The Cheese Cupboard & the Hofbrauhaus

Nestled in The Village shopping area in Gatlinburg is a small cheese shop called the Cheese Cupboard. On its own, it is a very nice cheese shop with a good variety of cheeses. When you add to it the restaurant that is upstairs you’ve found a hidden gem in Gatlinburg that most people don’t even realize is there. The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant boasts the best Reuben in town and that is a reputation that they live up to.

Nestled in The Village shopping area in Gatlinburg is a small cheese shop called the Cheese Cupboard.  On its own, it is a very nice cheese shop with a good variety of cheeses.  When you add to it the restaurant that is upstairs you’ve found a hidden gem in Gatlinburg that most people don’t even realize is there.  The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant boasts the best Reuben in town and that is a reputation that they live up to.

The Cheese Cupboard opened in 1969.  The variety of cheeses, snack foods, imported chocolates and imported beers that they carry is surprising when you see the size of their store.  Every inch of space is covered with merchandise.  From cheddar to Camembert, from Brie to Blue the Cheese Cupboard is a great spot for the turophile (cheese lover) in your traveling party.  Whether you are looking for something specific or if you just prefer to browse, the selection at the Cheese Cupboard is always beyond your expectations.

The real hidden treasure lies upstairs.  Literally up the stairs at the back of the shop.  Climb the very narrow staircase and you will pop out at a small dining area with an even smaller kitchen on the left hand side.  You have arrived at the Hofbrauhaus.  Their menu is modest.  Sandwiches, hotdogs, cheese snacks all reside on one page but the main reason for making the climb is their Reuben.  They are renowned for this specialty, called the “The Super Reuben.”  Stacked high with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and homemade sauce, this bit of heaven is the purpose for making the trek up the stairs.  Every bite is loaded with melted cheese and tangy sauerkraut and it really is the best Reuben in the area.  On the table they have coarse ground mustard, horseradish and relish so you can condiment to your hearts content.

The Cheese Cupboard’s welcoming interior, on up the stairs is the Hofbrauhaus restaurant.

The Hofbrauhaus dinning area is also part of the appeal.  Very cozy and quaint, with seating for no more then 12 or 16, this is one of those places where your group might be dining alone, something hard to find in Gatlinburg.  The interior is designed to look like a small German pub and it certainly does bring that to mind with the dark wood and furnishings.  Remember when you go, that the person waiting on you, cooking for you and bringing your drinks is also going to be the person working the register downstairs in the cheese shop so don’t get impatient, good things come to those who wait.

Instead of going to the place you always go in Gatlinburg for lunch, or going to a fast food restaurant, make the small effort to seek out and stop by the Hofbrauhaus.  Get the Reuben or one of the other fantastic sandwiches.  Smear it down with fresh horseradish or mustard and have a great meal in one of those places that nobody knows about.  Take some cheese home from the Cheese Cupboard as a tasty souvenir.  When you tell people where you ate they are going to ask where it was and not believe you when you tell them.

What to Pack for a Hike in the Smokies

Information on what to pack for a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you plan to go hiking in Gatlinburg, TN on one of the numerous hiking trails, this is your guide to get prepared and have a great time!

what to pack for a hikeWith the weather getting better by the day in East Tennessee, one of the most popular activities to enjoy in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area is backpacking, or hiking. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is chock full of trails, ranging from short and long to easy and challenging. No matter which type of trail you decide to traverse, it is important that you hit the path prepared.

When you decide to take a hike, tie on your hiking shoes or boots, put on your comfiest hiking clothes, and choose your path! But don’t forget your other supplies! The easiest way to comfortably bring along the supplies you might need on a day hike is to have a good backpack. This will allow you to carry everything on your back, with the weight evenly distributed on your shoulders. This will maximize your comfort on the trail!

For short hiking trips that will last one day or less, consider packing your backpack with the following items:

  • Clothing. Depending on the time of year, you might need extra layers, especially up in the higher elevations. A lightweight jacket with a hood will help combat winds and chilly air. A hat (waterproof is ideal), gloves, and lightweight scarf can also come in handy, and they can be easily stored away in your pack without adding much extra weight.
  • Weather protection. Just because you’re not at the beach doesn’t mean you don’t need sun protection! Sunscreen is very important, especially if you are hiking a mountain trail! Chapstick is also a good thing to have along, to protect your lips from windburn and sunburn.
  • Hiking Safety. A first aid kit is an absolute must! You don’t need to spend a lot of money on one, though. You can create a small, portable first aid kit comprised of essential items. It should include band aids, blister pads, anti itch cream, tweezers, and antibacterial. Don’t forget bug repellant, either! This will ward off pesky insects on the trail, especially in the summer. And if you are on any medications, bring an extra dose or two, just in case you need to take them during the hike.Another important tool that you should bring is a pocket knife. There are great, lightweight pocket tools available that include various types of blades, along with other instruments that can help you if you get into trouble. Another essential: a compass (along with a trail map). It is vital that you stay on the marked trails, but if you should happen to get lost, a compass will help you get your bearings and hopefully find your way back to the hiking trail. As for hiking trail maps for Gatlinburg, TN you can pick some up at the Sugarlands Visitors Center just inside the National Park as you leave the north end of Gatlinburg. Be sure to put the map in a plastic bag in case you encounter wet weather…or terrain.
  • Snacks. Even if you are going on a shorter hike, you should always bring snacks and water with you. Hydration is extremely important. You might not feel like you are losing fluid, but you are, especially if you are hiking in the mountains! Bring a refillable water bottle that you can store in a side pocket of your backpack (one filled bottle per person). And pack lightweight snacks like granola bars or snack bags of GORP (raisins and peanuts), which will help you and your group refuel after a mile or two.
  • Fun stuff. The Smoky Mountains offer breathtaking vistas, so don’t forget your camera! You will want to photograph the views, flowers, wildlife, and document the fun times you are having on the trail! Another fun thing to take along is a small notebook and pen. Journaling can be a great way to remember your hike, the things you see, and even the conversations you have with your hiking party.

A day hike in the mountains and forests around Gatlinburg, TN is a fun and invigorating way to explore the area! You will see many beautiful and amazing sights! And if you plan ahead by packing your backpack with a few lightweight essentials, you can relax and enjoy your hike, no matter where the trail leads you!

Gatlinburg’s Winter Weather Forecast

With December comes a blast of winter weather in Gatlinburg.

When Gatlinburg welcomes in the first blast of winter, temperatures dip to yearly lows. It’s a common theme around this part of the country – each new season seems to try to outdo the other. In the Smoky Mountains, spring brings forth wondrous flowers and wildlife, and summer welcomes in the warm, sunny days. Visitors will long for those perfect days soon enough – days in which a dip in the pool, lake, or one of the many mountain streams is the norm. The vibrant color of the native trees, local festivals, food, and that crispness felt in the air make fall a wildly popular time to come to the Smokies. Meanwhile, as winter comes on, the Smoky Mountains are often seen with a thick, white layer of snow. It’s also a great time to be in a cabin up in the mountains, preferably right in front of a big, hot fire. Truthfully, there really isn’t a “bad” time to visit the Gatlinburg area of the Smoky Mountains. Regardless of the weather, there’s always something for everyone!

For all you planners and trip advisers, we’ve posted the average daily temperatures below. See also: the current weather conditions and forecast in Gatlinburg, Tn.

Average temperatures in Gatlinburg, TN

Month Avg. High Avg. Low
Jan 46°F 25°F
Feb 51°F 27°F
Mar 61°F 34°F
Apr 69°F 43°F
May 77°F 53°F
Jun 84°F 61°F
Jul 87°F 65°F
Aug 86°F 64°F
Sep 81°F 57°F
Oct 71°F 43°F
Nov 59°F 35°F
Dec 50°F 27°F

Insider tip

Get weather and road condition information in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, TN by calling:
Using your cell phone in TN: 511
Nationally: 1-877-244-0065
Locally in Pigeon Forge: (865) 436-1200

Gatlinburg Sky Lift

One of the best views in Gatlinburg can be seen from the Gatlinburg Sky Lift!

There is one great way to take in the entire city of Gatlinburg from one attraction, and that attraction is the Gatlinburg Sky Lift.  You have seen it if you have driven through Gatlinburg.  About halfway through town, you will see rows of yellow chairlifts rising into the air on the righthand side and then descending down the mountain on the left.  Go find a place to park and get ready to see one of the best views of Gatlinburg, this side of the Space Needle.

When you get to its location on the Parkway, make sure everyone pairs up! The Sky Lift chairs hold two adults at a time or an adult and a couple of small kids.  The chairlift is a nice slow ride up the mountain.  The yellow chairs are as much a part of the skyline of Gatlinburg as the Aerial Tramway that is located right down the road. The chair comes around, you sit down as it continues to move and you start your ascent. On the way up the mountainside, you get to check out Gatlinburg, including the Christ in the Smokies Museum and Mysterious Mansion located on River Road. After you have been to the top of Crockett Mountain, you will get back on the chairlift and start your way back down. This is where you get the best view! You get to take in Gatlinburg from the air. You get to see all that Gatlinburg has to offer and the opportunities to snap as many pictures as possible while you are on the lift.

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift was established in the 50s. It is one of the oldest continuing attractions in the Smoky Mountains and has become a staple in Gatlinburg. While other attractions in Gatlinburg are constantly reinventing themselves, the chairlift remains a constant. They don’t have to try anything new as the scenery of the mountains and the beauty of Gatlinburg are the draw for this attraction. That being said, they have added things at the top of the mountain.

At the top of the mountain, you get to walk around and explore the top of the mountain. They have a gift shop and concession stand for refreshments, too. You can get a soft drink and a snack or some ice cream while you take in the views. You can also purchase your souvenir photo that was snapped of you while you traveled up the mountain!

Gatlinburg SkyLift
765 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN

Backroad to the Arts and Crafts Community

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How do I get there from here?

I cannot tell you the number of times I have had visitors to this area ask if there is ‘another‘ way to get to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community without having to get on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.  Well, there is an if you have a little bit of time and don’t mind getting off the beaten path, it is actually a very pretty drive.

dollywood laneFirst you want to get off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.  Head to traffic light 8 and turn, as if you are heading to Dollywood.  Once you make the turn off of the Parkway you will be on Dollywood Lane.  Follow Dollywood Lane to the first traffic light that you come to and turn right.  Those of you that have been coming to this area for a long time will recognize this as the ‘old’ entrance to Dollywood.  Follow Dollywood Lane past the employee entrance only to Dollwywood – Dollywood Lane now becomes Upper Middle Creek Road.

Follow Upper Middle Creek Road until it ends at Birds Creek road and take a right onto Birds Creek Road.  You will turn beside a gas station called Dunn’s Market (a place that might have the best greasy-spoon hamburger in the county).  Stay on Birds Creek Road for 4.5 miles.  You are going to pass some beautiful areas along this twisty little mountain road.  You will pass the Caton’s Chapel area and you will be very close to Pittman Center (both of these areas are certainly worth exploring at some point in your travels in the Smokies.  At around 4.5 miles you are going to arrive at a traffic light.  You have now reached the Arts and Crafts Community.

You will be at the juncture of three roads:  Birds Creek, Glades Road and Buckhorn Road.  If you go straight you will be on Buckhorn Rd which is the’other’ road in the Arts and Crafts Community and has a lot of galleries (you can see G Webb’s gallery in front of you from the intersection) and craft shops.  If you take a right you will be on Glades Road which of course is home to the majority of the arts and crafts shops of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community.  Following this road you will pass small individual craft shops and craft malls that house more then a dozen artists under one roof.  Stop into these shops along Glades Road or Buckhorn Road, do some window shopping, start your Christmas shopping and enjoy the fact that you have not had to deal with the traffic of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.

In addition, if you continue down either Buckhorn or Glades Road, you will end up on Hwy 321 which, if you take a right where either road ends you will end up in Gatlinburg at traffic light 3.  This backroad will require more driving and if the traffic is light it is not as fast but if you are visiting during the height of the summer tourist season, this will be a much more enjoyable drive.

Mysterious Mansion

Mysterious Mansion has been an attraction on River Road in Gatlinburg for years. Bring the family and have them properly scared.

A Haunting Experience… If You Dare!

Since 1980, the Mysterious Mansion in Gatlinburg has been properly scaring people.  Located on River Road in Gatlinburg it is off the beaten path but one of the cornerstones of the attraction industry in Gatlinburg.  This is a walk through attraction—you start out in one room of the mansion and you journey through the creepy, the dark and the spooky as you roam from room to room.  But don’t worry, even though you are going to get nervous, scared, maybe even terrified you are going to have a great time and be safe the whole way through.

The Mysterious Mansion is located on River Road.  This is the road that runs in front of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, parallel to the Parkway.  If you take the turn onto River Road in front of the aquarium, keep a look out for Edgewater Hotel.  Right past Edgewater, on the right is Mysterious Mansion.  You might be able to find a place to park in front of the attraction itself but if not find a parking lot or garage and walk to the mansion and get ready to be scared.

Part of the draw of the Mysterious Mansion is the exterior.  The design of the exterior of this attraction is perfect.  If you close your eyes and try to imagine a haunted house, you would picture something like the Mysterious Mansion.  Looking completely out of place between the hotels along the road, take the walk up to the front door and begin your journey – if you dare.  You will start your journey in one of the rooms on the main floor of the mansion.  From there, you start to wind your way through other dark rooms, down to the basement, up to the attic, around twisting, creaky staircases, looking for a way out.  As you walk, the tension will build.  You will break out in a cold sweat as you doubt your ability to get out of the mansion.  And along the way you might even might some of the darker denizens of the mansion.

Now, all of that being said, this is an attraction, a family attraction.  Nothing is going to happen to you at the Mysterious Mansion.  Their atmosphere is perfect and you will feel a definite sense of apprehension as you walk around in the dark.  The quality of the attraction will ‘suck’ you in.  You will start to believe that you are in a haunted house and that you might be in danger, but you aren’t – you are in an attraction in Gatlinburg, TN and the people that run the attraction are doing exactly what you asked them to do – scare you!

Visit the Mysterious Mansion on your next trip to Gatlinburg. Take your family and get them good and properly scared.  Everyone enjoys a good haunted house and the mansion is not only a great haunted house but it is a landmark in Gatlinburg.  Small haunted houses are disappearing around the country. Step into one that is done right, get your scare on and enjoy the fright of your life.

Mysterious Mansion
424 River Rd
Gatlinburg, TN
7 Days a Week 2pm – 10pm
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Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg

Get Gatlinburg aquarium coupons and read reviews and tips for Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee…voted the best aquarium in the United States!

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN has been voted the #1 aquarium in the entire United States by Trip Advisor! If you’re looking for the perfect thing to do with your family, friends, church group, business retreat, etc then look no further than this amazing Gatlinburg aquarium that literally takes you into the action. The Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg features an estimated 10,000 sea creatures with 350 different species ranging from tiny sea horses to enormous sharks! There’s definitely something for everyone as you make your way through the aquarium and realize why it is voted the best aquarium in the nation.

There are many attractions in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has been rated the best over all of them! You can easily spend a couple of hours in the aquarium, so they even have a restaurant inside in case you get an appetite looking at all the fish. If your children are begging to take a fish home, don’t worry they also have a gift shop where you can buy some stuffed versions on the sharks and other animals that you saw throughout the Gatlinburg aquarium. Seriously…they’ve thought of just about everything!

Here are some of the things that you’ll experience at the Gatlinburg Aquarium.

  • Species from the Tropical Rainforest: Discover four-eyed Fish, Oscars, Poison Dart Frogs, Piranhas, and more!
  • Ocean Realm: See fish of all sizes, color and shape in this area.
  • Systems Control: If you or anyone in your group is into levers, knobs, switches, lights, computers, etc then this is the place for you! Here you will see the inner-workings of how the millions of gallons of aquarium water stays fresh, temperature-regulated, etc and how all of the animals are monitored throughout the entire aquarium.
  • Coral Reef: The most colorful fish in the aquarium…and the world for that matter! Be sure to visit during the feeding times to see a great show.
  • Shark Lagoon: I think the name says it all! This may be the very thing you came to see! While you may stand motionless in awe, you’ll actually be moving along a gliding path through a glass tunnel…right underneath all of the action! You’ll see snappers, tarpon, a giant sea turtle, stingrays, and so much more…and sharks!
  • Discovery Center: This is THE place for the kids…or even the young at heart! The Discovery Center is the hands-on area of the aquarium where you get to touch, grab, twist, all sorts of things…you can even touch live horseshoe crabs! There are also special programs offered for teachers and social groups making this a perfect destination for a school field trip.
  • Gallery of the Seas: See some beautiful as well as scary looking creatures in this part of the aquarium! You’ll see an octopus, sea horses, jellyfish, corals, and so much more!
  • Stingray Bay: All sorts of species of stingrays glide through this part of the aquarium specifically devoted to them. Be sure to catch the dive show and see the stingrays eat right from the hands of the divers!
  • Touch a Ray Bay: Just as the name implies, you can actually touch a stingray here!
  • Babies in Incubators: Discover the miracle of life and the various stages of incubation for numerous types of creatures.

Tips for visiting the Gatlinburg Aquarium

  • Gatlinburg Aquarium Coupons – The Gatlinburg Aquarium is much like Dollywood and Dixie Stampede in that they do not offer coupons in coupon books and such around town. Most deals that you find are often linked to timeshare promotions. They do, however, offer discounts for the following: AAA Discount, AARP Discount, Group Discount, Local Resident Discount, Military Discount, Senior Citizen Discount, and Student Discount.
  • Photography Tips – One of the biggest “mistakes” that people make is to use their flash when taking pictures through the aquarium glass. What this typically does is cause a bright reflection on the glass and all you will see is a big, bright flash in the picture….and no fish! Try taking images without the flash. If you have the option on your camera, bump up the ISO to around 400. If that doesn’t work, go ahead and turn on the flash (if it’s allowed) and put the camera lens up against the glass. This usually produces the clearest images.
  • Go Early – The best time to go is in the morning since the aquarium gets busier as the day passes. Also, try to avoid Saturdays if at all possible.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg TN
88 River Rd
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(888) 240-1358?

Smoking Ban in Gatlinburg TN

If you’re a smoker and plan on visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or any other part of TN, then you need to be aware of a statewide smoking ban starting July 1, 2007 the affects all enclosed public areas, which means restaurants no longer allow people to smoke inside. The exceptions are:

  • Private Clubs
  • Bars that only allow 21 and over at all times
  • Accomodations (there will still be smoking rooms that you can stay in)
  • Tobacco stores
  • Businesses with less than 3 employees

Another exception is possibly any open-aired patios at restaurants. If you’re a smoker, you may want to find restaurants with outdoor seating. If it’s winter time…well, I guess you have to figure out how badly you need a puff!

Why Not Bypass Gatlinburg?

Obviously, if you are in the Smokies you are going to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at some point. If you are looking to go straight to the National Park then the Bypass allows you to get there without the stop and go traffic of Gatlinburg.

Driving Tip – You and your family are sitting in your car headed to Gatlinburg from Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, or I-40. Like most, you decide to take the “Spur” past traffic light No. 10 in Pigeon Forge. As soon as you pass the Gatlinburg Welcome Center you come to a complete stop. Two lanes heading into Gatlinburg, full of cars and families anticipating the fun they are about to have. You can expect a wait just to get to the city limits. Little do you know that a half-mile from the Welcome Center is your escape route: The Gatlinburg Bypass. This Bypass allows you to go directly to the National Park or the other end of Gatlinburg, while providing some of the best views of Gatlinburg that you can find in the area.


Spectacular views of Gatlinburg and Mount LeConte are primarily what the Gatlinburg Bypass is known for.

Obviously, if you are in the Smokies you are going to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at some point, or pass close by it at least. If you are looking to go straight to the National Park then the Bypass allows you to get there without having to deal with the stop and go traffic of Gatlinburg. The other end of the bypass drops you off a mere two miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center. At Sugarlands Visitor Center you can reserve campsites, get trail information, buy souvenirs and take in the exhibits – all giving you great Park information. Besides all that, it is also a good place to stop before you head into the mountains for a day hike or just a drive to places like Cherokee, NC. Either way, back to the car…

So you’re stopped in traffic waiting for the guy in front of you to move five inches so that you can move four.  If you take the bypass and follow the signs to Gatlinburg, you will find yourself at traffic light No. 10, near the Park Grill and Ober Gatlinburg going against the traffic. You might now realize it, but you have saved yourself some time and your family can get to enjoying Gatlinburg much quicker. You’ll still have to find a place to park but you will be on the same side of the road as some of the larger parking lots up Historic Nature Trail Road. Also, if your destination in Gatlinburg is closer to traffic light No. 10 then you are almost there.

Another suggestion, if it’s dark when you’re leaving Gatlinburg, take the bypass. There is a scenic overlook that gives you an incredible view of the old town in all it’s glowing splendor. At night, with the lights on and the Space Needle shining like a beacon you get a glimpse of what brings people back to Gatlinburg year after year. So, the next time you are headed to Gatlinburg or when you are headed to the National Park remember the Gatlinburg Bypass and you will be the hero of your vacation.

So we’ve gone over all the ways to cut around traffic and make the trip in and around Gatlinburg an easier one. What about getting there? While we can’t possibly notify you of every highway that’s under construction, or every traffic pileup along the way, here’s a chart (below) with mileage and corresponding drive time from major cities to Gatlinburg. Plan your trip accordingly and be ready to enjoy Gatlinburg to its fullest when you arrive.

Departing City Time Miles
Asheville, NC 1 Hour – 54 min 90
Atlanta, GA 3 Hours – 53 min 197
Baton Rouge, LA 10 Hours – 41 min 699
Birmingham, AL 4 Hours – 49 min 298
Bristol, TN 1 Hour – 39 min 102
Charlotte, NC 3 Hours – 57 min 219
Chattanooga, TN 2 Hours – 41 min 153
Cherokee, NC 1 Hour 35
Chicago, IL 9 Hours – 23 min 581
Cincinnati, OH 4 Hours – 59 min 297
Columbus, OH 6 Hours – 32 min 397
Dayton, OH 5 Hours – 42 min 344
Greenville, SC 2 Hours – 53 min 143
Huntsville, AL 4 Hours – 20 min 253
Indianapolis, IN 6 Hours – 29 min 398
Jackson, MS 8 Hours – 18 min 537
Johnson City, TN 1 hour – 31 min 94
Knoxville, TN 1 Hour 42
Lexington, KY 3 Hour – 38 min 212
Louisville, KY 4 Hours – 45 min 286
Memphis, TN 6 Hours – 47 min 432
Montgomery, AL 6 Hours – 5 min 385
Nashville, TN 3 Hours – 41 min 222
New Orleans, LA 9 Hours – 54 min 642
Orlando, FL 10 Hours – 19 min 631
Roanoke, VA 4 Hours – 19 min 261
St. Louis, MO 8 Hours – 23 min 327
Tampa, FL 10 Hours – 39 min 698

Preventing Break-ins in Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals

Information and tips on preventing break-ins and theft in Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals and Pigeon Forge cabins in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Cabins and chalets are extremely popular accommodations in Gatlinburg, TN and Pigeon Forge. Cabin rentals offer the cozy, home-away-from home style of vacationing that is nearly impossible to find in a standard hotel or motel room. Many cabins in Gatlinburg, TN offer numerous upgraded features such as plasma TVs, pool tables, hot tubs, arcade machines, etc. The various cabin companies are constantly adding new features to entice visitors to choose their cabins. Unfortunately, these upgrades entice a completely different crowd…thieves.

An unfortunate, growing trend in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is the break-ins and burglary of cabins, cabin rentals, and chalets. If you have stayed in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains and have never experienced this or even heard of it, then consider yourself blessed. There are quite a few horror stories of people having items stolen while the cabin rental companies do very little to assist since there are so many cases of cabin breakins and robbery.

If you are planning on staying in a cabin during your next visit, do not let this scare you or change your mind about your accommodations. Cabins are still the most popular places to stay and offer a more enjoyable vacation than most of the hotels or motels in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Here are a few tips to help you avoid a cabin break-in experience.

  • Ask your cabin rental company what their policy is on break-ins or robberies. Do they offer insurance or reimbursement of any kind? Most likely they don’t, but it’s worth asking for ahead of time
  • Ask the cabin company about any recent thefts and ask for a cabin with no theft history or that is a low-candidate for theft…this could mean that it is surrounded by other cabins, located closer to town, upgraded locks, etc
  • While you are staying in the cabin, minimize risk by making absolutely certain that you either take valuables with you whenever you leave or lock them in a safe if one is supplied by the cabin rental company (assuming it’s a locked-down safe that cannot be carried easily)

As much as you would like to feel that cabin rental companies are on your side, most of them have policies that you need to be aware of:

  • “Any cabin that is left unsecured by the guest, resulting in items being damaged or stolen, will be the responsibility of the registered guest. He/she will incur the cost of replacing any items which are damaged or stolen.
  • “Neither the owner nor (the cabin rental company) will be responsible for accidents or injury to guests or for loss of money or valuables of any kind. The registered guest assumes full responsibility for any and all damages that his/her group causes…or for any items found to be missing after his/her group’s visit…”

Needless to say, most cabin rental companies seem more concerned about themselves and the owners of the cabins than they are the guests. You basically assume responsibility of all property during your stay so be aware. This isn’t meant to change your mind about staying in a cabin during your next visit, but you need to be aware of possible risks that would otherwise ruin a perfect vacation to Gatlinburg, TN and the Great Smokey Mountains. This information also applies to cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge, TN. Occupied cabins rarely experience break-ins, however, thieves have a pattern of looking for cabins with no cars out front or people staying in them.

If you have experience or tips in preventing cabin rental theft and break-ins, please share them with others in the comment section below.