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ascoli Sep 4th, 2012 05:49 PM

To Tennessee from Asheville, NC
We're heading to Asheville in two weeks and boyfriend decided that while there he'd love to "tag up" on another state he's never been to: Tennessee. Any suggestions for a quick and satisfying dip into TN from NC? We'll have a car.

Thanks in advance.

gatlinburglover Sep 4th, 2012 06:36 PM

You could go from Asheville to Maggie Valley then into Cherokee,NC thru the mountains on 441 and over into Gatlinburg. Or you could take the interstate from Asheville and get off at the Sevierville,Pigeon Forge,Gatlinburg exit.

The drive from Asheville to Gatlinburg,TN over the mountains is beautiful and you can stop at Clingmans Dome which is the highest point in TN. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails in The Smoky Mountains.

I would eat at Calhouns,Howards Steakhouse,Smoky Mountain Brewery or Cherokee Grill and walk up and down the strip in Gatlinburg and even ride the chair lift for a outstanding view of the city and mountains.

From Cherokee to Gatlinburg is around 45 minutes to a hour drive,give or take if you pull over several times to take in the views. Make sure to fill up or get a drink to have on the way over the mountain. If you take the interstate it will be about an hour and a half drive from Asheville.

Be sure to check out the McDonalds in Asheville by The Biltmore. It has been on the Travel channel several times. I have included some good websites for you. Enjoy and happy travels.

jent103 Sep 4th, 2012 07:17 PM

Chattanooga would be another possibility, but a longer drive.

ascoli Sep 5th, 2012 03:19 AM

Thanks for the excellent suggestions!

Gretchen Sep 5th, 2012 03:39 AM

The drive on I40 from Ashville through the Pigeon Forge gap is really quite beautiful. You could go to Knoxville in 2 hours. You can get off of I40 and go to Pigeon Forge for a shopping trip, and then drive through the Park.

ascoli Sep 5th, 2012 08:24 PM

We're thinking now of driving just an hour or so from Asheville to Crosby, have lunch, then back again. Lame, I know, but just a sample of what we can do on another trip. Any tips for Crosby?

Gretchen Sep 6th, 2012 03:33 AM

Had to go look, but that is great.You will see that stretch of the interstate that is SO pretty. I googled--and actually you will be helped by calling it COSBY instead, and they have some ideas on the site. You might like to even pack a picnic. There's a pretty nice rest area that overlooks the river on that road.

gatlinburglover Sep 6th, 2012 11:37 AM

Cosby is a great place for lunch. I would highly recommend Carver Applehouse Restaurant. It's located at 3460 Cosby Highway Cosby, TN 37722(423) 487-2710.

There is also a National Park entrance in Cosby,so you can get a taste of The Smoky's.

Another idea. From Asheville on interstate 40 head to Cosby and take the Foothills Pkwy(State hwy 339) and then take a right on Cosby Hwy right into the city. And on the way back you could go the same way or take Cosby Hwy to Hooper Hwy and then head straight into Gatlinburg and take 441 over the mountain into Cherokee and then onto Asheville.

Both are beautiful drives.

pierf Sep 9th, 2012 09:44 AM

I agree with Gatlinburglover that Maggie Valley and Great Smoky Mountain NP are excellent and easily accessible. The park road is from Oconalauftee Visitor Center on the South side to Sugarlands Visitor Center on the North. We loved it. Leave time to hike to top of Clingman's Dome and a few overlook stops.

Be advised: we were on Rte 441 (Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg) in October 2011, and the road is non stop commercial for long stretches and was jammed traffic almost to Gatlinburg. I am biased but consider that stretch one of the worst.

gatlinburglover Sep 10th, 2012 09:12 AM

ascoli when are you going? or have you already been?
October is one of the busies times in the smokies because of the fall leaves changing color and rod run and craft fair in town.

jent103 Sep 10th, 2012 09:19 AM

I'm guessing ascoli is going this weekend or sometime around then. October is definitely one of the worst times of year, though traffic on 441 is nearly always bad! That's why, if I'm advising anyone to stay in either PF or Gatlinburg for a tourist visit, I'd pick Gatlinburg - at least there you can park the car and walk to most things in town.

Gretchen Sep 10th, 2012 10:33 AM

Just go to Cosby and have lunch and go back to Asheville. Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is just a shopping mall.

spirobulldog Sep 10th, 2012 01:08 PM

I don't think of Gatlinburg/PF as a shopping mall. Maybe one big giant Pancake House though. There is one on every corner. It is one big giant tourist trap though. I wouldn't consider it a day trip though from NC.

jent103 Sep 10th, 2012 02:01 PM

So true about the pancakes, spiro! I could see Pigeon Forge being a giant outlet mall (plus Dollywood). Gatlinburg does have some charming/fun spots among the airbrushed t-shirts and fudge "shoppes." Neither is my favorite place for a vacation, but obviously many people love them.

Not that any of that should be construed as advice for the OP, who seems to have a good plan for what she wants to accomplish.

Gretchen Sep 10th, 2012 02:04 PM

Believe me, as someone who went to camp about a mile from Gatlinburg, and knew it (as a child) when there was ONE hotel, the Gatlinburg Inn, and you could walk through it in 5 minutes, I lament the place it has become. Go elsewhere IN the Park and enjoy, but these places are awful.

ascoli Dec 9th, 2012 06:07 PM

A belated thanks to all who've posted these comments. We ended up (around 9/17) heading to Cosby, going to the apple orchard, picking up some jams and heading back. A lovely drive, with beautiful weather. Will definitely explore more next time in the area, but this was just what we were looking for. Thanks again.

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