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First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

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Aurora, Ilinois
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393 posts
11 reviews
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First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

We will be headed to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge this summer, first week of August. This will be our first trip to the area, and we have no idea how to select a cabin! We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids age 14, 11, and 8). My head is swimming from looking at all of the options, and I just don't know what to do....here is a list of our top priorities:

1. Close to town/grocery store (2-5 miles tops...I'm leaning towards wanting to be closer to Gatlinburg rather than Pigeon Forge, but we're open to suggestions)

2. Sleeps 5 - 3 bedrooms would be nice but not necessary

3. Good views of the mountains

4. Secluded and private

5. Pool table or foosball table and hot tub

6. A swimming pool accessible to us as guests

7. Wireless internet

8. $150-200 a night is our preference for budget

I know, I just described like 1000 of the cabins that are in the area! That's my problem...how to choose??? Anyone know of a specific cabin that would fit this list? Any advice or help would be VERY much appreciated....thanks!!!

Canada, Kentucky
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778 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

I know.....it can drive you crazy. Have you ever looked at vrbo.com? Vacation Rentals By Owners. You can find good prices as well as great pics and reviews from guests. Look for recent reviews. This helps narrow the search. Hope that helps!

paintsville ky
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1,490 posts
63 reviews
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2. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

When renting a cabin we always rent from www.hiddenmountain.com

it's best to pick the cabins in the "EAST" because these are very close to the parkway in Pigeon Forge. behind the applebarn which is a must place to visit in the area. you would never believe that your just 2 miles from town. this company is wonderful to deal with and no extra fees for cleaning or no hot tub fees which some company's add to your total. we have used this company for years and have NEVER been disappointed. in fact we are booked for June and Christmas this year can't wait. I hope you enjoy your trip to the area we can't get enough of it. we go at least 3 times a year if not more.you might enjoy horse back riding. We did this for the first time last summer and loved it. and none of my family has ever even been on a horse but it was great we seen 2 bears and a snake on our ride. We used Sugarlands riding stables which fit you to the type of horse on whether you have ever rode before. so they gave us very gentle horses which was great. We plan on going back this summer.

Aurora, Ilinois
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393 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

Thanks for the tips....I have looked at VRBO, but again, so many cabins to look through....like finding a needle in a haystack! Thanks for the suggestion of hidden mountain - I'll check them out. Thanks also for the riding stable tip - we do plan on horseback riding, and my kids have never gone before. Thanks again for the advice everyone! If anyone has suggestions for a specific cabin, that would be much appreciated too!

Franklin, IN
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94 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

It is always overwhelming with the variety of choices. The best solution is to talk to people personally who have been to the area. When you make your reservation and get to the area, ask the locals for suggestions on everything. They are more than happy to point you in the right direction. The people in this area are very personable. I personally like Timber Top Cabins(www.yourcabin.com) because they have less fees. Good luck and have the time of your life. All my relatives continue to love the area long after they have grown up and had children of their own. The college kids love the cabins. Maybe you will start a new tradition of your own. Make some great memories. And these cabin companies DO NOT TOLERATE loud parties and disturbing others. They are "old school" that believe in respect for one another. Plenty of things for the kids to do. ENJOY!

Andalusia, Alabama
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126 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

Picking a cabin can be overwhelming considering all the cabins in the area. Before the Internet, it was a gamble on what got. You never knew until you arrived. We always rent from from Timber Tops ( http://www.yourcabin.com/ ) or Volunteer Cabins ( http://www.volunteercabinrentals.com/ ). I have found that those companies will tell you straight up the details of the cabin, and will do their best to get you as close to possible the amenities you are wanting. You can also ask any questions on tripadvisor and get honest answers from the people on here. Good luck in finding a great cabin, we go to the Smokies at least twice a year and still get overwhelmed sometimes with the choices.

Kingston, TN
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15 posts
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6. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

Aunt Bug's has a cabin just off the parkway behind the Dixie Stampede, it is only a two bedroom, but it has fooseball, hot tub, and it's own private indoor pool. I've stayed there and other than it being a little small for our family, it was the best cabin we've had. It is called skinny dippin. I would call Aunt Bug's and give them your wish list and see what they can offer you. I have stayed in 4 different cabins, by 3 different management companies, over the last 3 years and I'm still overwhelmed. I think it works best to "work the phones" you can even look up the specific cabins they suggest while you're on the phone with them to see pictures. Hickory Mist also has fabulous cabins, but the one we stayed in was more secluded than I would have liked.

Worthington, Ohio
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37 posts
74 reviews
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7. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

We just returned and stayed in one called "Bear Pleasure" rented by Alpine Mountain Resorts. It had two bedrooms with Queen beds, a queen pull-out sleeper sofa and a day bed with a pull out mattress under, so it slept 8. We have 5 kids ages 17, 13, 12, 10 and 8 and it was big enough for us.

It had a hot tub, was very private (on a cul-de-sac so no traffic), a beautiful view, was very quiet. It did not have wi-fi, which turned out to be a good thing since it forced our kids to actually play board games and with each other, hike in the hills and get some exercise :) There was satellite TV. They told us they are having a difficult time getting internet in the cabins because of the cable companies not being able to service the area. I don't know if other places have it and if they do, how, but that's what we were told. I have Verizon and had no problems with cell phone service or with accessing the internet on my phone. My phone can serve as a mobile hot spot so my kids were able to get online a few times for a few minutes to update Facebook ;)

There was a pool, we didn't use it but they did tell us there was one nearby for our use. Like I said, we had our own hot tub, it had a small stacked washer/dryer, dishwasher, a/c, ceiling fans, pool table, Playstation 2 (with one game, wish we had known we would have brought more), TV's with satellite in every room including the loft/pool table area, beautifully decorated, the master bedroom had a giant jacuzzi tub which I really enjoyed, a nice wrap-around porch (one part was screened, the other was more like a deck, the front porch had two rocking chairs, a charcoal grill, tons of light/windows....we loved it. Check out my review for photos. It cost us a little over $500 for four nights (with tax) and the paper we got said it was $160 a nigh during peak season. You can look them up online and find out the details. The rental staff was efficient and the place was VERY clean. There were lots of other cabins rented by them that we noticed on the way up to ours (it is a 15 minute drive up the mountain on paved but skinny roads), they all looked really nice. We loved it. I hope this helps, I get overwhelmed too, I just picked this one at the last minute, literally decided to go the night before, found it online, called that morning, drove all day from Ohio and checked in that night....we were all thrilled when we arrived. Good luck!

8. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

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Destination Expert
for Rehoboth Beach
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2,082 posts
1,102 reviews
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9. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!


A NEAT cabin that was just discussed on the Gatlinburg forum is the Waterfall Cabin. It has 3 waterfalls on the property & the cabin is actually built OVER a mountain stream. Really looks like a unique cabin. I'm almost tempted to check it out even though we usually do the hotel thing. As far as your specs--here is how it matches up:

1. It is located between Gatlinburg (5miles) & Pigeon Forge (3 miles).

2. Sleeps 4-9. Has 2 bedrooms, but also has a sunroom that can be closed off to make a 3rd bedroom (with futon sofas).

3. Not sure about mountain view, but you have the view of a waterfall from your cabin.

4. Owner adverises it as being "secluded".

5. NO Pool table or foosball table listed in the entertainment...but there IS a PRIVATE hot tub

6. NO swimming pool listed

7. OFFERS Wireless internet

8. Looks like it falls within/close to your budget...per VRBO website, "$145-$245/nt $720-$1,470/wk (plus tax) depending on Season."

There are also several cabins listed that have small swimming pools. I know one of them in Pigeon Forge is called Skinny Dippin'. It is a little over your listed budget. Here is a link if you want to take a peek: tripadvisor.com/…photos

Here is a link IF you are interested: http://www.vrbo.com/321552

Hope this helps!

Destination Expert
for Indianapolis
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501 posts
130 reviews
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10. Re: First timer - overwhelmed with cabin choices....help!

I rented a cabin from Rainbow Log Cabin Rentals. It was decently priced back then. The cabin was up on a hill on a road with a handful of other cabins (all owned by about three or four different companies). It was very close to stop light #2 (maybe #3) in Gatlinburg. I had no problems with the company. They also owned a very old motor inn, which I now believe is closed. It seems they are focused on just cabin rentals.

Here is their website with their cabin index:


They only have two two-bedroom cabins, so might not work out for you.

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