I have always believed that you can find little hidden treasures close to home. I think Gatlinburg Falls Resort is one such treasure. It is located approximately six miles from the little town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with only the Smoky Mountains National Park separating the two. We decided to take a long weekend break to visit Gatlinburg which is a little over a four hour drive from Atlanta.
I hate to admit that I got lost the first time trying to find the resort. Once you pass the Park, you will come upon the first traffic light in Gatlinburg. It is literally marked with the number “1”. You will need to turn left at that light. We had gotten to stoplight number 10 when we finally decided to call the resort for directions. Luckily, the lights are in close proximity, otherwise I would have been upset.
This is the entrance to the Conference Center which can be used for free. A public swimming pool is on site for guest use as well.
Once you make the left turn, keep driving up a steep hill until you get to the stop sign. Bear right at the stop sign and keep going until you see the resort on your left. I wish that they would install a sign indicating that you should turn left to get to them. However, there is a lot of sign porn going on, so you may miss it anyway.
The Welcome Center is where you come to check in. You will be given codes that will allow you to open your cabin’s front door via keyless entry.
We realized that we were early….very early. We left Atlanta around 5 am, so it was now 10ish. The front desk clerk was a little terse with us. He didn’t ask if he could help us. He said something like, “What can I do for you?” without looking at us. I told him that we had reservations for the Rainbow’s End cabin. He quickly offered that they only guarantee that rooms are ready by 4 pm and he didn’t think it was cleaned yet.
That wasn’t a problem for us. We knew we were super early, but we were a little tired and had crossed our fingers for an early check in. I sent an email three days prior to let them know that we would probably be arriving by noon, but I guess they couldn’t accommodate us. The fact that they weren’t ready for us was quite alright. I was a little put off by the disengaged attitude of the clerk who after checking his phone (their internet was down) verified that the room wasn’t ready.
Taking a breather in the Welcome Center before having to hit the road again. Our room wasn’t quite ready yet.