The 10 Best Great Smoky Mountains Resorts in NC & TN

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Looking for a relaxing weekend getaway in the mountains?

There’s no shortage of resorts in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

Whether you’re seeking rustic mountain resorts where you can get away from it all, fun-filled resorts with casinos and live music, or serene lakeside retreats, there are tons of options to choose from.  
Some of the luxury resorts in the Smoky Mountains lend themselves to romantic getaways, while others focus on keeping the whole family entertained for days on end. 
Read on for our guide to the best Smoky Mountain resorts in NC and TN, including budget-friendly options, ski resorts, and spa resorts where you’ll be pampered to your heart’s content! 

Additional Great Smoky Mountains Resorts in NC & TN

  1. Nantahala Village Resort (Bryson City NC resort, good for groups w/lodge, suites & cabins)
  2. Peppertree Resort Villages (Maggie Valley NC timeshare & condo rentals w/mountain views)
  3. Elk Springs Resort (5-Star Cabin Rentals & Vacation Homes in Gatlinburg TN)
  4. Legacy Mountain Resort (1- to 12-br cabins w/mountain views near Dollywood in Sevierville TN)
  5. The Resort at Governor’s Crossing (Condos w/kitchens, tubs, & water park access in Sevierville TN)

Great Smoky Mountains Resorts in NC & TN Guide

  1. Fontana Village Resort & Marina (Fontana Dam NC)
  2. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (Cherokee NC)
  3. Hot Springs Resort & Spa (Hot Springs NC)
  4. Lakeview at Fontana (Bryson City NC)
  5. Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center (Waynesville NC)
  6. Tapoco Lodge (Robbinsville NC)
  7. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort (Pigeon Forge TN)
  8. Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg (Gatlinburg TN)
  9. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort (Gatlinburg TN)
  10. Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park (Gatlinburg TN)

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Resorts in the Great Smoky Mountains of NC

Resorts in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina - Fontana Village Resort

1. Fontana Village Resort & Marina

300 Woods Rd, Fontana Dam NC • 800-849-2258


Tucked away in the Nantahala National Forest near the Fontana Dam & Visitors Center, the Fontana Village Resort & Marina is a perfect woodland getaway on Fontana Lake.

It offers luxury and comfort while retaining a magical wilderness vibe that immerses you in the Great Smoky Mountains.

This resort has 20 miles of trails where you can spend your day hiking or biking, while the marina has all kinds of water sports on one of our favorite lakes in North Carolina.

Daily activities might include campfires, marshmallow roasting, arts and crafts, outdoor movie nights, and live music. They also have mini golf, UTVs, golf cart rentals, racket sports, a fitness center, and two playgrounds. 

The Great Smoky Mountains resort offers accommodations to suit everyone, from camping or a deluxe room in the lodge to rental cabins complete with full kitchens and stunning views of the surrounding forest.

READ MORE: 10 Must-Visit Blue Ridge Mountain Resorts

Resorts in the Great Smoky Mmountains - Lobby of the Cherokee Tower at Harrah's Cherokee Casino in Cherokee NC
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

2. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

777 Casino Dr, Cherokee NC • 828-497-7777


At this popular resort in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, you’ll get the full pampering experience while being surrounded by the rugged wilderness and beauty of Cherokee NC.

We love the fact that this deluxe hotel and casino is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and offers outdoor adventures (and the Blue Ridge Parkway) right at the doorstep.

Even if spinning the roulette wheel isn’t your thing, this Cherokee NC resort also has a spa, pool, bowling alley, golf course, and arcade, making this the ultimate playground for adults. 

Evenings offer live music from every genre, while The Comedy Zone boasts up-and-coming comedians that will leave you in stitches.

They also have 11 different restaurants, including a coffee shop and brewery, an Italian bistro, a sports bar, a food court, and a noodle bar.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Hotels in Asheville NC to Visit

Resorts in Smoky Mountains NC - Hot Springs Hot Tub at the Hot Springs Resort Spa in Hot Springs NC
Hot Springs Hot Tub at the Hot Springs Resort Spa, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

3. Hot Springs Resort & Spa

315 Bridge St, Hot Springs NC • 828-622-7676


Spending time at the Hot Springs Resort & Spa in Hot Springs NC puts you at the heart of all the natural beauty the area has to offer.

It’s located in the stunning North Carolina mountains on the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, with the Appalachian Trail just a few hundred feet away! 

What makes this resort special is the fact that natural hot mineral waters are piped right to the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs. Soaking in them is a transcendent experience, and every tub is cleaned and sanitized after each use.

The Hot Springs NC resort offers everything from primitive camping, tent sites, and RV hookups to luxury suites with private mineral water hot tubs, deluxe cabins, and rental houses

We also love the fact that everyone is welcome here, from AT hikers looking for a bit of comfort to those forking out big bucks for a romantic getaway in NC

READ MORE: The 10 Best North Carolina Mountain Resorts to Visit

Smoky Mountains North Carolina resorts - Having a Cabana Soak at Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City NC
Cabana Soak at Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City NC, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

4. Lakeview at Fontana Inn & Treetop Soaking Cabanas 

171 Lakeview Lodge Dr, Bryson City NC • 800-742-6492


Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City NC is a great place to leave the rat race behind and immerse yourself in nature. 

One of the unique things about this Western NC resort is that it is “unhosted,” meaning guests do a self-checkin and checkout. But helpful staff are on-site and always just a text message away.

The major draw of this Eden-like mountain resort is their hilltop soaking cabanas, which overlook Lake Fontana. Guests can rent a cabana for 90 minutes and enjoy a soak in a tub while also soaking in spectacular scenic views.

This Bryson City resort also has a 2.5-mile hiking trail through the forest, hammock chairs to swing in, a lake-view deck to relax on, a cozy WiFi lounge, and complimentary coffee and fresh-baked pastries every morning!

From May to September, you can even enjoy a dip in their spring-fed outdoor swimming pool. 

READ MORE: The 20 Best Treehouse Rentals in the North Carolina Mountains

Family resorts in the Smoky Mountains - Shackford Hall at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center
Shackford Hall at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

5. Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center

91 N Lakeshore Dr, Waynesville NC • 800-222-4930


The Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center is the perfect family resort in the Smoky Mountains for a short weekend getaway or a week-long vacation. 

There are several different accommodation options to suit almost every taste and budget.

Rooms at the contemporary Terrace Hotel come with a hot breakfast, access to pickleball courts, and more. Or you can stay at the historic Lambuth Inn, with its more traditional parlors and rocking chairs on the porch. 

They also have Lake Junaluska rentals, which are ideal for families because they come with a full kitchen and all the creature comforts. For those seeking more rustic adventures, there’s even a Lake Junaluska campground.

All guests can make the most of free lake access, kayaking, fishing, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, playground,  tranquil gardens, and a lakeside walking trail.

READ MORE: The Top 15 Treehouse Rentals near Asheville NC

The Historic Tapoco Lodge on the Cheoah River in Robbinsville NC
The Historic Tapoco Lodge on the Cheoah River, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett 

6. Historic Tapoco Lodge 

14981 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville NC • 828-498-2800


Located along the banks of the Cheoah River near the Tail of the Dragon scenic drive, the Historic Tapoco Lodge is an ideal retreat for outdoor adventures (and auto enthusiasts who love curvy mountain roads).

Established in 1930, this 120-acre resort is packed with fun activities, ample places to relax, and a fantastic location that puts everything the Smoky Mountains have to offer right at your fingertips. 

Guests can stay in one of the Lodge suites for a more luxurious and spacious experience. Their Lodge rooms each have its own unique decor theme and a view of either the river or the mountains. 

Or you can rent one of their stunning cabins (including several pet-friendly cabins), which overlook the surrounding forest. Note that none of the rooms come with TVs, as they encourage guests to connect with nature rather than a screen!

Whichever accommodation you choose, you’ll have access to miles of hiking trails, nightly communal bonfires, a tennis court, and one of the the best restaurants in Robbinsville NC

READ MORE: The 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Bryson City NC


Resorts in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

Smoky Mountains resorts in Pigeon Forge TN - Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa

7. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

2525 DreamMore Way, Pigeon Forge TN • 800-365-5996


This luxury resort in the Great Smoky Mountains mixes the glitz and glamour of Dollywood with the peace and tranquility the Appalachian region is known for.

Located just minutes away from the Dollywood theme park, this Smoky Mountains resort in Pigeon Forge TN is great fun for the whole family. 

Standard rooms at the resort all have a King bed or double Queen beds, with options for additional bunk or twin beds. If you need more space, there are also suites that can sleep 4 to 6 guests. 

DreamMore Resort has indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and spa services. Kids will enjoy the playground, game room, and Camp DW (where scheduled activities include arts and crafts, storytelling, and pool parties).

There are also several restaurants, including the DM Pantry (where you can grab a coffee and snack) and the Song & Hearth (which offers traditional Southern food and hospitality).

Smoky Mountains resorts in Gatlinburg TN - Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg TN
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg TN

8. Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

539 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN • 865-430-4200


Do you want the best of the beach AND the Tennessee mountains? Get a relaxing taste of the tropics at this laid-back Smoky Mountains resort in Gatlinburg TN.

Guests can immerse themselves in this “mountain paradise with an island state of mind” by enjoying a full spa day, or relaxing by the pool with an adult beverage.

There are several room and suite options, all with a cool island vibe. Guests can also book a stay in Jimmy’s Hideaway, a cozy little bungalow packed with amenities, from the cozy stone fireplace to the private bonfire pit. 

They also have some great restaurant options, from Joe Merchant‘s Coffee & Provisions (where you can get breakfast and poolside snacks) to the LandShark Bar & Grill (for beers, burgers, tacos, and sandwiches).

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN

Christmas vacations in Tennessee - Snow Tubing Ober Mountain
Photo courtesy of

9. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort

1339 Ski Mountain Rd, Gatlinburg TN • 865-436-5423


Many folks love to head to Ober Mountain for snow skiing in Tennessee. But the park is open all year-round, offering fun for the whole family in every season!

In Spring, guests can still enjoy ice skating, the alpine slide, climb the rock wall, and/or take turns on the scenic chairlift.

Come Summer, you can try the tubing runs or playing on the ice bumper cars. Autumn brings out Tennessee’s fall colors and the beginning of snow tubing season.

From the Saturday before Thanksgiving through March, guests can partake in snow skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating.

There’s also a family Snow Zone dedicated to the making of snow angels and snowmen!

Smoky Mountains resorts with water parks - Westgate
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

10. Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park

915 Westgate Resorts Rd, Gatlinburg TN • 865-430-4800


Located just minutes from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park is a popular resort with a water park perfect for family vacations. 

Their accommodation villas are widely varied in size and amenities. You’ll find everything from 1-bedroom villas for singles and couples to a 5-bedroom villa that sleeps up to 20 guests!

This Gatlinburg resort has its own ziplines, playground, and spa, as well as a fitness center, game room, and mini golf.

If that weren’t enough, there’s also the Wild Bear Falls Water Park, which offers 60,000 square feet of family-friendly fun.

With its retractable roof, their pool is cool at any time of year. There’s also a lazy river, giant waterslides, and an interactive treehouse.  -by Emma Gallagher, featured image of Lake Junaluska by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett


Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

Born in Britain, writer/photographer Emma Gallagher lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC on a permaculture homestead with her husband, Jonathon. While traveling the world for 13 years, she fell in love with the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge region when she lived at an artist retreat in Burnsville NC before moving to Brevard. Today Emma lives near Stone Mountain State Park and Doughton Park volunteers at the Surry County Fiddlers Convention, and cares for the gardens at the Reeves Downtown School of Music in Elkin. She's also a volunteer for the Elkin Valley Trails Association, which maintains segment 6 of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.