Spring Trip - Great Smoky Mountains & Gatlinburg TN

  • May 3, 2013 · 6:30 PM

This year our spring trip will be to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains.  Besides the picturesque town of Gatlinburg, both Cade's Cove and Clingman's Dome in the park are an easy drive.  We will focus on Clingman's Dome either Friday afternoon and/or all day Saturday.  Cade's Cove is an easier return to Atlanta, so we will make that our Sunday destination.  Of course the beauty of the park will stop you in your tracks wherever you go.

Most of our time together will be at meals, where we can plan our shooting schedule and decide who we will go with and where we will go.  This trip is pretty much up to you as to where you shoot, but you are encouraged to go with others from the group to make the trip that much more fun.

Friday evening we will get together for dinner at 6:30 PM at:

Blaine's Grill & Bar

812 Parkway, Suite 105

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Sunday morning we will meet for breakfast at 9 AM at:

Pancake Pantry

628 Parkway

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Since we will probably be on the road during the day, you are encouraged to pick up a picnic lunch to take with you to the park, since there are no eating places in the park.

We have selected 3 possible hotel/motel options for you, but this year we will not reserve a block of rooms. It takes too much time to get it just right, and you don't really save that much money.  But...you are encouraged to ask about discounts available through AAA and AARP.  You will be responsible for making and paying for your own reservations.

The 3 options for lodging include:

Comfort Inn on the River (Starting at about $94 per night)

293 Parkway

Gatlinburg TN 37738

Phone:[masked]

 

Sleep Inn and Suites (Starting at about $85 per night)

335 East Parkway

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Phone:[masked]

 

Clarion Inn & Suites (Starting at about $129 per night)

1100 Parkway

Gatlinburg TN 37738

Phone:[masked]

These three hotels have free parking, free breakfast, and free wireless internet.

 

As we near the month of May, more details will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, start saving your money, book your reservations, and plan to spend a couple of wonderful days in and around the Great Smoky Mountains.

 

We will organize a texting group so we can remain in touch while on our trip.  Please indicate your cell phone number in the space provided and whether or not you have texting capability.  No one will see these number on the Meetup site except your Organizer.

 

 

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  • Nancie S.

    The photos are really great!! I hate to put my out there next to Y'all's!! I plan to anyway. How do you get them ready so fast?!

    1 · May 6, 2013

  • Alice H.

    Enjoyed the journey, talking with members and the beauty of the Great Smokies despite the intruding rain showers.

    May 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Pam and I really enjoyed the trip, even with the rain. The waterfalls were definitely "falling" and the mountains were beautiful. We were rained out on Sunday but managed to get in some hiking and photography on Monday, after the rain cleared out. Hopefully I can post some photos tonight.

    May 8, 2013

  • Ronald R.

    Take a look at this website I found, if you want some inspiration about the Smokies and surrounding areas:http://www.daveallenphotography.com/landscape.php

    May 8, 2013

  • Crista

    I had a wonderful time. I had never been to Gatlinburg and loved the mountainous drive! The rain added to the adventure.

    1 · May 7, 2013

  • Anita R.

    I felt the same way Nancie...their photos are soo good.

    May 7, 2013

  • Nancie S.

    Great trip; we had a lot of fun and the photo opportunities were wonderful, so much for the rain.

    May 6, 2013

  • Ronald R.

    What a nice weekend. Even with the rain, I, personally, enjoyed the Smokies and shooting beautiful pictures. Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a fun weekend. Now, let's all get busy and post some of those beautiful pictures.

    May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So is everyone just kinda doing their own thing? I've never been before and have NO IDEA where to go or where to get started? Feels kinda overwhelming, it's such a huge place. I won't be arriving until about 3pm. Suggestions please.

    May 3, 2013

    • Ronald R.

      Denna, plan to join us for dinner at Blaine's and we'll talk about the rest of the weekend.

      May 3, 2013

  • Perry

    Hope you guys have a great time . maybe next time I'll have a chance to go LOL.

    May 2, 2013

  • gary h.

    I know that this is a late notification but I have put up a Metz 50 AF-1 flash for sell here locally and thought that I would offer it to this group. If someone wants it, I can bring it to the meetup this weekend.

    Metz 50 AF-1 Nikon Flash
    Like new in box with manual
    I-TTL Flash for Nikon and FujiFilm cameras
    Guide Number: 50 (ISO 100 at 105 mm) - About equivalent to a SB600

    More specs here: http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/metz-mecablitz-i-ttl-flash-50-af-1-for-nikon.html

    $175

    If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll bring it this weekend. It's a great flash but I have way too many speedlights.

    May 2, 2013

  • Carolyn M.

    Wish I was joining you guys. You will have an awesome time. I just have too much going on right now, but will catch up with you at the next one for which I am signed up. Looking forward to some fabulous shots from this very talented group of folks.

    May 2, 2013

  • gary h.

    I'll be somewhat limited this weekend as I found out today that I have a stress fracture in my ankle. I'll be hobbling with no hiking. Sounds like Cades Cove will be my big trip unless I do the street in Gatlinburg. Bummed!

    May 2, 2013

  • Nancie S.

    Thank you so much....I have now farmed out my dog. I am staying at the Comfort Inn where Ron is staying.

    May 1, 2013

    • gary h.

      Party at the Comfort Inn!

      May 2, 2013

  • Nancie S.

    Do any of the hotels take pets? I'm thinking the Comfort Inn might...

    February 9, 2013

    • Nancie S.

      None of those 3 take pets; motels like the Red Roof take pets. I may try and get someone to take care of my dog.

      April 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Nancy and Gary I found Westgate Resort on Hotwire, I don't have pets but it does say that they are pet friendly

      May 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Did anyone else notice the reviews on the hotels? They are not good. Has anyone actually stayed at either of these hotels? I need to know if they are clean ans well maintained. Thanks

    May 1, 2013

    • Ronald R.

      Denna, I looked at the ratings and read the reviews on Trip Advisor. I didn't think they looked that bad. I'm staying at the Comfor Inn on the River, and the reviews all said it was dated but very clean. There were many compliments about the staff as well.

      May 1, 2013

    • gary h.

      You have to take those reviews with a grain of salt. For example, recently, I traveled to Baseball Spring Training in Florida. For any hotels under !00 a night, there were bad reviews for the area. I paid $37 a night for, what I thought, would be a roach-infested hole. It turned out to be a very decent, clean room. Looking back at the reviews, I think that most were looking for the Taj Mahal in an area where spring break is heavy and cheap hotels are plentiful. It helps, when reading the reviews, to see what "problems" the other guests had and to imagine their expectations.

      May 1, 2013

  • Andrew B.

    Due to a recent change...I may not attend...Drew

    May 1, 2013

  • Jeanne Ritchey T.

    Don't forget a warm coat, the summit of Clingman's Dome will consistently be 10 degrees or more cooler than the floor of the valley--and the forecast is for highs in the mid sixties both Saturday and Sunday and the mornings will be even cooler.

    May 1, 2013

  • gary h.

    This is a last call for anyone that might want to share a room on this trip. I know that everyone should have their room by now. But, if someone has let the date slip up on them, I have a solution. $70 gets you two nights at the Comfort Inn. I have a room with two queen beds that I will share.

    If interested, I can be contacted at [masked] .

    May 1, 2013

  • Ronald R.

    For those wondering about Highway 441 between Cherokee NC and Gatlinburg TN: Although a landslide closed the road during the winter, the National Park Service reported on April 15 that the road is now open with no restrictions.

    May 1, 2013

  • Nancie S.

    I am very much a Cades Cove person and I will need to fit it in on Sat. as I will be going back early Sun. I think there is Abrams Falls or something like that within the cove that you have to hike to.

    April 29, 2013

  • gary h.

    Here are a few waterfalls that are in the Gatlinburg area. I am more of a Cades Cove type of guy but might be up for a waterfall or two if it doesn't take all day to hike to it.

    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm

    April 29, 2013

  • Anthony Wayne Johnson S.

    There is an app for that... Checkout the iPhone app... Great Smoky Mountains National Park - The Official Guide by Nomad Mobile Guides

    April 29, 2013

    • Ronald R.

      Thanks for the info. I purchased the app and it looks like a great guide.

      April 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Gary for the waterfall information, I think waterfalls make nice pictures.

    April 29, 2013

  • gary h.

    Is anyone looking to share a room? I have a room reserved at the Comfort Inn with two queen-sized beds. I'm a non-smoker and non-drinker and prefer the same. Cost will be $70 ($59 + taxes) for the weekend. I'll be driving up from Alabama and will arrive Friday afternoon.

    April 27, 2013

  • gary h.

    Sometimes, it pays to procrastinate. I just purchased my room at the Comfort Inn and got the Choice rate of $59/night. I llok forward to seeing everyone there.

    April 24, 2013

  • Carolyn M.

    Want to go, but need to know if this entails mountain driving. I am not mountain-driving savvy.

    January 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm probably leaving Friday morning so I can hike and get some photos on the mountain road between Cherokee and Gatlinburg. Gorgeous scenery!

      February 2, 2013

    • Carolyn M.

      I can't go. Will have out- of-owners.....

      April 15, 2013

  • Carolyn M.

    I would like to go, but am not able to navigate mountains. Please let me know if this includes mountain driving.

    January 26, 2013

    • Jeanne Ritchey T.

      Only way to get there is over the mountains

      April 15, 2013

    • Carolyn M.

      I gather. As it turns out, my Mom will be visiting and I won't get to go. Next time....

      April 15, 2013

  • Pam W

    I will not be able to get off work on Friday. If I get off on Saturday, I will plan on joining the group early Sat morning. Probably wont know until m

    April 15, 2013

  • Anthony Wayne Johnson S.

    I see the list of Hotels. Any particular one everyone is staying at?? I think going to rent a wide angle lense.

    April 11, 2013

    • Ronald R.

      I'll be at the Comfort Inn!

      April 15, 2013

  • Kishore R.

    Hi all ... I want to shoot star trails from Clingmans Dome observatory. How safe is that place at night?

    Appreciate your comments.

    April 9, 2013

    • Jeanne Ritchey T.

      Safety in numbers! Talk a bunch of folks into going with you, bet you get lts of takers

      April 15, 2013

  • Linda H.

    I have a mandatory conference to attend this weekend. Sorry I can't go was looking forward to going to a place I love.

    April 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    .

    March 24, 2013

  • Roger E.

    I checked tripadvisor.com and Riverhouse at the Park was rated 6th of 89 Gatlinburg area hotels. It's near an entrance to the National Park and had a rate, taxes included, of about $85 per night. http://www.riverhousemotels.com/riverhouse_at_the_park.html They are very low tech -- I called them, and they mailed me a letter, asking for a check for one night's lodging as a deposit.

    March 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Have to be in town this weekend in case any issues arise from our corporate office move. :(

    March 1, 2013

  • Anita R.

    Hi everyone... I just purchased my hotel from Living Social . They have a promo for $120.00 for 2 nights and breaky buffet is included.
    Here's the link..
    http://www.livingsocial.com/escapes/608906-smoky-mountains-resort?append_ref_code=source_cities_show&msdc_id=580-atlanta-cobb-county

    March 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately, we just learned that we will be moving that weekend.

    February 20, 2013

  • Ronald R.

    Gary, I have reservations at the Comfort Inn mentioned in the writeup.

    February 9, 2013

  • gary h.

    I'm making my reservations this week. Has anyone else decided on a hotel yet?

    February 9, 2013

  • Bob M.

    My wife will be with me. Will be staying till Monday.

    February 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dont have the time off for this one

    February 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Love the smokies! Can't wait to shoot up there.

    February 1, 2013

  • Pam W

    I will not be able to get off work on Friday. If I get off on Saturday, I will plan on joining the group early Sat morning. Probably wont know until m

    January 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm a school teacher... I do my traveling during summer break

    January 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm forced to attend in order to keep Pam out of trouble :-)

    January 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds like fun!

    January 11, 2013

  • Nancie S.

    I am planning on going and hoping that I will be able to. Cades Cove is about my favorite place in the States.

    January 11, 2013

  • Easice G.

    I am interested. Been to Gaitlinburg, TN on the motorbike. Very pretty scenery. Would like to capture the atmosphere

    January 11, 2013

  • Andrew B.

    Am saying yes for now...will have to confirm schedule

    January 11, 2013

  • Linda H.

    I would be interested in sharing a cabin.

    January 11, 2013

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