Should you visit Gatlinburg or Shenandoah National Park?
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Gatlinburg and Shenandoah National Park can help you decide which place is right for you.
Located in eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for many it is a destination in and of itself. It's anything but natural, and most of its entertainment is centered around amusement park rides and gimmicky sights. You'll find no shortage of cheap hotels and restaurant options, many of which are the typical chains you would find in most tourist towns. It is a convenient town to pick up any necessities you may have forgotten before your visit to the nearby national park.
Shenandoah National Park
One of the most visited destinations in the eastern part of the United States, Shenandoah National Park attracts over a million people each year for its beautiful mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, and vibrant colors in the autumn months. Established in 1935, it is the largest fully protected area in the mid-Appalachian region.
Which city is cheaper, Shenandoah National Park or Gatlinburg?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Gatlinburg is $152, while the average daily cost in Shenandoah National Park is $100. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Gatlinburg and Shenandoah National Park in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $128 in Gatlinburg For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Travelers usually pay around $86 for a double occupancy room in Shenandoah National Park If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Shenandoah National Park $43
Typical double-occupancy room
Shenandoah National Park
The price of a meal in Gatlinburg can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $68 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $27 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
The price of a meal in Shenandoah National Park can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $23 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Typical Food prices in Gatlinburg
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Gatlinburg:
To get around in Gatlinburg, the average visitor spends $28 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Shenandoah National Park's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $56 per person, per day on transportation in Shenandoah National Park.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Shenandoah National Park $56
In Gatlinburg, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Shenandoah National Park can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Shenandoah National Park $27
Typical Entertainment prices in Gatlinburg
For Gatlinburg, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Horseback Riding Photos
Horseback Riding (for 2)
Tours and Activities in Gatlinburg
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Gatlinburg.
Can-AM Maverick 1000 Adventure Vehicle Rental:
Foxfire Mountain: Waterfall Canopy Zip Line Tour:
Gatlinburg Ghost Tour:
Ghost and Haunt Tour of Gatlinburg:
Goliath: Extreme Mountain Zip Lining Adventure:
Great Smoky Mountains Waterfall Adventure Hiking Tour:
Impossibilities Magic Show at the Iris Theater Ticket:
Polaris 570 Ranger Adventure Vehicle Rental:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Gatlinburg, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Shenandoah National Park, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.71.
Sample the Local Flavors in Gatlinburg
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Gatlinburg:
Gatlinburg's Best Moonshine Distillery Tour and Tastings:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Gatlinburg and Shenandoah National Park, we can see that Gatlinburg is more expensive. And not only is Shenandoah National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Shenandoah National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Shenandoah National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Gatlinburg would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Gatlinburg than you might in Shenandoah National Park.
Related Articles for Gatlinburg
Related Articles for Shenandoah National Park