HELP! Get me out of Sevierville/Side Trips

Old Oct 6th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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HELP! Get me out of Sevierville/Side Trips

Traffic is awful and the weather is warm. Looking for places off the beaten path AWAY FROM CROWDS to take our family incl 3 children ages 7-11. We love nice hikes, pretty picnic destinations, horses, true antique stores, etc. Can we do anything in national park with govt shutdown? Also would love some day trip ideas maybe with 1.5 hours one way.
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Old Oct 6th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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There are several places that rent horses. We have ridden at Walden Creek Stables ( head toward Pigeon Forge then turn right on Wears Valley Rd.- it's a big intersection with signs). You go as a group with a guide. There is a nice restaurant/ice cream/gift shop/apple orchard/ apple cider, etc. on the right about Sevierville/ Pigeon Forge Line called the "Apple Barn".

If you leave Sevierville on us 411 going toward Newport there is a place called Forbidden Caverns. It's a pretty nice cave with guided tours. Its not to difficult, kids could easily do it. Big sign on right about halfway to Newport. There is another smaller apple orchard called "Carvers" in Cosby, Tn. (between Newport and Gatlinburg). It's a smaller version of the Apple Barn, I actually like their food better.

I don't know where you are staying, but if you wanted to make this loop 411 to Newport, 32 to Cosby, 321 to Gatlinburg. It's a lot less crowded. Going north on 32 from Cosby there is an intersection where you turn right on 321 to Gatlinburg. If you go straight it takes you into a small section of the park with picnic area. The 32/321 loop into Gatlinburg has lots of small shops, there is a really nice picnic /hiking area/ stream running thru it place called "Greenbrier". I don't see why the gov. shutdown should affect picnic, hiking, etc. It's all self serve, but who knows about the gov! Most of these roads are public; so they couldn't just close the whole area.
There is a Food City grocery store on 321 before you get to Gatlinburg. Buckhorn Rd. takes you back into an area with craft shops, art galleries , wood carving. People do some interesting carving, big ones with chainsaws.
The drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee is long and I think boring. But if it's open, the Cades Cove loop is nice, Old cabins, barns , wildlife. Depending how much you want to drive, you can go on to Townsend (called the "quiet side of the smokies"). From there 321 would take you thru Wears Valley back to Pigeon Forge.

In Sevier/ Pig. Forge- Dollywood is expensive. They have started the "Fall Craft Season". I think kids would love the "Dixie Stampede dinner show". The "Hatfield & McCoys" show is silly , but funny. I haven't seen the "lumberjack" show. These thing aren't cheap!
There is "modest" white water rafting in Hartford, Tn. That's the last exit on I-40 east before the mountains going to N.C.
Cherokee, N.C. used to have lot's of Indian stuff (whoops, recon I'm supposed to say native American). It's pretty much died away. They have staked their future to a big "Harrahs" casino. I hope I've been able to help a little.
From what you've said, I think Wears Valley, Townsend and the loop from Gatlinburg, Cosby, Newport, back to Sevierville would get you out of the crush!
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Old Oct 6th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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Thx so much for reply. Should also mention we don't care for all of the dinner shows and crazy tourist attractions.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Unless the government closes US 441 on the grounds that the National Park should be closed because of the shutdown.

Nah, the feds wouldn't be that petty, would they?
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Are you there now? Do you want to stay someplace else?

I like the Rabun county GA area MUCH better.

http://explorerabun.com/

Or Brevard NC.
Or Asheville NC.
Or Highlands/ Cashiers, NC.

But you are north of those and the park is in the way. Go south and enjoy beautiful mountains with virtually no traffic.
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