Sevierville is a top 10 travel destination for Thanksgiving travelers

Thanksgiving travel is underway across the country. Gatherings look different than previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that isn't stopping people from leaving home for the holidays. Instead, a report released by Airbnb reveals travelers are choosing destinations off the beaten path to celebrate the season.

Sevierville landed at No. 2 on Airbnb's top trending places for the holiday weekend – as guests plan to explore the outdoors and spend quality time with loved ones.

An East Tennessee escape

Sevierville has something for everyone during the holidays, especially if you're tired of looking at the same four walls.

Visitors can explore the sights and shops of downtown or venture to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg a short drive away. Of course, the most popular place to enjoy in East Tennessee is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Amanda Marr, spokesperson for Sevierville Chamber of Commerce, told Knox News said record-breaking numbers of people are traveling to the park to safely spend time amid the virus.

"Sevierville is a great destination for families year-round. This year, especially, we have seen tremendous interest from people who want to visit and enjoy our great outdoor activities in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains."

Travelers also are wanting to cozy up in cabins this holiday weekend, according to the report. Cabins have always been a favorite in the fall, but Airbnb reported interest is up in 2020.

Hundreds of cabins are available for booking at and

Holiday Airbnbs hotter than ever

People started preparing for the holidays early this year, according to Airbnb, which saw a significant spike in accommodation wish lists with a festive theme. In September, there were about 80,000 wish lists created with keywords like "Christmas," “Hanukkah,” "holidays" or "Thanksgiving." That's nearly three times the holiday stays saved at the same time in 2019.

Airbnb users are looking for low-density urban and non-urban locations, which make up nearly 80 percent of bookings for Thanksgiving weekend. Travelers' interest in private retreats also peaked this year, with most guests renting whole homes to stay safe and limit contact with hosts amid the coronavirus.

Here are the most-desired destinations for Thanksgiving travel on Airbnb:

  1. Kissimmee, FL
  2. Sevierville, TN
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Big Bear Lake, CA
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Kinnakeet, NC
  7. Bar Harbor, ME
  8. Big Sur, CA
  9. Catskill, NY
  10. Jackson, WY

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Allie Clouse

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit

Published November 24, 2020