Posted 9/20/2021 16:56 (#9230326 - in reply to #9227694) Subject: RE: Great smokies mini vacation ideas
You have received several nice comments and suggestions in the other forum. It has been a few years since I have been to Gatlinberg so I am not really sure what is still hot and what is not. The Cherokee Orchard Road is a nice, very scenic one lane road that winds through the mountains. It starts and ends in Gatlinberg. Several years back they had some theaters in Sevierville and Pidgeon Forge that had some good shows.
Most of the people from this area like to stay in Townsend, TN rather than Gatlinberg, Pidgeon Forge or Sevierville.
The ride through Cade's Cove will be a lot more meaningful if you do some reading on the history of the park and the area. Cade's Cove was a nice farming community for well over 100 years when they established the park and forced the people to move. Sevierville, Pidgeon Forge and some other communities had enough political muscle to avoid getting taken over by the park. I would suggest stopping and looking at the churches and cemeterys in Cade's Cove. You can look at the markers and see that prior to about 1925 a lot of infants and young children did not live to be adults. I am not sure if the Park Service still allows people to return to the area for Church Services and to bury loved ones in the Church Cemeterys. I would suggest watching for wildlife very early in the morning or just before dark.
The drive through the park from Gatlinberg to Cherokee, NC is very scenic. If you like to walk the paved walkway to Clingman's Dome would be a good place for a hike.
The very scenic Blue Ridge Parkway starts a few miles west of Cherokee. This parkway and the Skyline Drive wind through the mountains of NC and VA for a few hundred miles.
Before touring the Biltmore House in Ashville, NC it would be nice to read about the construction of the house and George Washington Vanderbilt who built the house. The tour is not cheap but we enjoyed it enough that we went back for the Christmas tour a few months later.
I hope you and your wife have another very enjoyable trip.