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Old 03-03-2014, 03:34 PM
 
Location: South GA
11,986 posts, read 10,739,709 times
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Headed to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area soon. We have been before so I am somewhat familiar with the area. What I would love to know are the restaurants not to miss, interesting things to see and do, and whatever else y'all may think pertinent. We will have someone in our group that has some ambulatory problems - not wheelchair or walker or anything - just a bad back and can't walk for a really extended time. Any help and suggestions would be sooooo appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Eastern Tennessee
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Give us more information on your interests - shopping, museums, historical, nature, ect.

I am sure someone can point you in the right direction!
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: South GA
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Food of course, LOL. Um.......shows, shopping, some arts and crafts type things. We already know we are doing the Titanic and the aquarium for one person.....and the Ober Gatlinburg tram and ski lift for another. I worry about all the walking involved. I wondered about driving, but it is so easy to jump on a trolley - and I think parking may be difficult. It is four of us and we are all over 40. I was hoping to get some ideas of things we shouldn't miss, and those that we should! I have, of course, researched on line but am hoping to get some "tried & true" restaurants, shows etc...

Thanks!


Oh....and also what the weather will probably be like about beginning to middle of March.

Also anything within an hour's radius or so. I thought about the Smokey Mountain Railroad. I would love to go to Asheville and visit Builtmore House again - but there again the whole too much walking thing. *sigh*

Last edited by Katsmeeyow; 03-03-2014 at 04:06 PM.. Reason: 'Cause I am a doofus!
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:29 PM
 
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Good choices so far on Titanic, etc.

Who knows on the weather in March, especially this year! But looks like the major cold is past us now. Would say 50's for highs, 30's for low, and be prepared for showers (just in case). I'm not up on the shows, but can give you some other basic pointers.

Sevierville and Pigeon Forge both have decent parking. Traffic can get a little heavy at times, but you should be able to park relatively near your chosen destination. The aquarium has a parking garage, but it is off to itself so not convenient for other Gatlinburg sites.

The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is my favorite part of the park, but I don't think it reopens until April. The drive through the park to Cherokee, NC is beautiful, with lots of pull-off spots. For crafts and that sort of shopping, a drive through the Glades is best. Decent parking through there. It is a couple miles outside Gatlinburg. For more traditional shopping, Five Oaks Outlets in Sevierville.

Restaurants depend on what you like. The Park Grill or The Peddler steakhouse in Gatlinburg are both good, with parking provided (can get busy though). The Melting Pot offers free parking at the parking garage next door, just bring your stub in with you for reimbursement. Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have many of the common chains (TGIF, Red Lobster, Joe's Crab Shack, Olive Garden, etc). Do you prefer chains or locally owned? Looking for southern food, steaks, Asian, Italian?
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Sevierville, TN
345 posts, read 871,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeeyow View Post
Food of course, LOL. Um.......shows, shopping, some arts and crafts type things. We already know we are doing the Titanic and the aquarium for one person.....and the Ober Gatlinburg tram and ski lift for another. I worry about all the walking involved. I wondered about driving, but it is so easy to jump on a trolley - and I think parking may be difficult. It is four of us and we are all over 40. I was hoping to get some ideas of things we shouldn't miss, and those that we should! I have, of course, researched on line but am hoping to get some "tried & true" restaurants, shows etc...

Thanks!


Oh....and also what the weather will probably be like about beginning to middle of March.

Also anything within an hour's radius or so. I thought about the Smokey Mountain Railroad. I would love to go to Asheville and visit Builtmore House again - but there again the whole too much walking thing. *sigh*
Hello!

Here are my suggestions....

The Island, at least on a sunny day. Ride the Wheel, the view is amazing. Head over to Timberwood Grill for a burger and homemade tater chips afterward.

The Old Mill Pottery house restaurant has a soup and salad or soup and sandwich lunch to die for, imho. I'm partial to good french onion soup, so that's probably why I like this place.

I always recommend this place, but I can't help it...I love it! What about Carver's in Cosby? It's a drive that is beautiful from Gatlinburg. Food is amazing, how can you beat a jar of homemade apple butter?!?, warm apple fritters with your order...etc etc.

Cades Cove is always nice. Free. Drive it, walk part of it, take some pictures of a lifetime.

Cherokee. It's run down but it's an Indian reservation. Stop and take in the residents. Talk to them. Buy a souvenier. See an Indian dance. You can go to the casino but I only recommend it if you can tolerate cig smoke.

Knoxville. Drive down and watch the boats on the river. Enjoy lunch outside at Calhoun's. Walk the businesses on Gay St. How can you not love Knoxville? It's a mere 30 minute drive from Pigeon Forge and is always overlooked by tourists. It's a beautiful, clean, friendly town in the heart of East TN.!! Don't sell it short because it's not Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

Gatlinburg is ok, it's fun to walk and sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine...shop a bit...but to me, it's a one day trip. And my suggestion; do NOT park at the Ripley's Aquarium. Park on River Road for $5 and walk. The whole day. Park in the lot behind the Moonshine Place. It's $5.

Hope this helps you a bit. Enjoy your visit and thanks for choosing our area!!!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:56 AM
 
12,006 posts, read 10,878,156 times
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Also in or very close to Cherokee: The Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Pioneer Farm, just before you leave the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The new visitors' center focusses on the human history of the Smokies - the farm does involve some walking, but it's all level (the farm may not be completely open at this time of the year, but the cabin is quite close to the visitors' center - as in five minutes' walk max. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is close to the Gatlinburg entrance to the park, and is also well-worth a visit. Don't miss the short but stunningly beautiful movie, the museum exhibit about the park's wildlife and plants, and the very good gift and bookshop. Rangers at both visitors' centers are very helpful and can answer any questions you may have. You can drop off and pick up your friend quite close to both visitor centers' entrances, btw.

Farther down the road in Cherokee, you'll find the excellent Qualla Crafts Mutual shop (on the right), with the outstanding Museum of the Cherokee Indian just across the (side) road. I concur that some of Cherokee is a bit junky, but there are bright spots here and there, and its considerably better than it once was.

There are various musical performance venues in Gatlinburg and PF - your friend with mobility issues might enjoy them, if she can sit for an hour or so. There's also a rural Craftsmen's Loop drive just outside of Gatlinburg - it is both beautiful and packed with various craft shops - I am especially fond of the family-operated Alewine Pottery. There are also restaurants here and there along the Loop, but as I haven't tried them, I can't say how good they might be.

If you stop at the Tennessee Welcome Center when you enter the state, you can obtain all kinds of free brochures, maps, and other materials about the Smokies' many attractions.

As for weather, you can expect the higher elevations to be considerably cooler than the valley towns below. Temperatures drop at night, too. Most of the eastern US is having a very long, tenacious winter this year, but temperatures are supposed to rise somewhat next week - right now, it feels more like February than March, but who knows what will be happening by next week??

So, your best bet would be to pack mix and match layers, with at least one warm weather outfit (not summer weight, but a light jacket and a lightweight long sleeved top to wear with full-length jeans), along with at least once cold weather outfit (winter coat, wool sweater, hat, scarf, gloves, long johns). The rest of your clothing should be layer-able: turtlenecks, long-sleeved shirts, lighter-weight sweaters or blazers. Bring good walking shoes, and it's doubtful that you'll need anything dressy, as this is a very informal area. Extra socks are always a good idea, as if you walk in the woods, the trails may be damp. A good walking stick (not a cane) is a great help on even the shorter trails in the park (your friend with the bad back would probably benefit considerably by using a walking stick, too - you can find nice ones for sale in the park's visitor centers, but they are readily available elsewhere as well). Bring your camera, by all means. Sunglasses may be useful, especially for driving - and don't forget your umbrella.

There are lots of other threads about what to see and do in the Smokies - check them out, take note of what sounds interesting, and have a great time!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Can't spread any more reps around ... so thanks guys ... great info!
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: South GA
11,986 posts, read 10,739,709 times
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Thanks so much for this information! We had a great trip and followed so many of the suggestions y'all were kind enough to share! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

The weather was gorgeous! The food was great! We rode the wheel in PF, parked behind the moonshine place in Gatlinburg, ate at the old mill, shopped the glades, and so many other fun things!

You guys are the best!
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