Where to stay near Dollywood, TN

  • Post last modified:August 8, 2023
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From thrilling rides to melodious shows, Dollywood is a place where America comes together to have a good time. Anchored at the base of Great Smoky Mountains, the setting couldn’t be more spectacular. But where to stay near Dollywood for the best experience?

There’s a resort located right next to Dollywood, the DreamMore Resort. In addition, you find more options for where to stay when visiting Dollywood elsewhere in Pigeon Forge and in Gatlinburg.

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DreamMore Resort

The DreamMore Resort offers the perfect access to Dollywood. Come Christmas, spring, summer or fall — the ambience is always inviting here — and enjoy being in the front row for Dollywood.

In the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, with a focus on Appalachian traditions, step into a heartwarming resort located just minutes from the action-packed Dollywood.

Included is a complimentary door-to-door transportation that makes it effortless to get from the Dollywood resort to the park. This not only saves you headache: it also saves you the standard parking fee at Dollywood.

Then enjoy a full day at Dollywood before you get back to your delightful lodging in a breeze.

Amenities include swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), fitness center, playground and the Song & Hearth restaurant showing off southern style cooking. Try the extensive buffet — there’s something for everyone — but don’t miss out on Dolly’s signature stone soup.

Do you want a memory with you back home? Then check out the specialty store at the Dollywood resort, Pokeberry Lane, where you find an array of Southern style trinkets.

In short, the DreamMore Resort elegantly welcomes visitors to enjoy the best of the South. While offering the best park access there is to have, the resort is a heartwarming extension to the Dollywood experience. Yes — this is undoubtedly the best place to stay for Dollywood.

Pick DreamMore Resort for: The ultimate Dollywood stay.

Pigeon Forge

Although the DreamMore Resort takes your Dollywood stay to the next level, you find many more options for where to stay near Dollywood just down the road. In Pigeon Forge, Dollywood’s home town, there’s always something to do.

The Island in Pigeon Forge is the town’s epicenter. Enjoy a wide range of family-friendly activities, including the soaring Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, marvel at dancing fountains, carefully choreographed to perfection, have a delicious meal, the eateries are many, and browse quirky stores.

For adults on tour, also consider Ole Smoky Moonshine. Taste a variety of different moonshine products — some flavors will surprise you — or buy with you to try at a later occasion.

With so much going on, just strolling through the Island in Pigeon Forge is worthwhile. But a heads up: you often get stuck here for hours and hours

Do you want to stay at the heart of it all? Then Margaritaville Island Hotel provides the perfect Dollywood accommodations for you.

To complete a Pigeon Forge visit, embark the two-story Titanic Museum, shaped like the iconic ship. With a boarding pass of an actual passenger in your hand, the moving experience really comes to life. Will you make it or not?

To sum up, you don’t need to stay at the DreamMore Resort to be close to Dollywood. Outside the Dollywood bubble but still nearby, the town of Pigeon Forge is an entertaining choice for where to stay near Dollywood.

Pick Pigeon Forge for: Lodging in the Dollywood town.

Recommended hotels in Pigeon Forge

Margaritaville Island Hotel

Bringing tropical vibes to the Smokies, Margaritaville is a luxurious place to stay near Dollywood with a lovely rooftop pool overlooking the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. Positioned in the heart of Pigeon Forge, you have all the fun attractions of the Island in Pigeon Forge right outside your hotel door — this is vacation.

Twin Mountain Inn & Suites

Twin Mountain Inn & Suites offers lodging near Dollywood that constantly reminds you about the region’s lively nature. All rooms here face the splashing Little Pigeon River. For a special occasion, book a room with fire place and spa bath — romance is certainly in the air.

Blue Mountain Mist

A real contrast to all other places to stay near Dollywood is the Blue Mountain Mist, a peaceful countryside gem. Although it’s just minutes from the Blue Mountain Mist to the action-filled Dollywood, it feels like the two are time zones apart.

Clear day at the fun-filled Island in Pigeon Forge, TN, home to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Pigeon Forge’s fun-filled Island.


Dollywood is not the only huge draw in the area. Gatlinburg is an option for where to stay when visiting Dollywood that caters to all the nature lovers out there.

For access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can’t beat Gatlinburg. It’s only 3 miles from the heart of Gatlinburg to Sugarlands Visitor Center, located inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sweeping overlooks and timeless valleys await inside the park. Top spots include Clingmans Dome, the third tallest peak east of the Mississippi River, and Cades Cove, a valley that once was inhabited by pioneers.

Add to that an impressive concentration of wildlife, including more black bears than you can count. Keep your camera ready for all those fascinating creatures.

But how long is it from Gatlinburg to Dollywood?

It’s just 10 miles (16 km) from Gatlinburg to Dollywood. In 20 minutes, or possibly 30 if the traffic is heavy, you get from the gateway to the Smokies to the thrilling rides and entertaining shows of Dollywood.

In conclusion, you balance two different interests when you decide where to stay for Dollywood. Pigeon Forge options offer lodging closer to Dollywood, while Gatlinburg is perched where the wilderness of Great Smoky Mountains National Park begins.

Pick Gatlinburg for: Dollywood lodging at the Smokies’ entrance.

Recommended hotels in Gatlinburg

Margaritaville Resort

You can live island life in Gatlinburg too. Gatlinburg’s Margaritaville is an option for where to stay when visiting Dollywood where you combine the best of both worlds. Have fun at Dollywood, discover nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and then recharge by Margaritaville’s inviting pool — or why not spend your entire evening in the hot tub.

Marshall’s Creek Motel

You don’t need to splurge to find homey accommodations near Dollywood. At Marshall’s Creek Motel you check in just steps from the diverse selection of Gatlinburg’s downtown area. It often surprises guests how a central motel like this could offer such peacefulness.

Stay at Dollywood hotels further south for better access to sweeping overlooks
Gatlinburg is an option for where to stay when visiting Dollywood that keeps you closer to nature.

Tips for staying at Dollywood

Now you know everything there’s to know about the best places to stay near Dollywood. However, these tips make sure that you avoid those frustrating beginner mistakes.

  • Dollywood is seasonal – Although Dollywood is open most months of the year, it actually isn’t a year-round amusement park. Most years Dollywood opens in March and closes after the Christmas season in early January. Dollywood’s Splash Country, a celebrated waterpark perfect for those balmy summer days, has a separate schedule and generally opens in May and closes in September.
  • Book early for peaks – Dollywood’s visitor count skyrockets in June and remains high throughout July and August. So although it’s always a good idea to book your Dollywood accommodations as early as you can, it’s extra important if you’re planning a visit during the popular summer season. The most sought-after Dollywood resorts and hotels frequently sell out.
  • Taste the cinnamon bread – If one snack in Dollywood is mandatory to try, it’s the fresh-baked cinnamon bread. The smell of these goodies overwhelm you at the picturesque Grist Mill in the Craftman’s Valley of Dollywood. Good thing you don’t live close by — it would be devastating for your weight.
  • Add the Smokies – Enjoy America’s most visited national park too. From Dollywood’s entrance it’s only 30 minutes by car to the beginning of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Nature lover or not, isn’t that a super sweet combo for a Dollywood stay?
  • Allow enough time – When you book your Dollywood lodging, have in mind how much there’s to do in the area. Sure, Dollywood and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the two biggest draws — but there’s certainly much more to enjoy in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
  • A new Dollywood resort – In late 2023 the all-new Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort opens up its doors for guests. It strives for providing even better Dollywood accommodations, of course with that signature Appalachian vibe.

Final words about where to stay at Dollywood

The DreamMore Resort, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are all great options for where to stay near Dollywood. No matter which you pick, you’re in for a good time in an Appalachian park that you really don’t want to miss.

Dollywood, shaped by Dolly Parton’s desire to give back to her beloved community, is an adventure for the whole family. Step in and create unforgettable memories — this is certainly better than the everyday 9 to 5 grind.

Where to stay near Dollywood FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay near Dollywood, TN.

Where should I stay when visiting Dollywood?

The DreamMore Resort has Dollywood on its doorstep. For ultimate access and to maximize the experience, this is the best place to stay when visiting Dollywood. However, location wise anywhere in Pigeon Forge keeps you close to the enchanting Dollywood amusements. As an option for nature lovers, who aren’t that sold on the Dolly concept yet, Gatlinburg is an option for where to stay near Dollywood that’s positioned at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Can you stay the night at Dollywood?

Dollywood’s own DreamMore Resort is located next to Dollywood. Guests at the resort enjoy exclusive privileges, including a complimentary shuttle that takes you to Dollywood. This saves you both headache, and the standard parking fee at Dollywood.

What town is close to Dollywood?

Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. From Pigeon Forge’s main strip, it’s 3 miles and 10 minutes by car to the entrance of Dollywood. If you’re after the place to stay closest to Dollywood, don’t look past the DreamMore Resort, which is located next to the amusement park.

Which is the best Dollywood hotel?

For a complete Dollywood experience, the best place to stay near Dollywood is the DreamMore Resort. It’s positioned next to the park, and only here you get that precious Dollywood vibe 24/7.

How many days should I spend at Dollywood?

Have in mind that Dollywood is a complete package of not only thrilling rides but also live music, unique craft experiences and southern style food. Therefore you can easily spend two full days at Dollywood without running out of things to do. Add extra time for Dollywood’s Splash Country.

But if you, for example, don’t love rollercoasters and mostly come for the shows, one day can be enough. In the end, the best amount of time for Dollywood depends on you and your interests.

Is Dollywood better than Disney?

It makes a lot of sense to try to compare Dollywood and Disney World. After all, they are two of the most loved theme park destinations in America. Still that’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Orlando’s Disney World, size wise like San Francisco or two Manhattans, is much bigger than Dollywood. Here you find an unmatched amount of rides and, of course, all the famous Disney characters.

In contrast, Dollywood is a tribute to the American South with a special focus on the Appalachian Mountains. Come here to enjoy fun rides but also captivating live music shows and distinguishing crafts of the region — all in a homey environment.

Do you want more things to do? Plan your trip with the best things to do in Great Smoky Mountains.

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