First east coast road trip help

May 28th, 2013, 05:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
First east coast road trip help


We have just moved to live in DC from England and we can't wait to do our first vacation and road trip. We would like to take 2 weeks in August and try visitng places in Carolina and Virginia, We had thought the Outer banks might be nice but I also like the idea of the national parks and Shenandoah. We are a mid 30s couple who like the outdoors be that on a beach or in a forest. This is our chance to spend quality time together to relax after being apart for 5 months (hubby is military) . So quiet is good but with places to visit, local towns to wander through, historic sights to see before settling down in the evening with a glass of wine. Any help with places to visit and stay would be fantastic,
j_patts_249 is offline  
May 28th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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We used to love to go to a little town outside Charlottesville, VA. Check out Chesley Creek in Dyke, VA. From there you can do some very nice drives to small towns and to Skyline Drive to name a few. The cottages are private and lovely, very relaxing and romantic.
yestravel is offline  
May 28th, 2013, 08:19 PM
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If you can wait, mid September might not be quite so hot in the Carolinas. Even Virgina might be more pleasant. Which do you enjoy more - beaches or mountains?
Sassafrass is online now  
May 29th, 2013, 01:33 AM
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Welcome to the States! The first thing you need to know is August is H.O.T. So think about doing what yestravel said and take a trip to the cooler mountain sections of those states. There are 2 Carolinas. People like it when you make that distinction.

If you want to go to the Banks in August youl might want to lock down your dates at a hotel soon. Like Sassafra said, September is less crowded since the children will be back in school, but it is the month that hurricanes fire up. Don't let it spook ya. Just get trip insurance.

There are lots of posts on here about road trips. Look through those and see what sounds interesting to you.
suewoo is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 05:42 AM
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Beach versus mountains needs to be your first decision. Then we can all chime in with specific suggestions.
schlegal1 is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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Since you mentioned the National Parks, let me introduce you to the other end of North Carolina. I grew up in the Carolinas and they have wonderful variety. The Great Smokey Mountain National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Asheville, North Carolina are very close together and have so much to offer.

I’d suggest you begin your trip near Cherokee and spend some time in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

There’s also the Cherokee Indian Reservation that may interest you and they have a wonderful outdoor drama during the summer months called ‘Unto these Hills’. It’s been produced for many, many years and is still very moving and interesting.

There is also a casino there on the reservation if you like the games.

When you’re finished with that area, simply get on the Blue Ridge Parkway (clearly marked) and drive over to Asheville stopping along the way at the overlooks and then spend one or two nights in Ashville. Asheville is a pretty city with the big attraction being the Biltmore Estate, also known as the Biltmore House and Gardens. It has a house, stables, winery, gardens, restaurant, small hotel and more. Some people like to hurry and do it in a day while others like to take it more leisurely and make it two days. However, Asheville has much more to offer too.

There are plenty of nice hotels in the area, but if your budget allows and there are rooms available, the Grove park Inn is a real treat to remember.

The Blue Ridge Parkway starts near Cherokee,NC and goes 469 mi or 755km to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and offers access to the Skyline Drive. When you are finished with what you want to see in Asheville, you might want to get back on the Parkway and head for Boone and Blowing Rock. Along the way, depending on how far you choose to go, you may want to stop at Moses H. Cone Park, Mile Post 294. A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, Rocky Knob & Mabry Mill, MP 169, 176.2 and many other points of interest listed on the Parkway website linked above.

Along the way there are many entrances/exits, overlooks, sites to stop and enter, etc. So, take your time and enjoy them all. This is just a tiny bit of what North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia had to offer, but it is one of the best offerings. I’m providing a link to a couple of videos I’ve made in the area so you can get a taste of the flavor of it.

This one I made in the fall on the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

This one I made in the fall on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you choose this route, I’d love to hear your feedback on what you thought of the area. Have fun, enjoy the area and depending on when you go there are festivals of bluegrass music and other festivals throughout the area. I believe they update this site as dates are set.
1Caroline is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Mountains in August. Anywhere along the U.S. 11 corridor will fit the bill. The roads that parallel the Skyline Drive in Virginia will lead to the kinds of places you are seeking.
edjim is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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You can do all of that on the Outer Banks as well so you need to make a decision.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 07:30 PM
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Pick one, sister.
suewoo is offline  
May 30th, 2013, 05:05 AM
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What's wrong with my saying I'm a native Carolinian, who's lived here all of my life and I'm not a travel agent.

Are you a native too, suewood. Many people here aren't, but they enjoy our state.
1Caroline is offline  
May 30th, 2013, 07:16 AM
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Sue is DEFINITELY a Carolina girl--both of 'em now!! LOL I think she was being facetious.

OP, since you now live in DC you don't have to do it all at once, and can choose the coast or the mountains for your first trip and then the other for the next one--you are "in the area" and travel time will be good.
However you do have a good length of time.
I'd suggest a loop through the Virginia mountains, maybe down to Asheville, and then go to Charleston for a few days.
The Outer Banks are wonderful, wild and remote. They might be a trip for you another time for a shorter length of time.
Coming back up the coast from Charleston to get home to DC you could stop in Wilmington (NC) and some other interesting places along the way.
Gretchen is offline  
May 30th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Charleston in the summer??? not so much Plus that's a lot of driving for a couple that wants to "spend quality time together to relax after being apart for 5 months." Asheville would be a nice place to go though split with an other destination.
yestravel is offline  
May 30th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Well, anywhere on the coast is going to be hot and humid. If they want any part of the coast--and a very romantic place, Charleston, even in the summer, is nice. The breeze blows, there IS shade, there IS a lot to do!! LOL Of course, I speak as someone who went to the beach before anything was air conditioned (and before the all you can eat seafood buffets in MB that feature crab legs!!).
Gretchen is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 01:53 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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Charleston has much more humidity than the mountains, and is very hot in July and August. Many people refer to it as 'unbearable'. Most of the south is hot and humid and the mountains have 'some' daytime humidity though usually not as much, but it usually gets very nice and cool in the evening. Many people 'head for the mountains' for vacation to get cool. That's pretty much common knowledge. I'd check it for myself if someone said otherwise. It's the humidity that gets you. I am NOT a travel agent and have nothing to gain from giving you my experience and opinion. If you're in DC in the summer, you'll get a pretty good idea of 'humidity' as it is hot and humid too.
1Caroline is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Firstly thank you to everyone for your feedback. As you all suggested we have picked one and thenMountains win out for our first trip.

Yes travel- chelsey creek farm looks AMAZING and we are looking to definetly included a stay for a few nights there, no tv or phone bliss!

Icaroline - thank you very much for all the links and suggestions we are going to pour over them all at the weekend and see what we come up with. It really will make such a difference in helping us narrow our search and come up with a great first vacation.

Gretchen- Asheville looks like a spot we definetly want to stop in and doing a loop out and back to DC is perfect.

Thanks everyone we will do a first attempt at a plan and let you guys see it and get your thoughts again.
j_patts_249 is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 06:56 PM
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I worked and lived in Charleston for 20 years during menopause. It cracks me up when people say it's unbearable.
suewoo is offline  
Jun 1st, 2013, 03:57 PM
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When we were living in Fairfax County, our favorite Saturday or Sunday thing was to canoe the south fork of the Shenandoah River. We had our own canoe and would drive to Bentonville and have an outfitter haul us up the road to a put in point on the river to do an eight, twelve, or sixteen mile trip. The outfitters also rent canoes. The scenery and changing views of the mountains as you drift through the various turns in the river are spectacular.

I-66 DC to Front Royal, and then route 340 to Bentonville.

Bring lunch, wear tennis shoes and a swimsuit, and enjoy.
ronkala is offline  

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