If it is Gatlinburg you want, I would second the post about Twin Creek. It depends on what you are looking for as oters are mentioning Townsend and PF. Townsend is quieter and closer to Cades Cove, PF closer to rides and attractions, and Gatlinburg has some attractions and is closer to the park than PF.
Some folks have spoken well of Jellystone near Cosby. Again a bit more qiet than PF.
What kind of attractions are you interested in?? Are you planning on going into the National Park much?
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Eat breakfast at Bennets BBQ close to the Gatlinburg entrance to the Natl Park. Not so crowded there and a great breakfast setup every morning... Love the way they mix in onions in the country potatoes... hmmmm gooood... Check out the real young pictures of Ms Dolly. If you go real early like 5AM you might get to see one of the bears that comes in every morning they say. They have them all named...
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
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I suppose we won't spend as much time in the NP as in the tourist traps. The kids want to go to Dollywood. I tried for Pine Mountain, but we have one too many dogs for their policy. I would like a place along the trolly stop.
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Gatlinburg Jellystone. Great owners with plenty of activities for kids beyond the standard pool and playground you can get anywhere else. It is the furthest one out but worth the peace at the end of the night.
30 minutes to dolly wood and the other touristy stuff.
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I will agree, Jellystone is great, but it's WAY out (about 30-40 minutes from Pigeon Forge and 25-30 from Gatlinburg). If they are wanting to do the trolley, they sure can't from there.
Most all of the campground inside of Pigeon Forge, the trolley comes through. Check Rivers Edge, which is just down the street from Pine Mountain, but is ON the parkway or the KOA, just up the street from that. All of those are on the "gatlinburg" side of Pigeon Forge, so the traffic is not as bad as around the outlets.
x3 on Twin Creek. Trolley stop at the entrance. Take the bypass to go to the National Park. Cades Cove loop road is good choice for in park ride. Drive up to Clingman's Dome parking area and walk the short trail to the observation tower on top. Shopping in Gatlinburg - everything from good mountain art to cheap souvenirs from China. Take the Trolley to town and walk the streets. Traffic in Gatlinburg is worse than terrible. Couple of years ago, we decided to just drive thru on the way to Twin Creek to see the town. Took an hour and a half to get the 2 miles!! Trolley also runs to Pigeon Forge (more shops and activities for the kids) and to Dollywood. Have fu
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River Plantation is our favorite. Right at entrance to Pigeon Forge. Not sure about the trolley, but it is a really nice cg., and the kids would really like the pool. I have some pics in my photos. The signature sites on the rive are really big, and nice. Close to good shopping and the nascar park.
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With 4 folks and 3 dogs you'll need a little bit of room. Clabough's in Pigeon Forge has some sites toward the back of the CG that has some space. We've stayed there twice with our 2 dogs and it worked okay.
I understand that the kids will want the go-karts, Dollywood/SplashCountry, etc. The aquarium is not a great value based upon the cost but it is nice.
Make a deal with the kids. You'll do the tourist-y things for X number of days, but in return they owe you 2 days. Take one day and pack a big picnic lunch and drive the Roaring Fork Motor trail. Walk around Noah 'Bud' Ogle's cabin and farmsite. Drive up the road and stop at the pull outs and see the overlook. Picnic at the farm house next to the stream. Spend one day going to and enjoying Cades Cove. Get out of your car and hike down into the fields or find a Ranger and ask where the graveyards are and make the short hike to see the headstones. Hike back to the waterfalls and play in the creek.
When it is all said and done, the kids will remember the Park and the time spent there much more than they'll ever remember a go-kart ride.
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We like Pine Mountain RV Resort because it is right in the middle of Pigeon Forge, and the newest all 50 amp full-hookup park with level concrete driveways at every site. And yes it has a trolley stop, lazy river pool, regular pool, splash pool, and indoor pool, all included. And the reservation deposit is fully refundable with no fee, even with short notice.
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