View Full Version : Request for non-hiking info for Lake Fontana

08-18-2007, 20:49

I am driving my 90 year old mother up to see the Smokies from Atlanta for 2 nights in early Sept. Can some of you fine folks bail me out of a bind by recommending some scenic spots to stay the night?


Thanks tons for your help. I hope this is not too off-topic.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-18-2007, 22:29
Fontana Village Resort (http://www.fontanavillage.com/) is one option, but it more touristy than scenic IMO.

If you want a more outdoor setting, Tapoco Lodge (http://www.tapocolodge.com/) is a resort in a beautiful setting with a nice restaurant about 15 miles from Fontana. Lots of info on their web site about the facility.

I've also heard good things about Blue Waters Mountain Lodge (http://www.bluewatersmtnl.com/) and Snowbird Lodge (http://www.snowbirdlodge.com/).

The Cherohala Skyway (http://www.cherohala.com/) is a paved two lane mountain highway that will allow your mother to see many breathtaking vistas and the changing leaves from the car. Be forewarned that all the toilet facilities are pit toilets, but the park service keeps them quite clean. There is ample handicapped parking and the facilities are accessible with a walker or wheelchair. There are no restaurants, stores are gas stations along the parkway so be prepared. I strongly recommend driving out Forest Road 210 to Bald River Falls (about 5.5 miles). It is a spectacular waterfall, about 90', and can be seen from the car as well.

08-18-2007, 22:40
First night Bryson City , Charleston Inn B&B.Next morning drive thru Cherokee (pick up a picnic lunch to take with you) and enter the park going up to Newfound Gap and down into Tennessee to Sugarlands Visitor center. Turn left at center and follow signs to Cades Cove. Picnic area just to the left before the eleven mile loop.After lunch take the loop and then head back to Townsend where there are plenty places to stay the second night. Heading back just follow 321 to Maryville And follow signs to 411 south for a country drive back to ATL.

08-18-2007, 23:44
You guys are fantastic!! This is great info.

Thank you so much. ( My mother thanks you as well :)

08-19-2007, 01:30
drivng from bryson city to cades cove is a long trip for a day ,,esp with 90 year old mom. the Fryemont Inn in Bryson city is historic and fantastic, and THE place to stay.

the first few miles of the blue ridge parkway are spectacular.
accessed just north of cherokee NC,

check out oconeeluftee visitor center just north of Cherokee,,,old restored farm place,,,but on a smaler scale then cades cove.

early sept ..maybe some leaf color up near balsam mtn campground accessed off the blue ridge parkway.

08-19-2007, 20:34
Thanks, Smok'. This all looks good.

08-20-2007, 09:53
Also check out the Jarrett House in Dillsboro, either as a place to stay or for their "family style" meals. www.jarretthouse.com (http://www.jarretthouse.com) She might also enjoy a ride from Bryson City to the NOC and back on the Great Smoky Mountains Railway. www.gsmr.com (http://www.gsmr.com)

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-20-2007, 10:12
The roadways SmokyMountainSteve mentions are very scenic and have one advantage that my suggestion does not - multiple bailout points if your mother becomes tired or ill. I have a 90 yo aunt - some days are better than others at that age and having a plan for a good day and an alternative plan for a not-so-good-day in place would be wise.

09-25-2007, 17:04

I want to thank all of you for your very helpful advice and suggestions, as well as apologize for being so late to post this. I just returned home last night after 3 1/2 weeks of driving coast-to-coast and other places.

My Mother and I really enjoyed our "adventure" from ATL to the Smokies. We stayed in Cherokee and Marysville, TN, as suggested by y'all. We had consciously decided not to make reservations, due to the fact that, as the Dinos pointed out, there are good days and bad days at her age. (Heck, at MY age as well!) Her health was great for the trip, but we enjoyed just making our schedule as we went along. A motorized version of HYOH, I guess.

What scenery! The Blue Ridge Parkway was awesome, but the entire trip, particularly the Smokies, was incredible as well.

Thanks again to all of you for your wonderful input, and I want you all to know that you greatly assisted in a memorable trip for both my Mother and me.

ed bell
09-25-2007, 17:52
One of the reasons I like this website is the ability to get help with this kind of stuff. Whether it be trails, views, lodging, directions, advise, ect., there are ALWAYS plenty who step up and help out. Glad you had a good trip.:sun

09-26-2007, 14:26
One of the reasons I like this website is the ability to get help with this kind of stuff. Whether it be trails, views, lodging, directions, advise, ect., there are ALWAYS plenty who step up and help out. Glad you had a good trip.:sun

Thanks, Ed. As a matter of fact, I also went to Columbia, SC with an old high school buddy of mine to watch the GCocks play SC State. The fans were great. Don't guess you are a USC fan, by any chance?

You're right about the willingness of the members to provide any kind of assistance on this site. It is really remarkable.