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Which is best route from Northwest Florida to Gatlingburg?

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DH and I are driving from Panama City, Fl to Gatlinburg on a Thursday later this month. Mapquest takes us through Atlanta, then 441 over the mountains into Gatlingburg. We are actually staying about 11 miles east of Gatlingburg off highway 321. Due to work, we won't be able to leave Panama City until noonish, which gets us into Atlanta during the late afternoon traffic. We are not familiar with this route.

Due to traffic and time of day, we are considering driving I-75 from ATL through Chatanooga, then on through Knoxville, taking I-40 and exiting east of Gatlinburg. It is longer mileage wise, but we might be better off with Interstate driving at night. We are familiar wtih this route, although we usually come in through Maryville and Townsend. However, the cabin (which nephew selected) is so far east of Gatlingbur, we thought it might be better to stay on I-40 as long as we can.

Any comments, other other suggestions.

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