I feel like I would be forgetting something if I hadn’t mentioned our very first impression of the town of Gatllinburg. It was cemented with our stay at Zoder’s Inn, which was recommended to us by my wife’s coworker, who has family in the area and has stayed here.

Zoder’s Inn is a family owned motel that has been in business for more than 70 years. Not many hotels in town can say that and with its location, there is little wonder why it’s become a popular tourist destination. When we stayed here Zoder’s operated under the Best Western chain, but by 2013 they shed that label to emphasize their name.

We stayed here minus our son and stayed in the same room in 2011 and 2012. Most standard rooms overlook the Little Pigeon River, and this can be a perfect elixir to a long day of hiking or shopping and with the rushing stream, it can be a bit powerful during wetter times. The room we stayed in was a standard king room with most amenities the traveler will need. The room is no larger than a normal hotel guest room. One drawback is the lack of a microwave in the room, but i believe there is one in the food service area beside the pool. Speaking of which, the complimentary food that is offered is second to none in the area in my opinion. They serve a complimentary breakfast from 7-10 a.m., but there are no others that can boast of complimentary wine and cheese from 5-7 p.m., and also milk and cookies between 8 and 10 p.m.; all served in the food area beside the pool. Racquetball courts are also located here as well as two heated pools. The location is good depending on what you prefer. It is located at the end of all the action of the Parkway, but actually, you are far enough away from the road that you cannot hear any noise; only the sounds of the stream running through the property. Oh, and I almost forgot the parrot that welcomes you in the office at check-in; his name is Caesar.

We have found other great places to stay since our first couple visits, but we will never forget our very first time staying in Gatlinburg, and Zoder’s Inn gave us a favorable impression that has kept us coming back to the Smoky Mountains, and I recommend you give them a chance too.