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Old 09-14-2011, 10:44 AM
 
477 posts, read 376,893 times
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Default Planning a trip to Smoky mountains this fall

We are planning to take our kids to Smokies this fall. This will be first time for all of us.

Really appreciate any suggestions on what places to see (I am in only for fall colors) and where to stay. We would like to rent a log or cabin with nice views. Any suggestions on resorts would be great.

At this point we have not yet decided the length of the trip, may be 2 nights.

We are planning to drive from NOVA


Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: southwestern USA
1,440 posts, read 734,843 times
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For Fall colors the obvious choice would be to drive the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway----from Virginia through North Carolina----would be great during autumn.

We enjoy Boone, North Carolina----very pretty place in the mountains, with I am sure a range of cabins you could find.

Two days though is pretty short turnaround time on this trip----suggest three or four days.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:59 AM
 
477 posts, read 376,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefffla01 View Post
For Fall colors the obvious choice would be to drive the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway----from Virginia through North Carolina----would be great during autumn.

We enjoy Boone, North Carolina----very pretty place in the mountains, with I am sure a range of cabins you could find.

Two days though is pretty short turnaround time on this trip----suggest three or four days.
OK..Thanks for the tip on Blue Ridge pkwy.

May be we will end staying there 3 or 4 days once we figure out all activities and places to see.

Thank you
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,596 posts, read 29,637,778 times
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Well, since he's on the Knoxville forum my guess is the obvious choice would be to see The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Oh, and he said he wanted to go there. But thanks, person from Florida!

The area from Sevierville through Gatlinburg is riddled with tourist traps. With kids, you might enjoy Dollywood, though. It's not Disney and it's not Six Flags. It's completely different with an emphasis on musical shows, artisan crafts like glass blowing and tasteful landscaping. The food is better than the usual theme park fare, too.

Most folks that don't care for the touristy things spend most of their time in the national park. Lots of great hikes. Cades Cove seems to be the one place that everyone agrees is a "must see." It's a loop where some of the folks use to live before they left it behind to make way for the feds to take it over. Some houses and a couple of churches still stand. In October it is very crowded, though. Despite what "jefffla01" says, it is the place to be.

There are far too many cabins and resorts to even fathom. You should be able to get more opinions from Trip Advisor. There are avid fans of the area on there. The opinions are all over the map, though.

Every year is different, but in general the foliage peaks around the end of October.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:23 AM
 
477 posts, read 376,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
Well, since he's on the Knoxville forum my guess is the obvious choice would be to see The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Oh, and he said he wanted to go there. But thanks, person from Florida!

The area from Sevierville through Gatlinburg is riddled with tourist traps. With kids, you might enjoy Dollywood, though. It's not Disney and it's not Six Flags. It's completely different with an emphasis on musical shows, artisan crafts like glass blowing and tasteful landscaping. The food is better than the usual theme park fare, too.

Most folks that don't care for the touristy things spend most of their time in the national park. Lots of great hikes. Cades Cove seems to be the one place that everyone agrees is a "must see." It's a loop where some of the folks use to live before they left it behind to make way for the feds to take it over. Some houses and a couple of churches still stand. In October it is very crowded, though. Despite what "jefffla01" says, it is the place to be.

There are far too many cabins and resorts to even fathom. You should be able to get more opinions from Trip Advisor. There are avid fans of the area on there. The opinions are all over the map, though.

Every year is different, but in general the foliage peaks around the end of October.
Thank you...as of this writing, I am actually skimming through the trip advisor forums also. I will continue searching.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:48 PM
 
Location: West Knox
303 posts, read 304,396 times
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You may want to consider the Cherohala Skyway for scenic views. It runs from Robbinsville N.C. to Tellico Plains Tn.

P.S. The drive from NoVa to K'ville is about 8 hours at the speed limit on I 81 (beware from MM 70 south, notorious speed efforcement from the local LEOs). If you come down the Blue Ridge expect 2 days (unless you drive through the night).
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:09 PM
 
477 posts, read 376,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC20853 View Post
You may want to consider the Cherohala Skyway for scenic views. It runs from Robbinsville N.C. to Tellico Plains Tn.

P.S. The drive from NoVa to K'ville is about 8 hours at the speed limit on I 81 (beware from MM 70 south, notorious speed efforcement from the local LEOs). If you come down the Blue Ridge expect 2 days (unless you drive through the night).
Most likely we will just drive through blue ridge and oh..yes..will keep a check on speed
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Maryville, TN
336 posts, read 738,138 times
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Before we moved here, we usually found a cabin through VRBO (google for the website). If you can find an individually owned cabin, they are usually kept in better shape than the cabins offered by agencies.

There are many trails to hike, as Hik mentioned. You can check in with the welcome center (just in the park from Gatlinburg) and the workers there are great resources for which trails would be best for your level of fitness. There are strolling trails, and trails that would kick your rear. We haven't found a trail we don't like yet.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Maryville, TN
336 posts, read 738,138 times
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Few things we always enjoyed and looked forward to doing:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Autumn Drives and Hikes (U.S. National Park Service)

Roaring Forks Motor Trail begins in Gatlinburg. You will have to fight a bit of traffic, but it's worth the drive.

Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Area Gatlinburg TN EVERY Shop, Restaurant And MORE

We love the Great Smoky Mtns Arts and Crafts community. There's some great local artistry there, and a few yummy places to eat as well.

Activity Info | Ober Gatlinburg

And, its a tourist trap, but we love the tram ride up to Ober Gatlinburg, and the alpine slides and ice skating rink there.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Southwest FL
102 posts, read 250,491 times
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We are from FLorida and have visited the Smoky Mountain National PArk multiple times. We have been there summer, spring and fall. Fall is absolutely beautiful with dreamy weather...at least when we were there. We have 2 children (ages 10 and 8) and first started making trips there when they were babies. We love Dollywood. It is a must do if you have kids. Even in Dollywood you can enjoy the fall leaves. We also love to go to Cades Cove. If nothing else, you can at least drive through there and find a place to stop, have a picnic and enjoy the view. We have taken hay rides through there and had the best time. On a beautiful and sunny day, there's really nothing more relxing and it's a great way to take pictures of the park. We saw lots of deer, birds and even several bears (momma with cubs.) The last time we visited during the summer, we even went horse back riding in Cades Cove with our kids and my parents. THis was a real highlight. You just can't go wrong with a vacation to the Smoky"s!
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