You’ve probably been asked it a thousand times if you’ve lived in the Smoky Mountains, or if you spend a lot of time in the area: “What’s the best way to get to Gatlinburg?” For us locals, it seems like a fairly easy answer – “Just take Interstate 40 to the 407 Exit for the Smoky Mountains and drive south until you get to Gatlinburg.” Although, while that seems like the easy answer, when you actually sit back and think about it, there are a few different ways to get to Gatlinburg.
1. We’ll start with the one route most people are familiar with.
- If you’re coming from: Nashville, Knoxville, Lexington, Asheville, the tri-cities of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, or Virginia
- Gatlinburg Directions: Take Interstate 40. You’ll travel until you take exit 407 in Kodak. The directional sign is labeled as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. From that exit, you’ll travel south down Winfield Dunn Parkway/Hwy. 66 into Sevierville and continuing onto Pigeon Forge. As the road turns into U.S. 441 Scenic Parkway, you’ll reach Gatlinburg by this route. It’s also the most popular due to the straight shot from the interstate as well as the number of two-lane roads.
2. Another popular route is the one leading north to Gatlinburg.
- If you’re coming from: Cherokee, Waynesville or Asheville, NC
- Gatlinburg Directions: You’re going to take the route that takes you along Newfound Gap Road. It’s popular because it leads the driver straight through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a number of landscapes on the way to Gatlinburg. From Cherokee, it’s U.S. 441/Hwy. 71 north through the park. It’s a straight shot until you reach downtown Gatlinburg.
3. The scenic route that many talk about, but fewer travel starts in Newport, TN.
- You might try this route if you’re ever coming or going to Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport or the Virginias.
- Gatlinburg Directions: Traveling south on Interstate 81, take Interstate 40 east to Asheville when it splits. Once you reach Newport, TN, you’ll take exit 435 south – Cosby Hwy/Hwy. 32. Continue on this route as it turns into U.S. 321/Hwy. 73 East Parkway which will take you west into downtown Gatlinburg.
Directions to Gatlinburg aren’t complex, but there are a number of ways you can reach the area. These are the top 3 ways, and should have you there in the most timely manner! Use the map below for more detailed directions to Gatlinburg.