If you are planning a visit to the Smokies area and are looking for a quieter alternative to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, consider Townsend.  It is a small community located on the southwestern side of the national park.  It has a few restaurants, (mostly local "mom and pop" places, very few national chains) several campgrounds, lots of cabins, and some motels (again, mostly locally owned and operated). Nightlife is non-existant in Townsend; there is just peace and quiet.   If you have the opportunity, rent a cabin along the river and enjoy the cool evenings  while listening to the water and the night sounds from the forest.   For a free brochure about Townsend, visit this site: http://www.smokymountains.org/travel_... .