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Drive from Raleigh, NC to Huntington, WV to Columbus, OH

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Nov 16th, 2009, 07:42 PM
  #1
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Drive from Raleigh, NC to Huntington, WV to Columbus, OH

We are visiting family in Raleigh, NC for Christmas and plan to return home by a leisurely drive Dec 28-30. It looks like 40 through Greensboro, 77 to Charleston to Huntington WV will work. Can anyone tell me what the terrain will be like? My husband has major vertigo and cannot do high cliff driving. Is this area mountainous and "cliffy"?

On the way we'd like to see some historical sites and find some good restaurants, but most museums are closed on Mondays, and the selection of good restaurants seems limited. I'm hoping someone will have suggestions. I love long walks in the countryside if that is all there is to do - assuming the weather cooperates. For our 2 nights lodging, I'm looking at a Heritage Park cottage/cabin. Has anyone stayed there?

Thanks very much!
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Nov 17th, 2009, 12:32 AM
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I drive that way often. It is a beautiful interstate, wide, rolling, some greades through valleys (NO overhangs!!) maybe only one big long view of the valley just as you go over the Virgina line. Not "cliff" driving by ANY means. From Charlotte (where you would get I77 unless you cross the little hypotenuse through Mt. Airy maybe--not sure) to Huntington I think it is about 5 hours.
There is Tamarack, right on the interstate, with a very nice WVA craft shop.
Wytheville's downtown is quite charming.
If you like to antique, there are a few stops also.
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Nov 17th, 2009, 04:15 AM
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Huntington to Columbus is plain, flat and boring. Your hubby should do just fine with that part of the trip - if he can stay awake!! *smile*
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Nov 17th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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You can route yourself to Biltmore House in Ashville without being too far off track. Definitely worth the stop. The city of Ashville is a pleasant visit as well.

In the same neighborhood, you could take in Gatlinburg, but that may be DQ'd because you are on a hilly terrain.

Not the direct route, but you could stay on 40 over to Nashville and come home up 65 to 71. Nashville is always an enjoyable day or evening.
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Nov 17th, 2009, 06:22 AM
  #5
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Thanks so much - this is all good information. Gretchen, is your route from Charlotte? We will be driving from Charleston, WV - does your description apply to that route as well?

I'm going to look at the suggestions for Nashville and Gatlinburg - thanks stumpworks! We have been to the Biltmore and it is a marvelous spot.
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Nov 17th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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Whoa. Stumpwork REALY needs to look at a map and driving times!! Biltmore is at least 4-5 hours from Raleigh on I40. Gatlinburg is not really all that hilly, but it isn't worth the trip this time--it is half way to Knoxville, and then south 20 miles off the iterstate..
Nashville is another 7 hours from Asheville!
But if you DO decide you want to go to Ashville, continue on to Knoxville from there, and go up I75, and take I71 (I think) in Cincy to Columbus. Ashville to Knoxville is about 3 hours. Knox to Cincy is about 5, so you can gauge a bit. Hilly going north through Kentucky but still no overhangs!! Big wide interstate mostly between cuts in the mountains--as is I77 (through cuts in the mountain).

OH, I did misread that and was routing you from Raleigh. But I77 doesn't get off at Greensboro. That may be where the new I73 cuts off to intersect with I77 on up the road a bit and maybe that is what you meant.

When I go to western Ohio, I don't go all the way up to Huntington. Go to Charleston, then drive west along the Ohio River on Route 52 to Portsmouth, and go directly north on Route 23 to Columbus. Easy and very direct, and I think it might be shorter. It isn't interstate, but nice 4 lane roads. The drive along the River is nice.
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Nov 17th, 2009, 07:55 AM
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23 is the way to go from Huntington to Columbus. If you want to go off path a bit I'd suggest the Hocking Hills area, SE of Columbus about 1.5 hours. G has given you great info, stumpy is obviously geographically challenged.. lol
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Nov 17th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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One of the premier attractions in North Carolina is Old Salem (www.oldsalem.org) It is a lovely place easily reached just off I-40 (west of Greensboro). Even on days the buildings are closed you can enjoy a walk around. The Salem Tavern is a great stop for lunch. Enjoy your time in North Carolina.
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Nov 17th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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I will say that the routing I use when headed towards W.VA from Raleigh is I-40W to 52N to I-77N. That will take you past Pilot Mountain State Park and Mt.Airy, NC (birthplace of Andy Griffith). You are able to drive to the top of Pilot Mountain and hike there. I do not know if your husband would find that too much, but check the website for information.
http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/pimo/main.php
If you take that routing, wave as you pass the Pinnacle exit!
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Nov 17th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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Even though we are close by we often spend a few days here over XMas - http://www.innatcedarfalls.com/
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Nov 17th, 2009, 10:00 AM
  #11
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This is just great! Thanks so much for all the advice. Yes, I checked and saw that Nashville was too far for this trip. We'll get there another time! I'm glad you mentioned Old Salem as a spot to just walk around, even though they are closed. Gretchen - route 52 and 23 sound perfect. CMCFong - we will try the tavern. Thanks again everyone!
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