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Old 06-24-2015, 11:29 PM   #1
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Smoky Mountain Area campgrounds

Planning a family vacation next summer and looking for some possible campgrounds near the Smoky Mountains National Park. Drove through Tennessee, but never camped there. 2 boys one will be 8 the 2 when we go. Heard good things about KOA in Pigeon Forge and Anchor down, but not sure exactly where that one is in relation to everything. Any ideas?
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:44 AM   #2
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Hi! My family and I just spend a week in that area. We stayed at Anchor Down, about 20 minutes North of the Smokies. I would recommend to go there, hands down the best campground I've been to yet. I'm sure there are other nice ones there, but it is really that nice. The prices were very reasonable especially considering it's only a year old. Here is my thread with some pictures..
https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f1...-tn-28323.html

I think i saw the KOA in Pigeon Forge you mentioned. If it is the one I saw, it looked very tight. Meaning it looked like people were packed in fairly close, on top of one another. The pool looked small and quite frankly, it looked a little dumpy. There may be more than one in the area, but I distinctly remember thinking that I was glad we weren't in there....

One more thing...I friend of mine heard we were going to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The next thing he told me rang in my ears while we were there. He said "...bring yer wallet!..." Areas around there are a tourist trap....plenty to do.

Overall it was a great trip. We will do it again.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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It is the one we passed. It is in a busy area. Some of these reviews touch on that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Pige...3b79a2bccde3,1
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:09 PM   #4
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Yea, that place looks great. I assume there is lot to entertain the kids nearby if you're willing to drop the cash?
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:18 PM   #5
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Yes. Like I mentioned, it's not far from things to do. Dollywood and that whole area are only about a 20-25 minute drive. There's go-carts, mini-golf and things like that. Ripley's has a series of museums and attractions. The aquarium was very cool. My kids loved the shark tank. You walk through a glass tunnel and they swim all around. (pics below)

We also spent a lot of time just hanging out at the campground. As you can see from the pictures, there's no comparison to the KOA. If you are coming from Missouri, Anchor Down will not disappoint! The pool is huge and the kids loved the slide.
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IMG_20150609_150801595.jpg   IMG_20150609_154224233.jpg   IMG_20150609_154118582.jpg  
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:06 PM   #6
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You sold me. Where is the aquarium?
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:17 PM   #7
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It's in Gatlinburg. It's apart of the Ripley's series of attractions. You can buy a bundle price to see multiple attractions to save some money. Some complain that they think the aquarium is small. We took our time and saw all the exhibits an thought that it was a good experience.

If you research the area (both PF and Gatlingburg) you will see there is plenty to do. Everywhere there are multiple brochures for everything.

That's one thing I liked about Anchor Down's location, it was far enough away from the tourist stuff to be a very relaxed atmosphere. Yet, you are minutes from lots of places to go.

We wanted to do the Dixie Stampede. It's a dinner and show kind of thing (associated with Dollywood) that is supposed to be awesome. We just decided we did plenty and hung around the campfire (or chimney on our site) instead.

Just down the road from ADown is the main road that runs through all of it. There's a nice, newer grocery store at the corner that was like a medium Kroger. We shopped our food there, normal prices, nothing inflated.

A-Down also rents golf carts by the day. If you are into that (we did a day), I'd reserve a couple days when you book. It seemed they would sell out quite a bit...heard an employee say something about getting more on hand.

Sorry if I am overloading you with info...just still fresh in my mind...it was just 2 weeks ago.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:02 PM   #8
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I appreciate it. The more info the better.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:23 PM   #9
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The whole family loved it down there and are planning on going back next year. We haven't been to anchor down , but that will be our campground of choice after all the reviews I read about the place. The aquarium is well worth it so is the Dixi Stampede, the kids lived both. We also did the Titanic which was pretty cool. Excellent destination for family's next time we plan on doing the zip line tour and also the ATV tour of the mountain range.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:44 AM   #10
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We stayed at Cove Mountain RV Resort a few years back and had a positive experience. It was April, so the pool wasn't open yet, but the point for us was to get out and visit the attactions, not stay at the RV park.

It's located about halfway between Pigeon Forge and Cades Cove (one of the popular mountain destinations). I recall it being pretty well maintained, had full hookups, cable and WiFi, but there wasn't a lot of other amenities except for the pool, a huge open field for the kids to play in and great views of the mountains. However, there are lots of things to do within a 15 minute drive (e.g., zip lining, wood carver, antiques, horseback riding) and more if you want to venture just a little further up into the mountains, Gatlinburg or the madness that is Pigeon Forge.
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