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Old 06-26-2013, 04:38 AM   #16
dpswift
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Try Cades Coves it was fun and we saw bears upclose.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:44 AM   #17
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NC disney fan- thanks for your tips. Speaking of the traffic, coming from Atlanta, would it be better to drive over the mountain on 441 or all the way around on 40, if my goal is to get to sevierville? I worry about the traffic over the mountain and on the main drag.
-Virginia
I just did the AAA triptik and looked at the difference. GPS/directions have you go 441 because it shaves about 40 miles off the total trip. But if you go 75 to 40 into Pigeon Forge, it actually has your time as about 7 minutes less. I would assume that it can be even a quicker time as you can book it on the interstate versus on more winding mountain roads.

I am always the type that prefers interstate. I think that you can get from point a to point b quicker with free flowing traffic, easy ability to pass slower travelers and straightish roads. I live in Asheville, NC where winding roads are our thing. I am used to them but boy, when you get behind someone who isnt' it can be brutally slow. And if you are not sure of winding mountain roads then it may slow down your trip. So with all of that said, my choice would be 75 to 40 and then turning off on 411 once in Sevierville--that is unless you are heading to the main strip for lodging etc. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by NC Disney Fan View Post

I just did the AAA triptik and looked at the difference. GPS/directions have you go 441 because it shaves about 40 miles off the total trip. But if you go 75 to 40 into Pigeon Forge, it actually has your time as about 7 minutes less. I would assume that it can be even a quicker time as you can book it on the interstate versus on more winding mountain roads.

I am always the type that prefers interstate. I think that you can get from point a to point b quicker with free flowing traffic, easy ability to pass slower travelers and straightish roads. I live in Asheville, NC where winding roads are our thing. I am used to them but boy, when you get behind someone who isnt' it can be brutally slow. And if you are not sure of winding mountain roads then it may slow down your trip. So with all of that said, my choice would be 75 to 40 and then turning off on 411 once in Sevierville--that is unless you are heading to the main strip for lodging etc. Hope this helps.
This is accurate advice -- however, I am going to suggest that you not totally eliminate the possibility of taking 441 through the mountains, one way or the other.

If you would like to "enjoy the journey", taking 441 is a great way to do that. If you just want to arrive at your destination as efficiently as possible, then I75 is the way to go.

441 is a beautiful drive through the North Georgia mountains and through a number of small towns. There are many little roadside stands where you can buy honey, jams, jellies, crafts. Depending on the ages and gender of your children --- Cleveland, GA is about 15 miles off of your route. It is the home of Babyland General Hospital and the Cabbage Patch Kids --- little girls particularly love going here. Also, you would be driving through Cherokee, NC, which is a hokey, touristy town -- with a lot of kid appeal.

If you decide not to take this route this time, I do recommend, since you live in Atlanta, that you take a day or weekend trip up that way sometime in the summer or the fall. You can go through Cleveland and on up to Helen, GA, which is a fun place for the family to spend a day or two. From Atlanta, you can be there in less than 2 hours.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:43 AM   #19
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We just got back from that area Saturday! I would suggest taking either the pigeon forge or gatlinburg entrance to the great smoky mountains national park. About 15 miles or so into the park you can stop at the NC/Tennessee state line for a nice little kid friendly climb in the rocks then onto clingsman's dome a few miles more. It was a breathtaking view. We saw a momma bear and her cubs playing and really enjoyed the afternoon. Our daughter also did the jr ranger program and got a big kick out of that. Kits are available at the info centers.

I agree about the old mill restaurant. I think I had the best breakfast of my life there. We had lots of fun at dollywood. Head for the eagle, tornado, and mystery mine rides first if rides are your thing. We walked on pretty much for an hour that morning.

The "strip" in PF and gatlinburg are tourist traps. Not my cup of tea, but we did visit the aquarium and it was nice. Have a great time!!

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The best breakfast is at The Pancake House on mainstreet in Gatlinburg. Get there early it is usually packed but well worth the wait. You can actuallly eat the pancakes with no syrup they are that good.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #20
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I live 1.5 hrs. from Sevierville. I love the whole area, even though it is touristy. Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg was okay, but I wouldn't stand in line for hours & be advised that it's a cash only business. We love Dixie Stampede & we have season passes to Dollywood & Splash Country.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #21
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Since this isn't Disney-related, I'm going to move it to the Community board.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #22
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We are making a trip here July 31 for about a week! It will be our first time here and making notes of what everyone has mentioned. We have a cabin in Pigeon Forge and can't wait. This is going to be our summer vacation before kids go back to school to hold them over to Dec. for WDW!
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:33 PM   #23
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We're leaving next week for Pigeon Forge. Rented a cabin (actually the same one we rented 3yrs ago). Can't wait.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #24
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I'm actually planning a trip to Atlanta in August and was planning to stop at the English Mountain Trout Farm in Sevierville. You catch your own fish and they cook them for you. Very highly rated on TripAdvisor so we're looking forward to it.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:49 AM   #25
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Just was here 2 months ago, you HAVE to go to Cades cove. It's free and they have bears with babies right now.

I also loved the Dixie Stampede, the Aquarium was very cool as well, even though I live in Chicago and have one of the best in the world 2 blocks away. It was worth a visit.

Also, absolutely loved the old mill restaurant. Best in town.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:24 AM   #26
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Just was here 2 months ago, you HAVE to go to Cades cove. It's free and they have bears with babies right now.

I also loved the Dixie Stampede, the Aquarium was very cool as well, even though I live in Chicago and have one of the best in the world 2 blocks away. It was worth a visit.

Also, absolutely loved the old mill restaurant. Best in town.
Do you think the bears will still be around in sight? We'll be there next weekend and plan on going to Cades Cove. Can't wait !!!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by NC Disney Fan View Post
I just did the AAA triptik and looked at the difference. GPS/directions have you go 441 because it shaves about 40 miles off the total trip. But if you go 75 to 40 into Pigeon Forge, it actually has your time as about 7 minutes less. I would assume that it can be even a quicker time as you can book it on the interstate versus on more winding mountain roads.

I am always the type that prefers interstate. I think that you can get from point a to point b quicker with free flowing traffic, easy ability to pass slower travelers and straightish roads. I live in Asheville, NC where winding roads are our thing. I am used to them but boy, when you get behind someone who isnt' it can be brutally slow. And if you are not sure of winding mountain roads then it may slow down your trip. So with all of that said, my choice would be 75 to 40 and then turning off on 411 once in Sevierville--that is unless you are heading to the main strip for lodging etc. Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for looking that up for us. I did the trip tik too and I think I'm with you on the faster highway thing.

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Originally Posted by JanB View Post
This is accurate advice -- however, I am going to suggest that you not totally eliminate the possibility of taking 441 through the mountains, one way or the other.

If you would like to "enjoy the journey", taking 441 is a great way to do that. If you just want to arrive at your destination as efficiently as possible, then I75 is the way to go.

441 is a beautiful drive through the North Georgia mountains and through a number of small towns. There are many little roadside stands where you can buy honey, jams, jellies, crafts. Depending on the ages and gender of your children --- Cleveland, GA is about 15 miles off of your route. It is the home of Babyland General Hospital and the Cabbage Patch Kids --- little girls particularly love going here. Also, you would be driving through Cherokee, NC, which is a hokey, touristy town -- with a lot of kid appeal.

If you decide not to take this route this time, I do recommend, since you live in Atlanta, that you take a day or weekend trip up that way sometime in the summer or the fall. You can go through Cleveland and on up to Helen, GA, which is a fun place for the family to spend a day or two. From Atlanta, you can be there in less than 2 hours.
We did go over 441 last spring and it was beautiful. We were traveling early in the day so there was not too much traffic, I'm just worried about traveling on the afternoon before July 4th and the traffic on the mtn and strip. As for Cleveland GA, I've been trying to get my family to go, I want to go to the cabbage patch hospital, but can't seem to interest my family...

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This s funny...we are staying here over the 4th!! We are on the Wyndham side!
Well, I think the last time I went to pigeon forge area, my family was the only Asian family I saw our entire trip. So if you see an Asian family on the lazy river, it will probably be us. We are staying at the River Lodge bldg.

-Virginia
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:02 AM   #28
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Thanks so much for looking that up for us. I did the trip tik too and I think I'm with you on the faster highway thing.



We did go over 441 last spring and it was beautiful. We were traveling early in the day so there was not too much traffic, I'm just worried about traveling on the afternoon before July 4th and the traffic on the mtn and strip. As for Cleveland GA, I've been trying to get my family to go, I want to go to the cabbage patch hospital, but can't seem to interest my family...



Well, I think the last time I went to pigeon forge area, my family was the only Asian family I saw our entire trip. So if you see an Asian family on the lazy river, it will probably be us. We are staying at the River Lodge bldg.

-Virginia
We're leaving here (CT) either July 3rd or 4th. And will be in Pigeon Forge on the 5th. Will we hit a LOT of traffic or will we be okay. So we'll be there from the 5th-10th. I'm assuming it's a busy time of year? I'm also wondering what type of wildlife we'd be able to see in Cades Cove? And would you recommend things to see or avoid during the weekend? We're not doing Dollywood or the water park (did that last time) We're mostly looking to do the kitchy side road attractions, driving around checking out the mountains, Ripley's stuff (mini golf, aquarium, etc) Wonderworks.....
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:17 AM   #29
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Wow, a lot of us going this summer! DH, DD10 and myself are headed down on July 6 for 4 nights. We are staying in Cosby which looks to be 20-30 away from all the action which is fine with us. DH is a fly fisherman and wanted to be close to a trout stream. Looking forward to spending some quality time together and DD is really hoping to see some bears!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #30
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We're leaving here (CT) either July 3rd or 4th. And will be in Pigeon Forge on the 5th. Will we hit a LOT of traffic or will we be okay. So we'll be there from the 5th-10th. I'm assuming it's a busy time of year? I'm also wondering what type of wildlife we'd be able to see in Cades Cove? And would you recommend things to see or avoid during the weekend? We're not doing Dollywood or the water park (did that last time) We're mostly looking to do the kitchy side road attractions, driving around checking out the mountains, Ripley's stuff (mini golf, aquarium, etc) Wonderworks.....
Loved the kitschy ripley's stuff, parrot sanctuary/mountain, "the track" with a multi level go cart track, ole gem mine (cheesy panning for rocks, but my DD loved it). We're going to try magiquest, hopefully it'll be like sorcerer's of the MK or the pirate game.
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