I have not been to Gatlinburg in quite a few years.. If I am remembering correctly, it's a fairly large downtown but walkable as opposed to Pigeon Forge , which I remember being on a very wide highway with many tourist traps and outlets places. We like to spend the night at hotels right in a downtown area so we can walk around and people watch, stop in and have a glass of wine somewhere after dinner. I know there is no comparison, really... but we really like Highlands, NC.. It just gets a little quiet at night sometimes and we thought about trying somewhere different.. We aren't partiers but we don't like to just sit, either. Please correct me if I am wrong about any of this.. Also, open to suggestions.