From Vacation To Relocation

Posted by Phil Rodgers in Smoky Mountains

It's a very familiar story: Family vacations in the Great Smoky Mountains. Family falls in love with the Great Smoky Mountains. Family decides to actually relocate to the Great Smoky Mountains. If this scenario has ever rung true for you - if you're seriously thinking about making the Smokies a permanent home instead of just a vacay stay, then we can offer you some unique insights as longtime residents of the area ourselves.

Sevierville is a great place to live.

First, we're excited that you're thinking about making the move to the mountains. Lots of folks have done the same thing before you, and they've been very happy with their decisions. But there are many different specific locations in the Smokies that you could pick to live, so before you pull the trigger and hire a moving company, allow us to point out some considerations you might want to make. By asking yourself a few basic questions, you can narrow down your residential choices to the few that make the most sense.

What do you want to do most while living in the Smokies? The answer will largely inform your decision about where to live. If you're retired and envision spending most of your time hiking and playing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then consider living somewhere in the Gatlinburg area. Downtown homes are certainly closer to the main entrance to the national park, but there are other options to consider for Gatlinburg.

For example, living farther out U.S. Hwy. 321, which runs northeast away from downtown, will also give you easier access to places like banks and supermarkets, not to mention that you'll be closer to the Cosby entrance to the national park. Of course, if you want to be near attractions, shops and restaurants, the closer to downtown the better.

Are you interested in convenient access to all the fun things to see and do outside the national park? Then we recommend basing yourself either in or just outside Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. If you live close to the Parkway in either town, you can probably walk or trolley your way to most of the fun stops. But there are also lots of neighborhoods on the fringes of the tourist areas, ones that offer access both to the main drag and attractions that may require a short drive, such as Goats on the Roof.

Do you have school-age children? If so, that's a big factor in picking a hometown in the Smokies. Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville all have good public school systems, but we always recommend researching all your public and private-school options and deciding which works best for your family. Once you know which school(s) you want, then that will go a long way toward steering you toward a town.

Where you will be working? Obviously, this will influence your choice of residential area. Traffic between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg can get pretty heavy during peak vacation season, so the closer you live to your work, the easier it will be to commute back and forth. Another common scenario involves people who work in Knoxville but decide to live closer to the Smokies. In such cases, living in the northern end of Sevierville, close to Interstate 40, can be a handy solution that keeps you within a half-hour of both work and the mountains.

Because Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are historically geared more toward tourism, Sevierville is a popular place to put down roots because it feels more like a traditional small hometown. Yes, it does have some tourist stops, but it's also the location of the county seat and courthouse, and it's the largest of the three main communities in the county, so it offers more retailers and service providers for local residents.


This content posted by Goats on the Roof of the Smoky Mountains. Visit our home page, goatsontheroofofthesmokies.com for more information on the goats and their coaster.

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Gatlinburg      Pigeon Forge      Pigeon Forge Attraction      Places To Eat      Sevierville      Smoky Mountains      Things to Do      Wears Valley      

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