Help - Trip to Asheville, and Sevierville

Aug 10th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 105
Help - Trip to Asheville, and Sevierville

Need your help please, here is some history; we will be traveling from Florida at the end of August for a week. Our reservations for lodging are made, but need help with a few other things but feel free to offer any advice.

We like to explore and see the land, all aspects, but due to some minor health issues we are not climbers, tails are good if they are easy to moderate.

Also, I know that sometimes we seem to be doing things “out of order” but we are on vacation and don’t mind driving some, sometimes it just can’t fit in at any other time.

Day one – travel from Florida to Asheville, NC
Staying at Residences at Biltmore
Dinner nearby?

Day two – Explore Biltmore
Dinner at Frankie Bones

Day Three - Check out of Residences and can’t check into our Sevierville, TN location until 4:00. Any Must Do’s?
Currently the plan is to go to Grandfather Mountain. Will this take 5 or 6 hours, or is there not much to do here? If not, any “can’t miss” waterfalls close by?

Day Four – eight In Tennessee, we would like to do (in no particular order), I know we will not have enough time to do all this.
Cades Cove and Abrams Falls (fall is 5 miles, is that walking or by car?)
Roaring Forks
See Crafters on Glades Road
The Lost Sea Cave
Some shopping
Look at potential retirement areas
Waterfalls in the smokey mountains?

For sure we want to eat at:
Old Mill
There is a brewery with great pizza (the name has totally slipped my mind)

We will probably cook once or twice at our cabin, but need suggestions for a few other nights, also celebrating a birthday. We love all types of food, but don’t care to get dressed up on vacation….so good food, casual atmosphere, any suggestions?
eeyorelvr is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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I can't help much with TN, but can tell you that Grandfather Mtn is way, way out of your way. There must be a similar-type attraction closer to you (that hopefully someone can identify).
Brian_in_Charlotte is online now  
Aug 10th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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If you are looking for hiking between Asheville and Seveirville, you can try Pisgah State Park (and national forest), at the northern edge of the Smokies. If you stop at the main ranger station, they have a map of approximately 7 waterfalls that are very easy to get to (one of which is a natural water slide you can go down). Bordering Pisgah is Cherokee National Forest where there are many Native American style attractions.

Once in Seveirville, you are very close to Pigeon Forge. There are tons of activities and restaurants there. Dollywood may seem campy, but it's something that is actually fun (and always very clean). For dinner, Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner show is very family-oriented and entertaining.

If you want to do a scenic ride in the Smokies from Seveirville, you'll pass through Gatlinburg. This is another touristy, quaint, Southern town. Lots of little shops, restaurants and you can get info on the Smokies there.
ThisJerseyGirl is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Thanks so much for your replies, my original thought was to see some of the different waterfalls when we left Asheville, but didn't realize the Grandfather Mountain was so far out of the way, so sounds like we go back to plan A.

I should have mentioned that we have stayed in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, and did a lot of the touristy things on those trips, this time I would like to see more nature (this is our first trip in the warm weather).
eeyorelvr is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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We live in the Atlanta area, and last year we drove to Grandfather Mountain for the first time. It is great! It is about 1.5 to 2 hours outside of Asheville, and it did seem to take a long time to get there, but we are already making plans to visit it again. The mile-high bridge and surrounding rocks are so beautiful, and there are lots of trails. We really enjoyed it. Afterwards, we drove back toward Asheville and spent the night near Biltmore.
Samsaf is online now  
Aug 10th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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If you're driving all day why not have dinner on the Biltmore premises? I had an enjoyable meal at the winery.

If someone doesn't chime in before, I can get the name of the Brewery. I like Apple Barn in Sevierville area - good food, cheap, though usually a line.
absolutkz is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Have you seen the film "Last of the Mohicans"?. The waterfalls in that were filmed at Dupont State Forest which is less than an hour from Asehville (near Brevard). There are two great ones that are a short hike from the parking: High Falls (150 ft)and Triple Falls.

Mingo Falls is another good done-it's on the Cherokee Reservation so would be on the way to TN over the Smokies.

Abramns falls is a 5 mile hike. Another popular one is Grotto Falls off the Roaring Fork. Not big, but pretty, and the trail winds thru large old-growth Hemlock and Poplar.

This is a great site for waterfalls in the region if you have time to browse a bit. It does not have a map to use to find them, but it groups them by area, then you just have to start clicking on each. Transylvania County, NC (Brevard, right down in the corner near SC and GA) is called "Land of Waterfalls". There are tons of them down there, although it's kind of off the plan you laid out.

Grandfather would be a bit out of the way, yes. You could go up to Clingmans Dome in the Smokies on the way to TN as an alternative. Fantastic views (assuming it's clear, which it may not be).

A somewhat little-known scenic drive is the Cherohala Skyway (google it). Absolutely spectacular-no sign of civilization anyway on it. Well worth it, although again, a bit off your basic route. However, it would lead you right down towards where the Lost Sea is coming from NC.
weimarer is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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As weimarer mentioned, you have to hike to Abrams Falls. It's been a long time since I've done it, but I'd say it's easy/moderate. The falls are a great end to the hike - lots of fun. Laurel Falls is another one you could hike to around Gatlinburg; it's a pretty easy one.

For restaurants: The Apple Barn is actually not my favorite; the apple fritters are good but I've never been impressed with anything else I've had there. I have friends who like the Park Grill in Gatlinburg, but I haven't been myself. I do really like Best Italian Cafe - it's near the park end of the "strip" in Gatlinburg, in a little shopping center. Casual place with great pizza and Italian food. (Well, American-Italian food.) There's always been a wait when I've been, but if you don't mind that I'd recommend it.
jent103 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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I may be misreading which way you are going, but why don't you go from Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee. Lots of stops and some hikes along that road. Also, Chimney Rock IMO would be a taking you in the general direction of GSMNP more than Grandfather Mountain.
maj is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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I forgot about Chimney Rock. Not to keep harping on the film "Last of the Mohicans", but that final scene chasing them up the cliffside and killing Magua was filmed there.
If you haven't seen it, rent it before you go-the whole thing was filmed in the NC mountains.

There's a 400+ foot waterfall there as well (just not a big flow of water-might be almost dry in August but a single T-storm would change that)

Although it is actually going the opposite way from Asheville to GSMNP, but is not that far away at all-half an hour maybe.
weimarer is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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I've had great ribs at Park Grill and my parents eat at Best Italian probably once a month.

I think the brewery you're looking for is Smokey Mountain Brewery. Tuesdays offer 1/2 price pizza and Wed are $5 burger night.
absolutkz is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Continuing about Chimney Rock, I love that area. I've been going to that area since I was 5. The hike to the top of Hickory Nut Falls (as I believe it is actually called) is very easy. Anything rated "difficult" at Chimney Rock is easier than at any other park you'll go to. Just down the road is the Cider Mill. They still use a hand powered apple press that is over 100 years old and you can buy frozen gallons so it's still cold when you get to your destination. About 2 miles away is Lake Lure, home to "Dirty Dancing." The shoreline has been taken over by a lot of new vacation homes, but it's still an amazing, leisurely boat ride. I have actually found the spot where Johnny and Baby practice the lift Across the street from Lake Lure canoe rental is Bottomless Springs (or some name of that sort). It is a natural spring and no bottom has ever been found.

These are all about 20 miles or so out of Asheville on 74. It is a gorgeous ride with some switchbacks up the mountains.

You'll pass through Bat Cave, NC, which, yes, has an actual bat cave! It is only open certain times of year to protect the bats.

This is where I vacation to when I need to get away from everything!
ThisJerseyGirl is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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You have all given us some great ideas, our plan was not to drive through the Smokies, because it is Sunday and in the past we found that the weekend traffic was horrible especially in Gatlinburg, so we though we would travel in on 40, and because I am a map illeterate that relies on my GPS too much, I thought Grandfather Mountain was that direction. Mostly we are looing for waterfalls and great views.

absolutkz - I was under the impression that the Residences at Biltmore were not really at the Biltmore, I thought it was located more in a historical I wrong????
eeyorelvr is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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Ops - I also forgot
weimarer - is Translyvania County "Land of Waterfalls" close to Asheville? I have a waterfall book that lists all the falls in that county I recieved from the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.
eeyorelvr is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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Yes, eeyorelvr (that was hard), it's close enough. Locate Brevard and it's down there-along the border with SC. The Dupont State Forest is within an hour, easily. The biggest falls down there, BTW, is Whitewater Falls-400 ft and a short walk. May not be quite as impressive this time of year, but, whatever...

One of my favorites down there is Rainbow Falls on the Horsepasture River. It's in that website. It's not that hard or long to get to, just a little tricky as to how (and where to park), so you'd have to read up on that site. It's quite a waterfall, about 150 ft drop from a pretty good-sized flow, even in summer.

Also, Dry Falls (not dry at all, a big, roaring falls) on Rte 64 in the Cullasaja Gorge near Highlands-easy walk to it and you can walk behind it. Very cool.

So many down there, it boggles the mind. Have fun!
weimarer is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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I would definitely take the time to do the cades cove loop. It is great. I would avoid Roaring Forks unless you like very very narrow roads around a mountain. Also there are no restroom stops on this winding road. However, it was a beautiful view of the water.
Old Mill is a definite but expect long lines on the weekend at night. We opted to eat there for breakfast. It was wonderful, no wait.
If you are an outlet shopper, hit the Tanger Outlet at Sevierville, It was superb and they even have a shuttle that will take you around the lot.
funtravlr is offline  
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