Where to stay near Cades Cove, TN

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Offering breathtaking scenery, interesting traces of the past and thrilling wildlife viewing, Cades Cove is a historic valley surrounded by the rising Smoky Mountains. But where to stay near Cades Cove for the best experience?

Bed down in the town of Townsend if you want the best access to Cades Cove. Other options for where to stay when visiting Cades Cove are Wears Valley, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

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Located on the peaceful western side of the Smokies, Townsend is the closest option for where to stay near Cades Cove. From Townsend, it’s only 11 miles (18 km) and 20 minutes by car to the fairytale-like valley.

Check in here to focus on timeless pleasures. With Cades Cove and the other best things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park just down the road, Townsend is all about enjoying the surrounding nature.

Even though Townsend is a quiet town on the edge of civilization, it still has an appreciated selection of restaurants, cottages and hotels. Choose from both luxury cottages and simpler, more inexpensive hotels.

  • Distance: 11 mi / 18 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 20 min
  • Pick Townsend for: Unbeatable access.

Highland Manor Inn

Jaw-dropping mountain views, a peaceful atmosphere and Cades Cove a stone’s throw away. Highland Manor Inn really embraces what you come to experience.

Dancing Bear Lodge

Dancing Bear Lodge offers cabins that are rustic but equipped with all you could ask for, and a little more. Don’t look past this place if you look for comfy cabins near Cades Cove.

Timeless fields in Cades Cove, easily accessed from Cades Cove hotels in Townsend
Cades Cove surroundings, TN.

Wears Valley

Wears Valley, just like Townsend, belongs to the peaceful region of the Smokies. The spread-out area is not located as near Cades Cove as Townsend, but it isn’t much further away.

The 15 miles (24 km) from Wears Valley to Cades Cove is an easy drive, taking about 30 minutes by car. Additionally, Wears Valley puts you more central in the Smokies, making it easier to reach other popular spots, including Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Clingmans Dome.

  • Distance: 15 mi / 24 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 30 min
  • Pick Wears Valley for: Central base.
Lush trail in Cades Cove, TN
Trail in Cades Cove, TN.

Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge

If you don’t like the idea of staying on peaceful side of the Smokies, you need to look towards Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These cities are located further from Cades Cove but offer a much more lively time in the Tennessee mountains.

From Gatlinburg, the route through Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 28 miles (45 km) long and takes about an hour to complete. The quickest route from Pigeon Forge, which goes on roads outside the national park, is slightly shorter.

Although Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are located further from Cades Cove, they also add another dimension to a visit. In Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you find many attractions for the rainy days you prefer not to spend in nature.

Ripley’s Aquarium, Gatlinburg Space Needle and Hollywood Star Cars draw visitors to Gatlinburg. Pigeon Forge answers up with big-ticket items such as the Titanic Museum and Dollywood.

On top of the many attractions, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge also offer a much bigger selection of hotels.

  • Distance: 25-28 mi / 40-45 km
  • Driving time: 45-60 min
  • Pick Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge for: Liveliness.

Marshall’s Creek Motel

Marshall’s Creek Motel sits in the heart of Gatlinburg. From here, you effortlessly can walk to restaurants and things to do in town. It’s not a fancy alternative for where to stay when visiting Cades Cove, but its access to Gatlinburg attractions can’t be beaten.

Marriott Pigeon Forge

At the Courtyard by Marriott in Pigeon Forge, you get maximum comfort. The hotel is conveniently located near the town’s fun main strip. In addition, its generous facilities include both an indoor and an outdoor pool.

Wildlife viewing — a highlight when staying at Cades Cove
Wildlife viewing in the Smokies.

Where to stay near Cades Cove FAQ

Where should I stay when visiting Cades Cove?

Townsend is the best place to stay near Cades Cove if you look for the ultimate access. But you also find convenient lodging in Wears Valley, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

What town is closest to Cades Cove?

Townsend is the town located closest to Cades Cove. From Townsend, it’s just 11 miles (18 km) to Cades Cove.

Can you stay in Cades Cove?

There are no hotels in Cades Cove. But the surrounding communities including Townsend and Wears Valley offer a wide selection of convenient accommodation.

Where to stay near Cades Cove with family?

If you pick Cades Cove lodging in Townsend or Wears Valley, it’s all about the nature in the Smokies. In contrast, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer a lot of family-friendly things to do also for days off the park.

Is Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg closer to Cades Cove?

To Cades Cove, it’s 26 miles (42 km) from Pigeon Forge and 28 miles (45 km) from Gatlinburg. Although the road distance from Pigeon Forge is a few miles shorter, Gatlinburg is located closer to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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