Smoky Mountains - Need Recommendations

WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8aOctober 7, 2012

My family is attempting to set up a get together in the Smoky Mountains, if not this Fall then the next Fall. None of us have ever been. We would be meeting together from several states. We would like to rent one big cabin so we could all stay together, and there will be 9-20 of us - all adults.

I would be extremely appreciative of any recommendations you make and will check into all recommendations.

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Asheville or Cades Cove area! Search Vacation Rentals By Owner ( website for cabins.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:49PM
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I love the Smokies! If you are lucky enough to be there when the leaves are at their best it is breathtaking. If you want peace and quiet, did I mention peace? Townsend TN is a good place with some great cabins tucked up into the mountains. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are livelier. Cades Cove is near Townsend and is well worth a visit for its pioneering history, wildlife and unspoilt beauty. You can't stay in Cades Cove though. A trip to Cherokee is also worthwhile for the Native American history.
Asheville is lovely and has cultural interest including the Biltmore.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:50PM
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We stayed here a few years ago:

This particular home probably won't work for your large group but they have many others. Highly recommend!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunset Cottages

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:52AM
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I live in the area. You may have trouble getting something this year as fall is a very popular time and many people book in advance. I would look around Townsend, Walland, or the Laurel Valley area. Laurel Valley is gorgeous! There is an inn in that area and I do believe cabins that would accomodate a larger group. Perhaps you would be interested in the inn and reserve several rooms? By personal choice, I would not stay in or near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. This is a much more commercial area. There are good restaurants in the area and outlet shopping in Pigeon Forge if you are so inclined, but traffic will be bad and it's very "touristy". We know all the backroads and avoid the area! LOL

Cades Cove is one of the most beautiful places! We are biased! Hiking, camping, you can drive or ride bikes around the "loop". Picnic areas. I'd recommend visiting there for sure. We camp in the area occasionally and drive through/picnic quite often. BTW, the store in the area has wonderful soft ice cream!!

Since we live so close, we have stayed in very few cabins, so I really can't give recommendations on that - other than the areas (and inn) I listed above. I do second the idea of using VRBO. If you find something you like on there, I can tell you about the general area of location, etc.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:41AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Thank you all so much. I will check out all of the recomendations and please keep them coming.

tinam, you are so correct; there is no way we can get reservations for this fall, so will have to plan for this next fall.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 12:37PM
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See if you can find something on this site:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:14PM
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I LOVE Pigeon Forge...and Gatlinburg! It is our family's absolute favorite place to go on vacation! It is definitely a busy place, but I've never had a bad experience in all the times we've been as a family or on a girls' weekend get-a-way. Pigeon Forge has SO much to offer for, couples and families! There's loads of amazing food, entertainment (indoor & outdoor activities), shopping, etc. Things NOT to miss: The Apple Barn, The Dixie Stampede, The Pancake House, Mel's Diner, Pigeon Forge Winterfest, Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights, Festival of Trees...and so much more! Plan far in advance, make reservations for everything you can and then have a blast! There's a link below that may help you with any questions.


Here is a link that might be useful: PIGEON FORGE TRAVEL FORUM

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:21AM
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Oh, below is a particularly good thread.....


    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:27AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Thank you so much for the links; so informative. I have bookmarked.

Keep the ideas/recommendaitons coming please y'all.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:30PM
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What type of experience are you looking for? Are all the adults into nature - hiking or driving around looking at the fall colors? Do you need to be near restaurants or will you be cooking all the meals in your rental place?

If you are a group of nature lovers who plan to cook the whole time, you might look into the state parks. Some of them have cabins or lodges. They would have beautiful hiking trails just right out the door of the cabin.

I've stayed in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg several times. Neither of them would be my pick if I was traveling just my husband and myself. I'd much rather stay in a state park, hike, canoe and grill. But with a group I might prefer some place like Gatlinburg. There are a lot of beautiful trails nearby for the nature lovers, shopping for the shoppers, and lots of restaurants. Its also small enough that most people could get around just walking from place to place.

Asheville is very nice, too, and I love the Biltmore.

Pigeon Forge does have a lot to do, as Addyson_Anders says. If you have people who want to go to shows and do a lot of shopping, it's a great place. It's more spread out than Gatlinburg, as best I remember. Dollywood is nearby if your group enjoys theme parks. If all you want to do is enjoy the beautiful woods, walk the trails and see the waterfalls,then Pigeon Forge wouldn't be my pick.

Someone mentioned Cherokee above. We stayed in Cherokee many times when my kids were little. They loved to play in the creek, it was close enough to Dollywood, etc. There used to be and probably still is a very moving play about the Trail of Tears. Having said that, if I just had a long weekend in the Smoky Mountains, I personally wouldn't visit Cherokee unless I just had a huge interest in Native American Culture. There is so much to see and do around the Smoky Mountains that I wouldn't drive to Cherokee if I was staying somewhere else. Sometimes when we've been there the roads around Pigeon Forge, Cherokee and Gatlinburg get so very crowded and the traffic is bumper to bumper. So if my husband and I are going to the mountains, we avoid those areas and focus on the nature trails. However, if they are having the play while you're nearby, I've heard it is wonderful. I think the name of it is "Unto These Hills".

I hope you enjoy your trip.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:51PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Thank you. As of this moment, we are interested in the beautiful color of the fall leavs and some hiking. Not big shoppers.

Thaks for you thoughts/advice.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:25AM
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