We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Illinois
Level Contributor
1,411 posts
251 reviews
Save Topic
Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Going down for a five day weekend over Columbus Day. Plan to leave after school Wednesday and would like to drive 5-6 hours and stop for the night so we'd only have 4-5 hours the next day. Can't figure out where to stop.

We just drove down to Florida and I had scouted out some hotels in southern Indiana off 65(Scottsburg and Sellersburg) but according to Mapquest, our most direct route veers us off of 65 before that.

What I'm hoping to do is book someplace cheap on Priceline or Hotwire because I figure I can get a good rate on a Wednesday night in October, but I don't want to wind up too far off the hwy or into Cincinnati (great town, but like I said, want to be right off the hwy).

Anyone taken this trip that has a recommendation? Or, mapquest Crystal Lake, Illinois, 60014 to Gatlinburg and find me a town to concentrate on-I guess what I need is an atlas, not Mapquest!

St. Joseph, Michigan
Level Contributor
52 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Hey Librarychick

I'm driving from St. Joseph Michigan just around Lake Michigan from you. I'm taking I-94 to I-65 south through Indy to I-74 to Cinci. Then I-75 south. I'll be staying in Berea Kentucky just south of Lexington about a 6 1/2 hour drive. Then countinue on to Townsend, about 3 1/2 hour drive. Hope this helps. Staying in the Holiday Inn Express just off the highway. I'll be down there Oct 25 th - 30 th.

Appleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,003 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Library Chick, we live 3 hours north of Chicago. It took the same amount of time for us to drive to Gburg whether or not we went through Louisville or Cincinnati. So we decided to stop off in Louisville which would be a six hour drive for you. We ended up staying in Clarksville, Indiana(the one in Clark county, not the one near Indianapolis) just across the river at the Best Western Green Tree. It was nothing fancy, but it had just been remodeled, it was clean and they had a great breakfast. It was also right off the interstate. I think we paid $70 for the room. It took us about 4.5 hours to drive the rest of the way. We thought it was a pretty decent place to stop to break up the trip.

Hebron, Indiana
Level Contributor
1,446 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

I live in NW Indiana and have always taken I-74 out of Indianapolis towards Cincinnati. That way you don't have to deal with Louisville and Nashville traffic. I think it's quicker then going all the way down I-65. It's your choice but I think that would be good route to take. Anyway there are a lot of decent hotels around the Cincinnati airport (it's actually in KY) on I-275. Since they are right on the highway, you won't waste time getting to them and getting back on the highway. Last fall, when I went down there I stayed overnight in Lawrenceburg, IN not far off the highway only because I wanted to go to the casino there or I would have probably would have stayed at one of those hotels. I used to drive the whole way in one day but due to back problems and other health reasons, I could only go half way the first day. Anyway, from that area where the hotels are, you'll only be about 5 hours from GB. If you wanted to go father there is a lot of hotels right on the highway around Lexington. Once you get past Lexington, the scenery is so pretty. Have a great trip and don't forget to write a trip report and let us all know how your vacation was!

Illinois
Level Contributor
1,411 posts
251 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Thanks for all the suggestions-I've got some more ideas of where to look for hotels.

I've been surprised at how pricey some of the hotels are along the way, for as I mentioned before, a Wednesday night in October. Since we won't be getting to the hotel any earlier than 9:30 due to the time change, and leaving first thing in the morning, I'd really like to pay less than $50 but still not stay someplace really scary. Best option I've found so far is an Econolodge in Richwood, KY.

I'm also a little bit afraid to book ahead of time as we're leaving at night and not sure what kind of traffic we might hit. Everytime we've driven that route we have seen horrible traffic backups due to accidents, however, luckily, on the other side of the highway. I'm wondering if I might be better off just having some ideas and price ranges in mind of where to stop, see how the driving goes, and maybe even rely on the roadside stop coupon books.

Indiana
Level Contributor
52 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Hey chick

We live in SE IN not far from Lawranceburg. Check for hotels in Batesville, IN or Harrison,OH. These cities are both on I-74. The hotels around the cacinos are mostly owned by the same family and run about $89-$109 per night.

Injunear

Illinois
Level Contributor
1,411 posts
251 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

Thanks Injunear-I had been eyeing both Batesville and Harrison and will check them out more carefully.

Along the same lines, can anyone tell me anyplace I should absolutely avoid (town or motel/hotel)? I always refer to the TA reveiws but as we all know, they can vary widely from great to terrible for the same properties, and these properties in smaller towns tend to get fewer reviews, making it harder to weed out the extremely positive and the extremely terrible. I myself probably review places better than most people do because I'm pretty easy to please!

watseka illinois
Level Contributor
133 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

we are a hour south of chicago and we go to the smokies twice a year we take 65 south to louisville stay there in holiday inn hurstbourne,louisville is exactly the center of trip four hours from us and four hours from pigeon forge but we get on 64 east in louisville and head over to 75 south down to knoxville jump on 40 east to the 407 exit and yeah were there

8. Re: Halfway stop between Chicago and Gatlinburg

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 07 October 2009, 20:18