We are planning a trip to the Smokies area in August and are looking for some input in planning. In addition to the smokies, we would like to visit Asheville, NC, Chattanooga, TN, and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. We would be travelling by car from the southern New Jersey area. I have mapped out the following rough itinerary:
Day 1: Drive to Asheville. Stop at Luray Caverns, VA enroute.
Day 2: Biltmore Estate
Day 3: Chimney Rock Park, then drive to Pigeon Forge
Day 4: Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park
Day 5: Possible additional time at Nat'l Park . Also to include Tuckaleechee Caverns, Ripley's Aquarium or Ober Gatlinburg
Day 6: Dollywood
Day 7: Drive to Chattanooga. See the Lost Sea in Swiftwater enroute
Day 8: Ruby Falls/Incline Railway; Rock City
Day 9: Tennessee Aquarium, plus any other points of interest in this area.
Day 10: Drive to Mammoth Cave. Possibly see one or two of the private caves in the area (i.e. Diamond Caverns, Cave Museum in Horse Cave)
Day 11: Tour Mammoth Cave
Day 12: Kentucky Down Under
Day 13: Head for home
I am looking for input as to any other points of interest I may have missed. We are a family of three (2 adults & a 9-year old). We enjoy caves, moderate hikes (no more than 1.5 miles) nature walks, historic homes, museums, and scenic drives.
Please let me know if I have alloted too much/not enough time for any area.
I have posted this in all of the forums in the areas we plan to visit. For experts in this area, I would appreciate any input on the time needed to adquately see Chimney Rock Park and Biltmore. I figure a full-day for Biltmore and possibly a half day for Chimney Rock.
Thanks in advance for your input/opinions.