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first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Charleston, South...
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first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Hi all! My husband & I will be in Gatlinburg from Oct 15-21. We booked a cabin through Homeaway.com near Silver Poplar Ln (map shows Smoky Mtn Rentals near it). I've been browsing forums and sites for weeks since we booked it & while I think we've got some ideas of what we want to do, I feel like most of the searching is just saturated by the tourist things and would love to visit any local secrets.

We really prefer to not to over inundate ourselves with touristy things - I'm aware that's difficult here & there are a few places we're interested in (Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium & Haunted House, the car museums - Floyd Garrett, start cars) but we also will spend quite a few days in the Nat'l Park itself. We are traveling on a bit of a budget - Dollywood will probably be our biggest excursion but we're pretty easy to please otherwise. I think we'll also be just sort of meandering through the shops & possibly will visit this big flea market in Seveirville (husband is a HUGE fan of browsing other people's crap).

Ultimately, I think we're looking to obviously have a fun and relaxing vacation without spending our days locked in traffic or crowds (I am prepared for it but don't want it to overtake the entire experience). Also, we're originally from PHL living in Charleston, so part of this is to get a nice cozy autumn experience - anyone know of good down home hayrides or apple orchards or places like that? That sell homemade foods & stuff?

Finally, we don't have any children - don't have any problem with them but obviously wouldn't prefer things that cater specifically to them.

Thanks for the advice in advance!

Dayton, Ohio
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1. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Try the Apple Barn in Sevierville, it has a little bit of everything, home made local products and foods, and a winery as well. Based on what you said you are looking for, I think you would really enjoy this place.

Athens, Georgia
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2. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Ditto on the Apple barn. There are several parts to the Apple barn other than the great restaurant. They have a winery, Christmas store, the gift shop, and a pie room where you can take in some apple pie ala-mode. You could get some cider to have back at the cabin (or wine). I think Cades Cove has a hayride, that would be a cool way to see that part of the park. I would suggest you drive through the arts and crafts loop. (This is a local gem, although it's there for the tourist.) I love looking at the homemade crafts and stop at Alewine's pottery, it's a great piece of artwork. The pottery is a little $$ but you could get a small cup/saucer for a souvenir.

Do be prepared for crowds, you will be there one one of the busiest weekends of the year. You will probably see the most traffic in the park. You can utilize the Gburg by-pass and when your in pigeon forge take the inside lanes, they move pretty fast.

http://www.gatlinburgcrafts.com/

Edited: 27 September 2011, 19:50
Athens, Georgia
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3. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

http://www.gatlinburgcrafts.com/

http://www.alewinepottery.net/

http://applewoodrestaurant.com/

cadescovestables.com/guided-hay-rides.shtml

Dayton, Ohio
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4. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Kallure;

Don't miss Roaring Fork Motor Trail......its free and has some of the most beautiful scenery in and around Gburg......betcha see a bear or two on your trip, they seem to be plentiful this year and have seen them on Roaring Fork and Cades Cove......might try Carvers out towards Cosby for a neat place to try for homemade stuff and a great place for breakfast or lunch, the view from the restaurant is awesome....!

Savannah, Ga
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for Cherokee, Tybee Island
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5. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

I see you are looking at doing the car museums. If you are willing to head over to Maggie Valley in North Carolina you may want to check out the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle museum. They are closed a couple of days a week and they are getting ready to shut down and relocate elsewhere. Before you go check out their website to see if they are open. This museum has like 350 plus american made motorcycles from the 1900's up. they also have some old cars there too. I hate to see them leave Maggie Valley so if you have the chance stop by and check them out.

Also you may be getting over load right now with what all there is to do but just wait until you get there. Major overload.

Bladenboro, North...
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6. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Carver's Apple Orchard in Cosby is very nice. They have the most variety of apples I have ever seen and the prices are reasonable. My husband bought a bushel of apples in a nice basket for $24.00. Also, they have a restaurant that serves good food and the freshest produce. I bought some very big , very good, green tomatoes and took them back to our cabin and made fried green tomato and bacon sandwiches on sourdough bread. These were the biggest and best green tomatoes . I plan to go back to Carver's during our fall trip next month. It is worth the drive.

kentucky
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7. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

If you are going to spend time in the N'tl Park you might consider exploring the cottages at Elkmont.They were built in the 20,s&30's.We discovered these on our last trip and loved that they are being preserved by the park service. I had read about them on Internet after hearing about them on a previous trip.they are located not to far past the Sugarlands visitor center,near the Ellmont campgrounds.The site also has the remains of the old Wonderland Hotel, although just chimney and steps it's still a beautiful site and must have been wonderful to stay there and x-perience the Smokeys that way.

Bladenboro, North...
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8. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

How many miles is the round trip hike to the cottages at Elkmont.

kentucky
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9. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

I am not sure how long a hike would be.We drove and parked and walked around the area.The cabins are accessible from the parking area.the hotel site was maybe a 1/2mile to a mile from the cabin area.there were alot of people hiking from the campground area and fro

m the parking areas.I am sure if you inquire at the Sugarlands visitor center or the elkmont campground checkpoint,they could tell the distance.Forgot to mention there was also a cemetery that isn't marked but is close off the parking area.

Edited: 29 September 2011, 03:19
Bladenboro, North...
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10. Re: first time in gatlinburg - advice for local gems

Thanks bigbluefan I did not realize the cottages were close to the parking area. My husband and I will be in Gatlinburg in 9 days and I want to explore this area.