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Old 04-10-2013, 02:26 PM   #61
quiltymom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinatark View Post
G'burg business person here... you were here the week before Easter? That week was THE busiest week of the entire 4-6 weeks of "spring break"! That week, then the week after was super busy, too. From now until Memorial day - you have the run of the town!
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Originally Posted by sharbear View Post
Sounds like a great trip. We were in the area that week also, it was COLD!!!!! We wanted to go to Dollywood but it was too cold for us, we went to the aquarium instead.
Yes, it was both busy and COLD! We braved Dollywood in the cold, and we're glad we did. Hardly anyone was there so the family just about walked on all the coasters. I think they hit them all, sometimes twice, in the span of two hours. Our second day there it snowed, and they ended up closing the park one hour early due to the conditions. The train had a hard time getting up the hill.


How is it in the summer - pretty busy? I'd love to go back to Dollywood when they have the Bluegrass festival.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:45 PM   #62
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We have found that the weekends are almost always busy but the weekdays aren't bad at all
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:37 AM   #63
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Has anyone suggested seeing the synchonous fireflies? Here is the link:
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

Tickets are free but go fast. There are only two places in the world where this happens.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:03 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by teller80 View Post
Has anyone suggested seeing the synchonous fireflies? Here is the link:
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

Tickets are free but go fast. There are only two places in the world where this happens.
Now, that is just too cool! Maybe we'll need to plan a special trip to see that one year. I wouldn't mind an excuse!
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #65
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Another option to think of is visiting Townsend TN. Townsend is referred to as "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies."

It's a very easy drive from Townsend to Cades Coves. Maybe 30 minutes tops. Visiting Cades Coves early a.m. or late (right before dusk) to see the most wildlife. Counting the deer is always fun for the kids! Be sure to get out and visit the at least some of the cabins along the way.

In Townsend there is Tuckaleechee Caverns. Very cool caverns to visit.

Tubing in the river is also fun to do in Townsend.

I think when visiting here you really do have to be careful because it can add up and be quite expensive. I think it'd be better to leave some things for your next visit--I think you'll leave planning your next trip!

I think I'd definitely recommend Ripley's Aquarium in the a.m., maybe then to Dollywood, a wonderful theme park, in the late afternoon to the get after 3 (or 4?), next day free.

You can easily spend that much time at Dollywood.

If you were to go to Townsend, there is horseback riding there also. So, you can ride horses at Cades Cove inside the Park, in Townsend right off the main road, or another one called Davy Crockett riding stables which is close to Tuckaleechee Caverns.

There is so much to do between Townsend, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge/Sevierville. You won't get bored!

If you do visit Townsend, there is a cute little cafe there that has some good choices and wonderful sweet tea. It is called the Firefly Cafe.
I'm going to Townsend in the morning to run and will probably have breakfast there afterward.

Enjoy the Smokies! It is a wonderful vacation destination!
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:01 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teller80 View Post
Has anyone suggested seeing the synchonous fireflies? Here is the link:
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

Tickets are free but go fast. There are only two places in the world where this happens.
Would you be kind enough to share any info you know about the shuttle service from Sugarland Visitor Center? For example, what time or times do they go back from Elkmont to the Sugarland Visitor Center? I know they leave at 7pm, but I can't find anything that says when they leave Elkmont and come back to Sugarland. TIA
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by okeydokey View Post
Be honest with me, how is the last week of June?
From Memorial Day until Labor Day is busy... the earlier part of June isn't so bad, and around mid-end of August isn't unbearably busy.

The last week of June will be busy, but since the 4th of July is on a Thursday, it won't be as bad as it could be - people tend to plan vacations around a day off - if the 4th was on a Monday we would be busy the last week of June and the first week of July. I think we will be very busy the first 2 weeks of July this year!

There are ways around all of the craziness - back roads, going places when they aren't so busy, and actually coming in on a day other than Saturday will make your visit nicer!
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #68
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Would you be kind enough to share any info you know about the shuttle service from Sugarland Visitor Center? For example, what time or times do they go back from Elkmont to the Sugarland Visitor Center? I know they leave at 7pm, but I can't find anything that says when they leave Elkmont and come back to Sugarland. TIA
The shuttles go back and forth, so I imagine you could go back at any time. We stayed for about an hour after the fireflies started and didn't have any trouble getting a bus back. The problem will be getting tickets, last year when I tried getting them they were gone in a matter of hours. This year I have reservations at Elkmont Campground.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:20 PM   #69
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Sorry if this has been mention since I did not read all the post. But the cement sleding you mention is at the Ober Gatlinburg.


http://www.obergatlinburg.com/
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:02 PM   #70
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The free wine tasting (you can taste up to 4) and the free moonshine tasting, especially, are fun. For the moonshine tasting, you stand around a bar and the "bartender" goes around giving everyone mini shots of each flavor (I think there were maybe 9?) of moonshine. It's kind of a production and a lot of fun. Make sure you have your ID. They won't even let a 90 year old taste without their ID.
This is in downtown Gatlinburg across from the convention center.

For those camping, we love to camp in Cades Cove and Elmont campgrounds. In Cades Cove, we had deer walking across our campsite. Warning: there are restrooms, but no showers. You can drive to Townsend to a local campground to take a shower at around $3 a pop.

The Roaring Fork motor trail is fun and we've seen bears a few times when we've driven it. It does not open until April 1st.

For shopping in downtown Gatlinburg, The Village is nice. We don't go in all of the shops, but my favorites are the Donut Friar , the spice shop (can't remember the name), the Day Hiker, the candy shop, vinegar and oil shop, Tervis Tumbler, and the Gaelic store (sorry - don't remember names).

In the summer months, the trolley that runs downtown is free. The trolleys that go other places cost 50 cents per rider, per ride.

The sky lift is fun and they have a day long pass.

Laurel Falls is paved, but if you're a small child or not in good shape, it can be a bit of a climb. Taken slow, you should be ok. There's a picnic area to the right not long after you enter the park that has a nice stream. It's really pretty and fun to climb in the rocks, etc.

For a cheap, clean stay in downtown Gatlinburg, Jack Huff's Motor Lodge is nice and right there off the strip, next to The Village.

Traffic can be brutal. After seeing a poor little boy being rushed out of a car stopped in traffic to find a bathroom only to stand on the side of the road and pee his pants in front of everyone, we always potty check before traveling from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg and Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.

If you are going to do the little gem mining, laser tag, and or mini golf, Fort Fun's ultimate (I think it's called) pass is the way to go. If you ride the simulator ride, sit near the front. You will get banged up in the back!

Sugarlands is definitely a must do. You can get trail info there, buy nicer souvenirs, see a little movie, and walk through the area with stuffed wildlife.

Pancake Pantry is good. Last time we went we just ate there and at Fridays since we knew DS could get something there he could eat. The rest of the time we either picnicked or ate in the room. I can't remember where we've eaten on previous visits (besides the Burning Bush, which is no longer there) except for at the hotel along the river, but can't remember the name. It was tasty (we were not staying there).
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckalew11 View Post
Another option to think of is visiting Townsend TN. Townsend is referred to as "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies."

It's a very easy drive from Townsend to Cades Coves. Maybe 30 minutes tops. Visiting Cades Coves early a.m. or late (right before dusk) to see the most wildlife. Counting the deer is always fun for the kids! Be sure to get out and visit the at least some of the cabins along the way.

In Townsend there is Tuckaleechee Caverns. Very cool caverns to visit.

Tubing in the river is also fun to do in Townsend.

I think when visiting here you really do have to be careful because it can add up and be quite expensive. I think it'd be better to leave some things for your next visit--I think you'll leave planning your next trip!

I think I'd definitely recommend Ripley's Aquarium in the a.m., maybe then to Dollywood, a wonderful theme park, in the late afternoon to the get after 3 (or 4?), next day free.

You can easily spend that much time at Dollywood.

If you were to go to Townsend, there is horseback riding there also. So, you can ride horses at Cades Cove inside the Park, in Townsend right off the main road, or another one called Davy Crockett riding stables which is close to Tuckaleechee Caverns.

There is so much to do between Townsend, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge/Sevierville. You won't get bored!

If you do visit Townsend, there is a cute little cafe there that has some good choices and wonderful sweet tea. It is called the Firefly Cafe.
I'm going to Townsend in the morning to run and will probably have breakfast there afterward.

Enjoy the Smokies! It is a wonderful vacation destination!
While we have never stayed in Townsend, we have driven through and even stopped at Tuckaleechee Caverns. It wasn't the prettiest cave that I've ever been through (we've done a lot of cave tours) it is a neat tour and our tour group was small enough that we could hear our group leader and it didn't take forever for the entire group to make it to a certain destination.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:28 AM   #72
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For the person asking about the trolleys....be sure to research the trolley route extensively. We stayed at Twin Mountain Inn (very clean, good location and great price) which is right before you enter the Smoky Mountain park. We were told to just hop on a trolley at our hotel and in no time at all, we'd be in Gatlinburg. An hour and a forty-five minutes later, we were all ready to scream bloody murder. We waited 15 minutes for the trolley to come. Our trolley took us to Old Mill station where we had to wait for thirty minutes for another trolley. From there, we went to the next stop which is near the Vistor's Center where we waited 25 minutes. Traffic was so backed up that it took the trolley forever and a day to get to downtown Gatlinburg. I swore right then and there that I'd never ever ever take the trolley again. Granted, it was over the Thanksgiving holiday but we've visited that time of year for three years now and it didn't take us that long to get there via our own car. On the way back to our hotel, the six of us took a cab for $25.00.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:56 PM   #73
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Can anyone recommend good cabins to rent? Looking for mountain views and in the middle of no where, but yet close. Don't want to stay in a cabin village.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:09 PM   #74
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My best friend and I went the weekend of April 4th it was cold and rainy the first two days there... we loved the hatfield and mcoy dinner show. We did not like the dollywood theme park BUT they ( the company) was GREAT. They ended up giving us our money back for the park tickets. WE were only in the park for an hour.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:04 PM   #75
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My best friend and I went the weekend of April 4th it was cold and rainy the first two days there... we loved the hatfield and mcoy dinner show. We did not like the dollywood theme park BUT they ( the company) was GREAT. They ended up giving us our money back for the park tickets. WE were only in the park for an hour.
We are planning to go there this July. What didn't you like?
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