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Townsend vs. Wears Valley

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Indianapolis, IN
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Townsend vs. Wears Valley

My husband and I are looking spending a week this summer in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park area, probably in late July or early August. It’s my first time to the area and probably our last vacation alone for a while, so I want to make it special.

We know we’d like to rent a cabin that’s secluded and that we want to be near, but not in, either Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. After doing lots of reading and research here at Trip Advisor, I have narrowed the possible locations to stay to Townsend or Wears Valley. What is the difference between the two? Is one better, or at least more recommended, than the other? We’ll probably spend more time at the park than in either of the towns, so I’m not afraid of a drive to get to “civilization.”

Thank you in advance for your help. This is my first time on TA and I’ve been very impressed.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3,734 posts
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1. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

Hi lewlec and welcome to the board. I think you will like both areas that you have chosen. Here's my take on the areas.

Townsend is a little town with a few hotels, restaurants, hotels, some shops and cabins. They have a grocery store and some gas stations. They have a lovely bike/walk trail and a couple of tourist attractions. Nothing major like in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. You have easy access to the park, right at the edge of town. You will be closest to Cades Cove end of the park where there is lots to do. We like Townsend for the peacefulness that it has and we love walking the bike path. In Townsend you will be about 16 miles from Pigeon Forge.

Wears Valley is the area between Townsend and Pigeon Forge. 321 runs right through the middle. It is very pretty and has a couple of restaurants, cabin rentals and a unique shops. There are no hotels out in the valley and things are spread out more than in Townsend. You also have access to the park about half way into the valley. Here is a nice website with pictures, a map and more info on the Valley;

http://www.asthevalleyturns.com

Another wonderful website to visit to see how things are laid out is a link for a tour through Wears Valley that you will find helpful. When you pull it up, click on the street and the image will enlarge.

discoverwearsvalley.com/_virtual/wears_valle…

We have stayed in both areas and I would have to say I think that I like Wears Valley the most because it is very centrally located. We enjoy the park and the towns pretty equally. We usually spend our days in the park and our evenings in Gatlinburg. Wears Valley is an easy drive to and from Gatlinburg.

Hope that helps a little. Keep asking!

smokie

Indianapolis, IN
3 posts
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2. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

Smokiesgrl,

Thank you so much for your reply. It sounds like Wears Valley may be the place for us as I’d like to feel as if I am out in the middle of nowhere, without the inconvenience of actually being out in the middle of nowhere. :)

Now to find a cabin. I’ve mostly been looking at ones in Townsend and have several strong possibilities. I’ve found one through TA and VRBO.com in Wears Valley called Little Pine Lodge that I’ve fallen in love with. It’s a bit more money than I was hoping to spend, though. Do you have any recommendations for good secluded cabins in Wears Valley for around $100/night?

lewlec

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3,734 posts
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3. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

I can see why you fell in love with the cabin. It is really nice. I don't know of any 1 bedrooms first hand, but I can give you some places to check. We stayed with Volunteer Cabin Rentals in the Valley and they were great. Make sure you check with the companies about the drive to the cabins. Some are up high and require some steep driving and that bothers some. Other cabins are very easy to get to. Also remember to check the companies for specials. Most places will offer a 7th night free if you pay for 6.

Here is a site that has some cabin companies in Wears Valley:

http://www.stoneoakweb.com/

One company that is generating a lot of buzz on here is Great Outdoor Rentals. They have cabins in Wears Valley. There are several people getting ready to stay with them this spring, so I suspect we will start to see reviews. Two other places talked about are Timberwinds and Timbercreek.

Good luck with your search, if I come across anything else I will let you know.

smokie

west chester oh
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303 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

lewlec,

We are staying at Little Pine Lodge the first week of May. Isn't it just a lovely little cabin? I can't wait to once again visit this beautiful area. We also like the Wears Valley area. This cabin is located close to Metcalf Bottoms which is a great area to picnic. Also close to Cades Cove which you don't want to miss!! Keep in mind with some of the cabin rentals they charge EXTRA fees, try to look for the ones that don't to keep your price down. I thought this cabin was reasonably priced compared to some others. Either way, enjoy your time in the Smokies and welcome to TA!

Asheboro, N.C.
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1,962 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

Great Outdoor rentals does not charge any extra fees.

Indianapolis, IN
3 posts
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6. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

Thank you everyone for your advice. We did look into Great Outdoor Rentals, but the cabins we liked were a little too close to Pigeon Forge for what we wanted. But they did have some great cabins at decent prices.

I was able to talk my husband into spending the extra money and staying at Little Pine Lodge, which is really the only thing that could have happened as I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. Catidid02, I look forward to hearing your review of the cabin.

Now all we have to do is decided on a date and start the research on what to do while we are there. I am already beginning the countdown to vacation.

7. Re: Townsend vs. Wears Valley

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