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Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

Davie,Fl
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80 posts
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Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

Hi

We love love love the smokies!! Came up there 3 years in a row, summers of 2006, 07, 08 . Finally coming back this year! In July for a week. We have 2 kids ( ages 11 & 6 ). We have some favorite activities but are looking for some new ideas. We love the flexibility of being able to take it easy one day( tubing, picnicking, etc) and the next day have an action packed day! Just wondering there's anything new that you all recommend? And what are your favorite spots for enjoying the natural side of the area? what are your favorite swim/picnic spots? I've heard good things about met calf bottoms and chimney rock? How do they differ? Looking for some good restaurants too! Some of our faves are Apple Barn & Old Mill. Thanks in advance!

Mississippi
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1. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

I can't think of much that has changed in the National Park itself, except for the fact that Cades Cove and Roaring Fork (auto tours) have both been newly resurfaced, so the rides are much more smooth. There is a new visitor center being constructed at Oconaluftee, and a smaller facility is completed at Clingman's Dome in the parking area. There have been upgrades to the restrooms in some areas of the park, making them handicap accessible. Also, The Sinks along Little River Road has been expanded with a larger parking and viewing area.

The differences between Metcalf Bottoms and Chimney Tops picnic areas are in that Chimney Tops is beside a somewhat roaring river, and that while hopping/climbing around the boulders can be adventurous, there's not going to be a lot of playing in the water, whereas at Metcalf Bottoms, the slower current invites those who desire, to get in and play around a bit. Both have short hikes nearby. Little Greenbriar Trail at Metcalf Bottoms, and a nice hardwood forest nature trail at Chimney Tops picnic area. Treat yourself and do both picnic areas. Both have much to offer.

Others can answer more capably about newer restaurants in the area, but like you we have enjoyed the Old Mill and the Apple Barn in the past, but have recently been disappointed by the Applebarn, mostly due to the high prices, but cold eggs really ruined the last breakfast there. One of my pet peeves is cold eggs.

In searching for new things to do, we simply start by getting out the park and trail maps. With 800 miles of trails, we have only scratched the surface, and look forward to every trip, and every change of the seasons! While your youngsters have some limitations now, they can enjoy a lifetime of adventure in the GSMNP :-)

Grove City, Ohio
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2. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

You can always ZORB!

Athens, Georgia
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3. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

In the last 3 years there has been lots of changes more in Pigeon Forge that come to my mind. Gburg has a zip line now. PF has several new shows this year, a huge new Titanic exhibit and several new restaurants.

Our typical spot to picnic is cades cove.

If your not familiar with this website visit it before you go to take a virtual tour of the parkway, they also keep up with what's new. www.discoverthesmokies.com

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Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge
Sevier County, TN
Roselle Park, New...
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4. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

We too came down in 2006 & 2008 and coming back 3 years later this August.

I do plan on trying the zip lines as i think my 7 & 9 year olds will like it and want to try Applebarn Restaurant that everyone recommends. Also may try the Nascar speedway this time since we do spend a good amount of money on the go-carts, might as well get a wristband for an all day for $30+ pp. We will also be staying at Wilderness at the Smokies for 2 nights before staying at Governors Crossing Resort. I would like to get the most for our money this time around. For Wilderness at the Smokies will be paying $169 for the 4 of us which of course includes the big waterpark facilities. Now if we got a room & paid to go to Splash Country ($160+ just for tickets) would be much more. Did SC and was extremely crowded and couldnt get on anything so basically spent all the money to go in the wave pool & lazy river. We are also going to Governors Crossing Resort with the two waterpark areas for the kids (for the money, bigger living space, and waterpark areas) you just cant beat it for a 1 bedroom condo with the name your own price deal $110 per night. I

Roselle Park, New...
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5. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

Oh and one of our favorite places to eat is Logans Roadhouse. Me & the kids enjoy eating our bucketful of peanuts that is on our table and throwing them on the floor (very fun!). Nice family type restaurant.

Davie,Fl
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80 posts
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6. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

Thanks everyone for those great tips! I will follow up on them for sure!

We are staying in Majestic Views cabin through patriot getaways for a week in

July. Can't wait!

7. Re: Best new things to see & do! It's been 3 years!

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