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Great Smoky Mountains National Park and much more Fall Tour
North Carolina, South Carolina & Tennessee

Oct. 29 – Nov. 3. 2024. Tue – Sun. (5 days/5 nights)

 

Join us in this tour to North Carolina, South Carolina & Tennessee.

On this tour we will NOT include the airfare, this gives you the flexibility to fly in days before or stay longer to extend your vacation, choose which airport to travel from and maybe use your own frequent flyer points.

 

$1,099 (Per person based on double occupancy)

$1,399 (Single room, must be 18 years old)

Please let us know if you do not have a traveling partner and you want us helping you find another person of the same gender to share a room with to save $300. 

 

To reserve a seat for this tour you must pay a $300 non-refundable deposit per person. Remaining balance is due latest Sept. 24th 2024, if the remaining balance is not received on that day, the reservation will be considered cancelled with loss of the deposit. Reservations for this tour made after Sept. 24th 2024, must be paid in full at time of reservation. (If seats are still available)

 

 

The following is included in the price:             

  • 5 nights accommodations at a 2-3 Star comfortable hotel
  • 5 Breakfasts at the hotel
  • 4 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • 4 full sightseeing days
  • Unlimited water consumption
  • All local transportation w. private vehicle during the tour from Asheville Hotel back to Asheville Hotel
  • All entrance fees and parking fees for the parks we will visit
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Mountain Farm Museum
  • Gatlinburg SkyPark (Longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America & Chair Lift)
  • Chimney Rock State Park
  • Cherokee Nation (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)
  • Museum of the Cherokee Indian
  • Whitewater Falls (Tallest Waterfall in the Eastern US)
  • Mount Mitchell State Park (Tallest Mountain in the Eastern US)
  • Caesars Head State Park
  • Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
  • Blue Ridge Parkway 
  • Cradle of Forestry in America (First forestry school in the US) 
  • Nantahala National Forest
  • Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area
  • DuPont State Recreational Forest
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Linville Gorge Wilderness (Linville Falls)
  • Tour coordinator during the whole tour from Asheville Hotel back to Asheville Hotel
  • Wifi at the hotels
  • All taxes and fees

 

Not included in price:

  • Airfare and luggage fees from and to NYC (Can probably be purchased for about $200 - $350)
  • Any snack between meals
  • Any insurance
  • Taxi/Uber from and to the Hotel and Asheville Airport 
  • Gratuities for your guides/driver (Tipping your tour guide is left to your discretion)

 

Helpful info regarding making a flight reservation.

The airline with the best prices between NYC and Asheville, North Carolina is usually www.Allegiantair.com. They have direct flights between Newark airport and Asheville, NC, usually for less than $100 one-way. The only issue is that they usually only fly between the two cities during that time of the year on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. That means if you do decide to fly with them, you can probably only use them flying back on Sunday November 3rd. You can use a website like Kayak.com to find the best deal using same or different airlines for roundtrip flights. They will basically show you two one-way tickets if that is the cheapest option, which it often is, if one of the flights are with Allegiant air. Allegiant air usually doesn’t make their flight schedule before 6-8 months a flight date, so you probably can't book with them before late February to late April.

 

 

TOUR START

The tour will start from Hotel Quality Inn and Suites Biltmore East in Asheville, North Carolina on Tuesday Oct. 29th 2024. You can check in any time after 3 pm, please let us know your flight itinerary and make sure that you buy a ticket for Asheville, North Carolina (Airport code AVL

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Parkis located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. This is the United States most visited national park with 12-14 million annual visitors. The Smoky Mountains became a National Park in 1926, and in 1983 the park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1988.

 

Clingmans Dome  

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at 6,643 ft. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. We will drive almost to the top, where you will find a visitor center and a 1.3-mile out-and-back paved trail, (but a bit steep) to the top of the mountain, where there is a viewing tower with 360° views of the Smokies and beyond.

 

Historical Buildings

Great Smoky Mountains National Park have some of the best historical buildings in the United States. Over 90 historic structures such as houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools, and gristmills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park. Many of these have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. We will visit some of these historical wonders.

 

Visitor Centers

We will visit several visitor centers on this tour, both in the National Park and in other National Forests and State Parks. These are good places to pick up park maps, get info and they usually also sell souvenirs as well.

 

 

Mountain Farm Museum

The adjacent to one of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitor centers, you will find the Mountain Farm Museum. This is a unique collection of farm buildings assembled from locations throughout the park. You can explore a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop to get a sense of how families may have lived 100 years ago. The site also demonstrates historic gardening and agricultural practices, including livestock.

 

 

Gatlinburg SkyPark - Longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America

At the Gatlinburg SkyPark, you will experience the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, the 680 ft long, Gatlinburg SkyBridge. With a height of 140 feet at its midpoint and 30 feet of glass-floor panels in the middle of the span, the SkyBridge is an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. The view from the bridge is considered some of the best in the Smoky Mountains.

 

To get to the bridge, we will first ascent in a scenic chairlift. After we walk across the SkyBridge, we will take a short hike along the SkyTrail and climb the Tulip Tower to the observation area. Lastly, we will relax and take in the view from the SkyDeck, and you will have some time to shop in the SkyCenter for souvenirs.

 

 

Chimney Rock State Park 

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a nature lover’s paradise, with a mixture of spectacular views and incredible hiking trails. Chimney Rock, the 535-million-year-old monolith for which the Park is named, is considered one of the most iconic sites in North Carolina. From its top, you'll soak in the 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. You can also hike above it, which is where the photo above is taken from.

 

To get to the top of Chimney Rock, you can either take an elevator up to a short staircase leading to the top of the Rock. Or, you can climb the 500 steps to the top of the Rock. Along the way, you'll be able to explore the many amazing unique viewpoints. For the average adult, it takes about 25 minutes to walk up to reach the Chimney.

 

Hickory Nut Falls Trail — You will have time for an additional 1.5-mile roundtrip leisurely walk to the bottom of the 404-foot waterfall.

 

DuPont State Recreational Forest (High Falls)

DuPont State Recreational Forest, commonly known as DuPont Forest, is a 12,500-acre state forest, located in North Carolina. In this park we will hike to the most impressive waterfall in the park and one of the most impressive waterfalls in all of North Carolina, High Falls. This is a 150-ft tall spectacular waterfall. To get to the falls, we will hike a 1.5 Mile Roundtrip hike with a modest elevation gain of about 200 ft.

 

Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head State Park is a park within the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. Here we will indulge ourselves in a short hike to the main overlook in the park. From the main overlook you will see majestic views. There is also a short side trail to an interesting rock crevice called the “Devil’s kitchen”.

 

Bald Rock Heritage Preserve

This preserve offers one of the best panoramic views of the South Carolina foothills. From the parking lot it is a quick walk to a large open rock façade which is covered in graffiti. Some people see the graffiti as vandalism and others as art, come and judge for yourself.

 

 

Qualla Boundary - Museum of the Cherokee Indian

We will visit the Qualla Boundary or the Qualla, this is a territory held as a land trust by the United States government for the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who reside in western North Carolina. They are descended from the small group of Cherokee Indians who remained in the Eastern United States after the US military, under the Indian Removal Act, moved the other Cherokee to West of the Mississippi River in the late 1830s. Within the Qualla Boundary, we will visit the 120-ft tall Mingo Falls and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. At the museum you will experience the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee people. 

 

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and America's longest linear park. The Parkway is 469 miles long and links the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. It was constructed in 1936 and the parkway offer visitors encounters with unsurpassed diversity of climate, vegetation, wildlife, and geological features. We will drive several times on the Parkway and stop at some of the most spectacular overlooks.

 

Linville Gorge Wilderness (Linville Falls)

The Linville Gorge Wilderness, is part of the Pisgah National Forest. (a.k.a. the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians”) The gorge is formed by the Linville River which drops 2,000 feet into the valleys below the Jonas Ridge and the Linville Mountain. The gorge is one of the most rugged gorges in the eastern United States. It's an outdoor paradise for hikers. We will hike to a couple of overlooks, including one of the probably most photographed waterfalls in North Carolina, Linville falls. To get an idea about the size of the gorge, please note the people on the rocks below the falls.  

 

Mount Mitchell State Park (Tallest Mountain in the Eastern US)

Mount Mitchell is a 6,684-feet tall mountain located in the Black Mountain range of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina; it is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. We will drive almost to the top. To get to the top observation deck, we will have to hike/walk a 0.4-mile roundtrip trail with an elevation gain of 91 ft. On a clear day you can see as far as 85 miles. At the top, you will also a small museum, a shop and restrooms.

 

Cradle of Forestry in America (First forestry school in the US

The Cradle of Forestry in America is nestled in the Pisgah National Forest along the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. It was established to “preserve, develop, and make available to this and future generations the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America.” You will have amble time to explore this place on your own. You will find a large Discovery center, with a museum/exhibit hall, gift shop and a theater showing a documentary about the history of the site.

 

 

You will also find a one-mile paved trail with 6-7 historical buildings that you can enter.

 

 

 

 

 

Whitewater Falls (Tallest Waterfall in the Eastern US)

Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. The falls plunge an amazing 411 feet. To see this mesmerizing waterfall, we will hike/walk 0.6-mile roundtrip on a paved trail with an elevation gain of about 200 ft. (The photo is not a good representation of the true beauty of this waterfall.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Other Waterfalls

The area we will be staying and exploring during this tour is a true waterfall enthusiast paradise. As an example, in Transylvania County, NC alone there are 250 waterfalls. On this tour we will visit many waterfalls, some of them we will hike a relatively short hike to get to, and some of them are right off the road. Please see some of them pictured here. Warning! If you don’t like beautiful waterfalls, this tour is definitely not for you.

 

 

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Accommodation

To make this tour affordable for most people, we will stay in a comfortable 2-3-star hotel with a minimum Google or TripAdvisor guest rating of 3.5 (on a 1 to 5 scale). Your room will always have private bath and free Wifi and most of them will also have a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and Flat screen HDTV.

 

Food Included in price

Day 1: No food included.

Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast

Note: Please understand that since the start of the Covid pandemic many hotel breakfast menus have been downsized or replaced with grab-and-go items, mostly because many hotels are short-staffed, so please have realistic expectations and have an open mind regarding the breakfast that is served at the hotel.

 

TOUR FINISH

The tour will finish in the morning at the hotel on Sunday Nov. 3rd. 2024. This will give you some flexibility in choosing a return flight home. You will be responsible for the transportation from the hotel to the Asheville Airport.

 

 Comparison Chart

We have managed to organize this tour for an extremely good price, please see below how we compare to other tour companies organizing 4-5 days tour to the Great Smoky Mountains & Blue Ridge Parkway region.


 

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST

 

BAGS: We have limited space in our transportation vehicle. Please don’t bring more than one carry-on size suitcase or duffel bag and one small backpack (What the airline calls a personal item) per person. Check with your airline for weight and size restrictions, but for most US airline’s the maximum size restrictions are for Carry-on bags 22” x 14” x 9” including handles and wheels, and for personal items 18” x 14” x 8”.

If you are flying in many days before or you are staying days after and need more luggage space, we ask you to please find a storage facility for your extra luggage so that you don’t bring more on the tour. Most hotels have luggage storage, and you can find luggage storage facilities through the website www.usebounce.com (Hines Tours is not affiliated with this website).

For your anything you bring on your flight, please make sure that any containers with liquids are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 ml).

 

IDENTIFICATION

□ A valid government issued identification (very important, you need this for your flight, Hines Tours are not responsible if you are denied boarding due to an invalid identification, missing identification or for any other reasons)

 

CLOTHES

Dress in layers. Between the different places that we will visit we will most likely experience temperatures anywhere from 40 to 65 degrees.

□   Underclothes and socks

□   T-shirts

□   Sweater

□   Light / Fall Jacket

□   Hiking Pants

□   Work out clothes (If you want to work out at the hotel's gym) 

□   Hiking Boots / Sneakers with good traction

□   Rain Gear

□   Hat, Gloves & Scarf

 

ELECTRONICS

□   Phone and charger

□   Camera, charger and maybe extra memory & Battery

 

MEDICATION

□   Allergy medicine if needed

□   Pain relievers

□   Band-aids

□   Motion sickness medicine if needed

□   Any prescribed medication

 

TOILETRIES

□   Toothbrush and Toothpaste

□   Travel-sized lotion, shampoo, and body wash

□   Contact lens case and solution

 

MISCELLANEOUS

□   Insect repellant

□   National Park Passport (if you own one)

□   Sun block and sunglasses

□   Towel

□   Collapsible cooler for a lunch packs

□   Cash and Credit Card/Debit Card

(We will pay for the hotel room, but you will have to give the hotel your credit card/debit card info which only will be used for incidentals such as long-distance phone calls or damages the hotel room including smoking)

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE
If you are concern about losing money due to illness (including Covid-19) or other unpredictable matters, we highly recommend you buy a travel insurance. 
We can recommend www.insuremytrip.com or www.squaremouth.com (Hines Tours is not affiliated with either of these sites in any form). 
We do not give tour refunds or tour credits if you are not able to make the tour for any reason.

 

MULTI DAY FLYING TOURS Cancellation Fees (Per Person)

30 days or more before departure - Loss of deposit

15 – 29 days before departure - 50% of tour price

14 days or less before departure - No refund or tour credit.

If you are concerned about losing money due to illness or other unpredictable matters, we highly recommend buying travel insurance. We can recommend www.insuremytrip.com or www.squaremouth.com (Hines Tours are not affiliated with either of these sites in any form).

   

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