On my first trip to this area I found a $177 roundtrip, non-stop flight from Fort Lauderdale to Asheville, NC. I spent the first full day and last full day in Asheville, so I’ll start with that:
Asheville Hikes/Sights: Blue Ridge Parkway (just beautiful to drive though), Craggy Gardens, Mount Mitchell, Looking Glass Falls, and Dupont State Park. In Dupont there are three amazing waterfalls all relatively close to each other. Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls.
Breweries: Wicked Weed, Wedge, and Sierra Nevada
Restaurants: Biscuit Head, Tupelo Honey, White Duck Taco Shop, Mela, and Standard Pizza Company
Gatlinburg Hikes/Sights: Ski Lift to Ober Gatlinburg: bars, restaurants, and a ropes course, Grotto Falls, Monte Leconte (can reserve and stay at a cabin overnight), Trillium Gap, Rainbow Falls (from Grotto Falls to Rainbow Falls was 18 miles and not recommended in a day. I actually did this thinking the maps were correct in saying 6 miles–but it was 9. So this was a rough one and I wouldn’t recommend both in one day considering it was 18 miles total and I think my legs were going to give up on me at any moment), Cade’s Cove scenic drive, Laurel Falls, Alum Cave Trail, Newfound Gap (great place for photos), Clingman’s Dome (this is a short hike, but VERY steep-totally worth it though, I went for sunset!!)
Gatlinburg Food: Park Grill, there are tons of distilleries and chain restaurants to check out also. I also went to Pigeon Forge at had pulled pork at the famous Old Mill Restaurant.