The first step in planning any visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is deciding how you are going to get there. There are two main methods for getting to the Smokies – flying or driving. Here are the airports near the Smoky Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is centrally located in the eastern United States on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. There are several Smokies airport options depending on your time and budget and what you are planning to do in the park.

Make your Great Smoky Mountains trip planning super easy with one of our expertly designed Smoky Mountain itineraries.

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Flying to the Great Smoky Mountains

Map of Great Smoky Mountains Airports

Closest Airport to the Smoky Mountains National Park

Knoxville McGee Tyson Airport

McGee Tyson Airport is a medium-sized airport located in Alcoa, TN. Alcoa is a little south of Knoxville. Knoxville McGee Tyson Airport is the closest airport to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Knoxville McGee Tyson Airport’s code is TYS and the airport is located at 2055 Alcoa Hwy, Alcoa, TN 37701.

This airport is best for visitors looking to primary stay on the Tennessee side of the Smokies including Cades Cove, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Townsend.

The airport is served by all 3 major airlines: Delta, United, and American along with 2 smaller airlines: Allegiant and Frontier.

There are eight car rental options at McGee: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Dollar and Payless.

EntranceDistanceDrive Time
Gatlinburg39.9 Miles1 hour
Townsend23.6 Miles30 minutes
Cherokee70.3 Miles2 hours

Learn more about Knoxville McGee Tyson Airport.

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA downtown at World's Fair Park. - Closest Airport to the Smoky Mountains National Park

Airports Near the Smoky Mountains

Asheville Regional Airport

Asheville Regional Airport is a small airport located in Ashville, North Carolina. Asheville Regional Airport is the closest airport in North Carolina to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Asheville Regional Airport’s code is AVL and the airport is located at 61 Terminal Drive, Fletcher, NC 28732.

This airport is best for visitors looking to primary stay on the North Carolina side of the Smokies including Cherokee, Maggie Valley, Cataloochee, Oconaluftee.

The airport is served by all 3 major airlines: Delta, United, and American along with 3 smaller airlines: Allegiant, Sprint, and Elite (seasonal).

There are eight car rental options at Ashville: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty.

EntranceDistanceDrive Time
Gatlinburg88.7 Miles1 hour and 50 minutes
Townsend108 Miles2 hours and 20 minutes
Cherokee58.9 Miles1 hour and 10 minutes

Learn more about Asheville Regional Airport.

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina at Grove Arcade Airports near the Smoky Mountains

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is a medium-sized airport located in Greer, South Carolina. Greer located near Greenville and Spartanburg.

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport’s code is GSP and the airport is located at 2000 GSP Drive, Greer, SC 29651.

This airport is best for visitors looking to stay on the North Carolina side of the Smokies, but Ashville doesn’t provide the best flight options.

The airport is served by all 3 major airlines: Delta, United, and American along with 3 smaller airlines: Allegiant, Frontier, and Southwest.

There are six car rental options at Greenville-Spartanburg: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National.

EntranceDistanceDrive Time
Gatlinburg151 Miles2 hours and 45 minutes
Townsend170 Miles3 hours and 15 minutes
Cherokee111 Miles2 hours and 15 minutes

Learn more about Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Greenville, South Carolina town cityscape

Major Airports within driving distance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a large airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina. This airport is American Airlines’ second-largest hub.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s code is CLT and the airport is located at 5501 Josh Birmingham Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28208.

This airport is best for visitors looking to stay on the North Carolina side of the Smokies and who are flying American or visiting from an international or west coast destination.

The airport is served by all 3 major domestic airlines: American, Delta, and United. Along with international airlines of Air Canada and Lufthansa and four smaller airlines: Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Sprint, and the small regional airlines of Contour, Ultimate Air, and Volaris.

There are eight car rental options at Greenville-Spartanburg: Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.

EntranceDistanceDrive Time
Gatlinburg192 Miles3 hours and 40 minutes
Townsend211 Miles4 hours and 10 minutes
Cherokee163 Miles3 hours

Learn more about Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Charlotte, NC Skyline

Nashville International Airport

Nashville International Airport is a large airport located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville International Airport’s code is BNA and the airport is located at 1 Terminal Dr, Nashville, TN 37214.

This airport is best for visitors looking to stay on the Tennessee side of the Smokies and who are flying Southwest, visiting from a west coast destination or select international destinations.

The airport is served by all 3 major domestic airlines: American, Delta, and United. Along with international airlines of Air Canada, British, WestJet and six smaller airlines: Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and the small regional airlines of Cape Air, Contour, Southern Airways, Sun Country, Ultimate Air.

There are eight car rental options at Greenville-Spartanburg: Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty.

EntranceDistanceDrive Time
Gatlinburg192 Miles3 hours and 30 hours
Townsend196 Miles3 hours and 10 minutes
Cherokee257 Miles5 hours

Learn more about Nashville International Airport.

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a large airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina. This airport is Delta’s primary hub and a focus city for Frontier and Southwest.

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s code is ATL and the airport is located at 6000 N Terminal Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30320.

This airport is best for visitors who are flying Delta, Frontier, or Southwest and/or visiting from an international or west coast destination.

The airport is served by all 3 major domestic airlines: American, Delta, and United. Along with international airlines of Air Canada, British, WestJet, and six smaller airlines: Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and the small regional airlines of Cape Air, Contour, Southern Airways, Sun Country, Ultimate Air.

There are eight car rental options at Greenville-Spartanburg: Advantage, Airport Rent a Car, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, EZ Rent a Car, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt, and Thrifty.

EntranceDistanceDrive Time
Gatlinburg202 Miles3 hours and 50 minutes
Townsend203 Miles3 hours and 50 minutes
Cherokee175 Miles3 hours

Learn more about Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Jennifer grew up in the foothills of the Smokies and spent much of her formative years exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She found her calling as a national park explore and writer. She has been visiting National Parks ever since. She is dedicated to helping others explore America's Best Idea.

Jennifer Melroy has 7 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Melroy

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