I am searching for a place for our annual vacation in June 2013. We are considering GSMNP. Our family loves National Parks. Our favorite is Shenandoah National Park. It’s close, offers beautiful views, great hiking, abundance of ranger’s programs for the kids and adults, and plenty attractions in surrounding areas. My questions are: are these parks different? Is it worth 12 hour drive to Smoky , or two parks are very similar (since both features Blue Ridge Mountains) and I should look into other options?