Long term stay hotel or rental
We will be traveling to Knoxville from the end of July through the first couple of weeks of august. We need to be reasonably close to the UT (No more than half an hour away) because one child will likely need to be there early some mornings. That kid will be there for work and it is the primary focus of our trip. That said, we will have large gaps of days of time when he is not required to be at UT. I am trying to find somewhere to stay that also makes this qualify as a vacation for the rest of the family. We at least need a kitchen and good space for 4 people. I am not opposed to a hotel if we can find one that meets the requirements but am thinking maybe a vacation rental? Any way, I could use some idea or guidance from someone who has been to UT or lives there! Ideas?
Anyone have any ideas?
Perhaps there is some confusion on what it is that you desire to accomplish other than being 30 minutes or less away from UT. When you state vacation are you saying just shopping and a nice hotel or VRBO? Do you mean vacation as in the GSMNP?
I am going with that you mean the GSMNP. Accordingly, I would suggest that you consider staying in a hotel or vacation rental in the Kodak area, the Seymour area or the Maryville area. Each of these will place you within 30 minutes of summer driving to a section of Pigeon Forge or Townsend, two gateway communities into the GSMNP.
Kodak- easy less than 30 minute interstate drive into downtown Knoxville. Located near and at exit 407 on I40, this is the main route into the GSMNP. Tons to do within 30 minutes, GSMNP perhaps an hour of summer driving away but no so long if the traffic is right.
Seymour- located east of Knoxville by crossing the TN river by Neyland Stadium and taking state hwy 441 to a rental home in the Seymour area. Again about 30 minutes away to Pigeon Forge.
Maryville-south of Knoxville on state hwy 129. Hotels, rental homes, etc are available. Another 30 minutes puts you into Townsend and the GSMNP.
Southwest Knoxville-consider the Cedar Bluff exit as there are tons of motels, a Residence Inn and other long term stay options, ton of shopping and dining. This puts you the furtherest away from the Park incase you are not really interested in the Park.
Norris Lake- perhaps a vacation rental on VRBO- this puts you about 30 to 40 minutes NW of Knoxville.
My recommendation- Stay in Townsend (plenty of hotels, cabins, rentals, camping, etc) and get up early to drive into Knoxville on the necessary days. It will take a good hour but everyone else will benefit from staying in Townsend, enjoying the river and the GSMNP. It is not a far drive, just a few curves along the river out of Townsend and then a 4 lane into Maryville and then onto Hwy 129 into Knoxville.
Good luck and welcome to East Tennessee!
Thank you! That is exactly what I needed. I was just having trouble figuring out where every thing was in relation to UT. With all the mountains and lakes and rivers, it is hard to tell on a map what the actual driving time is. What I would really like is a cabin on a lake that is swimmable and paddleable and still within a half hour of UT. As much as I hate to be stuck in the city and would prefer the mountains, we really need to be within a half hour of UT because we could potentially need to be there early morning and then early evening in the same day.
It is summer; that being said – try your best to stay clear of Kodak, the Kodak exit off I-40 (Exit 407), forget Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Traffic is unbearable and once you do finally arrive there better be a Brink s truck full of money behind you. Forget the east and south sides of town. West side of town somewhere near a connection to I-40 will get you to UT in 30 minutes or less. If it s early. If not the KAT bus stops at West Town Mall right off of I-40 at the West Hills exit. Swing by there and let him ride the bus into UT and back. Convenient as all get out and they run every 15 minutes most times or every 30 minutes when it s not peak times. $1.50 each way and they go right thru the middle of UT campus. He/she can call on the cell and by the time you get to the Mall the bus is pulling in.
You could try homeaway.com or vrbo and find something easier during your time frame than other times of the year. The Townsend entry in the Smokys is the best during the summer. Google: Tennessee State Parks for an alternative to getting out for adventures. Click on Fall River Falls it s an hour maybe 90 minutes over and you ll be glad you did. Google Fall River Falls then click images and as Inspector Clouseau once said case sol-ved. If homeaway or vrbo help ya or if you need anything else don t hesitate to ask.
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