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Smoky Mountains in the Spring

I just purchased a Groupon Getaway for a cabin in the Smoky Mountains on a whim. While I have been to Gatlinburg before, it's always been around the holidays. I have to use the Groupon by May 24th so I'm thinking a visit during the spring would be nice for a change. What I need to know is:
When is the best time to see wild flowers in bloom
DH and I love history - what is there to see in the area
Tours of any kind - we love them. Any recs?
Dining for one great dinner (we will probably do some grilling/cooking at the cabin)

Also, we will be driving from Detroit. We will probably stop one night on the way down. Any recs for a good stopping point with something fun or interesting (history?) to do that evening?

Thanks so much! Although not a trip we had planned, I am looking forward to it!

DM

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