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Pigeon Forge in January

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barbados
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Pigeon Forge in January

Seasons Greetings :). I would appreciate any comments/advice - I was thinking of visiting end January for 5 days (have only been once before in October and loved it). I am looking at airfare/routes for various airports flying in from Orlando and have the choice of:

1) flying into Nashville on AA (1stop) (only reason I am considering this one really is that we would have liked an AA flight for the airmiles and the fare is not too bad) - I think Nashville is about a 3.5 hour drive - wondering if it's an "easy" drive on good roads in January?.

2) fly into Asheville with Airtran (direct - also cheapest fare) - was going to go with this one untll I read about the rock fall blocking the I40 - now think the detour is over 2 hours drive - is this mountainous, switchback type roads? Also, not sure which route as Google Maps had several different routes.

3) fly into Knoxville with Delta or Northwest (both 1 stops, flight travel time over 4 hours) - 1 hour approx drive - we drove into Knoxville on our last visit and I do not recall any scary roads on this route :) but my memory could be deceiving me.

Of my possible choices, which one would you think to be most sensible, with regard to possible road conditions / weather end January. I would prefer the option with the easiest driving route on good roads, rather than shortest distance but "scary" roads if that makes sense. Also, would we need a 4 by 4 and/or snow chains or would a regular compact hire car be okay?

Sorry for the long waffle and many thanks for any advice.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

I believe Knoxville would be your best bet. We go down in January all of the time( including 9 days on this coming Jan. 1st!!) and we have a front wheel drive car and have never had any problems. We had some snow several times but nothing major or treacherous. You will be fine . If you are from Barbados, why are you coming to Gatlinburg? I'll trade Gatlinburg for Crane Beach any day!!!!

Edited: 21 December 2009, 20:22
barbados
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2. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

Heehee - they say opposites attract! I guess after days of sunshine and beach we crave the total opposite, mountains, trees, and yes even the cold, makes the log fires and hot tub all the more enjoyable! We tried Santa Fe last year and that was a tad too cold for us, am hoping this trip will be slightly less freezing :). Thanks for your reply diggy - I think Knoxville is probably our best bet as well. Merry Christmas and hope you have fun on your trip.

Athens, Georgia
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3. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

i agree with Diggy i would choose Knoxville since your already traveling so much i would take the quickest and simplest way. it's pretty much a straight shot and the roads should be passable unless it just snowed alot (in that case they will clear them soon). You may want to decide on your vehicle depending on where you stay. If in a cabin talk with the rental company and ask about the location and road conditions if your staying in town i think an average car would be fine. The town is still decorated for Christmas in Jan. and it's beautiful. Some of the shows have closed for the season but that's about all that slows down. It will not be near as crowded as it was when you were there in Oct. so it will be a breeze getting around. I highly recommend it.

Merry Christmas and send some of that sunshine our way, we've had lots of COLD rain.

right over your...
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4. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

Nashville is about that amount of time on a easy drive as long as there is no Highway shut downs for wrecks, weather, etc.

I would fly into Knoxville. close by in case weather gets bad. Easiest driving route.

What to hire for drive depends on where you are staying. If in a cabin you might need a 4x4 but in a hotel compact car will do.

Nashville
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5. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

Do come visit us. I work for the Pigeon Forge tourism department, and I think you'll have a fine time in January.

The Knoxville airport definitely is the closest airport. If you fly into Asheville, I-40 is closed at the state line. The detour is all-Interstate and adds about 60 miles, so that's not too bad if you chose AirTran.

If you seek cabin accommodations, absolutely talk directly to the renting agent to determine a cabin's location. Some are very accessible and convenient regardless of the weather. Others could be a real challenge.

Do visit the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center when you're in town for current information (shows, restaurants, etc.) Beforehand, see MyPigeonForge.com. We'll keep our five million Winterfest lights on for you until the end of February.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

It's wonderful to see you've Pigeon Forge and easter Tennessee for your winter trip. It's a great time to be here. The crowds are relatively small compared to many times of the year and the mountains are so beautiful when the snow is up there.

I would definitely fly into Knoxville if it were me. The drive from Nashville isn't bad at all but it does come through a few mountainous areas and could only serve to increase the odds of you finding travel problems. Even with the extra connection I'm sure you'll save time due to the longer drive from coming in somewhere other than Knoxville.

I hope you have a great trip!

Chris

barbados
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7. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

Hi - just wanted to say thanks for all your helpful replies and update you. Unfortunately, we could not travel in January after all due to last minute work commitments for my husband, but are now definitely booked for 6 nights end of March instead - we are flying into Knoxville as was recommended and have a lovely (hopefully!) cabin booked with Sunset Cottages. I am sad to be missing Winterfest as I imagine it looks beautiful with all the lights, but am still very much looking forward to our second visit to the area.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

I was writing to tell you to rent a 4X4 but since you are now coming in March it will not be necessary. We got stuck in our cabin for 3 days due to the weather. Only a couple of inches of snow but the arctic clipper sent the temps way down and it all froze and our road to the cabin was treacherous when it was dry! We survived and enjoyed it actually.

barbados
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9. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

Wow - I hope you had managed to stock up on supplies before being marooned :). I am consoling myself that at least the fireplaces will still be open in March even though I am missing Winterfest - glad you had a good trip,.

10. Re: Pigeon Forge in January

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