I live in Hayesville, NC about 2 hours north of Atlanta via I-575. If anyone is interested, I would be glad to guide you from Hayesville to Fontana Dam via Franklin, Highlands, Cashiers, Sylva, and Bryson City. From Hayesville to Franklin you cross the Applachian Trail. From Franklin to Highlands you can walk behind a waterfall and drive under another! Cashiers has a really neat hardware store and the entire 141.6 miles is scenic mountains and vistas. Come a day or so before the Dragon and your stay in Hayesville can include an evening pontoon ride on Lake Chatuge or paddle yourself in one of my kayaks--no charge if you are driving a Smartie. Sorry I don't have room and board but there are two mom and pop motels within 1 mile of my house-Deerfield Inn and Chatuge Mtn Inn. I cannot make the Dragon because of a prior commitment but the wife and I would enjoy showing you around before you get there! If you have never been to the Dragon and like curvy roads you are in for a treat and if you have been--nuff said!