Wilderness at the Smokies in Seiverville Tennessee

This past weekend, Mike and I arrived in Sevierville for the annual Santa Hustle – a holiday themed half marathon. The hotel partner for the race was Wilderness at the Smokies, which was conveniently located right next to the marathon start line. Conveniently, I was able to walk directly outside approximately 30 minutes prior to start time – no need to drive anywhere or find parking!

The many on-site conveniences made this resort the ideal place to stay before the race. Several on-site restaurants, an indoor and outdoor water park, a fitness center, mini golf, an arcade, several retail shops, and free attraction tickets comprise a long list of resort amenities available to guests. I recommend choosing the 2 for 1 Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies pass – it has been rated by many as one of the best in the world.

Santa Hustle Half Marathon in Seiverville, TN

The Santa Hustle race was a really fun experience. I managed a 1 hour and 52 min finishing time despite the hills and colder than expected temperatures. Soaking in the large water park hot tub the night prior was the perfect treat.  It gave me an opportunity to relax my muscles and recover from the long drive.

There are 2 restaurants on site, several snacks shops, and a deli/convenience store. We had the opportunity to try out the Thirsty Miner, a family/buffet restaurant. It was pretty good and more important, convenient. Update: Thirsty Miner is now closed. However, a Starbucks, candy shop, and frozen yogurt shop have recently opened.

Family-friendly Lodging Options

River Lodge building at Wilderness at the Smokies

Lodging is available in either the River or Stone Lodge buildings. We did not have a choice as we booked our room at the last minute. The Stone Lodge room was pretty basic, but adequate as we didn’t spend much time in the room. The entire hotel is decorated in an attractive woodsy theme.

Stone Lodge room at Wilderness at the Smokies - Seiverville, TN

There is a complimentary 5 minute shuttle ride over to the River Lodge resort, which houses the indoor water-park. If you plan on spending most of your time at the water park, The River Lodge would be your best bet.

Holiday Cheer at The Wilderness Lodge

The hotel was decorated nicely for the holidays. Various holiday activities such as Yuletide carolers, Christmas craft workshops, and swimming with Santa are offered each day throughout the season.

Christmas decorated lobby at Wilderness at the Smokies in Seiverville TN

The Waterpark

The indoor water park is the major perk of staying at Wilderness. Admission is included with your stay. Another perk is being able to use the water park after check out (until closing that day). I have never been to an indoor water park, but I have to say I was impressed. The park was much bigger than I expected: here you will find 4 different water slides, a wave pool, a surfing area, a bar, snack shops, and a large hot tub.

The room temperature is heated like it would be outside, only you don’t have to worry about sunblock or stepping on the hot cement! Plenty of fun to be had for everyone in your family.

Update: As of 2023, the waterpark has announced plans for expansions. These include a 3 story water roller coaster, a rooftop pool, and expanded lazy river experience featuring a tunnel with lights.

Indoor waterpark at Wilderness at the Smokies - Seiverville, TN
Indoor waterpark at Wilderness of the Smokies

A convenient resort near the Smokies

Overall, Wilderness at the Smokies was the perfect place to stay for our event. We wanted something casual in order to relax for the race and this resort fit the bill. The on-site amenities led to a convenient, hassle-free experience. We didn’t have to waste any time driving around town when we had the option between 3 on-site restaurants. The on-site activities will give you more than enough opportunities for entertainment during your stay. And if you feel like venturing out, Sevierville is located just a short drive from both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Also, the beautiful Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short drive away. Here are 5 wonderful waterfalls to check out.

Who should stay at Wilderness?

Wilderness at the Smokies is the perfect lodging choice for families, as well as young at heart couples who are seeking convenience and fun. There are lots of family-friendly amenities on-site. It’s also a great affordable choice for anyone seeking to keep lodging costs down a bit. You get a lot for your money here as waterpark passes are included, not to mention the driving time you save by having numerous restaurants on-site.

More to do in Gatlinburg!

Be sure to check out my full guide to the best attractions in Gatlinburg.

Wilderness at the Smokies is located at 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37876. Visit the Wilderness at the Smokies website to check out monthly specials.