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Just finished scheduling a trip to Gatlinburg over spring break, then on to Bristol VA to visit some of the wife's family.

 

Anything to see?

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Just finished scheduling a trip to Gatlinburg over spring break, then on to Bristol VA to visit some of the wife's family.

 

Anything to see?

 

We are also going to Gatlinburg for Spring Break. Went once by ourselves a few years ago and taking the kids this year. The aquarium is a must-see for the kids, and if you pre-buy tickets here: https://ticketsgb.ripleys.com/gatlinburg/ you can get nice discounts if you add on other attractions.

 

Went to the Titanic museum last time and it was great, not going this time because our kids aren't quite old enough to appreciate it, but if yours are 10+, I highly recommend that.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Mar 14, 2015 -> 09:11 AM)
Just finished scheduling a trip to Gatlinburg over spring break, then on to Bristol VA to visit some of the wife's family.

 

Anything to see?

I could suggest a ton of ****. It's an unbelievable tourist trap. Narrow it down a bit? Restaurants? Dinner theaters? Touristy museums? This kinda nice national park? Local places? Gigantic christmas supply store? Helicopter ride? Large zipline? Country's biggest knife store? Good camping? Hiking? Really nice small italian sammich/pizza place in Bristol? Anything in-between? I covered most of that area.

 

The first thing, #1 on the list...expect traffic. Traffic on the parkway is unbelievably bad.

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LA for a weekend in mid April.

 

Saturday night I will be at the Home Depot Center for a boxing match. Free Friday and Sunday.

 

Thinking, Venice Beach boardwalk, Hollywood and star walk, perhaps the wax museum.

Might venture to Little Tokyo to find some sushi.

 

Staying in Culver City, found decently priced room and close to everything. Will have a car.

 

What am I missing?

Edited by Knuckles

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Mar 14, 2015 -> 01:02 PM)
I could suggest a ton of ****. It's an unbelievable tourist trap. Narrow it down a bit? Restaurants? Dinner theaters? Touristy museums? This kinda nice national park? Local places? Gigantic christmas supply store? Helicopter ride? Large zipline? Country's biggest knife store? Good camping? Hiking? Really nice small italian sammich/pizza place in Bristol? Anything in-between? I covered most of that area.

 

The first thing, #1 on the list...expect traffic. Traffic on the parkway is unbelievably bad.

 

We have a cabin there for three days. I like the nature stuff best, but I am sure we will do some of the other with the kids.

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We have a cabin there for three days. I like the nature stuff best, but I am sure we will do some of the other with the kids.

 

Which three days? We are arriving mid-day on the 24th and leaving early morning on the 27th. Had enough credit card points to get a free suite at the Econo Lodge right by the Space Needle.

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QUOTE (HickoryHuskers @ Mar 16, 2015 -> 09:25 AM)
Which three days? We are arriving mid-day on the 24th and leaving early morning on the 27th. Had enough credit card points to get a free suite at the Econo Lodge right by the Space Needle.

 

April 6-9, staying at Ravenswood Lodge, then on to Bristol for a couple of days with the wife's family.

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QUOTE (Knuckles @ Mar 15, 2015 -> 11:19 PM)
LA for a weekend in mid April.

 

Saturday night I will be at the Home Depot Center for a boxing match. Free Friday and Sunday.

 

Thinking, Venice Beach boardwalk, Hollywood and star walk, perhaps the wax museum.

Might venture to Little Tokyo to find some sushi.

 

Staying in Culver City, found decently priced room and close to everything. Will have a car.

 

What am I missing?

 

Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong

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QUOTE (Chi Town Sox @ Mar 16, 2015 -> 09:42 AM)
Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong

 

Duly noted! Thanks.

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Heading to Vegas in the morning for two nights, then spending a week near Palm Springs. Temps in the 90s every day.

 

Remember kids, if you do decide to get married, make sure your in-laws live somewhere nice & warm.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Mar 14, 2015 -> 01:02 PM)
I could suggest a ton of ****. It's an unbelievable tourist trap. Narrow it down a bit? Restaurants? Dinner theaters? Touristy museums? This kinda nice national park? Local places? Gigantic christmas supply store? Helicopter ride? Large zipline? Country's biggest knife store? Good camping? Hiking? Really nice small italian sammich/pizza place in Bristol? Anything in-between? I covered most of that area.

 

The first thing, #1 on the list...expect traffic. Traffic on the parkway is unbelievably bad.

Hillbilly golf of course.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Mar 16, 2015 -> 09:54 AM)
We have a cabin there for three days. I like the nature stuff best, but I am sure we will do some of the other with the kids.

Was traveling when you wrote that reply.

 

I did ~3 days in the park before I got ok with it the first time, but one of those days was a long hike. If you're up for a full day, get up in the morning, hit one of the pancake houses, and then head east into the park. The Parkway converts directly to the main road through the park and you'll hit the visitor's center first. Really nice place, even some tiny hikes-to-waterfalls right around it that could be done with youngins.

 

From there, drive up. 441 takes you up across the peak of the range. There are many pullouts on the way, just pick a couple.

 

Stop at the Appalachian Trail overlook/NC/TN boundary, that's also the site Roosevelt inaugurated the park and you can have the kids take a few steps along the AT, which even Ithought was neat.

 

Stop at Clingman's dome next. It's a turnout/1 mile drive. It's a 10-15 minute hike up a slope that will give old folks a workout but it's all paved (full street basically) and there's a visitor's center and the highest peak in the park with a lookout tower designed for tourists. If kids need a break there are benches on the side.

 

From there you head down into NC. There are some gorgeous stops overlooking the ridges on 441 after you get past the peak, probably my favorite ones of the drive. If you've packed a lunch you might be hitting lunchtime somewhere on this drive and some of the bigger pullouts might have a table. Heading further down the slope after a few stops you enter a valley where you follow a river until there's a large open area with a giant visitor's center. Stop there and plan on > 1 hour. Visitor's center, "historic buildings", some actual animals still there including pigs/chickens, you can head in and walk along the river a bit as well. If you're here towards the end of the day you might catch some of the moose in the area but I'm not sure how seasonal they are.

 

You're now right next to Cherokee, NC. If you'd like to stop by and visit any tacky Native American style facilities for shopping, moccasins/beads/all that stereotypical crap it's right down the road. You're also right by the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. You're also very close to a casino if your family does any of the buffet-dinner things (did that several times, not bad.)

 

If you try heading back through the park, it's great to catch the view from those lookouts on the NC side of the line at around sunset, but 441 gets jam-packed right at the end of the day, esp if its a weekend. You might get caught in 30+ minutes of traffic (weekdays better?). Alternative; you can take I-40 and do an hour-long drive around the park thorugh the mountains to the north that gets you back as well.

 

 

Other day: Pigeon Forge, dollywood is there if that would be your thing (Maybe not open yet?). Pretty much every chain restaurant you could ask for along with lots of other tourist traps, imagine every tourist trap you could think of it's probably there, including my list from earlier. In a couple weeks the Tennessee Smokies season starts, they're right there, depends on how late your SB is? You'll have to drive through there to get to Gatlinburg anyway, so just kinda keep your eyes open for stuff or look through a Pigeon Forge tourist booklet, there are tons.

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I am book marking the post for ideas. I know we won't get down into NC because we are going to Bristol VA/TN to visit family after Gatlinburg, but a lot of the other stuff sounds pretty awesome. I do want to get onto the AT for sure.

 

We have always done hiking stuff with the kids, so they are in pretty good shape. We have a few trails in the Dunes we do, and we pretty much did every trail at Turkey Run last year except the ladders.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Mar 27, 2015 -> 03:28 PM)
I am book marking the post for ideas. I know we won't get down into NC because we are going to Bristol VA/TN to visit family after Gatlinburg, but a lot of the other stuff sounds pretty awesome. I do want to get onto the AT for sure.

 

We have always done hiking stuff with the kids, so they are in pretty good shape. We have a few trails in the Dunes we do, and we pretty much did every trail at Turkey Run last year except the ladders.

That drive into NC and back to Gatlinburg is do-able in 1 day and if you can get down to the river (chatahoochee? sp?) it'd be worth it with the kids. It's in NC but it's a 1 day voyage that covers the heart of the park.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Mar 27, 2015 -> 03:31 PM)
That drive into NC and back to Gatlinburg is do-able in 1 day and if you can get down to the river (chatahoochee? sp?) it'd be worth it with the kids. It's in NC but it's a 1 day voyage that covers the heart of the park.

All good advice here. Dollywood just re-opened for the season.

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I am book marking the post for ideas. I know we won't get down into NC because we are going to Bristol VA/TN to visit family after Gatlinburg, but a lot of the other stuff sounds pretty awesome. I do want to get onto the AT for sure.

 

We have always done hiking stuff with the kids, so they are in pretty good shape. We have a few trails in the Dunes we do, and we pretty much did every trail at Turkey Run last year except the ladders.

 

We just got back. This was an interesting place: http://www.deerfarmzoo.com/newsite/index.php/en/

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QUOTE (ChiSox_Sonix @ Mar 17, 2015 -> 08:27 AM)
I survived New Orleans. What an interesting city. I can't believe that place exists.

 

Headed there today for a bachelor party too. Forecast is thunderstorms all weekend, but don't imagine we spend much time outside. If I don't survive to post next week, I had a good run.

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QUOTE (LittleHurt05 @ Apr 16, 2015 -> 05:55 AM)
Headed there today for a bachelor party too. Forecast is thunderstorms all weekend, but don't imagine we spend much time outside. If I don't survive to post next week, I had a good run.

 

Never. Drinking. Again.

 

That place is something else...

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QUOTE (LittleHurt05 @ Apr 20, 2015 -> 07:26 AM)
Never. Drinking. Again.

 

That place is something else...

 

Those were my thoughts exactly :lol:

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Yeah I seriously question sometimes whether New Orleans and Las Vegas actually exist. They are just so far out of the realm of anywhere in the country. So amazing.

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Just ran into MSNBCs Chris Matthews at security at LaGuardia

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I'm in Baltimore for work and got off early today, so I drove to Gettysburg and toured the civil war site (national park). What a tremendous experience. Would definitely recommend it.

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Anyone been to Iceland before? My buddy is lobbying really hard to get me to go with him later this summer. I think it'd be an unbelievable trip however I don't want to leave my 2 year old daughter behind for almost 2 weeks.

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