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Itinerary help/comments, please!

Louisiana
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Itinerary help/comments, please!

First trip to the area with my husband, 19yo daughter, 14yo son. Arriving late Friday/early Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and staying a cabin that is free to us thanks to a very nice relative! We enjoy the outdoors, and kitschy touristy stuff. For the most part, I haven't decided where we are going to eat our restaurant meals yet, but I will after the basic itinerary is set. So here goes....

Saturday: Check in, find a grocery to stock the cabin, maybe drive around a bit to get our bearings

Sunday (G'burg Day): Morning at Ober for the tram, alpine slide and maybe one other thing. Afternoon in the Arts & Crafts loop (will they all be open on Sunday?) Dinner someplace good, some evening activity in town (Haunted House, Guiness World Record, Mirror Maze?)

Monday (Pigeon Forge Day, Memorial Day): Morning in the Old Mill Area, Dollywood after 3pm (figure most people will be leaving town by that time), cabin rest time after the park closes

Tuesday (Dollywood Day): Dollywood all day, followed by Dixie Stampede at night

Wednesday (GSMNP Day): Bike tour around Cade's Cove in the morning, picnic near a waterfall in the afternoon, Clingman's Dome for sunset (is this too much for one day? suggestion for best waterfall for picnicing and maybe splashing around?)

Thursday (Tubing Day): Drive Newfound Gap Road, hit Mingo Falls and the Cherokee village, Tubing and Waterfall hiking at Deep Creek in the afternoon

Friday (Leaving Day): Clean up, pack up, check out. Either go back into GSMNP to hit things we missed, or head to Chattanooga area to hit one of the big three attractions on the way home.

Whew! I'm tired already!

Hebron, Indiana
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1. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

I'm not sure if all the shops in the Arts and Crafts community are open on Sundays but I would think they would be especially on a busy holiday weekend. I think most of them close around 5pm. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

The only think I would suggest is switching the Guiness World Record museum with something else. One year, I spent a lot of time on the parkway going in all those places and I really thought it was a waste of money....just my opinion but I wasn't very impressed. I think your 14 yrs old would like the Ripley's Believe it or Not more. The Hollywood Wax museaum is fun since you can take pictures with the "celebrities". The Aquarium is great, too.

Good place to eat...Smoky Mountain Brewery and Applewood Farmhouse. Everyone loves Best Italian..I have yet to try it.

Have a great trip!

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

Hi mckdh,

Here are a few ideas that I would suggest:

Sunday evening activity, do the Aquarium. I don't care for aquariums, etc., but I ended up really enjoying my visit.

Sunday evening dinner, I agree with the Smoky Mountain Brewery, or maybe Calhoun's.

Wednesday you can do some good splashing around at the Townsend "Wye". It's located near River Road where the road heads out towards Townsend.

Bob

Lafayette, LA
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3. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

If you are biking around Cades Cove, you might want to eat at Abrhams Falls. I hear it is considered an easy hike and a beautiful waterfall. (We will be in the GSMNP the same week as you!)

In Chattanooga, we loved Rock City.

Lafayette, LA
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4. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

If you have time, on your way up or on your way back home, try to drive the Cherohala Skyway and see Bald River Falls and Joyce Kilmer Forest.

The falls alone is well worth your time.

Prattville, Alabama
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5. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

I'd suggest not going to the World Records place. We've been there and it's just not worth your money. I second (or third, or whatever) the aquarium. I also suggest Mingus Mill on the Cherokee side of the park. It's an old working mill that's pretty interesting to see. The Mountain Farm Museum is pretty neat too. It's almost right across the road from Mingus Mill.

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/mfm.htm

Canada, Kentucky
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6. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

mckdh....here are a few suggestions for you. It sounds like you have a good plan. This is a typical plan of places to visit for us when we go and it might give you some ideas of places to hit that you may not know about. We don't hit every one of these places every time we go....these are just ideas.

We arrive, unpack, relax, maybe hit the grocery for supplies. This would be a great time to get to a visitor center and pick up all kinds of information of the area. You can read and plan while at the cabin! You will be amazed at everything there is in the area.

Pigeon Forge/ Sevierville area: the Old Mill General Store and nearby shops, Christmas Place, The Apple Barn ( a must for us), Smoky Mountain Knifeworks, The Bass Pro Shop

Wears Valley/ Townsend area: Drive the Wears Valley road and hit some of the shops along the way, Apple Valley Farms in Townsend, the Foothills Parkway, the Townsend Wye for picnics and splashing, Cades Cove(a must).

Newfound Gap Road: Sugarland Visitor Center, include Chimney Top picnic area (beautiful place to picnic and play in the river), the overlooks, Clingman's Dome, drive over the mountain and stop at Mingus Mill and the Farmstead, Cherokee, drive a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, take in a hike

Gatlinburg: The Village Shop area, the Aquarium ....alot of touristy attractions are there

Nightly activities: mini golf, go carts. We love Professor Hackers Lost Treasure mini golf in PF and the go carts in PF. There are many, many golf places to chose from. The Comedy Barn show is great as well as the Dixie Stampede.

I hope you have a wonderful first trip!

Boston...
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7. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

Wednesday: This plan sounds quite doable time-wise. I really enjoyed biking around Cades Cove last March; I planed on just doing eleven miles and ended up going thirty over the course of the weekend, just enjoying the scenery. Going at a no-auto time in the morning will certainly improve the experience.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "waterfall". (In reference to you wanting to picnic by a waterfall.) Are you thinking something large, or just a small cascade in the Little River? All the large waterfalls require hiking to get to other than Meigs Falls, but I don't know if that's a good spot for picnicking.

Considering it, you may have to find more activities for this day. If you get into Cades Cove early around eight I can see you finishing the loop by noon. Then you've got a whole half day to kill before heading up to Clingman's Dome.

Thursday: This sounds like a good day. Be sure to "hit" Mingus Mill and the Mountain Farm Museum, as well. (I would actually visit those before Mingo Falls since you'll be seeing the three waterfalls at Deep Creek the same day.) Deep Creek's a really nice part of the park.

Friday: To visit all the parts of the park you missed you'd have to whip out another week or two for this trip. :) In this case I recommend sightseeing in Chattanooga since that'll help break up your drive a little bit and so you can see another area you may want to spend more time in on your next trip. Post a thread on that forum to figure out what you'd like to do there:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g54946-i290-Chatta…

The Cherohala Skyway Drive is a great one, but it might be too much to add to a nine hour drive from Louisiana.

taylorsmommi
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8. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

Abrams Falls is def not an "easy" hike... but it is a really nice waterfall. It is around 5 miles round trip.Pretty rough footing. Of course for avid hikers... it may seem "easier" Not sure if you fall into that category or not! :)

Boston...
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9. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

Most guidebooks rank Abrams Falls as easy-moderate. Compared to other trails in the park it certainly isn't easy, nor is it as long or difficult a trek as Rainbow Falls, Albright Grove, the Boogerman Loop, and other moderate trails. The footing is pretty standard as far as ridge-climbing trails go.

taylorsmommi
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10. Re: Itinerary help/comments, please!

Right, againit is def more moderate than easy for someone who is not an avid hiker, and thinking about a family looking for a picnic spot near a waterfall? thinking they could find easier... (again they may be avid hikers and we don't know! But I did this hike as someone who does not hike all the time... the footing and climbing over that ridge... was unexpected for me! :)