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 > Western Washington to Nashville

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ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 01/04/21 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sunfan, it would be best to rent a car to tour the area. Due to the traffic alone (be prepared) maneuvering a large vehicle would be challenging. There are places you can rent a Jeep and other cars so think about doing that.

Have you found a park to stay at? Make a reservation soon if you haven't. Lots of very nice parks in the area. Check out Pine Mountain. Duvall in the Smokies also. There are many others so you should be able to find something.

The obvious place to go is Dollywood. Nice park and family oriented and some great coasters for the kids. It's not like Disney at all. Dolly's Stampede is probably the best dinner show. Hatfield and McCoys is good too. Lumber jack show is cool. . There's the Aquarium of the Smokies in G'burg. Anakeesta attraction there too. The park itself offers hiking mostly with lots of water falls to see. Climgmans Dome is the 2nd highest point in east. Lots to do and see.

sunfan03

Bremerton, WA

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Posted: 02/02/21 12:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Ken56! Definitely planning on a renting a car and might look into Dollywood. Traveling with older teens who are excited to do some hiking, but grandparents will also be with us...any hikes you recommend that wouldn't be too strenuous for the 70 year olds (who can walk leisurely) but have great views?

Will look into Dollywood as an alternative for theme parks - do you think a day is enough time to visit?

ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 02/02/21 07:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the National Parks website for info on hiking trails and their difficulty rating because I'm not sure about them. The 2 I can say to visit is Clingmans Dome and the hike to it's observation tower. Easy 1/2 mile hike to it...all up hill. Hopefully you will have a clear day to do it because you can be in the clouds in an instant up there. It's the 2nd highest point east of the Mississippi. Stunning views.

Trails to many waterfalls are usually jam packed with people I can tell you that much. Parking can be almost impossible at some of them. The other place is Cades Cove at the west end of the park but it's drive through with places to stop and see some building and read about the history of the small settlement. It's an 11 mile loop drive that can take 4 hours to do, really, not kidding. The park is the most visited in the NP system so crowds are common depending on time of year. It's also one of few that do not charge to get into.

If you do go up to Newfound Gap and Clingmans Dome consider going into North Carolina to Cherokee. There is a working mill you can stop at before you leave the park and there is the Oconaluftee visitor center. You might see the Elk heard around there if lucky. Cherokee has the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and it's worth a see. The town itself is full of Indian trading post gift shops and of course there is the Harrah's casino there too.

Dollywood is a nice park and family friendly to the Nth degree and if you get there early like when they open a day should be enough to cover it all. If the kids like coasters then have them ride the Eagle. Rides for the kids and shows for the "old folks". Tickets run about 70 bucks but considering Disney is 120 now that's a bargain I guess.

ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 02/02/21 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Part 2:
There are a few dinner shows that are good and entertaining. Dolly's Stampede is probably the best one. There is also a lumber jack show and the Pirate show and the Hatfield and McCoy show that are good too. There is so much to do here that you have to research and figure out what everyone will enjoy. It's overwhelming really.

Just to throw this out there too. We are about 1.5 hours away from Asheville and the Biltmore Estate...a fantastic place to see. The wife and I are season pass holders because we enjoy it so much. Being this close to it you might want to see if everyone would want to go there.

COVID restrictions are just wear a mask. Restaurants are open around here and the area is as busy as ever. You can't tell there is an 'economic down turn' or a pandemic going on. Just be sensible about taking your own precautions. We've had no issues ourselves and go about our lives and business as normal.

We are transplants from Michigan and this is the best place I've ever lived. Love it here.

Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 02/06/21 11:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A couple years ago, a friend and I drove from Portland to Savannah. I-84, I-5 to I-80 east....Easy peasy. Stop at the original Cabalas. For a real odd stop, on I-80, take exit 29 for Dix NB -turn right at the stop sign, drive 100 yards, then turn right again toward a large chain link fence that houses a real active missile silo! Yep, the real thing, just sitting there. Your tax dollars at work protecting us. Not really much to look at, but just strangely eerie. Note that you will be on camera, so comb your hair.

Edd505

Elephant Butte, NM

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Posted: 02/07/21 08:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Head to I-90E to I-82 to I-84 to US6 to US191, head to Albuquerque and catch I-40 east. Mid April the Interstates should be clear.


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