January 4, 2015
Our group a16 has a great time at the Bates Estate. We had 7 couples/families which filled the cabin, but without any feeling of crowding. The cabin is lovely with great inside woodwork (especially the twig bannister, big open kitchen/dining/living room area on the first floor, and large playroom area on the bottom floor. The spa and wrap around porch were appreciated and well used by the group. The scenery was beautiful, especially the huge view of the Smokies from the living room picture window and outside from the back patio area. Carl and his family responded immediately to the calls we made with minor requests for directions, extra wood, tv/dvd hookup fix, and instructions on how to turn a couple things on. The upstairs loft with two bedrooms were beautiful, but pretty warm - the fans help, but still a little warm for some. I would definitely recommend the cabin!! Heed the specific directions provided by Carl - GPS does get a little lost. Plus we had great weather when we were there, but if there is much weather (rain, snow, or ice), the dirt/gravel road to cabin would be best left to trucks, jeeps, and chains!Now for some activity recommendexperiences: The train ride from Bryson City was very nice - it was a nice warm day, so we thoroughly enjoyed the open "cheap seats" in the back - I'd recommend that seating since it's more open to the outside wasn't shoulder-to-shoulder like the closed on cars. The drive to the south to see the MANY waterfalls was my favorite sightseeing adventure. There are plenty of waterfula that can be seen right from the side of the road, plus others that allow a little walk together up close and personal.i can't remember the next of the town just past the dam, but it was a nice quaint stop for a little shopping and bite to eat.
Betty Brooks, Lakewood, CA. USA
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