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Coming up from Texas to ride the Tail of the Dragon and the Smoky Mountains for a week. Looking for scenic routes, & lodging suggestions. Something central to set up base and venture out on day trips. Also considering 2 day trips out from there. What must we make sure we ride or see? Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

Note: This is my first post. Hope I did correctly.
 

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I Recommend IronHorse Motorcycle Lodge and Resort. at 1755 Lower Stecoah Road , Stecoah NC. 28771. there web site is ironhorsenc.com Great people and location.
 

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If you can get a room or cabin there, Tapoco Lodge is a cut above what you’d expect. Beautiful lodge a d great restaurant, and covered parking with towels for bikes. Very near Dragon Tail. And a never mentioned but great road to ride is 215 between Waynesville & Brevard, but you’ll have to pull a map to figure how to get to it. Very scenic with real feel of that area.

You’re gonna love this trip.

https://tapoco.com
 

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Couple of pics
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A lot of good suggestions here, I have stayed at all of them.

My favorite is a mom and pop motel in Robbinsville, NC called the San-Ran, (828)479-3256. You better call now to get reservations for May.

Motorcycle friendly, clean, nice owners, convenient to food, restaurants, gas and all of the good riding. Very inexpensive, nothing fancy, but has comfortable rooms and beds. Basically at the intersection of 129 and 143. You can park your bike under a big awning outside your room, all rooms are ground level. They even provide their old towels to clean your bike off with. Plenty of room for truck and trailer parking if needed. My friend and I trailered our Ducatis there last year and were allowed to park the whole rig right outside the rooms, plus, there is a big lot a short distance away on the property.
 

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If you can get a room or cabin there, Tapoco Lodge is a cut above what you’d expect. Beautiful lodge a d great restaurant, and covered parking with towels for bikes. Very near Dragon Tail. And a never mentioned but great road to ride is 215 between Waynesville & Brevard, but you’ll have to pull a map to figure how to get to it. Very scenic with real feel of that area.

You’re gonna love this trip.

https://tapoco.com
215 is one of my favorites, but you gotta be careful, one wrong turn and you can easily get lost. I agree about the map, and suggest you take it with you. 281 is a great road, too.
 

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If it matters, Robbinsville is in a dry county. If you like to have a few cold ones at the end of the day, pick it up and bring it back with you after your trip.

Too many roads to see in a week. I'm down there once a year and always try to find a new route or two. Pull up Google Maps, look for any state routes in the area and you're good to go.

276 from Waynesville and where it hits US 64 is also a great route. Couple of scenic pull offs with waterfalls along with twisty road that raises in elevation up to the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) and then drops back down the other side.
 

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You need to take the Blue Ridge Parkway at the very least to Mount Mitchel Peak.

The temps up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Cherohala Skyway can be 30 degrees cooler than in the valleys below. I've gone in may and had to layer up for the mountains.

Foothills parkway is another must ride. Plan on putting down many hours a day on the bike if you want to get in as much of the roads and scenery while you are there.

Tail of the Dragon is an experience if you go when it is full of tourists. If you ride it right after sunrise on a work day it will just be you and the locals straightening every curve to get to work. Considering most every curve is blind that will be an experience you won't soon forget. :surprise:

If you can time it right, you can ride the Tail when there are few tourists but the pro photographers are there so they will take a lot of photos of you. If there are a line of vehicles they have to quickly get the next person so they won't follow you all the way through the curve.

 

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Look at Maggie Valley also, lots of places to stay, easy day trip to the Dragon and rides on that end, easy access to the parkway. wheels through time museum is a must see. Lots of great rides out from there.
 

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I can't remember the cabins we stayed at but they were awesome! Lots of great suggestions here for lodging. My one thing though would be make sure you stop at some of the overlooks on the tail. We didn't and I still regret that, other than that it's an awesome ride and a really fun place to go. The group I ride with was considering going back end of August, also my biggest warning would be to stay away from Cade's cove. At least during peak visit time, everyone and their brother stops to look at a deer in the field (as if they have never seen one) just makes for a very long ride of stop and go. Plus if someone's got an air cooled bike with you they should plan on an over heat. Pay a visit to Hogs Upstairs Tavern if you spend time in Gatlinburg, it was a fun time as well.
 

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Went there last May, All the rides where great my favorite near there was Moonshiners 28,Blue Ridge Parkway, and the route from Cherokee to Gatlinburg through the Smokeys
 

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Thanks for posting this. My bride and I are making a trip there mid August. She booked us a cabin on VRBO. From the pics it looks pretty awesome. $100 a night for a two bedroom. How nice it really is and how close to the thick of things is yet to be determined. Either way we are really looking forward to this trip.
 

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Don’t forget to hit Maggie Valley and the Wheels Through Time Museum, we rented a cabin in Gatlinburg when we went, prices weren’t bad, might want to check it out. Enjoy your ride. flhman
 

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If you look into cabins. Make sure the access roads and driveway are paved and not gravel. Last May we stayed at Marysville near Alcoa. Nice riding over to Foothills PKWY and then onto the Dragon. Bring your rain gear you'll probably need it.
 
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