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aerial view of Gatlinburg TN on a spring day

Where is Gatlinburg: 3 Common Misconceptions About Where Gatlinburg TN Is Located

The bustling city of Gatlinburg, TN has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a quiet mountain town. Originally part of a thoroughfare for Native Americans during their hunting excursions, Gatlinburg became an official city in the early 1800s after early settler William Ogle decided to build a permanent residence in the area. For over 200 years the city has grown into one of the most popular travel destinations in the southeast, as well as home to over 3,800 permanent residents.

Popularity aside, there is one thing that many of the area’s visitors ask themselves upon their first time in town: “Where exactly is Gatlinburg?” To help travelers gain a better understanding of where this beloved mountain town is located, we have set out to debunk a few common geographic misconceptions.

1. Exit 407

exit 407 signThe biggest misconception on the location of Gatlinburg is directly off Exit 407 on I-40. Those who have never been to the area tend to look Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg all into one. Many excited travelers may be surprised to find out that when exiting the interstate onto Winfield Dunn Parkway they are actually in Kodak, TN. Once crossing the city limits of Kodak into Sevierville, travelers still need to venture through the exciting town of Pigeon Forge before reaching their final destination in Gatlinburg. Don’t be discouraged, however, both Sevierville and Pigeon Forge are home to several thrilling attractions and restaurants you and your family will love making a quick pit stop to!

2. Passing the Sevier County Courthouse

Similar to the belief that Gatlinburg is right off the interstate, many visitors think they have entered Gatlinburg city limits as soon as they cross the river where Chapman Highway meets US-441. Landmarked by the golden cap of the Sevier County Courthouse, this well-known intersection is still within boundaries of Sevierville. Don’t worry though, although this iconic building doesn’t signify you have arrived to Gatlinburg, it does mean that you are just minutes away from your favorite Smoky Mountain vacation town!

3. The Spur

tunnel on the Gatlinburg spurThe closest of all the other misconceptions, The Spur is the roadway that cuts through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although this road connects Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg city limits do not officially start until drivers arrive at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. Although it is not technically in Gatlinburg, The Spur is still a gorgeous roadway that showcases the natural beauty of the area all year long.

Where is Gatlinburg?

We’re here to give you the correct answer to your question, “Where is Gatlinburg?” You can actually get to Gatlinburg a number of ways. Perhaps the most popular route to take is Exit 407 off I-40, but you can also follow Highway 321 if you’re looking to avoid some of the traffic through Pigeon Forge. Use the map below for help with directions to Gatlinburg TN!

Not that you know where Gatlinburg is, why not start planning an exciting vacation for you and your family there? With the help of Visit My Smokies, families can plan out the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation all on our website. We have a full list of spacious Gatlinburg cabins, delicious restaurants, exciting attractions, shopping and more.

Take a look at our favorite cabins in Gatlinburg to start planning your trip!