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Another member (RXDO) and I are planning on going to the Tail of the Dragon. I will be driving my 2013 BS and he will drive his 2015 CGTS. We've wanted to do this since we both got our cars. Our tentative plan is to drive up from South Florida to ATL for a night. We plan on checking out the Porsche Experience Center in the morning and then head to Asheville for sightseeing / nights rest. The following day we are planning on driving to the Tail of the Dragon and Cherohola Parkway. The trip will be in about two weeks. Since this is both of our first times to the area as well as the first road trips in our respective 981s, I had a few questions:

1). Our goal is to safely enjoy, have fun on the curves, and appreciate our cars (ideally legally). Are there any areas (or sections) that are recommended more than others on the Tail / Cherohala?

2). We are hopeful that there is no snow or ice, but we have yet to see. Are there any areas known to be more dangerous or areas that are speed traps?

3). We are bringing our wives so we are hoping for scenic places for photos (seems an abundance) / recommendations for food /lodging. Any absolute must check out places in / around the Tail or Cherohala parkway? Any recommended hotels to stay at in the area (we may spend a night in Telico plains or Robinsville)?

4). We are bringing 2 DSLRs and a few GoPro style cameras. We will bring a pump (in hope of not needing it), some extra oil, and a few quick detail kits. We are considering radar detectors. Any must have gear?

5). Any other recommendations?
 

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Asheville is way too far to come back to do the Dragon & Cherahola. From Atlanta go up to Tellico Plains, TN, cross the Cherahola into Robinsville, and then 129 is the Dragon. Stay around Lake Santeetlah, and do the Dragon in the AM before the traffic builds up & the cops move into position. Beware the sport bikers, many of whom are out of control on that road. I saw my life pass before my eyes the last time there thanks to a sport biker who crashed approaching me. I always stay at Blue Waters Mountain lodge on Lake Santeetlah.

From there you can go to the head of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Cherokee to get to Asheville the scenic way. Between Asheville and Marion there are some hair-raising descents off the Blue Ridge Parkway like Routes 80 & 226A. Marion is to the east of Asheville, but well worth the trip on the BRP. You can drive up to the summit of MT. Mitchell (highest point in the Eastern US) on the way to Marion. I'd actually recommend going even further, at least to Blowing Rock, NC before turning back.
 

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I know this is out of your path, but be aware that I-75 (both directions) is closed at TN mile 141 (North of Knoxville, 20 miles south of KY border) due to a rock slide last Friday. Not projected to be open by TDOT until the 21st. I am planning an alternate route back home from Ormond Beach should it not reopen by the 26th.

V6
 

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Good tips in above post. I'll expound just a touch...

Weather can be iffy if it has been raining. Lots of fog potential in certain areas. It'll go from clear to no visibility very fast. Be careful if driving after or during a rainy day.

Blind curves are at every turn. Most people do not understand what the double yellow line means. I almost got smacked last July by an F150 lolly-gagging around a simple turn. They just don't care. You can have some fun but if you even begin to push the limits of your car it will only take one small misstep by another driver to ruin your day.

Speed limit signs are now officially posted after a guy rolled his GTR last year. 30mph in some places with a max. of 50. If a cop is clocking... $300 is the average fine for a citation from what I'm to understand.

Lots of decreasing radius turns so expect it. If you come in too hot you'll easily slide into oncoming traffic. Part of the reason why people cross the double yellows in the turns.

Go to the dam and drive up to the top. Awesome view and great photo opportunity. Good thing you are taking your cameras.

Lots of hiking opportunities northwest of Asheville if you are into that as well.

I'll be back out that way in May. Looking forward to good weather.
 

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There is an app called Best Biking Roads. A nice tool to locate roads with descriptions and ratings. Easy search tool. Enjoy the tail. Ran the bike there. Would love to take the CS. Enjoy
 

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Usually on a bike in that area, but have had the CS through there as well. Amazing roads!

https://www.flickr.com/gp/timberhawks/28P1z0

We generally stay in Townsend, as it is a perfect launchpad for loops into the area, but Tellico is a good spot for a nights stay as well. Highly recommend the Lodge at Tellico. Clean, cheap, friendly owners and great breakfast. You may have to share the clubhouse in the evening with the biker crowd, but they are always friendly too... Lodge At Tellico-A Vacation Guide To Tellico Plains

Don't plan a route that passes through gatlinburg or pigeon forge...unless you absolutely have to.

Have a safe trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Usually on a bike in that area, but have had the CS through there as well. Amazing roads!

https://www.flickr.com/gp/timberhawks/28P1z0

We generally stay in Townsend, as it is a perfect launchpad for loops into the area, but Tellico is a good spot for a nights stay as well. Highly recommend the Lodge at Tellico. Clean, cheap, friendly owners and great breakfast. You may have to share the clubhouse in the evening with the biker crowd, but they are always friendly too... Lodge At Tellico-A Vacation Guide To Tellico Plains

Don't plan a route that passes through gatlinburg or pigeon forge...unless you absolutely have to.

Have a safe trip!
Thank you! Great photos! I was looking into staying at the Lodge at Tellico, but it seems we are going from Atlanta to Tellico in the very early morning and doing Cherohala Parkway to Tail and mess around there in the morning / noon and by 3ish start heading to Asheville for the night. Look forward to this!
 

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Just watch out for the Harley operators:



 

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Thank you! Great photos! I was looking into staying at the Lodge at Tellico, but it seems we are going from Atlanta to Tellico in the very early morning and doing Cherohala Parkway to Tail and mess around there in the morning / noon and by 3ish start heading to Asheville for the night. Look forward to this!
If you've never heard of it, check out Airbnb. Awesome app for lodging if you want to get away from the typical hotels and such.
 

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seems we are going from Atlanta to Tellico in the very early morning and doing Cherohala Parkway to Tail and mess around there in the morning / noon and by 3ish start heading to Asheville for the night. Look forward to this!
Jealous!

We have a trip planned, but it's several weeks away...post pics!
 

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Not sure why you would want to take a 981 or any reasonably hi powered car on that road, at least from what I have seen and read about it. It seems to be so tight that you wouldn't be asking much of the car. Looks like it would be fun in a go-kart or maybe an old MG Midget. Am I missing something?
 

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It's a bit of a sideshow to the other roads in the area, but still worthy of a pass or two.

Hint: He's getting there via the Cherry Cola Skyway...and the Foothills Pkwy is at the other end of it...both are amazing.
 

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It seems to be so tight that you wouldn't be asking much of the car.
Perhaps not of the engine; everything else is going to get a workout. I've driven the Dragon twice, once extensively with a 2001 Miata, another time just "driving thru" with a 2009 Miata. I spent a lot of time the first trip looking over my shoulder to see where we were going next - they aren't kidding about the 318 turns in 11 miles. Some of the other nearby roads are beautiful sightseeing drives. I'd love to be going (I'm also in South Florida) but I'm chained to my work at the moment.
 
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