Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Family Camping: Summer Vacation in the Smoky Mountains?
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 > Summer Vacation in the Smoky Mountains?

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Redjk0769

Pinckneyville IL

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Posted: 10/11/12 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok next summer I am wanting to take my family back to the Smokey Mountains for a summer vacation. We are wanting to keep the cost down on vacation next summer but still have things to do to keep my kids entertained. It is about a 7 hour drive down there. And we have been there before, and have camped in several different CG, but never for a week at a time. I have looked at several of them and leaning towards River Plantation, because it looks like they have alot of stuff to do there if we didn't want to leave the CG and we can even bring in a golf cart to ride around on! But I am still up for ideas?
And ideas of what to do that is cheap and good places to eat because it has been about 4 years since we have been down there! We usually go to Myrtle Beach for vacation which is about a 14 hour drive!

mobilefleet

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Posted: 10/11/12 09:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

depends on age of your kids, but there is a Jellystone campground in that area, in Cherokee NC which is at the base of, and entrance to, GSM national park. They usually have plenty of scheduled activities for the kids each day. If you want to save money, always eat breakfast and lunch at your camper, and cook dinner there a couple nights too (grill out). Go out to eat 2-3 nights at a reasonable dinner and you'll do just fine. We always pack the fridge first thing before leaving and sometimes stop to get fresh fruits/veggies at a roadside stand on the way. It has become a family tradition to go certain places and stop at favorite stands. You can do the whole trip for under $1K easily including fuel and campsite fee and food.

Merrykalia

Appalachian (apple at chun) Mountains in SW VA

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Posted: 10/11/12 11:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Read some of the reviews about River Plantation and children. I have never had a problem, but apparently some people have. It is a nice place.

We really like Pine Mountain RV Park because of the location near the end of the parkway going toward Gatlinburg - about 1.5 mi from the bypass, going straight into GSMNP. They have 2 pools, one indoor, a lazy river pool and hot tub, but no playground. You can pretty much stay off the parkway and avoid most of the traffic from this location and as with most campgrounds, the trolley has a stop there.

We have also stayed at several of them, but this is our fave.

Elkmont in GSMNP is nice, but dry camping. You might want to make a day-trip up there and check out tubing in the river.

Redjk0769

Pinckneyville IL

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Posted: 10/11/12 12:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Merrykalia wrote:

Read some of the reviews about River Plantation and children. I have never had a problem, but apparently some people have. It is a nice place.

We really like Pine Mountain RV Park because of the location near the end of the parkway going toward Gatlinburg - about 1.5 mi from the bypass, going straight into GSMNP. They have 2 pools, one indoor, a lazy river pool and hot tub, but no playground. You can pretty much stay off the parkway and avoid most of the traffic from this location and as with most campgrounds, the trolley has a stop there.

We have also stayed at several of them, but this is our fave.

Elkmont in GSMNP is nice, but dry camping. You might want to make a day-trip up there and check out tubing in the river.


Our children will be 9 and 11 by next summer, they are pretty good kids and don't get into trouble or better not! But I don't think we can do it for under $1000 because gas alone is going to cost us probably around 700 to 800 to get there and back, We have a 36 foot Fuzion that we just got and the f350 gets about 9 miles to a gallon pulling it! But we where planning on eating some meals at the camper and taking picnics with us when we go up into the mountains and plan on doing that a couple of days during our stay and maybe even spending a day or so at the CG, but thats hard to do when there is so much to see and do down there, especially with the mountains right there!

Happy Camper2003

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Posted: 10/11/12 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Merrykalia wrote:

Read some of the reviews about River Plantation and children. I have never had a problem, but apparently some people have. It is a nice place.

We really like Pine Mountain RV Park because of the location near the end of the parkway going toward Gatlinburg - about 1.5 mi from the bypass, going straight into GSMNP. They have 2 pools, one indoor, a lazy river pool and hot tub, but no playground. You can pretty much stay off the parkway and avoid most of the traffic from this location and as with most campgrounds, the trolley has a stop there.

We have also stayed at several of them, but this is our fave.

Elkmont in GSMNP is nice, but dry camping. You might want to make a day-trip up there and check out tubing in the river.


Pine Mt is a really nice CG. However, you mentioned that your trip would be in the summer, and Pine Mt has no shade. Excellent CG otherwise. FWIW we have enjoyed Twin Mt CG...nice large, shady sites with a pool. The trolly comes right through the CG.


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Merrykalia

Appalachian (apple at chun) Mountains in SW VA

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Posted: 10/11/12 06:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pine Mtn does have shade, but only at the back-in sites that back up to the creek. The pull thru sites in the middle have little or no shade since it's a newer campground and the trees are only 10-12 feet tall and still scraggly.

jims1

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Posted: 10/11/12 07:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cherokee area would be great.
There are several national forest campgrounds in the area too.


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1stgenfarmboy

Southern tip of ILL

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Posted: 10/11/12 10:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Redjk i'm right next door between Marion and Harrisburg, i spend 5 days every year at the Threshermans show in aug, we have been to the SMNP 21 times in the 26 years of our lives together, If your kids are the outdoor type you have it made, If you can camp with no hook-ups there are some awsome CG's in the park and with a nice little creek running right behind the camper, thats good for days and days of fun for kids the age of yours, Smokmont is one such CG.

If you choose to stay at FHU CG be shure to spend as much time in the mountains as you can, day trips over the mountains is always very entertaning, stop at New found gap and take a short stroll on the AP and the temp will be awsome no mater how hot it is in the valley, take a short 10 mile drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway from cherokee to black camp gap/Balsam mountain/ Heintooga overlook road, it's a nice slow drive up high in the mountains where your almost shure to see some Elk, and at the end of the road a nice picknic grounddeep in the woods and quiet, kinda spooky quiet.

and there are always short hikes to waterfalls, go to the Sugarlands visitors center and pick up some day hike maps, also a drive around Cades Cove and Clingmans Dome, also Mingus Mill is very educational as well as Oconaluftee visitors center.

as you can tell i love the SMNP, if you wish for any more info please ask me, i can blab on and on.

Darwin


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campnis4us

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Posted: 10/13/12 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would also suggest River Edge Campground in Pigeon Forge. Very clean, shaded, pool, playground, and convenient to the area. My DH and I ride our bicycles for much of our stay. We can jump on the trolley when we want to go farther distances.


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1stgenfarmboy

Southern tip of ILL

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Posted: 10/13/12 09:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have stayed there many times ( cleanest shower house i have ever seen )

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