Sevierville

A shopaholic's dream with hidden gems.

Shopaholics dig the hundreds of outlet stores clustered in this town, which sits closer to the Interstate and feels less like a tourist destination and a bit more like a "normal" town, though it does have several theaters and attractions. Sevierville (and outlying Sevier County) contain some hidden gems, such as Douglas Lake, which sits about 35 minutes from downtown Sevierville.

1. Brother's Cove (Editor's Choice): www.brotherscove.com or 1-877-276-2683

  • Highlights: Best pool in the Smokies―heated, located on a hillside with spectacular views and ample lounging space. (Don't let its nickname "cement pond" turn you off.) Cabin architecture is decidedly different―each floor plan is unique, but common features include giant windows with postcard views, open spaces with natural light, and interesting touches such as rustic wood spiral staircases.
  • Resort community: Secluded location with 75 cabins on large, private lots. The developer displaced as few trees as possible when building, so the hillside feels natural and wooded, not clear-cut like some other resorts. Amenities include a soccer field, heated pool, pavilion with giant stone fireplace. Cabins have one to five bedrooms.
  • Location: Off Walden's Creek Road, between Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley.
  • Price of one-bedroom cabin: $99-$215, plus $35 reservation fee, $35-$95 cleaning fee (varies by size), and $50 nonrefundable deposit

2. Hidden Mountain Resort: www.hiddenmountain.com or 1-800-452-5992

  • Highlights: Many choices, including cabins, cottages, and villas. Exotic community pool and hot tubs by reception hall/conference area. Internet specials available. Family run since 1981.
  • Resort community: One of the larger resorts in the area, with more than 250 cabins. Some closely spaced. Views vary by location. Nicely furnished units. Cabins have from 1 to 14 bedrooms.
  • Location: Two locations in Sevierville, close to Pigeon Forge: Hidden Mountain East (1 mile off the Parkway) and Hidden Mountain West (5 miles off the Parkway).
  • Price of one-bedroom cabin: $75-$150. (An optional "deposit guarantee" (about $25) on units with four or fewer bedrooms allows you to cancel up until 4 p.m. on day before arrival.)

3. Oak Haven Resort (Editor's Choice―spa): www.oakhavenresort.com or 1-800-652-2611

  • Highlights: Friendly community with flat, walkable roads and a neighborhood feel. Fantastic day spa―in a cabin―with gift shop, hydrotherapy, massages, facials, and "chocolate ice cream pedicure" that's as delicious as it sounds. Free Wireless Internet access in every cabin. Free daily housekeeping (this is rare!). On-property staff 24-7.
  • Resort community: Approximately 100 cabins, with more being built. Older units may have navy or forest green carpets, but newer units offer upscale decor. Community pool, arcade game room, and playground near the spa. Cabins have from one to seven bedrooms.
  • Location: Close to I-40 in Sevierville. Very convenient to Knoxville, but a good 30-40 minute drive from the national park. Close to Bass Pro Shop and factory outlets. One mile off the Parkway.
  • Price of one-bedroom cabin: $110-$195