Gatlinburg Tennessee Itinerary suggestions

Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 12:29 PM
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Gatlinburg Tennessee Itinerary suggestions

I am seeking activity suggestions for Gatlinsburg TN for March 2014. We are traveling with a 2 yr old and 4 yr old. Any short hikes in the smokies (weather permitting)? Other attractions that are worthwhile? Restaurant recommendations?

We are driving from west coast Florida? Worthwhile stops along the way? I was considering stone mtn Georgia or Macon. Is there any "You Pick" farms seasonal for March?

Thank you!
moonininjuly is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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We are also planning a trip with kids for late March. Ours are 8,6 and 2.

We plan to go to the Ripley's Aquarium, and picnic in Cade's Cove.

We also plan on going to Parrot Mountain, and the lumber jack show.
rachellynn99 is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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Don't know which routes you're planning to take. If you're coming up I-65, Montgomery and Tuskegee Alabama are interesting. Macon is somewhat out of the way for you and aside from the Ocmulgee Indian stuff west of town, doesn't really have all that much to see. Columbus, GA has quite a bit to see: an Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, a Confederate Naval Museum, etc., There is also Calloway Gardens and FD Roosevelt State Park ("Little White House") which is fascinating and not too far from Columbus or from I-85.

If you decide to approach Gatlinburg from the northwest, you might want to take I-59 from Birmingham or I-75 from Atlanta, in which case you'll go through Chattanooga which has lots of interesting things to see: Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Tennessee Aquarium.

I live in Atlanta and have explored the whole area quite a bit, so if you can tell me what routes you plan to take and what things you would consider worthwhile, I can further advise you. Don't think there are any pick-it yourself places around here that early.

One thing I love to do in that area is to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from US 441 to around Asheville. This is by far the most scenic part of the Parkway, and in March the traffic shouldn't be that bad (presuming it is open, as we've had a pretty bad winter.)
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Search or click on my name for trip reports and pictures of Smoky's/Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge. Went twice the past couple of years.

Went to Parrot Mountain both times. Be sure and buy not only the birdseed for one section to feed the birds, but also the juice for the enlosed section. Pretty cool.

Zipline and Zorbing is fun!!

I replied to your other post. You have 2 going on the same subject
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Hello everyone

As for the 2 posts, someone advised me to post again because I spelled Gatlinburg wrong the first time.

Rachel Lynn, What sort of clothing are you packing for the kids? Are you bringing winter coats, snow pants? We were considering the Dixie Stampede. Any reason you chose the lumberjack show instead?

Any thoughts on the OberGatlinburg ski resort? Not sure if my kids could handle tubing. The 2 year old might be too young and the 4 year old is a scaredy cat!

dwdvagamundo, Mapquest has us taking I-75 up the West coast of Florida, passing by Macon and Atlanta. I would not be interested in adding significant time on to take another route, but if it were a negligible difference, perhaps we could make an adjustment. We probably want to get as far as central Georgia in the first stretch of the drive, but we could also just sleep overnight and then soldier on. If I take 441 N from Atlanta, is it a slow country road? Am I better off going through Chattanooga as far as the size of the highway? Not sure my kids would sit through military history, but sounded like there was a lot there. I am an Emory alum and if we went into Atlanta, we might just see friends. I guess there is always the aquarium there too, but I don't want to get stuck in Atlanta traffic. I actually have never been to Stone Mountain during the day (only for the laser light show - am I dating myself?), so was wondering if that might be worthwhile. We did visit Asheville on a few years ago and it is beautiful, but will probably focus on Pigeon Forge once we get that far north.

I am afraid of birds and Parrot Mountain sounds terrifying. If I accompany the family there are there places where I could stay a few feet away from the action or am I better skipping that outing and getting to the spa, while Dad is on duty?

Spirobulldog, had trouble finding your trip report. I'm about to go google Zorbing. What is that? My kids are too young to zipline!

Thanks all!
moonininjuly is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 07:08 PM
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can you also tell me: Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Seiverville... do I need to make a distinction or are they all really close? I think we are staying in Seiverville.
moonininjuly is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 08:07 PM
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Seiverville is the farthest away from Great Smokys. You can expect a lot of traffic(not bad very early) to get anywhere.

I could only find one trip report, but I know I did one for both trips. They are pretty much the same trips, but on the second one with my wife and daughter, we also included a trip to the North Carolina side and went to The Biltmore. This will just be pics only on Shutterfly.

First trip(actual trip report) is with my nephew.

Your kids would probably enjoy Dollywood

I like Grotto Falls, Laurell Falls, and Abram Falls(this one is in Cades Cove). Grotto and Laurell are short, Abram is about 2.5 miles one way. All are flat and easy.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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We just got back from the same trip. We drove from Miami till Kennesaw(10 hours), spent the night then an additional 4 hours to Gatlinberg. One thing I want to mention is to google the restaurants along the way. We noticed from just north of the Georgia border up until Atlanta, while there are tons to choose from, they are mostly fast food places. (McDonald's, Zaxbys, bk etc.) we were looking for a "real" restaurant and ended up at a Cracker Barrel, (not high on my list for dinner) we stayed at a cabin in Severville which put us about 15/20 minutes from the park. We were there during the week so traffic wasn't too bad. I also recommend Cade's cove, the kids might get a kick out of the cabins, there are fields for them to run in or have a picnic. We also saw deer and wild turkeys. Not sure I would recommend Ober for you. While you would be able to tube with the 4 year old together, the only other activity you could try is ice skating. As to the clothing my kids actually used their ski jackets most of the time, the temps were in the 17 - 30*f while we were there.
mabella101 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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We have been to the Dixie Stampede probably 6 times, and the kids do love it. If you haven't seen it then you certainly should. We chose the lumberjack show just because we haven't seen it before. If we have extra time we might end up doing the Stampeded again as well.

I'm going to bring jeans, sweat pants and leggings with short sleeved, long sleeved and light jackets. Maybe one heavier jacket, but in general I'mhoping for maybe around 60 degrees.
rachellynn99 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2014, 06:36 PM
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thanks for all the great suggestions.

Dollywood will be closed. Glad to hear the kids enjoyed dixie stampede. I assume they will like it more than I will, but that will make me happy. Sort of like the luau we saw in Hawaii. So overpriced and cheesy, but my daughter's awe is worth it.

Happy travels everyone.
moonininjuly is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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moonin--good question about expressways v US 441. Our experience has been that 441 is very slow, especially around Gatlinburg proper. That's why I suggested you might want to go via Chattanooga. But it's been years since we've been to the Smokeys, so don't have a feel for the traffic in the Park--in March you should be O.K. and it certainly is more scenic.

If you decide to do 441, take I-85N, then I-985 which will become US 23 and merge into US 441. We've found that's the best combination of scenic and quick, as much of US 23 is four lanes.

There is also a big orchard/country store that I think is on US 23 a little bit northeast of I-985 and is a fun break.

As to Stone Mountain Park--yes--worth a visit, as are the attractions around Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. I don't think you are going to avoid much traffic if you do Stone Mountain, especially at rush hour.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Just got back from there for work. Ate at Best Little Italian Restaurant in Gatlinburg. Pretty good food. Next night Chop House near Tanger Outlets in Sevierville. I hate the whole area. It is just a mass of crappy places to eat and hokey tourist stuff. A shame cause the mountains are just gorgeous.
SharonG is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2014, 04:34 PM
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With the activities you want, I would stay in Gatlinburg. It's closest to the park for hiking, but not a bad drive to Pigeon Forge. Weekday traffic won't be bad this time of year, but if the weekend's nice, expect traffic.

Days can be warm, but nighttime temps can be pretty cold in the mountains, so bring appropriate clothing.

Great hikes mentioned above (Grotto, Laurel and Abrams Falls). Abrams Falls is located in Cades Cove, a 11-mile one way driving/scenic loop. To avoid traffic, get there early in the morning before it gets crowded and take a picnic lunch to have at the falls.

Good site for hiking trails in the Smokies:
wave725 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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great website, thanks.
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