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mom2d&b
05-28-2010, 07:53 PM
I am looking for ideas for a short vacation, maybe 4 nights? We are south of the mouse so I was thinking maybe heading to Tennesse for a short get a way. The problem is I have no idea exactly where. And it does not really have to be Tennesse. We are a family of 4 ( DS7 and DD10). I was hoping for somethink maybe like Lake Attatash or Conway NH. I would like someplace we could rent bikes, swim in a fresh water late, maybe a little hiking, and some fun attractions.
I am hoping my DIS board friends may have some suggestions.

jandel
05-28-2010, 10:34 PM
Hi there :) I live in the Tri-cities area (Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport) in the NE corner of Tennessee. It's smack dab in the middle of the mountains and gorgeous up here!

We are one hour away from Asheville - amazing scenery, Biltmore House, funky eateries and wonderful artisans. A little further south is Lake Lure (where they filmed the original Dirty Dancing) and it has a lot of the activities you mentioned. A couple of hours from here and you get into the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge area with unbelievable amounts of activities designed to part you and your money :rotfl: An hour east and you hit Boone, NC - a wonderfully quirky college town with some of the best food I've ever eaten (Daniel Boone Inn) and amazing shopping and scenery.

You could rent one of the hundreds of log cabins available throughout the area as a "home base" and take your time exploring this beautiful part of the country!

Hope you and your family have a blast!

OhhBother
05-28-2010, 11:24 PM
Hey jandel -- I live in the Tri-Cities too! Erwin, to be exact.

shelemm
05-28-2010, 11:45 PM
You might want to check out this website, which is a pretty elaborate list of swimmin' holes throughout the US.

http://www.swimmingholes.org/

Conway, NH sounds like it's awful far for a 4-day vacation.

Carl Fredricksen
05-29-2010, 12:01 AM
The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area has always been a favorite for us for a 4 day vacation.

jandel
05-29-2010, 09:30 AM
Hey jandel -- I live in the Tri-Cities too! Erwin, to be exact.

Howdy neighbor - we're in Elizabethton...don't ya just love it here :yay:

jacksonsmommy
05-29-2010, 11:18 AM
Howdy neighbor - we're in Elizabethton...don't ya just love it here :yay:

Hey neighbors! We're in Elizabethton too. Small world!!

I agree with Jandel's recommendations, or just a stay in the Pigeon Forge area. Lots to do around here!

jandel
05-29-2010, 03:59 PM
Hey neighbors! We're in Elizabethton too. Small world!!

I agree with Jandel's recommendations, or just a stay in the Pigeon Forge area. Lots to do around here!

Wow - it really is a small world...but now THAT SONG is stuck in my head :lmao:

2005s4
05-29-2010, 04:14 PM
I'm the typical, stick with where I always go kind of guy. My girlfriend wanted to go somewhere other than disney for a change.. *gasp*, so I let her convince me into goign to Nashville. All I have to say is I had an insanely good time and I cannot wait to go back!

We saw a concer, took a tour, went downtown, drove to the corvette museum a few hrs away and just enjoyed a nice relaxing time. Ate a TON of good food as well!

jandel
05-29-2010, 04:30 PM
Nashville is great, but for me it's over five hours away and very flat there :)

We did stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel once (hubby won a trip from work) and all I can say is wow! Amazing place and right next door to the Grand Old Opry and the biggest mall I've ever seen.

However, it does seem to me that once you hit the Nashville area the terrain and scenery changes so much it's like a different planet. And one more thing...it may be hot right now for the mountain areas (if you consider 85 degrees hot) but there is none of the soul-sucking humidity like you have further south :lmao:

tami82
05-29-2010, 04:37 PM
Definitely the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. It is a great place for kids and the national park is only miles away. There is also Dollywood & splash country. If you are looking for the hiking the Smokey Mountain National Park is definitely a great place to do that, also plenty of picnic areas and places to explore. I would highly recommend I have been going since i was a little kid (35+ years, and my kids & husband also love it).

ELLE-TN
05-29-2010, 04:51 PM
East Tn here too (Church Hill to be exact). Don't think I would recommend Nashville right now because of the recent flooding. Wouldn't recommend Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge because its too "touristy".

I think camping/hiking/biking Roan Mountain would be nice. And, of course hopping over to Boone.

Katnmouse
05-29-2010, 04:56 PM
I would veto Nashville since they are still trying to clean up the flood damage. :sick:

intheworks
05-29-2010, 05:30 PM
East Tn here too (Church Hill to be exact). Don't think I would recommend Nashville right now because of the recent flooding. Wouldn't recommend Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge because its too "touristy".

I think camping/hiking/biking Roan Mountain would be nice. And, of course hopping over to Boone.



Kingsport :banana: It's funny how you run into peple from your neck of the woods lol. OP: Do a search on the Gatlinburgh/Pigeon Forge area. You have Dollywood and Dolly's water park as well. This area is very touristy though. It is also the gateway into the Smoky Mts. National Park. Lots of places to camp and hike. Very beautiful!

jandel
05-29-2010, 05:42 PM
I never knew so many of us were within spittin' distance! Do you guys drive or fly to WDW? We've done both and I think the best was the non-stop out of Asheville airport.

Didn't mean to derail the thread :) OP - I did forget to mention that if one of your family is a Nascar nut the Bristol Motor Speedway is guaranteed to bring them to their knees :lmao:

If you go to Gatlinburg the main road goes from downtown and straight into the national forest. I swear that drive through there to Cherokee is just about the prettiest stretch of highway I've ever seen. And, as a bonus, if you come across several cars parked off the road, no signs or people around and see a path into the forest...I guarantee there is a beautiful waterfall nearby!

Whatever you decide let us know. Maybe all us eastern Tennessee'rs will form a Tri-Cities travel agency :rotfl:

mom0299
05-29-2010, 06:59 PM
I'm from the tri-cities Tennessee, too! I would recommend Damascus, VA which is not far Bristol and Abingdon, VA. The Appalachian Trail goes through there as well as the VA Creeper Trail. We have rented bikes to ride the Creeper trail. There are a lot of B&Bs and cabins for rent in that area as well. And, you're close to historic Abingdon, VA which is a beautiful town and has a lot to do.

If you're looking for something a little closer then I would recommend Chattanooga. There are tons of things to do there!

ILuvMulan
05-29-2010, 07:42 PM
Hi, Western North Carolinian here (located right in between Asheville and Gatlinburg). Asheville is a great area for the outdoorsey types. A big attraction in this area is the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Biltmore House is amazing. Someone mentioned Cherokee, NC and check out the website for the Nantahala Outdoor Center http://www.noc.com/?gclid=CLnByO29-KECFRYhnAodWnCWEA
I am also a big fan of Boone, NC (went to college there).
At the "gateway to the Smokey's" area in Gatlinburg, TN there is a great place called Cades Cove (you can check that out on the National Park Service website). We have a lot to do up here in the mountains and we love to share.:hippie:

bamagirl@hrt
05-29-2010, 08:45 PM
I live in East TN too! I'm in Maryville, very close to Knoxville as well as Townsend, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. For you Tri-Cities folks, my husband is from Jonesborough, and my in-laws still live there.

OP, I don't know how soon you're planning to visit, but we have a very unique experience in the area early each June. At the Elkmont campground in the Great Smoky Mtns. Park, near Gatlinburg, for about a week each June, you can see a wonderous display of nature. Thousand of synchronous fireflies, lighting in unison for a few hours each night. It's the only place in America you can see this. It's amazing! This year's "show" is June 5-12.

If you're looking for something outside of the Great Smoky Mtns./Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg route, I would recommend Fall Creek Falls in middle TN. We've camped there before and it was great! There are also cabins and a lodge if you don't like to camp. There are great trails, a naturalist who does programs for kids and adults alike, fishing, pedal boats, swimming, etc... It's a great state park.

Chattanooga has a large aquarium, with a salt water side and a fresh water side. The whole downtown area has been revitalized and is very family friendly.

I love Nashville, but agree with a previous poster. The flood damage there was unbelievable and will take months for recovery. My favorite places were the Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills mall -- all flooded.

Hope this helps! Good luck on planning a stay in our great state!

LadyBeBop
05-29-2010, 09:07 PM
How far south of the mouse are you? My in-laws live in Grainger County, TN which is pretty close to Knoxville, Great Smokey Mountains and Tri-Cities area. You'll love East Tenn. However, keep in mind, it's a hard day's drive from Orlando and points south. Mapquest shows it takes about 10 1/2 hours to drive from Orlando to Gatlinburg.

ELLE-TN
05-29-2010, 09:24 PM
I forgot about the Creeper Trail. If you like biking that would be a nice way to spend the day. Abingdon would be a nice place to visit and you might even check out the Martha Washington Inn and take in a play at the Barter Theatre.

A day at Warriors Lake might be nice for paddle boating or canoeing.

Jonesborough is a neat little town too.

I never thought about it but seeing as how we are not vacationing this year...I guess there are alot of things in the area that we could do.

ILuvMulan
05-29-2010, 09:33 PM
OP, I don't know how soon you're planning to visit, but we have a very unique experience in the area early each June. At the Elkmont campground in the Great Smoky Mtns. Park, near Gatlinburg, for about a week each June, you can see a wonderous display of nature. Thousand of synchronous fireflies, lighting in unison for a few hours each night. It's the only place in America you can see this. It's amazing! This year's "show" is June 5-12.

The Fireflies are amazing!! Glad to see the dates on here. We will have to put that on our calendar!

crazelion
05-29-2010, 10:02 PM
Chattanooga. Riverbend Festival is June 11 - 19 and 35 dollars gets in for the whole days. I would also check out Lookouts baseball game. We is a cheap staduim. Kids tickets as low 2 dollars.

taylor3297
05-29-2010, 10:10 PM
Chattanooga. Riverbend Festival is June 11 - 19 and 35 dollars gets in for the whole days. I would also check out Lookouts baseball game. We is a cheap staduim. Kids tickets as low 2 dollars.

Don't forget Rock City! I know it is technically in GA but it doesn't seem like it when you drive there. Also, the Battle Above the Clouds battlegrounds and park are interesting.

lovetoscrap
05-29-2010, 10:44 PM
Wanted to say Hi to all the Tri-Cities folks! We moved from Bristol (VA) about 6 years ago and I still miss it. Loved the area and the people. I keep telling DH that I want to go back there when we retire.

OP there is so much in this area and so many great suggestions. Another thing in that general area, that I never got around to doing, is the Tweetsie Railroad in NC.

But you can't go wrong with the Pigeon Forge area, except that you may find that 4 days isn't enough! All of the things suggested here are great options, and there are so many things that I didn't do when we lived there and I wish we had. Funny how you don't see what is in your backyard.

gower525
05-30-2010, 01:21 AM
I live in Nashville and we love to take trips into the Gatlinburg / PF area. There are lots of things to do there. I would tell you to visit Nashville, but Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills probably won't open until November at the earliest. The mall has extensive flood damage. Apparently they are going to have to completely redo all the electrical work in the mall :(

mom2d&b
05-30-2010, 05:26 AM
THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the great ideas. Sounds like I will need to get busy googling the Pigeon Forge and Gaitlinburg areas. The touristy issue doesn't bother me too much, we spend a good deal of time near Disney. But, I will look at staying outside the area but close enough to experience the attractions. I forgot about all the caves in the area. I am sure that is something my kids wil enjoy. I also am intrigued by the water slides in Chattanooga.

intheworks
05-30-2010, 08:11 AM
THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the great ideas. Sounds like I will need to get busy googling the Pigeon Forge and Gaitlinburg areas. The touristy issue doesn't bother me too much, we spend a good deal of time near Disney. But, I will look at staying outside the area but close enough to experience the attractions. I forgot about all the caves in the area. I am sure that is something my kids wil enjoy. I also am intrigued by the water slides in Chattanooga.



If the touristy part doesn't bother you, I would stay right in the thick of things. Most of the hotels in Pigeon Forge are right on the main drag the " Parkway" and it is very easy to get around from these hotels to shop, even on foot. Dollywood and Dolly's Splash Country are worth a couple of days of time and then there is the mountains. You can do a car tour of Cade's Cove. Good places to eat are Bennett BBQ and Apple Barn.

swilshire
05-30-2010, 10:29 AM
Google TN State Parks. Most of them have cabins for rent and are on lakes. We've been looking at some of them because my daughter is getting married next year and may choose a venue in one of them. Some of the facilities are amazing and dirt cheap.

Sheila