Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New Berlin, WI, USA
Re: Gattlinburg Trip
You've selected a great area for motorcycling. I did the same thing a few years ago, and have returned several times since.
Any road south or east of Gatlinburg will offer beautiful scenery and good riding. Be sure to ride as much of the Blue Ridge Parkway as your schedule permits. Buy a tee shirt at Deals Gap (an earlier poster is right about avoiding the area on weekends - Monday or Tuesday are best).
Don't worry about the slow pace at Cades Cove. The beauty of the area and its history are well worth the trip. Stop at all the old churches and wander throught their cemetaries. The history of the place is remarkable. Be sure to ride as many roads in the national park as time allows. Stop often.
You'll want to buy some detailed maps of the area so you can plot out routes through and around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that keep you off of the main roads, which are bumper-to-bumper during busy times.
In Gatlinburg, be sure to go to Ripley's Aquarium. It is fantastic, and more than worth the admission price. Depending on where you are going to stay, you can probably take a trolley into Gatlinburg rather than riding in traffic. Also, the area east of Gatlinburg is called The Glades, and is a multi-square mile dedicated Arts and Crafts community. Nearly every cabin also includes an artist's gallery or shop of some type.
You should spend a day in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. You can ride there form Gatlinburg, or take the trolley. I thought Dollywood would be hokey, but found it to be one of the most pleasant and interesting places I've been to, and have returned several times.
If there are shoppers in your party, you'll want to spend some time in Sevierville, where there are many upper end "outlet" malls.
Last, the area has incredible roads, many of which are very curvy and have modest speed limits so you can enjoy the scenery. Be sure to brush up on you slow-speed riding skills before your trip.
The Gatlinburg area and its surroundings can be very addictive. The second time my wife and I visited, we bought a cabin and decided that we'll eventually retire there. (No state income taxes and very low property taxes helped us make that decision).
Inside my 60 year old body is a 35 year old brain wondering what the hell happened.
2005 Suzuki Burgman