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Blue Ridge Parkway - North Carolina

Old Oct 7th, 2002, 01:51 PM
  #1  
JO
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Blue Ridge Parkway - North Carolina

Hello Fellow Fodor Fans,

Traveling to NC for the first time -- this weekend! It's a last minute get away. We've heard/read so many great things about the Blue Ridge Parkway. Understand it's about 470 miles and extends from the NC/TN border way into VA. Unfortunately we will not be able to see the entire parkway.

Looking for some routing advice and lodging/restaurant recommendations along the way:

We are flying into Charlotte on early Friday morning...looks like we can either (1)travel East on 74/I26 then North into Ashville, follow the BR parkway to Boone/Blowing Rock and then take I321 back down to Charlotte (flight back home is Sunday evening) OR, (2) that route in reverse...I am leaning toward option (1) as I hear Ashville and the surrounding areas are beautiful and I don't want to be rushed on Sunday.

Any advice on the above including "don't miss" points of interest and approximate drive times would be appreciated.

Thank you for reading.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #2  
Michael Honeycutt
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This is a tough call -

First, where you go depends on where you can stay. I suspect you'll have problems find a room from Cherokee, NC to Roanoke, VA since many people book a room over a year in advance.

The route you mentioned (Charlotte to Asheville to Boone to Charlotte) seems like a good plan. It is my understanding the colors are about a week late so the route you mentioned should let you see color around the higher peaks (Mitchell, Grandfather, etc.).

Regardless of the leaves, we can make your trip memorable if you'll provide more details about what you like to do, kinds of food and price range you're willing to pay, etc.

I can't stress enough that finding a room is the key. I suggest calling the Visitors Bureau in Asheville (888/247-9811 or 828/258-6101) and Boone (888/251-9867) to see about rooms.

Good luck
Mike Honeycutt
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 03:53 AM
  #3  
Gretchen
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I think the Asheville to Boone is the best also. Michael may have a good point although I think it may be the next week-end that is the usual foliage week-end.
Near Blowing Rock there is a part of the highway that is cantilevered over a valley and is very impressive.
You will see enough of the Parkway--the speed limit is 45MPH.
For the return you might want to take 421 from Boone and then I77 south if you are becoming pressed for time--2 hour trip.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 04:53 AM
  #4  
SA
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I would recommend the following sites (also in the area mentioned prior) & will be there this weekend myself. Linville Falls/Gorge, Grandfather Mt., Blowing Rock. If you want to splurge on dinner I would suggest the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. If you don't have accomodations you may have difficuilty. I would start searching for lodging right now as it is 'leaf season'.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 05:04 AM
  #5  
Stephanie
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I'll be traveling towards Asheville from Knoxville and am going the 22nd of October. Any ideas on whether that will be past peak or not? Also, I keep hearing about Blowing Rock, is that closest to the Tennessee side? Best highway advise there from Knoxville and Gatlinburg please? Thanks.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 07:44 AM
  #6  
Michael Honeycutt
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Determining the peak week always depends on what part of the mountains you are talking about. Asheville is at 2000 feet and Mount Mitchell is at 6000 feet so the peak week can vary up to a month
depending on weather.

You also mentioned Gatlinburg/Knoxville and Blowing Rock. Gatlinburg and Blowing Rock are crowded during leaf season (some would say Gatlinburg
is ALWAYS crowded . The drive time between these towns will be 4 to 6 hours (double check me at Mapquest) not counting traffic or the time you take to look at the scenery, eat, etc.

If it was me, I'd do some of the Parkway but I would look for secondary routes through the mountains. This way, you'll avoid the crowds on the Parkway and will get to see some of the smaller towns along the way.

Please post a trip report.

Mike Honeycutt
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 12:38 PM
  #7  
SA
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There is no reason to even go near Gatlinburg. It is perhaps the worlds largest/chessiest tourist trap.
 
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