I'm looking to do a week long summer camping trip in the Smokies, preferably in the national park. I've been there once or twice, but it's a big park and I'm not super familiar with it.
Basically, I want to tent camp for about a week, preferably in one spot. But I want a spot that can be a hub of sorts - with plenty of stuff to do within, say, a half hour drive. I'd like to be close to water (lake or river), and able to day hike lots of trails with lots of good scenery. It would be nice to have some flatter trails for the older folks. Basic tent campground services will be fine. Hot showers are a must. Water and electric not must haves. I like wooded campsites, and privacy is nice, though I realize it will be the busy season.
I'm also looking for good weather - highs in the 70s, lows in the 40s-50s kind of weather. I'm thinking May, but open to suggestions.
Finally, how hard is it to get camping reservations at the popular locations? Is it as bad as Yosemite where the sites open six months in advance and there's a mad rush to reserve?
Suggestions are appreciated.