The entire Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area is one great big version of Hillbilly Disneyworld. Overcrowded, traffic snarls, nowhere to park, and lines everywhere. If you like taffy shops, pancake houses, nick nack places , overpriced lousy food and standing in line to get that lousyfood , you will love it . If you dont, stay somewherre else. My brther in law and I base camped out of Gatlinburg on a weeklong bike trip due to the fact we didnt know any better. I WILL NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE EVER AGAIN !!! Despite the obvious amount of motorcycle tourism that the area draws, Gatlinburg is FAR, FAR from being a motorcycle friendly place. Some of the establishments we encountered were just shy of being flat rude. It was obvious they had no desire to have "our kind" in their establishment. I guess our Harley t-shirts scared them...lol This despite the fact that we probably had more disposable money to spend than the majority of those in line to go see Dollyworld or whatever that mess is called. We did find a few biker friendly establishments but the majority of those we encountered were certainly not. I was pretty shocked at how the stereotyping was played out. We are planning a return trip next year but will move our base camp to Cherokee N.C.
Good luck, take your patience pills and dont expect world class treatment...
+100 on what he said! If the Dragon is the reason for the trip I'd ride to Knoxville and take 129 south which eventually turns into the Dragon. When you get to the NC side where the Dragon ends you'll be at Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort a good place to stop and get a t-shirt and take some pics by the sign. Theres a motel there as well but it's not exactly a resort, in fact its kind of spartan. Metal bunk beds and such.
A short distance from there continuing on 129 is Robinsville where theres a motel, restaurants and stuff. About 5 miles out of town is the Two Wheel Inn. A motorcyle hotel and each unit has it's own private garage. Its not real fancy but it's comfortable and clean and the owners are top notch. Going in the spring or summer though I'd have a reservation. Ask the owners about rides in the area and they'll give you a map.
Its right in the middle of some great riding. The Dragon, Cherahola Skyway, Moonshiner 28 and on and on. Depending on how much time you have you could continue over to Maggie Valley which as stated is very motorcycle friendly.
BTW there is always something going on at Deals Gap and the Dragon. Between different motorcycle groups and car clubs. Last time I was there there were about 500 mini coopers there having a rally. Saw some really cool cars. There was also a Corvette group there but everyone co-exsists pretty well and the riding is still good.
If you go over toward Maggie Valley or Cherokee then you're getting near the Blue Ridge Parkway and thats a whole nuther post and a whole bunch of fun cool things.
I try to get down there 2 or 3 times a year and I guess you can tell I can of like it. One thing for sure no matter where you go in the area you can't make a wrong turn, the riding there is amazing. Everytime I go I find a new favorite ride!