Last Updated on September 20, 2022

Have you ever wondered how the Smoky Mountains got their name? I discovered the answer to this question while enjoying a family getaway to a Smoky Mountain cabin rental in this spectacularly picturesque region of Tennessee.

The native Cherokee called it Shaconage or “place of blue smoke.” It is nothing short of miraculous when you experience it for the first time, as I did on this family trip. The optics are caused by the natural phenomenon of trees, shrubs, and other native plants emitting natural hydrocarbons that interact with the air, creating the illusion of smoke.

The sight is sensational when waking in the morning or just after a soft rain.

Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals in Tennessee

When my family decided on a celebratory trip this summer to commemorate a couple of graduations, I was appointed to find to the perfect Smoky Mountain cabin rental for our multi-generational group. Ranging in age from 3 to 67, we needed a space large enough for three families to coexist for a week while enjoying family time, but allowing for privacy when needed. Sunset Cabin with a View, Unit #26 was everything we needed with a bit of luxury that thrilled the entire family!

A three-level Smoky Mountain cabin rental in Tennessee with decks on each level wrapping the house offered breathtaking views and became our home for a week. The house, seemingly built into the side of a mountain, was a perfect choice and everything we could’ve hoped for in a Smoky Mountain cabin rental.

As we ascended the steep road leading to Sunset Cabin, it feels as though we were driving to a piece of heaven. When we finally arrived and took in the awe-inspiring views from each deck, we knew we had made the perfect choice for this trip. Walking into the cabin, we were treated to luxury surroundings that would become ours for a few days. 

Yes, this Smoky Mountain vacation rental has a hot tub!

Check availability at Sunset Cabin

Enough Room for Everyone

Birdseye view of main floor from above Photo credit to VRBO - Copy
Birdseye view of main floor from above Photo credit to VRBO

The kitchen and dining room are located on the main floor. Top-of-the-line Kitchen Aide appliances thrilled our group’s cooks, as we used them to make our family meals. The kitchen included loads of cabinet space and was fully stocked with everything we needed to create breakfast, lunch, or dinners. The long dining room table sat just beyond the kitchen offering an ideal place for family mealtime.

The open concept on the main floor included a comfy sectional sleeper sofa where two brothers would end up sinking into its comfort after a full day of activities. The electric fireplace and rocking chairs added to the charm and appeal.

Off the main living area, there is a bathroom, laundry room, and bedroom with a king-size bed and door opening to the main level wraparound deck. My family spent a great deal of time on this deck. I would sit on the porch swing in the early morning gazing in amazement as the smoky mist would rise into a picture-perfect clear blue sky. Afternoons and evenings brought family time, where we sat together, laughed, talked, and enjoyed the propane firepit.

The staircase from the living area led to the third level housing a loft bedroom. With a king-size bed, desk, and en suite bathroom, and a door leading to its own private deck with heart-stopping views, the room is considered the master suite. In our case, it was perfect for a young family with a toddler. The privacy ensured my granddaughter had a quiet place to nap when needed.

The lower level of the house was an ideal place for other family members. With a game room containing another comfy sectional sofa, a bathroom, and two more bedrooms, it also offered additional privacy. The main bedroom opened to the lower wraparound deck with plenty of rocking chairs, another of our favorite places. The 4-person hot tub is also located on this level. We all took turns spending quality relaxation time here!

Check availability at Sunset Cabin

Enjoy the Wildlife and Time in Nature

Bear cubs off the lower deck of Sunset Cabin
Bear cubs right off the lower deck at Sunset Cabin #26 ©Lisa Evans

The first full day at Sunset Cabin, we were treated to a rare encounter with a mama bear and two babies walking in ‘our’ woods near the cabin. The owners make it clear to be diligent in leaving nothing out in the open for foraging wildlife, including ensuring trash cans are locked inside a cage. Everyone knows that bears are in proximity – after all, when you visit the mountains, you are in their habitat.

As we were enjoying the outdoors on different deck levels, my daughter spotted something rustling in the woods. After pulling out the binoculars and searching through the dense trees and brush, we discovered two baby bears out on a walk with their mama. We spent nearly an hour watching these incredible creatures meandering up the mountain and passing us just a few yards away from the lower-level deck. They eventually made their way to the front part of the house and continued walking up the road to higher ground. It was an incredible sight to see.

While the bears were the most enormous creature we encountered, there were also varied bird species, small animals like squirrels, and even a resident bat we would see in the evenings.

Vacation Rentals in Smoky Mountains

Smokey Mountain cabin rentals in Tennessee put guests on the doorstep of a world of activities and entertainment. Sevierville is a close neighbor to the more well-known towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. You can imagine the sights and attractions that abound in this area. There is literally something for everyone.

If outdoor activities are a favorite, there is an abundance of hiking adventures (the fall colors are AMAZING!) and scenic drives that will take you to the tops of mountains where you can drive through the smoke and mist for which the area is renowned. Schedule a half-day hiking tour through Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a professional naturalist and find hidden waterfalls.

One day, some of our group opted for a kayaking trip. Choosing to go with  Adventure Smoky Mountains Kayaking was a win. This small family-run business offered us a fabulous trip down the French Broad River. For over two hours, we kayaked on a smooth-as-glass-river on an amazing impeccable day.

This may be your perfect time to try ziplining!

Another excellent excursion we enjoyed was Forbidden Caverns. Here you’ll find unique and beautiful geologic formations. If you enjoy underground caving, this is must-see. It was an excellent way to spend a few hours on a slightly rainy day.

Of course, one would be hard-pressed to be in this area and not visit its top attraction, Dollywood. Our family thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful day exploring this one-of-a-kind amusement park. It is a marvelous place – friendly and hospitable and the best amusement park experience I’ve had in years.

The adults will enjoy this wine, whiskey and moonshine tour/tasting.

Smoky Mountain cabin rental in Tennessee. Lower Deck near the hot tub at Cabin with a View Sunset Cabin #26 ©Lisa Evans
Smoky Mountain cabin rental in Tennessee. Lower Deck near the hot tub at Cabin with a View Sunset Cabin #26 ©Lisa Evans

Family vacations and getaways are to be treasured. Vacation rentals in the Smoky Mountains are a wonderful way to experience them. Sunset Cabin was the perfect choice for us. It gave our family the ideal setting to gather and make memories while offering us the immense beauty of a region we had never before experienced.

As we were coming together to say our goodbyes until the next time, my 3-year-old granddaughter summed it up with, “I don’t wanna leave ‘cation.”

Out of the mouths of babes!

What do you think?

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  • Lynn
    September 20, 2022

    I love the way you express yourself in your writing!
    Lynn Bonilla

    • Noreen Kompanik
      January 2, 2023

      Thank you, Lynn.