I don't know about camping (I've only stayed in cabins at Fontana Village Resort), but another popular twisty drive near the Dragon is the Cherohala Skyway (highway 143). It turns west (left) off of 129 (the Dragon) just north of Robbinsville, and winds its way to Telico Plains where it connects to highway 68 that runs north/south. Some prefer that drive to the Dragon.
There are *lots* of great twisty roads in that general area. Unfortunately I cannot remember the names of them right now. What I would do if I were in your shoes is to look at a map of the area and head for the ones most resembling your small intestine.
Having driven the dragon many times, I can tell you the dragon is a great experience but you will likely enjoy the other roads mentioned more. The Cherahola is the best with wide lanes and great scenery. The dragon can get overrun by motorcyclists during good weather. Avoid it 2 hours before sunset - that is when the police typically go off shift and the really crazy come out to play Racer Rick.
I am an avid motorcyclist myself but sanity can be fuzzy for some who strap on a helmet. I would not want to visit the dragon only to come home with a hood ornament. Yes, the car guys go nuts sometimes too but I've seen a lot of two wheeled misery on the dragon.
Oh, did I mention the police radar traps? Watch your speed! They don't usually patrol the other roads but are present almost every day on the dragon near the border. Ask the locals for the latest patrolled routes.
If you don't mind biker folk and decide to not camp, the Two Wheel Inn is my favorite.
You need to be aware of law enforcement throughout that entire area.
I got a ticket on Hwy 28 between Deals Gap and Fontana Village by a cop stuck in traffic going the other way who could have not gotten any accurate gage on my speed (as well as the other 2 vettes I was traveling with who also go tickets). On another trip a "lagging car" got nailed when he sped up on a straight section on Hwy 129/72 on the north side of the lake.
Off the dragon it is local revenue generation............. I got 3 letters from local lawyers within a couple of days after getting my ticket. I sent him something like $250, he got it reduced to 5 over and I just had to pay the fine, and it never showed up on my record. $250 for the lawyer, $200 or so to the local county, and nothing on my record. Everyone ends up happy, or sort of.
I would also suggest 129/72 on the north side of the lake over to 411. More of a great sweeping road than the the Dragon.
Cherahola is a great drive to.
BTW, I never plan to go back and do the Dragon again................. just way to crowded, crazy, and too great of a chance to get in trouble one way or the other. You got to do it at least once, just be careful.
As a final side note, doing the Dragon in my CooperS was actually more fun than the CaymanS. Small and nimble is what the Dragon all about. I did both trips with the same group of friends that drive Vettes, and at no point could they pull me in the Mini (or Cayman of course).
I did the Tail of the Dragon in my Fiat Spider together with 30 other Fiats of varrious types. We had great fun but a few of the cars developed brake pad problems due to heat of the day and over braking vs down shifting on the many blind 90' and 180' turns that occure back to back and on steep inclines.
Great fun. Watch for cops... they watch speed AND center line violations (which can add to the braking issue above if you and/or the driver, going the other way, meet on those blind twisties).
Lot's of Utube video posts on this run, including my Fiat does Dragon.
This campground is it's own peninsula on lake santeetlah. It has bathrooms with showers. The 1/2 mile or so loop road in the campground itself is gravel but nicely maintained. The roads leading to the campground are paved. It is just a little way off of hwy 129 about halfway between Robbinsville and the tail of the dragon store.