Discussion in 'Non Disney Trips and Travels' started by DisneyFreak, Aug 9, 2011.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what to see or not to be missed?
Sorry, I can't help but I can't wait to see some photos
Savannah is lovely, once you get past the "Paula Deen every where you look" syndrome.
We simply walked and poked around. There are some walking maps that make it fairly easy.
Give her restaurant a miss. Eat down by the water.
There is a wicked oil and balsamic vinegar shop there, among other really neat shops.
You can do the touristy things, like take a horse drawn carriage ride, ect.
It's simply a pretty little place with some pockets of run down areas.
Can't help with Tennessee. That place scares me.
I think Gatlinburg has lots of tourist things, such as Ripley's and an aquarium. I would love to rent a cabin and just enjoy the area. I hear it's beautiful.
Savannah is pretty cool. Down by the river and most of the downtown area are nice. Lot's of eating and drinking establishments. If you haven't seen it yet, here's a website with some nice panorama shots of various areas to give you an idea of what it's like:
Close by, you've got Tybee Island. Very nice Atlantic beach. Lots there to see and do. Lighthouses, forts (like Fort Pulaski). Very pleasant place and one of my favorite spots on the Atlantic coast.
First, getting there. Do yourself a favor. If you're driving, come on up to Cherokee, NC. From there, get your camera ready and take the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway from Cherokee, through the Great Smoky Mountains and down to Gatlinburg. Stay right on the Parkway and you'll end up in Gatlinburg. But be sure to stop a numerous places throughout the park and get plenty of pictures. Just be careful around the Black Bears!
The drive through the Smoky's is spectacular. The view from Clingman's Dome is kind of nice too!
Plenty more information about the Park here.
Once you're into Gatlinburg, find a parking area and lose the car. Trying to drive around can be painful. Take a stroll through the downtown area right on the Parkway. Hundreds of little shops selling the usual tourist fare. But some nice finds too. The Little Pigeon River runs right along River Road just off the Parkway. If you want to do a little fly fishing, you can get a trout license and just step right in almost anywhere as long as the water's up. Numerous places to stay all along the downtown corridor. Just take your choice. Many, many years ago (the 60's), my family used to go up there and we'd stay at the Twin Islands Motel. My dad would turn off the AC and open the back door at night. The Little Pigeon ran right behind the room and the cool air and sound of the water gurgling over the rocks would put me right, soundly to sleep. Wonderful memory. Years later, my DW and I spent our honeymoon in Gatlinburg.
You may want to take the aerial tram ride up to Ober Gatlinburg. That's the ski resort perched above Gatlinburg on the mountain.
Or, take the Sky Lift up the side of Crockett Mountain to get a nice view of the entire Gatlinburg area.
Really, quite a bit to see and do.
Now, keep in mind, I happen to like campy, touristy type things. And Gatlinburg is all that. But for me it's a fun mini vacation. Would I spend a week there? No. But for a long weekend, it can be a blast!
Hope this helps!
Tom macwave:... Northern by birth. Southern by the Grace of God!)
Oops. Forgot a thing or six. Common now days it seems.
Don't forget, you've got other things available to you in the Gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains area.
Just up the road from Gatlinburg is Pigeon Forge. Home to Dollywood. I've heard the whole Pigeon Forge area described as Las Vegas for 12 years olds. Just take away the sex and the gambling.
About 1 1/2 hours east of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is Asheville NC. If you've got time, a day at the Biltmore is absolutely worth the trip.
Stay on the Biltmore Estate at the Biltmore Inn (truly luxurious) and visit Biltmore Village. My DW and I love going up there for long weekends. The food in the restaurants on the estate is all grown on the estate. The steaks are from beef raised on the estate. The steaks I've had at the restaurants are the best steaks I've had anywhere. Ever. Even including the ones at the Yachtsman Steak House. It's all absolutely marvelous! If you've got time, definitely consider this one!
Tom macwave:... I need a weekend trip now!)
Thanks Tink. We got a great rate at a B&B right in the heart of the historic district about a mile walk to the river. We were thinking of doing a ghost tour as well.
That's exactly the route I have planned out Tom!
We looked at Twin Islands but decided to stay at their sister Motel which is just down the block and still right in downtown. We'll be able to park the car and walk everywhere or take the trolley.
Have you ever eaten at The Pancake Pantry? How are the trails around and in the park? Do we need hiking boots or will a good pair of New Balance suffice? We are also thinking about doing some White Water Rafting.
We are staying three nights. I figured that should be enough time to do some of the things we were thinking of. I haven't been here since I was 12 and my wife never has. She has never been much of a road-trip fan so I want to make this a great experience. I grew up on road-trips so I am extremely excited to do this!!
Why yes! I have. It's been a very long time ago but as I recall, it was quite enjoyable. The place has been around since about 1960 or thereabouts so it's pretty much an institution. There's also the "Log Cabin Pancake House" up off Airport Road. It's been around a long time too. There were some other places where we got a buffet breakfast that was quite good but darned if I can remember the name of them now.
Magnificent! Wonderful! Bring your camera. There's scenery here that you won't want to miss.
Here's a couple of videos I found that will give you a sense of what they're like. They're not on Youtube so I couldn't embed them. But they're worth seeing anyway.
First, just outside of Cherokee, there's Mingo Falls.
In Cade's Cove, there's Abram's Creek.
There's a bunch more information on easy hikes here at the Great Smoky Mountains Association website.
For some of the shorter trails off the Parkway in the Smoky's that just go back 100 yards or so into the woods, a pair of tennies would probably be all right. But to be sure, I'd rather have on a serious pair of hiking boots with good ankle support if you're going to be doing any real exploring. BTW - here's the link to the GSM Trail guide from the National Park Service.
Yeah, me too. My dad loved the mountains. I grew up in St. Pete so our family vacations was to pile into the car and head for the Smoky's. Every year. I still enjoy going up there. And now that I live in North Georgia, it's a bit easier to get to.
Oh... one other thing. If you're hiking at any elevations (like around Clingman's Dome), don't forget to bring a small day pack. Keep some light jackets in it for everyone. It can be anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees cooler up in the mountains. You may be sweating down below but once you get up higher, it cools off rapidly. Especially in the mornings and late afternoons.
Tom macwave:... wish I were fishing the Nantahala about now!)
I grew up in Chicago and from that very first road-trip to Disney in 1979 I have loved being on the open road. Every other year it was down to Disney and then the in between years were someplace else. From Niagra Falls to Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone. Every summer we had our two week adventure. Great memories.
One other question....do you know of any caverns to visit in the area? The only one I have been able to find is Forbidden Caverns up near Sevierville. I have read mixed reviews.
Thanks again Tom for the links and all the info!
Fairly close by, there's Tuckaleechee Caverns in Towsend
You're most welcome. Kind of wish I were going back up there too!
Tom macwave:... mountain dude...)
That looks fabulous! Much better reviews as well than the other I found. I think we'll take a ride out that way one of the days.
I will take plenty of pictures to share on my return. If I can get Blackberry service there I may post some pictures live if I can.
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