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Smoky Mountains- Who has been, what do to?

 
Old 12-09-2018, 11:56 AM
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Default Smoky Mountains- Who has been, what do to?

Trying to plan a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in June. Need to work around SF and our granddaughter's high school graduation, so it looks as if it will be mid June.

We have been warned that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are tourist traps...we're going more for the nature/scenery aspect and the National Park. What other suggestions of things to do in that area, or not too far away, can any of you offer? As of now, we are planning five nights there.

I booked a room at a Hampton Inn (which I can cancel) and am looking at VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) for a cabin or condo rental in the Gatliburg area, but if anyone has suggestions of another less hectic area which may offer cabin rentals, let me know.

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:47 PM
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THE DRAGON should be No. 1 on your list!
Lots of other suggestions here: https://www.mysmokymountainpark.com/...-to-do/top-ten
Don't stay in the touristy areas.
Bryson CIty NC has a bunch of craft breweries for Rick.
I know you don't like B&B's but this one is more like a hotel than a B&B. The owners don't live in it: https://www.bluewatersmtnl.com/ We stayed there several years ago.
If not that, then Fontana Village is where we stay at Ken's Dragon events.
These are both within easy driving distance of the Park
Did I say avoid the touristy areas, though a visit to Gatlinburg would be OK. Lots of good restaurants there.
Drive the Foothills Parkway.
Take the S or the P-car, no matter what! There are so many twisty roads around you'll never get bored!
Visit Highlands NC to see how the upper class summers.
Finally, THE DRAGON!

Last edited by jukngene; 12-09-2018 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
Trying to plan a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in June. Need to work around SF and our granddaughter's high school graduation, so it looks as if it will be mid June.

We have been warned that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are tourist traps...we're going more for the nature/scenery aspect and the National Park. What other suggestions of things to do in that area, or not too far away, can any of you offer? As of now, we are planning five nights there.

I booked a room at a Hampton Inn (which I can cancel) and am looking at VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) for a cabin or condo rental in the Gatliburg area, but if anyone has suggestions of another less hectic area which may offer cabin rentals, let me know.

Thanks!
Let me know if you're planning on taking Gene's advice and decide to stay at Fontana Village Resort. I'll make sure you get a really good rate for your stay.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:11 PM
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P car is road trip car. More room for all my "stuff." We prefer a rental which allows more living space.

Dragon is on the list.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:03 PM
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Sounds like a great trip, Lainey. I'd be most interested in 1, 4 and the first 8.

https://www.mysmokymountainpark.com/...-to-do/top-ten
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:31 PM
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Did a lot of internet research on rentals. We can get out of the tourist areas and stay closer to the other park entrance not far from Townsend. Found a couple desirable rentals, have bookmarked them, want to be sure that we aren't so far out that going out to eat is 20 miles one way. Still looking in TN vs NC at the moment.

Also would like to be somewhere where I can walk and not get attacked by a bear. This trip will involve a lot of sitting.....need to know that I/we can go for a walk if it's not a day for a hike/walk in the park.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:24 AM
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Still researching rentals. Right now looks like arrival in TN 6/10/19. Has anyone spent time in that area in mid June? I'm hoping it's not too hot there that time of year? I don't want it hot when I'm playing tourist. Other option was mid May but don't want to run into the Memorial Day weekend, and that's a busy gardening time at our house.

Planning on 6 nights as of now. Should we plan a couple more nights in NC before heading home? We want enough time in and around the park, and want to allow for lousy weather. I would rather not have long days on the road to visit other areas of interest in NC, though we won't be that far away....decisions, decisions.

Suggestions welcome.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jukngene View Post
.
I know you don't like B&B's but this one is more like a hotel than a B&B. The owners don't live in it: https://www.bluewatersmtnl.com/ We stayed there several years ago.
I stayed there a couple years ago during Miatas at the Gap. Previously on a number of visits to the area for S2000 events i had always stayed at Fontana Village but it was booked up for MAG so I had to look elsewhere. Other than not having any other Miata owners there, Blue Lake was head and shoulders above the village. The place is very cool...check out the pics on their web site...and the owners could not have been nicer. Gene is right. It is more of an "inn" than a B&B/ My only regret was not having more time to enjoy evenings down by the lake because of various MATG activities.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:01 AM
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While I know that Ken favors the Fontana Village, for good reason since I've stayed there many times since my first visit in 2001, my preference, if I were going without a group, would be the Tapoco Lodge Resort.

https://tapoco.com/
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by hecash View Post
While I know that Ken favors the Fontana Village, for good reason since I've stayed there many times since my first visit in 2001, my preference, if I were going without a group, would be the Tapoco Lodge Resort.

https://tapoco.com/
Only problem (for me) with Tapoco is that the good chef left and they didn't hire a chief to take over (as of last September). Tapoco, to some extent is similar to Fontana in that you're kind of a captive audience to their restaurant because any other place is going to be a drive. While Tapoco's pizza is still good......
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