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Smoky Mountains in the Spring

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I just purchased a Groupon Getaway for a cabin in the Smokey Mountains on a whim. I have been to Gatlinburg before, but only around the holidays, and it was quite a while ago. The Groupon needs to be used by May 24th so I'm thinking a trip in the spring would be fun for a change. What I need to know is:
When is the best time to see wild flowers in bloom?
DH and I love tours of any kind (so long as they are not lame) - any good ones in the area?
Interested in history - what historical sites should we check out?
Good place for one nice dinner (will probably grill/cook at the cabin most nights)
Looking for a place to stop overnight on the way from Detroit - any recs?

Thanks so much!

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