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Where to stay around Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Where to stay around Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Jan 21st, 2006, 06:31 AM
  #21  
 
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I lived in Baltimore . Dundalk/Holibird AV area, also in Severn, drove the BWP for years into the DC area. This was a while ago.

Going 70/340/7 to 81 would keep you out of the heavy trafffic somewhat, I like to travel the older US-highways, get to see something besides the backsides of 18-wheelers. Just remember all I-Highways will be busy this time of year. Sometimes I would just take old US-11 to break up the trip and give it a rest.....

Any stop you would like to make is "your" stop, and you will need to stop if you are traveling with dogs, slow down and enjoy yourself. US-321 is a two lane road, its been several years ago and I do not remember the speed limit but it is a nice easy drive. It beats the long strip of motels and other tourist crap along the other way. I would suggest investing in a good map or two and planning your trip that way, it is much more fun than some of the on line or computer driven routing services....and in many cases more accurate.

RedRock is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 01:54 PM
  #22  
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What would be a good map to buy? I have a Rand Mcnally U.S. atlas and two aaa maps (north carolina and tennesee). The tennessee map is as detailed of a map that I have. I am sure I-81 is better than I-95 since it dosen't really go by any big cities. But, if it was a choice between I-95 and I-81, would you choose I-81. Route 11 is nice if you have the time. Is route 321 the foothills parkway? It is not a too teribly long detour from the Sevierville, is it? I like taking a slower,scenic detour if it dosen't delay me a lot. Will this way probably end up saving me time? I might have to make the pilgramige in one day.
asdaven is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 02:12 PM
  #23  
 
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Get AAA maps/Tour Books for all the states you plan on going thru, the Rand McNally-2006 from Walmart for $4.97 cannot be beat. If you go east on I-40 towards Asheville and US-321, the Foothills Parkway, you are really going south. Same as going I-40 x-407 and then going south on TN-66 to Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg.
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Jan 21st, 2006, 05:01 PM
  #24  
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I have all those tourbooks. I might even do a printed aaa triptik since it is free. To get it to go the way I want, I have to enter stops. I guess Berryville, Va and Cosby,TN would get it to go the way I want? Is the 2006 rand Mcnally road atlas at walmart, the one with the travel guide to each state. If so, I have that to. So, taking Route 321 isn't that much longer than Route 66? Does it make much difference in time if you take exit 443 instead of exit 440? I think taking exit 443 is more scenic?
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Jan 21st, 2006, 06:47 PM
  #25  
 
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The GSMNP is the most visited National Park in the US, it will not be hard to find. If you would like a AAA triptik by all means get one, I would not consider it necessary since there are few road changes, that is just my openion. Drive safely on US-321. Enjoy your trip.
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Jan 21st, 2006, 06:58 PM
  #26  
 
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There are 2 cabins called Stonecreek Cabins that are very secluded and private. They are off the beaten bath but yet close to the Park. One of the Cabins is Pet Friendly. It is small and would not work if you are taking a family. Check out their website.
dantheman is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:39 AM
  #27  
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Are they close to gatlinburg? I want to stay close to gatlinburg for the restaurants. Does anybody know about the chairlift from gatlinburg? I think there are two. Which one is cheaper? Which one is better? Is it worth doing?
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Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:50 AM
  #28  
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Also, redrock, I am using the triptik for times and distances not direction. Is there much difference in distance or scenry between taking exit 440 and 443? I have a map, but I don't know the scale on it. How does GSMNP compare to some places out west? Aren't the smokies the steepest mountains and tallest (not the highest) in the
eastern us? Is there a lot of traffic usally once you get into the park? Are the wild flowers still in bloom in the higher elevations this time of year (mid august)? Does it get cool at night? How long is the hike to the summit of mount leconte? What are some of the best waterfalls?
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Jan 22nd, 2006, 05:52 AM
  #29  
 
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It will not matter which exit you take, they are only about 3 miles apart. For the map scale check the margin of your AAA maps, I am sure its there somewhere.

Every place has its own unique beauty, from the low points of the Everglades NP in South Florida to the Rocky Mountains of the Western part of the USofA and Canada, sometimes you have to look down to see the beauty and other times you must look up. Take the time and go to these sites for additional information on this great country, www.nps.gov and www.recreation.gov. They will answer a lot of questions you may have and they are loaded with some great information and ideas for traveling the country.
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Jan 22nd, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #30  
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Which exit did you take? Which exit has more scenery?
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Jan 22nd, 2006, 12:03 PM
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I took TN-32 out of Newport, I was never on the Interstate to start with.
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Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:21 PM
  #32  
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How do the smokey mountains compare to acadia national park or the white mountains in NH? Does route 321 follow the base of the smokies? Is it a good vantage point to get pictures looking up at the smokies? I am looking for a vantage point that has a good view of the smokies from the bottom. I heard the tennessee is the side where the smokies drop straight down into a valley and on the NC side they just blend in with the other mountains.
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Jan 22nd, 2006, 07:47 PM
  #33  
 
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No one can confirm your expections you will have to wait until you arive on site and see for yourself. "nuf said!
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 03:26 AM
  #34  
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What are some good vantage points looking up at the mountains? Does route 321 have vantage points of the mountains from the bottom? Isn't it the foothills parkway? Does it have pull-outs?
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Jan 29th, 2006, 02:46 PM
  #35  
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Are the smokies very hazy in august? Is there at least 20 mile visability most of the time?
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Feb 17th, 2006, 06:35 AM
  #36  
 
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LoL. My, asdaven, you do want to know EXACTLY what you are getting, don't you? Well, we visit there at least once a year, and it's never the same. I don't think anyone can answer your questions about visibilitiy. It changes minute to minute, not to mention day to day. Suffice it to say that it is a beautiful area. We approach that area from the south, and we see the foothills that begin in Alabama.

Why don't you go to your local library or bookstore and check out some of the areas you are trying to compare? I'm not wild about comparisons, having learned many years ago that most places on earth have their own unique charm and that is also why most of us try to travel to many different areas of the world. I have heard some say that Alaska compares to New Zealand, and while I saw some similarities, I think they are very different but I love both places.

We did the Gaitlinburg side when our kids were younger and before it was such a tourist trap. However, we all loved Dollywood. But now we pretty much avoid it at all costs.

We love Chattanooga and make a point to stay at the Stone Fort Inn downtown. Then we'll take either hwys 64/74 or 68/143 (both very scenic routes) to the Bryson City area, on the east side of the Smokies, where we stay in a cabin or a B & B. On special occasions, we have splurged and stayed at the Swag in Waynesville, NC, but it's gotten too expensive for us these last few of years.

I hope you will spend some time reading about the whole area, because there are MANY absolutely gorgeous drives that few people seem to take advantage of. Also, the Blue Ridge Parkway is certainly worth some time.

I hope you enjoy the Smokies!
BayouGal is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 06:54 AM
  #37  
 
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Asdaven, if you want to see beautiful scenery, stay off the interstates and find a map that has scenic roads marked (most do.) Good luck!
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Feb 17th, 2006, 01:47 PM
  #38  
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Thanks- Which of the three summer months (June,July,August) is usally the driest?
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Feb 17th, 2006, 02:22 PM
  #39  
 
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This goes on forever.
RedRock is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 06:09 PM
  #40  
 
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RedRock, love your posts! ;-)
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