#1 8-1-2017 10:29 AM

Orlando, Florida
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Advice for going to the Great Smokey Mountains

My girlfriend and I just booked our first trip through our Travel club, World Ventures, to the Great Smokey Mountains. We are staying in a cabin in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Now because of the travel club, most of our days are already planned out for us on activities such as kayaking, fishing, and hiking however two of the 5 days are at our leisure . Does anyone have any advice on where we should visit? Much appreciated. Thanks!!


#2 8-1-2017 10:39 PM

Batam, Indonesia
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Re: Advice for going to the Great Smokey Mountains

Your travel club itinerary will no doubt bring you through Gatlinburg.  It is a primary gateway to the park.  If you like touristy shopping, novelty things like mini-golf, Ripley's Believe It or Not museums, Haunted Houses, etc. that is where you want to go.  Or if it is not your thing, you've been warned and should avoid it..

I don't know when you trip is, but if by chance it is in the fall, that area has some of the best autumnal foliage - around Halloween time depending weather.

I would suggest many things inside the park like Cade's Cove, Clingman's Dome, Mingus Mill, etc. But these may already be included in your group tour.


#3 8-2-2017 5:58 AM

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Re: Advice for going to the Great Smokey Mountains

its 88 miles from Pigeon Forge to Asheville which is where the Biltmore estate is.  Google it it's an extraordinary estate.

Last edited by katzgar (8-2-2017 5:58 AM)


#4 8-2-2017 7:44 AM

Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: Advice for going to the Great Smokey Mountains

What kind of transport will you have for your free days?  Vehicle traffic in the park itself will probably be fierce

My daughter has a place in NC just on the other side of the Great Smoky Mts from Tennessee.  They find a lot of things to do in Gatlinburg (there is a sky ride and zip lines etc).  They also like to stop in Cherokee.


#5 8-2-2017 3:18 PM

Chicago, Illinois
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Re: Advice for going to the Great Smokey Mountains

Well if it were me, I would spend all of the days hiking. You could easily spend a month there and never cross the same trail twice. I've been there several times and always love it, but its been 7 or 8 years so some of what I am about to say may be out of date. Hopefully you have a car, there isn't (wasn't) much in the way of buses around the park to trail heads the way many of the other national parks (zion, yosemite, etc) have. And Pigeon Forge isnt exactly next to it either. its more if the touristy town where you can go do things like see a lot of live music, buy trinkets, or set up tours nearby.

If you do want to do a lot of hiking there, check out www.hikinginthesmokys.com for a lot of detailed information about the trails. Chimney Tops is one of my personal favorites, but its very steep so I wouldn't expect it on your tour. they'll probably bring you to a few of the waterfalls that aren't far from the road.

You didn't say what time of year but since you mentioned kayaking I am also assuming summer or close to it. Winter time you'd probably be going there to go skiing.

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