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College road trip in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia

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Hi, I am a sophomore at college in eastern VA and my two friends and I are trying to plan a road trip for our spring break, which is the first week of March. We are planning our first stop in Pittsboro, NC near Chapel Hill because we are visiting someone there, but after that we have an open schedule. I'm interested in going to Asheville and my friends like the idea of trying to camp one or two nights. I was thinking that maybe a West NC, East Tennessee, and Southwest Virginia loop would be cool? We dont want to be driving more than 4 or 5 hours a day. And we have to end up in DC so I can drop off my car at home. Does any one have recommendations for good campgrounds, hostels or other cheap lodging in these regions? Or I guess more importantly, where are some of the definite places to visit in these regions. We are equally interested in quaint towns and outdoorsy stuff :)

Thanks so much!!

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