Airbnb Experiences in the Smoky Mountains That Offer Something Unique

From secluded vacations to grand getaways, staying in a short-term rental listed on Airbnb or VRBO has become the norm for many travelers.

From urban cabins to secluded treehouses, these short-term rentals in East Tennessee near towns like Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg give you something different.

Ride a magic wagon in the Smokies

  • Area: County of Sevier
  • Superhost: Kathleen Christie
  • Rating: 4.98
  • Average price: $225 per night on weekdays, $250 on weekends
  • Distance: 20 minutes from Dollywood

Have you ever wanted to stay in a cart? What about the trolley inspired by this very famous wizarding movie?

Hidden away at Kodak near Sevierville, the two-story purple wizard’s carriage is filled with whimsy, surprises and “Harry Potter” references.

Owner Kathleen Christie dismantled a trolley from the 1982 World’s Fair and converted it into both a living space and a double-decker bus.

The 500-square-foot cart features a small working kitchen with cabinets painted to look like luggage. There is also a small washer and dryer, a functional bathroom and a bedroom, all on the first floor. Small vertical stairs at both ends of the carriage lead to a bedroom and a small sitting area.

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The Airbnb was listed in January and has been booked since. Christie said next year will fill up quickly.

It certainly hits the right note for people who grew up reading or watching “Harry Potter.”

Looking down from the second-floor living room inside the Harry Potter-themed Wizard's Cart AirBnB in Kodak, Tennessee on Friday, August 19, 2022. A World's Fair cart from 1982 has been converted into a 500 square foot space with two queen sized beds, a living room, a functional kitchen and a functional bathroom.

“These are the details, and intentionally when I listed the Airbnb at the start, I didn’t fully reveal all the interior details because I wanted guests to have surprises when they showed up,” Christie said.

The cart briefly went viral on TikTok, and Christie plans to tweak some details to maintain the surprise factor.

The Wizard’s Wagon is now listed on Airbnb, but it’s part of a larger area that Christie and her husband Chris Fortune call the Forgotten Forest.

The seven-and-a-half-acre property is under construction and is expected to have 19 whimsical Airbnb-listed accommodations.

They expect the first to be completed and ready for guests by spring 2023.

Discover a whimsical treehouse

  • Area: County of Sevier
  • Superhost: Lacie Shingleton
  • Rating: 5.0
  • Average price: $106 per night$125 on weekends
  • Distance: 40 minutes from Knoxville

How many times can you tell your friends that you’ve stayed in a treehouse?

Located outside of Seymour, guests will take a short path draped in fairy lights to reach the 140-square-foot treehouse.

The 10 by 14 foot treehouse includes a queen bed, small refrigerator, deck, and mountain views. There is no indoor plumbing, but water is supplied in a five gallon cooler and there is an outhouse and an outdoor shower that runs on a pump.

An Airbnb treehouse is seen in Seymour, Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Shingleton and his family built the treehouse in 2021 after moving into the property during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her brother-in-law designed the treehouse and she listed it on Airbnb in April.

The Shingleton Treehouse is secluded, with nothing but a small cabin and the forest in sight.

“Because not everyone needs to unplug?” said Shingleton. “And it’s a great way to do it in comfort. And it’s really good for people to see untouched land and beauty and still have the ability to go and do all the fun things and come back and just be together.”

Make yourself comfortable in a century-old barn

  • Region: Blount County
  • Superhost: Jeremy Goode
  • Rating: 4.90
  • Average price: $150 to $175 per night
  • Distance: 10 miles from Maryville, 25 miles from Knoxville

Instead of staying on a farm, this Airbnb’s guests stay inside the barn itself.

On a 13-acre property, this 114-year-old barn has been renovated into a wedding venue and two small residences in the northeast corner of Blount County.

The best rental is a 500 square foot loft-style room with a queen bed, bathroom, small living room, and balcony that overlooks the property. The downstairs Airbnb is more spacious at 1,300 square feet with a full kitchen, living room, 1.5 bathrooms, walk-in closets, and a bedroom. Both are outfitted with decor to make you feel that farmhouse vibe.

The Airbnb Cabin at Wildwood Springs Barn is seen in Maryville, Thursday, August 18, 2022.

Airbnbs are available unless there’s a wedding in the barn, owners Jeremy and Stephanie Goode said. They bought the property in March.

There is also a cottage for rent on the property, and guests can roam the farm if they wish.

“We encourage them to go picnicking in the spring,” said Jeremy Goode. “We encourage them to go play cornhole downstairs or sit on the swing.”

They are in the process of adding more rental properties to the location, such as a small house modeled to look like a chicken coop. They would like to expand the property into a larger retreat center.

Relax in an urban cabin in Knoxville

  • Region: Knox County
  • Superhost: Elizabeth Wiseman
  • Rating: 4.81
  • Average price: $215 a night
  • Distance: 15 minutes from downtown Knoxville

On the surface, a cabin is not an uncommon Airbnb. But a cabin in Knox County?

“We’re not in Dollywood. We’re not in the Smokies. But there are a lot of people who visit Knoxville who still like the idea of ​​being a bit of a mountain experience,” owner Elizabeth Wiseman said.

The cabin is in the woods near Lyons View just outside of Knoxville not far from grocery stores and the highway. The cabin has two floors and covers 1,700 square feet.

The ground floor has rustic features like wooden walls, but the upper floor is more modern with renovated bathrooms and painted bedrooms.

Take a look inside this cabin found in Knoxville.  The screened porch is a favorite among guests, according to owner Elizabeth Wiseman.

Located in a small cul-de-sac from other cottages, this unit includes a fire pit, swing set, hot tub, and screened-in porch overlooking the woods. You can explore the woods or relax as part of the cabin.

Wiseman listed the property as Airbnb in March after she and her family passed it. But they maintained the property during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, fitting it out to make it as comfortable as possible.

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Relax in a renovated motorhome

  • Area: County of Sevier
  • Superhost: Sher Love
  • Rating: 4.80
  • Average price: $85 per night
  • Distance: 40 minutes from Knoxville

Nestled in the mountains near Sevierville, guests can stay in a renovated RV not far from destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains region.

The refurbished 1973 Avion RV sits on a property next to another Airbnb also owned by Sher Love.

The 30ft RV features a queen bed and two single beds, a bathroom, kitchen appliances, wood cabinetry and a firepit with plenty of outdoor space. There’s even Wi-Fi, but that might not be necessary with the sweeping views.

    Inside a 1973 Avion RV that has been restored and converted to an Airbnb at 127 Wendell Burnett Rd. in Sevierville, Tenn.

“We remodeled it a bit trying to keep the integrity of it…and we got it about 98% done, and then my brother was diagnosed with brain cancer and given six months to live, then we had an amazing six months with him,” Love said.

After her brother’s death, Love completed the renovations and listed her on Airbnb in 2019.

“It’s near and dear to our hearts because that was his vision and we kind of feel like we’re helping to make that happen,” Love said.

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