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Parking Thanksgiving week

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posts: 788
reviews: 16
Parking Thanksgiving week

We will be in the Smokies for Thanksgiving (arriving Tuesday) and would like to spend some time in downtown Gatlinburg. Where is the best place to park? I'm not looking for free parking, but I'd like a place on/near the Parkway. I have looked through several posts on parking, but none of them talked about parking during Thanksgiving and several of the posts gave links that no longer exists.

louisville ky
posts: 331
1. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

There is a garage next to TGI Fridays on the parkway that we have used. I also have heard many others mention the garage behind the Aquarium. Our favorite is on River Rd in the place that used to be Christus Gardens. I think it's called something like Christ in the Smokies now (?). Look for the skylift going over the road, its right there. It is a block from the parkway. There are several lots along River Rd also.

Thanksgiving week is very crowded, so be prepared for full lots and driving around till you find something.

posts: 2,031
reviews: 5
2. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

I hate to divulge this secret, but we park at the Catholic church just up Airport Rd.

It is $5, but the good thing is, you can come and go for the entire day without re-paying.

be mindful of church service times though on wed eve and sundays.

posts: 788
reviews: 16
3. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

Thanks for the tips....keep them coming.

We have stayed at the Holiday Inn Sunspree several times. Isn't that on Airport Rd? I don't remember a Church, but I will be looking for it.

I know it's going to be very crowded, but I don't want to start the day off with a crabby hubby when he can't find a place to park ;-)

Does anyone know if everything on the Parkway is open on Thanksgiving? Not restaurants, but the shops & attractions. If it is and it's less crowded, maybe I will make my Thanksgiving dinner on Friday when all the people go shopping.

Athens, Georgia
posts: 2,468
reviews: 25
4. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

It is less crowded before Friday. We arrive on Wed. and there is a huge difference between then and Fri. The stores and attractions are open but usually close earlier than usual. They seem to stay open as long as they have business. The restaurants are open too most with a Thanksgiving meal or you can order off their regular menu too.

Green Bay, Wisconsin
posts: 270
reviews: 13
5. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

Our personal favorite is the parking lot next to Cooters. I think it is only $5 per day. Its at the beginning of the strip, but offers a lot of good eats in that area.

posts: 788
reviews: 16
6. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

Thanks again for all your tips. We are leaving early tomorrow morning. I think we will get up early Wed. morning go to the shops & attractions on the strip in Gatlinburg, then go to Dollywood at 2:00pm when it opens. We will do our hikes, Clingmans dome, Cherokee etc. on Friday and/or Sat. I hope the park doesn't get crowed those days.

posts: 788
reviews: 16
7. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

We went Downtown Gatlinburg on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I used Underpar's tip and parked at the Church and we got the last parking spot. We went back Saturday around 5:00pm after hiking in the park all day and it was so crowded every lot said "FULL" and the sidewalks looked like herds of cattle :-0 so we just went back to the cabin and ordered a pizza.

posts: 14
reviews: 1
8. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

We just got back last night after a week's long trip. We have been going over Thanksgiving for the past 5 years and I think this past Fri/Sat were the most crowded we have seen. Had a great trip and miss the Smokies already.

posts: 788
reviews: 16
9. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

It was, we were there for Thanksgiving in 1999 and I don't remember the crowds or traffic that bad. This trip took us 9 hours to get there, we left the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and it took us over 12 hours to get home when we left the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Edited: 3:54 pm, November 26, 2012
Savannah, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
posts: 3,262
reviews: 15
10. Re: Parking Thanksgiving week

GB was bananas on Saturday. We parked below Bennett's BBQ and walked back up to Best Italian for dinner. Getting back out to go to Pigeon Forge was another matter. It took us over an hour to get to PF. whew.