When making your flight reservations with the TYS McGee Tyson airport (Knoxville, TN.), be aware of the operational hours of the rental car agency so you aren't stranded if your flight arrives after the rental car service has closed!
This is a scenic drive from the Knoxville suburb of Maryville where the airport is located. Drive time varies from approximately 45 - 90 minutes depending on traffic or construction.
*If flying into the Nashville, TN. (BNA) airport, the drive to Knoxville on I-40 is approximately 3+ hours.
The 4 lanes of I-40 thru Knoxville can often be slowed to a crawl due to construction.
22 miles past Knoxville look for the brown "Great Smoky Mtns. National Park" sign at Exit 407.
Turn RIGHT as you exit the ramp.
Follow signs thru Sevierville, Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg (30 minutes to 1+ hour, depending on traffic/construction).
2015 Road Construction Update:
Those traveling to Gatlinburg via Interstate 40 will notice that some construction is taking place at exit 407. These changes, which should be completed by mid-July, are being made to give drivers easier access to the route into the GSMNP, where summer fun begins.
Driving directions from the Knoxville airport to Gatlinburg:
Take 129 North out of the Airport
Drive 6 miles to 168 East (Gov. John Sevier Hwy.)
Take 441 South through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg
Physical address for the Gatlinburg Convention Center: 234 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN, 37738
Gatlinburg as viewed from the scenic overlook Bypass.
Taxi Shuttle Services Available for the Smoky Mountains & airport area:
*Open 24 hours, accept credit cards, & require you to book your pick up time at least 24 hours in advance.
The newer Mills Center is part of the Gatlinburg Convention Center: entrance is on Historic Nature Trail
- The GCC does NOT have a parking lot. You can walk, ride the trolley for .50 cents per person (exact change required), or park in one of the nearby PAID parking lots. A flat rate for all day parking ranges from $5 - $10.
- Both the RED & the GREEN trolley routes goes to the GCC. Look on the side of the trolley near the door for sign identifying which color route that particular trolley takes, as all trolleys look identical. Some trolley stops are covered & some are just signs on poles.
Gatlinburg maps are inside the FREE Gatlinburg Vacation Guide which can be found at most covered trolley stops as well as all hotels, restaurants, & attractions. Pick one up while you're in town or have one mailed to you in advance!
Traffic light #8- Gatlinburg Convention Center
The squares with 'P' represent Parking Lots
CLOSEST PARKING TO THE GCC:
1) Historic Nature Trail - between the GCC & the Parkway (traffic light #8) is a lot located on the same side of the street as the GCC. Look behind the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant!
2) Historic Nature Trail - by Mr. Tablecloth & the Space Needle is a lot; opposite side of street as GCC.
3) Historic Nature Trail - across the street from the GCC is a lot behind the Bearland Grill.
4) Reagan Drive- from Historic Nature Trail turn onto Cloverleaf (opposite side of the street as the GCC). Then
turn RIGHT onto Reagan Dr. Look for parking lot on the LEFT just after the Fire Department.
NEW for 2015 Event - attendees will have FREE use of this parking lot next to the Fire Department on Reagan Dr!
5) Reagan Dr.- you can also turn LEFT onto Reagan Dr. & there's a parking lot between Stuart Ln. & Hayes Ln.
6) Parkway between lights #8 & 9- there's a parking structure near the 2 story Drug Store building & LeConte View
Motel, near TGI Friday's & the Ole Smoky Mtn. Moonshine Distillery.
7) River Rd.- Running parallel to the Parkway is River Rd., beginning at light #6 & ending at light #10 (Ski Mountain
Rd.). Parallel parking
is FREE along River Rd. but it's difficult to find an open space unless you arrive VERY early.
There are several lots along this road, plus many obvious & some not-so-obvious walkways to access the Parkway.
***WHEN DRIVING PLEASE REMEMBER THAT PEDESTRIANS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY!
The intersection of the Parkway & Historic Nature Trail Rd. at traffic light #8.
Look for the light numbers which are hanging above the road along with the traffic lights. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant is on the corner (with the balloons). It's a short walk up the hill to the Gatlinburg Convention Center (GCC).