Don't take 441 through the park if you don't like narrow, winding roads. The sights are great, but there is always a lot of traffic and the road is both narrow and winding. I assume that you will be passing by the Cherokee side of the Smokies since you mentioned the Parkway - there is a neat grist mill (Mingus Mill) and some historic buildings (the Mountain Farm Museum) at the park entrance on that side that are worth seeing and are easy to get to.
Deep Creek is a great place to both stay and explore if you like the outdoors. There are a number of waterfalls along a short hike, a nice stream where you can tube (if it's not too cold), lots of wildlife, etc. In Franklin, N.C. you can visit one of many 'ruby mines' where you buy pails of dirt and sift them for gemstones. There is a great scenic railroad on the South side of the park too - which is really neat if you are at all interested in such things.
There is a lot to do around there - I'll be interested to see what other people post in this thread. We live closer to the North side of the park, so spend more time there, but have visited almost every part of the Smokies at some point in the last 35 years. It is a very popular park, and can get crowded at times, but this early in the season you should not have too much issue with big crowds (which is good if you consider going to the Deep Creek area - it's very popular in the Summer.)
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