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Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Monroe, New York
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65 posts
218 reviews
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Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

My husband and I are from New York and have discovered the beauty of the nat'l parks in recent years. We love scenery and SHORT hikes. Is this a place we should consider where a lot can be seen from the car or close by? Also what other areas of interest are in this part of the country. Thanks for any help you can give.

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Tavares, Florida
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15 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

You absolutely HAVE to visit the beautiful Smoky Mountains!!! We're leaving Saturday for our annual trip. There is so so much you can see from your car, not only beautiful scenery but tons of wildlife such as bears, elk, deer etc. There are also many options for short hikes. They have several what are called "Quiet Walkways" off of Newfound Gap that are my personal favorites. They are more like short strolls rather than hikes. My top 3 must see list for newbees would have to be:

Cataloochee Valley, Cades Cove and Roaring Fork Motor Trail. Research these three on the internet and you'll see why. Also visit the national park website (once it is back up and running) for Great Smoky Mountains trip planner that you can download.

Start planning your trip....you won't regret it!

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Cataloochee Valley
Cataloochee Valley
303 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
Cades Cove
Cades Cove
4,317 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Roaring Fork
Roaring Fork
1,270 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Gatlinburg...
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525 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Here is a link so you can see what others are saying about all there is to see and do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g143031-Activiti…

There is also many things to do in the surrounding area. Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, Forbidden Caverns in Sevierville, Dollywood, the Arts and Crafts loop in Gatlinburg, etc.

It is definitely an area to visit with plenty to do and see.

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Tuckaleechee Caverns
Tuckaleechee Caverns
1,561 Reviews
Townsend, TN
Townsend
Townsend
Tennessee
Forbidden Caverns
Forbidden Caverns
1,051 Reviews
Sevierville, TN
Sevierville
Sevierville
Sevier County, TN
Dollywood
Dollywood
13,924 Reviews
Pigeon Forge, TN
Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Monroe, New York
Level Contributor
65 posts
218 reviews
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3. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Thanks for the connection. I will read about them all. Is 1 or 2 your favorite?

Monroe, New York
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65 posts
218 reviews
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4. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Can you give us an idea of the best times to go? I need to request vacation for next year by the end of Dec. So spring(May or early June) or Sept. and how much time do you reccommend.. Any suggestions on nice hotels and restaurants.

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1,462 posts
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5. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

I would suggest going in May. It is off-peak visitation time so a lot of hotels/motels/chalets will be cheaper. It is warm and less crowded than when schools let out in June.

If you just plan on driving around, then 3 or 4 days would be enough time to visit. If you want to get out and explore, then maybe a week.

Paris, Tn
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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2,968 posts
28 reviews
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6. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Our personal favorite time of year to visit is in early November. There's still colorful leaves left on the trees, the temperatures are a lot more tolerable. There are many nice drives in the park, such as CADES COVE. An 11 mile self-guided auto tour of old historic homes, churches and farms from around before the civil war. Also an excellent opportunity to view bears, deer and some coyotes. You can get in your car and drive on Rt 441 and arrive at the "Newfound Gap" monument. That's where Pres. Franklyn D. Roosevelt stood and dedicated the park, in Sept of 1941. A little further up 441 you'll come to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the smokies (6643 ft) Head down Rt 441 into Cherokee North Carolina, home to the Cherokee Indians. A great place to visit and shop, or picnic at various rest spots. Your vacation in the smokies will never be forgotten.

Ray

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Cades Cove
Cades Cove
4,317 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome
2,360 Reviews
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Cherokee
Cherokee
North Carolina Mountains, NC
Monroe, New York
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65 posts
218 reviews
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7. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Thanks for all the great tips. Any ideas on hotels and restaurants?

Grove City, Ohio
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1,632 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

There are plenty of great places to eat in the area. Check out www.dininginthesmokies.com for an overview of the whole area. There are also restaurant reviews connected to this page. Check on the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge forum pages for reviews of restaurants. WWW.discoverthesmokies.com is a great site run by a local couple that has a great overview of the whole area.

Edited: 17 October 2013, 14:38
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Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
Sevier County, TN
Birmingham, Alabama
9 posts
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9. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

The Hilton Garden Inn is one of the best hotels in Gatlinburg. It is fairly new and they have excellent service.

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Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Monroe, New York
Level Contributor
65 posts
218 reviews
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10. Re: Is Great Smoky Mountains for us?

Thanks I'll check it out. How many days should we plan to stay in GSM and should we stay in one place or move to different locations?

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