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20 Places Similar To Gatlinburg, TN


Are you looking for a destination with the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and all the attractions of a big city? Then Gatlinburg is the place for you. Gatlinburg is situated in Sevier County, Eastern Tennessee, and is a United States mountain town with a large amount of natural beauty.

It provides many vacation experiences and is a go-to place for all travel connoisseurs. But what if you can't make it to Gatlinburg? For example, you might live all the way across the country, have a limited budget, or simply want to try something a little different than this popular, sprawling town.

Well, don't worry; there are plenty of places like Gatlinburg that will give you a pretty similar experience. In this article, we'll list 20 awesome places similar to Gatlinburg that are just as amazing and exciting. Let's get them uncovered, shall we? We promise you’ll like what you see.

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The 20 Most Popular Places Like Gatlinburg You Should Visit 

No matter what your interests or family situation, there are so many cool cities with an atmosphere like Gatlinburg. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find one that you love, as long as you read through this article carefully, research our sources, and take our information seriously. In this way, you can have that fun and engaging vacation that you want and deserve every year.

20. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge is a mountain metropolis in Sevier County, Tennessee, United States. It is located just five miles from Gatlinburg and has a population of about six thousand. As you might imagine, it has some of the same kind of fun and engaging attractions that you get in Gatlinburg.

For example, this incredible place is known for numerous attractions and places to visit, such as The Island in Pigeon Forge. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, and Dollywood. You can also check out the life-sized Titanic museum as well. 

There are several places you can stay during your vacation, including hotels, motels, and even Airbnb destinations. Margaritaville Island Hotel is highly recommended due to its great atmosphere and amenities. Try Pigeon Forge if you’re close to Gatlinburg but have already visited it too many times.

19. Cherokee, North Carolina

Cherokee is a town in the western part of the U.S. state of North Carolina. This town is full of outdoor adventures that will keep you entertained. From fire mountain trails to bike trail heads and Mingo Falls, Cherokee is regarded as North Carolina's best destination for outdoor vacations. 

However, there are also plenty of indoor destinations as well, including casinos, various bakeries and restaurants, and much more. Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort is the only casino in North Carolina. Cherokee is clothed with natural beauty attractions and the rich history of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

All in all, this city gives you a Gatlinburg-like experience. Are you looking for places to stay in Cherokee? Harrah's Cherokee Hotel and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Cherokee Smoky Mountains provide lots of amenities. The weather here is nice, sunny, and usually quite warm.

18. Asheville, North Carolina

Like Gatlinburg, Asheville is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and has a population of around 87,000. It's also home to the world-famous Biltmore Estate, a must-see. In addition to this 8,000-acre estate (which includes wine tastings and other activities), Asheville has much more to do.

For example, Asheville is famed for the Blue Ridge Mountains and vibrant historic scenes, along with plenty of summit hiking rails and graceful waterfalls to tour. Seventh Heaven is a good seat to get away from the turmoil of everyday life and enjoy some peace and relaxation.

For a warm stay in Asheville, try The Omni Grove Park Inn- a historic hotel built in 1913 set on top of a hill with stunning views of the city. The hotel has a private golf course and an outdoor pool. Other great activities include the Ghosts of the Blue Ridge Tour and Terrors Boos and Brews Pub Crawl.

17. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Another great place similar to Gatlinburg is Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It is a resort town in Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States, with cozy weather that’s pretty mild in the summer, which makes it great for family vacations during June, July, and even early August before school. 

Lake Geneva is located on the Northeastern shores of Geneva Lake and has a population of around 7,000. It’s known for many luxury hotels, such as the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa and The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa. There are a lot of activities you can indulge in while visiting Lake Geneva. 

These include such activities as golfing, shopping, and dining. There are also many places to visit for incredible experiences, such as the Geneva Lake Museum and the Yerkes Observatory. Another nice thing about Lake Geneva is its well-below-average violent crime rate.

Accommodations include the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, which provides a warm stay in Wisconsin. The resort is located on over 1,000 acres of land and has a private golf course, ski hill, and Water Park. All these amenities make Lake Geneva a go-to place for outdoor activities.

16. Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is a town in Lamoille County, Vermont, United States, that’s located in the Green Mountains. With a population of just 5,000, this cozy village is often called the ski capital of the east. Though its summer weather is rather comfortable, the city gets over 114 inches of snow every year. 

As a result, it’s known for having many ski resorts and beautiful scenery. With four seasons of outdoorsy activities, you can go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts in the area, such as Stowe Mountain Resort and Smugglers' Notch Resort. You can also enjoy lots of summer fun.

For a homey stay in Stowe, try The Inn at Round Barn Farm, which is located on a working farm with a private ski hill. The inn also has an outdoor pool and a spa. These amenities should make Stowe a comfortable place to visit and an excellent vacation destination, much like Gatlinburg.

15. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City is a city in Grand Traverse County in Michigan. It's a chief seat in Grand Traverse County right on the shores of Lake Michigan. According to cherry festivals, Traverse City is referred to as the Cherry Capital of the World because it produces over 40% of the tart cherry crop in the U.S.

Around 14,000 people populate the city, with around 1 million coming to the area in the summer to enjoy beautiful swimming, great hiking, amazing beaches, film festivals, and the popular Cherry Festival. It’s also home to many breweries that give you plenty of adult fun. 

For outdoor fun, Traverse City includes great mountain trails for biking and hiking. When visiting here, try The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, and Park Place Hotel for a stay in the city. Note that the city does get pretty snowy in the winter for great skiing!

14. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Another great place similar to Gatlinburg is Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat Springs is a town in Routt County, Colorado, located in the Rocky Mountains. With a population of around 12,000 people, it’s known for its wild climate, attractive beauty, and engaging activities. 

For example, there are many ski resorts and natural hot springs that you and your family can visit while staying here. In the winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts located here, such as Steamboat Ski Resort and Howelsen Hill Ski Area. 

Recommended places to stay and dine for a homey experience include The Steamboat Grand, The Lodge at Steamboat, and The Cambria Hotel & Suites. For a dining experience, visit Harwig's Dairy Store, Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill, and Sweet Pea's Bistro. Self-guided tours are common here.

13. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is a city in Pitkin County, Colorado, located in the Rocky Mountains, with a population of 6,000. It’s known for its heavy winter snow, and during the winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts, such as Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, or Buttermilk Mountain. 

There are many outdoor activities aside from hiking, biking, rafting, golf, and horseback riding, among many others, that you can indulge in Aspen. You can also try out fun activities such as scavenger hunts, ghost tours, and even historic tours that introduce you to this engaging area.

While you’re here, you can stay at The St. Regis Aspen Resort, The Little Nell, and Hotel Jerome for a delightful and hospitable experience. For a savory dining experience, try restaurants like Ajax Tavern, Cache, and Matsuhisa Aspen, as they provide Colorado-style food at a great price.

12. Telluride, Colorado

Another great option for places like Gatlinburg is Telluride, Colorado. Located in San Miguel County, Colorado, in the San Juan Mountains, it has a population of around 2,000 people. In spite of its low population, Telluride is known for its many ski resorts, scenic panoramas, and friendly atmosphere.

During winter seasons, you can opt to go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many resorts in the area, such as Telluride Ski Resort and Mountain Village. The summer provides plenty of beautiful hiking trails and temperatures that are pretty reasonable, as well as a low crime rate.

For a hospitable stay and delicious dining, try The Peaks Resort & Spa, The Madeline Hotel & Residences, and The Inn at Lost Creek. La Marmotte, Allred's Restaurant, and 221 South Oak. These are just some of the most popular places to visit in this fun and relaxing vacation city.

11. Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is a town in Summit County, Colorado, with a population of 4,000. Located in the Rocky Mountains, it’s known for having many ski resorts and a historic downtown. During winter seasons, you can indulge in outdoor activities like skiing or snowboarding at many resorts. 

These include spots like Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort, and Copper Mountain Resort. The place has beautiful forests that boast epic panoramas, high mountain peaks, and endless trails. There are also lots of indoor activities to try out if your kids aren’t into outdoor fun. 

Visit the Lodge at Breckenridge, The Village at Breckenridge, and Main Street Station for a fun and comfortable experience. Note that Breckenridge gets a high number of sunny days (almost 50 more than the national average), which makes it a great place to spend time outdoors.

10. Chattanooga, Tennessee

When choosing places like Gatlinburg to visit, it’s worth picking some Tennessee destinations. After all, they’ll have a pretty similar climate and personality. For example, Chattanooga is just a few hours away from Gatlinburg, which makes it the perfect place for a day off if you live in the area. 

Chattanooga is home to the Tennessee Aquarium, one of the biggest and best aquariums in the country. In addition, there are plenty of places to hike, bike, and paddle in Chattanooga.

So, if you've been thinking of a place to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air, this is the place for you. The weather here is pretty mild, and the snowfall is negligible. In fact, Chattanooga gets only about two inches of snow a year, making it perfect for snow-haters who need a warm winter vacation.

9. Lexington Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Lexington is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and is home to over 70 wineries. As a result, if you're a fan of wine, then Lexington is the perfect place. In addition, there are plenty of places to hike, bike, and explore in Lexington. There are also lots of cool museums and other destinations

Lexington is also home to plenty of great hotels and motels, including major chains like Best Western and Hampton Inn. However, more cozy places like The Georges offer a unique boutique-style experience that should provide a better experience for you. 

What’s the weather like in the city? Well, it stays pretty warm throughout the summer, spring, and fall and gets only 12 inches of snow a year and four inches of rain a month. It also has 222 sunny days a year! So, if you're thinking of a place to relax and enjoy some wine, then try this great destination.

8. Roanoke, Virginia

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is home to over 85 miles of hiking and biking trails. In addition to that, there are plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop in Roanoke. Fun activities here include the downtown food and culture tour, three-hour biking tours, and much more. 

Great hotels include destinations like The Liberty Trust, The Hotel Roanoke, Comfort Inn, and The Black Lantern Inn. Spots like these provide you with a comfortable and cozy place to stay that should keep you and your family happy and relaxed.

So, if you're an adventure connoisseur looking for a place to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air, this town has you covered. Even better, it has the same kind of low snowfall (just over one foot on average) common in other Virginia cities that makes this state such a popular vacation destination.

7. Louisville, Kentucky

Now, let's head west to the state of Kentucky to find places like Gatlinburg that you’ll love. The first place to consider is Louisville, a city referred to as Magic City. Situated on the Ohio River, it’s home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby and has many activities centered on it. 

In addition, there are plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop in Louisville. Also, you can hike and bike on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Try Kentucky if you're searching for a place to enjoy outside Gatlinburg for good food and good times. The weather is, as you’d expect, very mild and comfortable.

Interested in staying for more than a few days? Try places like Hotel Genevieve, 21c Museum Hotel, The Brown Hotel, and much more. These local favorites provide you with the southern comfort and hospitality that you want when visiting this state.  

6. Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green is located in the southern part of Kentucky and is home to the world-famous Corvette Museum. Beyond this museum, there are also things to visit, like NCM Motorsports Park and Lost River Cave, which you can do in the summer or winter thanks to this city’s pretty mild climate

The region is also famed for its coveted Western Kentucky Hill toppers. Aside from that, the city also offers underground adventures and other unique experiences. There are quite several outdoor activities such as races, biking, and car festivals you can indulge in for a memorable stay in Bowling.

Looking to stay for a few nights? Try The Hotel SYNC, Home2 Suites, Embassy Suites, and La Quinta Inn. These spots provide amenities like pools, hot tubs, and other unique upgrades that should provide you with a fun and engaging experience.

5. Atlanta, Georgia

Now, let's head down south to the state of Georgia to find some other places similar to Gatlinburg. The first destination on our list is Atlanta. According to Patch, it earned the nickname "City in a Forest" because of its 100,000 shades of trees and its many outdoor activities

This city is the capital of Georgia and is home to over five million people. It is home to Coca-Cola and CNN. In addition, Atlanta has many mountains; among them are The Arabia Mountains, Cloudland Canyon, and Blood Mountains, which are suitable for summit hikes. The temperatures are mild here.

Fun hotels for you and your family include The Candler Hotel, Hyatt Regency, The Darwin Hotel, and Embassy Suites. There are also several bed and breakfast options that you might enjoy, which provide a unique and low-key experience that may work well for many needs.

4. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is situated on the coast of Georgia and is home to over two million people. It is famed for its incredible coastal landscapes and vibrant history. Savannah is a perfect place for a honeymoon trip, but it also has gorgeous outdoor activities that will engage your children. 

For example, this region is endowed with the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition, Savannah has perfect hiking trails that can lead to magnificent and gracious waterfalls. Since the weather is so mild here (almost no snow every winter), it works as a great place to have warm winter vacations. 

Like other places similar to Gatlinburg, Savannah has plenty of relaxing places where you and your family can stay on your trip. Try The DeSoto, River Street Inn, Andaz Savannah, and other unique destinations that provide a fun and unforgettable place to stay this year.

3. Augusta, Georgia

Augusta is nestled in the central part of the state and is home to over two million people. According to US News, the city has been around since the 17th century, and currently, it is a core source of art and economic credibility. That makes it a cozy place to live, thanks in part to its nice weather

Augusta is fun to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and biking in the hand-curated trail maps. It has the best ski and snowboard resorts that you can't miss while in Augusta. Ski resorts in a town that barely gets one inch of snow a year? Artificial snow is an amazing thing!

Hotels in the area include Residence Inn, Hyatt Place Augusta, Queen Anne Inn, Perrin Guest House Inn, and Budget Inn Express. These options provide you with comfortable and enjoyable accommodations that make Augusta among the most popular places like Gatlinburg.

2. Nashville, Tennessee

Of course, when looking for places like Gatlinburg, it makes sense to head back to Tennessee and visit one of the biggest cities in the area. Nashville is nestled in the middle of the state and is home to over six million people. That gives you plenty of fun activities, including checking out the Grand Ole Opry

That said, Nashville also has spectacular urban forests that are perfect for hiking. Also, Nashville has majestic lakes and ski resorts that are worth a visit. In addition to that, there are plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop there. Thankfully, the climate remains truly comfortable almost all year round.

Want to stay somewhere that truly has the Nashville Touch? Try SoBrow Guest House, Four Seasons Hotel, The Urban Cowboy, Caroline House Nashville, and Belle Air Mansion and Inn. You might spend a tiny bit more money, but the atmosphere you get is more than worth it.

1. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is situated on the Mississippi River in the state's southwest corner. It is nestled 370.11 miles from Gatlinburg in the west and is six hours and 44 minutes apart. That’s quite a drive, so make sure that you’re ready for the unique fun offered in Memphis before traveling here. 

Thankfully, there are 1,000 things to do in Memphis. Natural sites such as The Great Smoky Mountains offer warm relief and a homey feeling. You can indulge in outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and biking. Memphis gives a Gatlinburg-like experience at a reasonable cost.

Note that you can even easily camp here because the temperatures are usually so comfortable. Great places to stay while you’re visiting here include The James Lee House, Talbot Heirs Guesthouse, Roulhac Mansion, and Crown Inn. They’ll let you truly enjoy this fantastic city.


If, for any reason, you simply can’t visit Gatlinburg, these towns mentioned are worth a visit. Each of these places, like Gatlinburg, offers a warm and homey atmosphere and provides indoor and outdoor fun at surprisingly reasonable prices. Each of these municipalities comes highly recommended for anyone who wants to create a unique and enjoyable Gatlinburg-like experience.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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