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Have I left anything out?

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Pensacola, Florida
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48 posts
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Have I left anything out?

I just wanted to get the travel experts opinions on my plans. :) We will be arriving in Gatlinburg Friday and staying until the 12th so if I need to make changes it can be done. We were there last August and did all the top tourist attractions so this time I tried to find some off the beaten path so to say things to do as well as some of the things we really enjoyed last year. We will be traveling with our daughters (3 & 10). Do I need to make any changes? Thank you so much for your help!!

Friday & Saturday---drive through park and enjoy the pull offs so the kids can get their feet wet. Go in to Pigeon Forge and ride go carts, play mini-golf, and do the Dixie Stampede Show.

Sunday

• Upper/Lower Tremont Rd/Spruce Flats Falls

• The Islands

Monday--Family Pics on Roaring Fork Motor Trail then--

• Head towards Cataloochee Valley to see the elks taking our time and sightseeing along the way

Tuesday

Bryson City, NC---Indian Creek & Tom Branch Falls/Juney Whank Falls

• New Found Gap Overlook/Clingmans Dome if skys are clear

Wednesday

• Laurel Falls/Cades Cove

• Zipline—Wears Valley

Thursday

• Leave early for Blue Ridge Parkway--stopping at different trails/waterfalls and ending at sliding rock. Head back through Waynesville/Cherokee

Friday

• Roaring Fork Motor Trail/Rainbow Falls

Saturday, Sunday, & Monday--Horseback riding at Ponderosa, Alpine Coaster, Gatlinburg Strip, playing in the water, etc...

Pensacola, Florida
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48 posts
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1. Re: Have I left anything out?

Any help???

Tennessee
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for Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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2. Re: Have I left anything out?

LeslieS, I think your plans look good. One thing you need to keep in mind is the weather. That can throw a wrench in your plans. When it's nice and sunny out then take advantage of the park. You can shop,go kart at night. Most of the shops will stay open later.

If you have time you might try to have a picnic at The Chimneys or Metcalf Bottoms and the kids will love playing on the rocks and getting their feet wet.

Mynatt Park is good for kids too. You will pass it on the Way to Roaring Fork on the right side.

Don't stress yourself out.I'm sure you and your family will have a wonderful vacation. Stop at one of the vistor centers and pick up some coupons and maps.

I bet your kids will love The Island. It's one of new favorite things to do. We love the water fountain show and the lights on The Wheel. Have Fun!!!

north ga
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63 posts
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3. Re: Have I left anything out?

I'm no expert but the only thing I see is you could do Cataloochee Valley on Thursday instead of Monday on the way home from the Bllue Ridge Parkway trip since you'll already be on that side of the Smokies. That way you make one trip over there instead of two unless you just want to experience two trips through the same gorgeous area (GSMP).

Everything else looks well planned.

Pensacola, Florida
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4. Re: Have I left anything out?

Thank you so much!!!

Murfreesboro, TN
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5. Re: Have I left anything out?

I agree with rhodo. All of these trips to North Carolina will eat up a lot of time (in the car) and while the scenery is gorgeous I had rather be out doing something than so much driving. You look at the miles and think that you can get there pretty quick, but it always takes longer in the mountains. Just my 2 cents.

Pensacola, Florida
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6. Re: Have I left anything out?

Thank you. I have changed cataloochee to do the same day as BRP

north ga
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7. Re: Have I left anything out?

If you run out of time to see Catalochee Valley there are elk grazing in the field at the Oconaluftee Visiters Center in the evening in Cherokee. You will pass right by there on the way back to Gatlinburg. The Blue Ridge Parkway is much more impressive than CV . The roads to the Valley are unpleasant to travel and when you get there it's like a poor man's Cades Cove.

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8. Re: Have I left anything out?

I would not recommend hiking Rainbow Falls with a three year old. It is a pretty touch hike and pretty steep at times. It took everything I had to get up it as an adult. Maybe your kids are seasoned hikers but if not I would choose something else. grotto falls is a much more family friendly hike.

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9. Re: Have I left anything out?

Cataloochee is a beautiful spot. Hardly a "poor man's" anything. It is a highlight of the Smokies that many don't like because they are scared of driving apparently. It is, at most, a 2-hour drive from Gatlinburg and the roads are perfectly safe. They become winding, gravel roads but there are plenty of places for 2 cars to pass. The views of Cataloochee Divide from the overlook, before you descend into the Valley, are some of the best in the Park. There are usually few visitors in Cataloochee, except afternoons during the elk rut, and the tranquility there is palpable. Some of the old homesteads there, such as the Caldwell Place, are the most beautiful in the Park. Don't let people scare you into not visiting that valley with tales of "dangerous, unsafe roads." It's b.s. frankly.

Melbourne, Florida
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for Melbourne, Florida
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10. Re: Have I left anything out?

I think you have a pretty good plan. I would add a couple of things. After Sliding Rock before heading to Waynesville travel a little further east on the BRP and have lunch at Mount Pisgah Inn. Good food and great views. Then head back thru Waynesville, Cataloochee, etc.

The trip to Bryson City I would include going to the Highlands area to see Dry Falls. One of the best waterfalls, its an easy walk down a few steps and you can walk behind the falls. There are 3 waterfalls in this area.

I agree that you are doing lot of driving but we do the same. There is so much to see & do, its hard to fit it all in. And you can always change your routes, days you are doing things. Keep in mind Gatlnburg & Pigeon Forge will be more crowded on the weekends. If you are staying in Gatlinburg you can explore there in the evenings. I would pick a midweek day to go to Pigeon Forge, etc and make one of your longer trips on the weekend.