Memphis to ATL via GSMNP roadtrip help!

Old Dec 25th, 2015, 02:49 PM
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Memphis to ATL via GSMNP roadtrip help!

I would really appreciate some help in planning an 11 night road trip this February! My boyfriend and I arrive in Memphis early Feb. 13 and plan on spending one night there to visit Graceland, Beale st and eat at Rendezvous. Then spend 2 nights in Nashville with family that lives there. After that I wanted to visit GSMNP but have no clue where to start! There's information overload online, I do know some roads are closed since it's winter, and we can't visit Clingmans Dome. Should we stay in Gatlinburg for 2 nights and drive around? Then head to Asheville for 2 nights? We're flying out of ATL and wanted to spend 2 nights there with friends. We have 2 more nights and no plans for them, any suggestions would be very, very helpful!!
jcramer2012 is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2015, 01:13 PM
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No one knows how much or how little snow there will be in the GSMNP in February. Drive to the places you can get to.
Have you researched the drop off fee for the car?
You might want to try Greenville SC instead of Asheville NC.
If you turned in the car in Greenville, you can take the Amtrak Crescent to Atlanta about 5AM (3 hours).
If you decide to skip Atlanta, drive back west on US 64 through southern TN to Memphis.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2015, 02:28 AM
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There are a number of threads that suggest other places than Gatlinburg to stay. Gatlinburg is total kitsch. Greenville would be another nice stop but not instead of Asheville, IMO.
From Asheville you could drive part of the Blue Ridge Parkway south, if the weather is good.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2015, 11:15 AM
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Agree with Gretchen on both Gatlinburg (try to find someplace else to stay) and Greenville (stay in Asheville)

One advantage of Asheville is that the Blue Ridge Parkway runs very near it, and is at its best between the Park and Asheville.

I don't know what it would be like to try to do anything except drive on US441 that time of year, and if you do that, you don't need two days to drive around. Last time we went to the mountains, we stayed in Cherokee, N.C. (close to the south side of the Park, which has the advantage of being near the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. As Tom said, all of this is qualified by what the weather is doing.

While in Memphis, tour Sun Studios if you have any interest in rock n roll. Rock was, to a large extent, born there. We greatly prefer Memphis to Nashville, but our taste runs to rock and R & B rather than country. So I would devote at least one of your extra nites to Memphis. The Civil Rights Museum there is well worth a visit. If you're into R & B, Stax Studio has opened as a museum recently. I haven't seen it, but it's supposed to be neat.

If you're into the blues, I'd drive to Clarksdale MS to visit the Blues Museum. It's a pretty easy day trip from Memphis. That would take one of your extra days.

Have a great trip.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2015, 02:36 PM
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I would not stay in is kinda ruined and over run with t shirt shops, pancake places,'s too bad. I would look for other places to stay in the area, as the area is really pretty.

I love Asheville...great town with lots to do.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 08:01 AM
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Gatlinburg is OK to stay in if you want to be within walking distance of places to eat, entertainment, etc. It is, as others have said, a giant tourist trap, but obviously plenty of people enjoy it. Depends on what you like and what your priorities are.

If your main goal is to actually see the mountains and visit the park, you might try staying in Townsend or the Cherokee area. Townsend has the advantage of being close to Cades Cove, which is one of the park's most popular spots, and also the advantage of being easier to get to from Nashville (take Pellissippi Parkway/I-140 from the west side of Knoxville through Maryville). I'm not familiar with the NC side of the park so others would have to help out there.

100% agree on keeping Asheville in the plan - great food and drinks downtown and tons of places to visit around the area, though probably the same concerns about winter road closures.
jent103 is offline  
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