvy, skinny backroad.  

Highly Rated & Walkable Condos to Downtown Gatlinburg

Cabins on a mountainside in Pigeon Forge TN, cabin rentals guide
google terrain and traffic map sample_edited_edited.jpg
google terrain and traffic map sample
Bright fall leaves surround a Log Cabin in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

6.) Convenience and Safety of the Cabin?

What is driveway and parking like?  This is really important since you will be using it alot and may have multiple cars.  Is it going to be a nightmare or piece of cake?  Is it safe and convenient?


Does is matter if there is a kid or pet-friendly yard?  Explore the neighborhood and general area on Google Street View.

Cabins with good road access, perfect for Motrocycles, Winter Driving, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Holidays

Cabins with Elevators

Cabins with Roll in Showers

Wheelchair Accessible Cabins

7.) Neighbors or Privacy?

Cabins, chalets and condos may be in resorts, private neighborhoods, or up on a remote mountaintop with no one around for miles. They could be nestled back in a wooded area, or right on the main drag. How close or far would you like other people?  If you are looking for seclusion and privacy, check the links below.

Secluded & Private Cabins 

3 Large Secluded Cabins

8.) What should we expect from weather issues?

Each season has different challenges. On steep hills, wet fall leaves can make tires spin. Ask if maintenance can use a blower prior to your arrival.  Does maintenance salt the roads leading up to your driveway or just the driveway?  Bringing extra salt or ice melt just in case can add piece of mind in winter weather.  

If you are going in winter, pack an emergency pack of food, water and supplies just in case of a loss of power.  Jetboil Flash Camping Stove is a lifesaver and a hot item for good reason! 

9.) What amenities are available?

Resorts sometimes come with many onsite amenities like swimming pools, kids play areas, wedding chapels, ziplines, discount tickets, trolley access, and an onsite staff among other things.  


The trade off is that sometimes privacy is sacrificed.  Some private cabins and chalets have their own private swimming pools inside with game rooms and hot tubs. 

Unique Cabins With Crazy Cool Amenities

Beautiful Cabins with Indoor Pools

Cabins with the best Fall/Autumn Mountain Views

10.) How will I connect to the Internet?

Is there a strong or weak internet connection? (Read cabin reviews also)

How many people can use it and will gaming and streaming work well? 

Maybe you WANT to disconnect and get "off the grid" and have more together time, and more "us" time.  

The options are yours! You can find whatever your heart desires on your vacation or trip to the Smoky Mountains!  You just have to ask the right questions! 

Combo Attraction Discounts

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Renting a Cabin

Cabins on Lakes, Creeks, & Rivers

Cabins With Indoor Pools

Cabins With Elevators

Amazing Honeymoon Cabins

10 Places to Get Married in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

If you can't make it to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or the Smoky Mountains right now, check out these live Smoky Mountain WEBCAMS 

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