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Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

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Pitman, New Jersey
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Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

I am writing to get the some opinions. I'm from southern New Jersey and plan on visiting Chattanooga, Asheville, Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park and Mammoth Cave in August. In order to save drive time, we are considering flying to one of the areas and branching off from there. I can get a round-trip airfare right now on Delta from Philadelphia to Chattanooga for $200 (includes taxes and fees).

I am thinking this is a pretty good fare. Opinions, please?

Also, the flight connects in Atlanta and has a 51 min. layover. Is this enough time to connect? I understand Atlanta airport is pretty busy and LARGE.

Thanks in advance!

Franklin, TN
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1. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

$200 RT is very good for Chattanooga. As for 51 min. in ATL, you will be fine. ATL has indoor rail system to get you to alternate terminals. I'd jump on it.

Good luck and welcome to Tennessee,

Boston...
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2. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

I'd agree that $200 is pretty good. Almost an hour should be enough to get through Atlanta, even though it's the busiest airport in the world... the rail that volrichard noted does cut off a lot on the time.

I remember the thread you posted on this forum in late January... what did you decide on doing in the end?

Good luck,

Blue

Pitman, New Jersey
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3. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

Thanks to both of you. Your insight helps greatly!

Blue, we are still looking to visit the same areas as the post I did in January. I figured we might be able to cut down on some drive time. I was just thinking more along the lines of changing the order we see everything. Chattanooga is right in the "southern center" of our touring area. We would probably drive to either Mammoth or maybe even the smokies and ending the trip in Chattanooga so we can fly out easily. I am still planning on 12 days even with a flight. Do you think that is too much time? I figured on 3 nights in Mammoth area, 2 nights in Asheville, 3 nights in the Smokies, and 3 nights in Chatt.

I am thinking of avoiding the Smokies on a weekend. Do you agree since we will be there in August when I know it will be busy?

We will still probably go to Ruby Falls despite it's "commercialism." I have to admit that we are still curious to see it. The aquarium, Rock City, and the incline are on the agenda as well. I think for your area, we might not have enough planned activities, but this way, it could allow us some flexibiltiy to relax and add some nature walks and perhaps the national military park there.

Blue, I believe you had recommended staying in Townsend, but I think we might wind up in Pigeon Forge. (I could be mixing you up with another member). I was looking for a suite, and there seemed to be more to choose from in Pigeon Forge. A good friend of mine told me she can get us "around the parkway," which I understand is very busy!

Hopefully by flying a little closer, we will afford ourselves some time to enjoy the sights more.

If anyone else has advice/opinions to contribute, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks again!

Boston...
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4. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

In order to avoid repetitiveness through this post, I’ll say it here: IHMO, for all blatant opinions below. :)

My suggestions for itinerary: 1- Fly into Chattanooga, and if at all possible, drive to Mammoth Cave. 2&3- I’d imagine that two days would be enough to see the park, although this is up to you, especially since you’re cave fans. 4-7- Drive to Smokies. 8-11- Drive to Chattanooga. 12- Fly out.

I purposefully left out Asheville since I don’t think it’s worth the driving. The only thing there really worth doing is the Biltmore Estate, so all that driving would just cut off your time in the Smokies and Chattanooga. However, and idea would be to drive from the Smokies to Ashville, spend the night, then the next day to visit the estate and drive to Chattanooga.

Avoiding the Smokies during the weekend not only makes sense, but is more of a necessary type of thing. August is the very worst month for crowds, so even during weekdays you’ll be seeing tons of people. You can get some tips for crowds on the Cades Cove page in the Great Smoky Mountains Inside Pages. Just try to get out of the car as much as you can, and walk a few meters on a trail, and all the people disappear (I think some odd 80% of visitors to the park never leave the car).

I still recommend the Lost Sea over Ruby Falls, and expensive and over-crowded attraction… but don’t take my word for, just look at the reviews! The average rating is about 2 ½ stars.

I’ll post more later. Hope this helps.

Blue

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i4832-Walking_T…

Boston...
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5. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

In this case "later" means several days later. I've been slammed with homework and haven't been able to post.

Going back to Ruby Falls, I think I can just sum it up in this: there’s a whole lot of “five star” things to do in Chattanooga that would be a fraction of the cost.

When on the top-end of the Incline, don’t miss the chance to walk just a little ways north to the Point Park. It is situated on the very peak of Lookout, and has some of the best views of the city. There are also cannon replicas and a monument. Nearby by road and a two mile hike by trail is Sunset Rock, one of many hidden gems on Lookout Mountain. It has great views of Lookout Valley; Union generals used it as a overlook when directing armies during the Civil War.

No it was me who strongly dis-recommended Pigeon Forge. The parkway is a traffic nightmare, and at least for me, it just isn’t a nice or enjoyable atmosphere. The main reason for not staying there would be that it isn’t as close to Gatlinburg and Townsend to the park. Just my opinion, but I still think you should stick with Townsend, or at least Gatlinburg.

Nashville, TN
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6. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

I think that is a very good fare. You might consider checking out bestfares.com. They have recently improved and upgraded the site. It will show you the lowest airfares and compare it with surrounding airports at the same time over a period of several days.

I have been to all of the places you describe. How about Nashville? You will pass thru on the way to Mammoth Cave. Just my two cents: 3 days in Mammoth is too much. There is much more to see and do the the Smoky Mtn. area, and relatively nothing else there but the cave. I wholeheartedly agree to stay out of the Smokies on an August weekend. It will take hours to go a few miles in a car from Sevierville to Gatlinburg, and throughout the park. You may get very good deals and fewer neighbors if you go about the 3rd or 4th week in Aug when all of the kids are back in school. Also be aware that there will be a lot of summer heat and humidity here. Have fun.

PHILADELPHIA
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7. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

Try flying Southwest to Nashville and driving to Chattanooga. I am paying approximately $250 for two.

Pitman, New Jersey
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8. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

Thanks to everyone for their insight. We have booked the flight on Delta arriving on 8/3 (Friday) and leaving on 8/14 (Tuesday). We will start in Mammoth and leave there on first thing Monday, 8/6. We will then drive to the Smokies and stay until 8/9 (get out before the weekend). 8/9 we will go over to Asheville and spend a couple of nights to see Biltmore and Chimney Rock and then head down to Chattanooga on 8/11.

Mrs Popeye, I think we will be ok with the time in Mammoth, as much of it will be spent getting there and then going over to the Smokies. I alloted an extra day because we are seriously considering Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green. We are thinking of doing this instead of Dollywood, which seems very expensive to us. I am not a rider, and our family really aren't big country music lovers (or crafts either). My husband and daughter enjoy the rides and this is their way to "get their fix." We have been to some small parks in our area (i.e. Knoebels) and really enjoyed them.

Blue, we really want to see Biltmore so we will keep Asheville on the agenda. We will probably keep Ruby Falls also, despite what we have heard, not just from you, but from some friends who have gone also. We are curious though. We also plan on seeing the Lost Sea (my husband is VERY interested in this!). We are looking forward to it.

Blue, I have some questions about the traffic in Pigeon Forge. How bad do you think it would be on a Monday-Thursday scenario? I have a Gatlinburg travel guide, and it looks pretty touristy as well. Is this traffic less here? Are there more ways around it? I am just curious as to why you would recommend it over Pigeon Forge. Since I've never been to either place, I really appeciate your insight.

Blue, I haven't ruled out Townsend, but looking at its area guide, it looks like there is not the abundance of restaurants in the area as Pigeon Forge or even Gatlinburg. Would you or anyone else recommend driving to Pigeon Forge to eat and then back to Townsend to sleep?

One place I was looking at was Valley View Lodge in Townsend. It used to be a Best Western. It has some good reviews on here, and some mediocre ones as well. Has anyone stayed here recently? It sounds like it was being renovated late last year. I liked the fact that it has family suites.

Any insight more would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Boston...
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9. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

I really have only driven through the area two or three times, so my guess on specifics on the traffic is about as good as yours. However, I would say that you’d be looking at about the same traffic in Gatlinburg as in Pigeon Forge. I don’t know of any faster way than the crowded central parkway, so someone else will have to fill you in on that. The reason I would recommend Gat. Over PG is that it is a higher-end tourist trap, and is closer to the park.

When visiting the Smokies you’ll be doing a lot of driving anyway, and often a quick leg over to Gatlinburg wouldn’t be much of the drive. I wouldn’t let lack of restaurants keep me out of Townsend. You could also post a thread in the Gatlinburg forum to see if there are any good restaurants closer to the Townsend area, other than the three in the index.

10. Re: Airfare Price to Chattanooga from Philadelphia

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