Each year over nine million visitors make the trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of these visitors end up staying in or at least making a trip into downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Gatlinburg is a mountain burg located in the heart of the National Park. The small community of just over 3, 500 people is packed with not only lodging and restaurants but a great number of attractions as well. From haunted houses and miniature golf to white water rafting and horseback riding, there is something to appeal to everyone. With so many options available, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to choose what is best for your group but this choice is easy once one has stayed at The Summit of Gatlinburg, a quality condominium resort overlooking downtown Gatlinburg.
Every couple of years my family and I make a Summer trip out to Tennessee for a week of fun and relaxation. Over these years, we have stayed in a number of different hotels on the Parkway, the main drag in downtown Gatlinburg, but I’d always wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle of the Parkway. One year I picked up a brochure for a resort up in the mountains and was immediately curious about the place. The next time we planned a trip to the Smoky’s, we called up the resort and booked accomodations for a week. After our week at the Summit was up, we vowed to never stay anywhere else again.
The Summit of Gatlinburg is conveniently located only 15 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and close to not only the National Park but surrounding cities Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Townsend. It’s close proximity makes it easy to enjoy all of the attractions the area has to offer. Getting to the resort does involve some uphill driving which may cause some stress, but the trip is well worth it.
The Summit offers studio loft apartments and 2 or 3 bedroom condominiums nightly. Each of the condos has a number of great features including wood burning fireplaces with free wood out back, a balcony overlooking the Smokys, a fully stocked kitchenette, a dining area and a living area with cable television and Internet access. For all of these creature comforts, one would expect their prices to be pretty steep, but in actuality, it is cheaper to spend a week in the condos than it is to spend a week at one of the hotels downtown. The Summit is always offering a number of deals as well. Currently, if you arrive on a Sunday or Monday, you can pay for 3 nights and get the 4th night free. In addition to the amenities inside the condos, the Summit also offers a number of on site features as well. The resort has a indoor and outdoor pool and hot tub, a sauna, a basketball court, outdoor grills, a entertainment center, meeting area, laundry center and playground. Both pools are pretty nice, but the outdoor pool is a little bit larger and has a better view. It is located right at the entrance to the resort overlooking the year round amusement park/ski resort Ober Gatlinburg and it’s tram system which departs from downtown Gatlinburg.
Besides offering a number of amenities, the Summit is also a way to save some money on what could be a expensive trip. Offering the best view in the city, it makes Gatlinburg’s Space Needle and Skylift irrelevant. During the 4th of July, Gatlinburg plays host to the U.S.’s first fireworks display at midnight. Rather than making the trip downtown, you can either watch from your condo’s balcony or, if you’re on the opposite side of the resort, you can take a walk outside to view them from the parking lot. With a fully stocked kitchenette and a couple of grocery stores just down the mountain, you can avoid some extra restaurant trips as well. While at the store you can pick up some dvds, some kindling for the fireplace and a deck of cards and you can spend a nice quiet evening in. Head out to your balcony for a memorable view of God’s Country where you can almost reach out and touch the fog and where you may even see some bears or deer. Before you head down the mountain for some fun, you can stop by the front office and purchase some discount tickets to a number of the Smoky Mountain attractions including Ober Gatlinburg and Dollywood, as well as pick up pamphlets and coupon books.
With all of this available to you, why would anyone choose to stay in a regular hotel? The trip up may be a bit overwhelming at first but in the end, it won’t matter. For a inexpensive, relaxing, entertaining and unique vacation, make sure to visit Gatlinburg’s Summit.
Directions: Turn right at light #10 in Gatlinburg. Follow Ski Mtn road 1 1/2 miles. Turn right on Wiley Oakley Drive. Go to four way stop, turn left onto Wiley Oakley Drive. Follow until you pass green water tower on left. Turn left on Ski View Drive. Follow until you see the Summit. It is approx. 3 1/2 miles from traffic light #10. The office is in the middle of the complex.
For more information on the Summit visit http://gatlinburgsummit.com/