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Help planning an itinerary from Washington to Georgia & the Carolinas

Help planning an itinerary from Washington to Georgia & the Carolinas

May 5th, 2013, 06:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Help planning an itinerary from Washington to Georgia & the Carolinas

Hello all!
I would love some help planning a two week road trip in September. We are flying from Dublin to Washington on the 1st. After a couple of days in Washington, we hope to hire a car and set off down South.

We have an interest in natural beauty, history, golf, wine & food.

I've heard of places like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, Biltmore, Waynesville, Brevard, Charlottesville, Charleston, Savannah & the Outer Banks, although I'm not sure what these paces have to offer and what order we should do the itinerary.

I would really appreciate any advice on these or other places and a suggested route.
Any tips on hotels or inns would be welcome too. We will splash out a few times for nice places to stay but also probably do a few motels en route.

Thanks so much.
onaghc is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,406
You have posted in the Washington State forum, 3000 miles west of Washington, DC. Go back to "view by state" and click on Washington, DC.
Bobmrg is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,661
This thread has a nice Charleston itinerary.

If you choose to stay at one of the beaches you may want to reserve rather than take a chance. In September, the children are back in school, but the water is warm and it's usually nice weather. It IS high hurricane season, but don't let that deter you. Just have a plan B (I.e., where will you go if you have to leave) and get trip insurance.
suewoo is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,001
My late husband grew up in Waynesboro, Shenandoah Valley and we visited his parents a number of times. Definitely visit Charlottesville, see Monticello and University of Virginia grounds (they are funny and do not like to hear it called a "campus"). Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful but slow, I would drive maybe just part of it. My BIL lives in a suburb of Asheville and we visited there once, a lovely town up in the mountains. There are some nice small towns near there. Can't help much with the beaches, only really spent a bit of time in Virginia Beach, it was September and slow. Had wonderful softshell crabs there (do not miss this treat - they do not travel well at ALL). Chesapeake Bay oysters should also be in season then as well.
jamie99 is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 540
hey there onaghc...I live in Raleigh and would be more than happy to help you make some sense out of the North Carolina leg of your trip. Just a few pieces of advice:

- Definitely check into a bed and breakfast in Asheville, not a motel or hotel. They are as cozy and romantic as they are ubiquitous and the competition is steep. You'll also have the added benefit of an innkeeper to answer questions about the area. The whole area around there near the blue ridge mountains is GORGEOUS.

-The Outer banks are nice but are quite a bit out of the way from the destinations you mentioned so far. You'd probably need 3 or 4 days here to justify the extra effort to drive all the way out there in the first place. Since you'll be in Asheville anyway I suggest waking up early and making the 6 hour drive along I-40 to Wilmington/Carolina Beach instead. This would make more sense from an itinerary standpoint because Charleston is within striking distance from Wilmington. Take a quick peak at this website to find out a little more about this charming historic area:


I do have one other tip. BBQ is one thing we are known for in NC and there are lots of great places. If you take I-40 through Raleigh on the way to the coast be sure to stop at The Pit. You won't be sorry
tailsock is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 216
I will just toss out a couple places to stay on the BRP in North Carolina: either the Switzerland Inn or the Alpine Inn. Both are close to each other about 60 miles north of Asheville close to the BRP.

In Virginia, the small town of Floyd is known for the bluegrass jamboree at the country store on Friday night. If you're interested in that and your timing is right, try to get a room at the Hotel Floyd. Floyd is not far south of Roanoke, VA.

As for your route, I'd advise taking the BRP from the start west of Charlottesville. Many parts have twists and turns, but much of it is easy cruising at 45-50 mph, especially in southern VA. Unless you're in a hurry, there's no reason to take another road. The most scenic part is the last stretch south and north of Ashevile and also the first 50-60 miles in VA, but it's all nice.

As for the Outer Banks-there you have miles and miles of empty, untouched and undeveloped beaches and dunes. Yes, there are parts of it that are developed abd have clusters of beach houses, etc, but the majority of it is nothing but beach and dunes. If you want deserted beaches with few other people in sight you can easily have it. The surf can often be quite rough for swimming there, though. The beaches around Charleston are much better for that.

I'd be glad to offer any more suggestions, but you're questions are a bit broad. I would suggest ordering a couple copies of the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer of both VA and NC. They are $20 each and are fantastic. You will see why when you look at them.
weimarer is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 07:25 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 651
Since you have two weeks I would do a circle trip (either way) departing DC for Front Royal, traveling south through at least a portion of Skyline Dr. in Shenandoah NP, to Charlottesville and visit Monticello. From there back to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a continuation of Skyline Dr., to Ashville and visit The Biltmore Estate. Then head to Charleston and the coast. Drive north alone the coast to the Outer Banks and include a visit to the Wright Bros. Museum in Kitty Hawk. From there head north visiting Williamsburg and any number of historic sites on your return to DC.
Barblab is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 11:36 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 7
In Asheville, we love the Sourwood Inn, great spot reasonable, close to restaurants, and they have a great one on site where you can bring your own wine, beer, etc
http://sourwoodinn.com/ Fills up quicky in the fall

Farther on down the line, you must visit Charleston and at least take the tour to Ft Sumter (first shots of US Civil War). While the fort will be unremarkable, the boat ride across the harbor is great. We love to stay at Lodge Alley Inn or any of the properties offered by Walk Away Stays, prices can be negotiated as well.

Charleston has so many great restaurants, you can't really go wrong. For a super special dinner, we love Peninsula Grill (expect to spend $150 per couple). http://peninsulagrill.com/
Poogan's Porch, Carolina's, Hyman's (lunch, great Bloody Mary), Husk for brunch, too many others to choose
The rooftop bar at Vendue Inn is a must
PGee is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Just to be clear, the drive from Charleston up to the Banks is not along the coast. Unless you take the interstate, you go through lots of little towns. I like that but some people don't.
suewoo is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do not eat at Hyman's. Husk is overpriced and too "proud" of itself.
Gretchen is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do not eat at Hyman's. Husk is overpriced and too "proud" of itself.
Gretchen is offline  
May 11th, 2013, 10:13 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
As someone from the mountains of North Carolina, I will say a few things about the area. Asheville has a really unique culture in comparison to other places in the south. Every Friday, there is a huge drum circle in the downtown area. A good number of people come out to dance to the drums, and it is a site to see. Even if you don't want to dance, it is fun to watch. Two popular tourist attractions are the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. Both are historical and beautiful. Biltmore also has its own vineyard, if you are interested in that. The Grove Park Inn is very expensive, but many would recommend visiting their restaurant. I wouldn't recommend staying there because of their right rates, but it is interesting to see. Here are their websites:

If you enjoy the outdoors, I recommend visiting Pisgah National Forest or Dupont State Forest. Both are beautiful. There are many trails, some of which feature waterfalls. You can also go tubing down the Davidson River in Pisgah. There is a place to rent tubes at the entrance to the forest if you come through Brevard. Beside the tube rental place is an ice cream shop called Dolly's, which is the absolute best.

I hope you enjoy your trip!
TaylorNicole828 is offline  
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