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ideas and places to see for 1st time visit to NC,SC, etc...

ideas and places to see for 1st time visit to NC,SC, etc...

Aug 29th, 2011, 06:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
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ideas and places to see for 1st time visit to NC,SC, etc...

We ( two german guys in the mid 30´s ) are planing a trip to southeast parts of the US. Flying into CLT around 22nd september for 2 weeks. Thinking about Great Smokey Mountains,from there south to see some of the plantations
(which ones are worth to see ?)
Savanah,Charleston and then Outer Banks. My questions are, what is a must see and to do ? Especialy in the smokey mountains we´re looking for some activities like rafting,kayaking,perhaps renting a mountain bike. Bryson City seems like a pretty neat place to stay and Asheville...
Which part of the Blue Ridge Parkwaydrive is a worth to do,since the full 400somthing miles are a bit to much i guess...
Which part of the Outer Banks should we stay. There is not really a need for expensive B&B´s, but some pretty nature spots for hikes and walkes. And some raw bars on the Outer Banks...;-)
Any suggestions are appreciated....
andreas71 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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A lot of questions here, but let me start by saying that the hurricane did a lot of damage on the Outer Banks -- especially Hatteras Island. Rte. 12, the "spine" of the islands, has been washed out in several places. If you want the coastal experience, either try the islands off Savannah or Chralotte or Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington. There's also Myrtle Beach but it's very commercial. It may be that you'll have to come back later for the Outer Banks -- they will be repairing for a year or more.

Best place to go on your trip to the mountains would be Asheville, which is closer to the Charleston or Wilmington areas than mountain towns further north on the Parkway. You can drive 40-60 miles north of Asheville and come back and get some spectacular views, with the added treat of visiting Biltmore estate and grounds, which will be lovely at that time of year. (Be aware that getting to the Smoky mtns. is somewhat out of your way, esp. since the parkways and smaller roads will travel at 30 MPH -- very slow for covering large distances.)

Two weeks is otherwise a very short time to cover all you want to do. Recommend doing a point-by-point (or point-to-point) trial of the parts of your itinerary on Google Maps to get estimate of travel times.

Suggestion: if you arrive in Charlotte, perhaps swing down to Charleston (I like Savannah better, but it's further and many people prefer Charleston), then come back to Wilmington/Wrightsville (you can do a day trip to Bald Head Island, which is very manicured but still somewhat representative of the Outer Banks ecology), then up to Asheville and back to Charlotte.
JJ495 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 06:36 AM
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edit: "try the islands off Savannah or Charleston"!!!! (not "Chralotte")
JJ495 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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PS re Blue Ridge Parkway -- there are many trails and climbs, etc. in that first 60 miles north of Asheville, but if you want to skip the coastal stuff altogether, you can also look at Blowing Rock/Boone as base of operations and find many trails up on the parkway . Check out the parkway's website.

Re: beach hiking -- if you'd rather skip the coastal town/city and just do wild-ish beach, go to Ocracoke -- via ferry from Cedar Island near New Bern NC. I don't think it got as much damage from the hurricane's storm surge -- hope not, anyway.
JJ495 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 11:55 AM
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For a two week trip, the OBX might be the part that may be a bridge too far.
I like the idea of doing Charleston first (if you are landing in Charlotte--about a 3 hour drive). Charleston, its plantations and maybe a beach visit would be a good start. Then head to Bryson City for the back entrance to the Smokies, and Nantahala for some kayaking. Go on through the Park to Asheville for a few days.
Any of the Parkway north or south of Asheville would be a nice drive.
Do your oyster eating in Charleston or along that coast. I am not sure when the season comes in, and the hurricane may have really messed up the oyster beds at the OBX, if you do go there.
Be aware that from Charlotte the OBX is about an 8 hour drive, whereas the "beaches" in NC or SC are 3-4 hours.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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It's also fun to kayak through the marshes near Charleston.

The local oysters won't get good until the water gets chilly. Amen Raw Bar on East bay in Charleston is a great place. Be aware that College of Charleston is located in downtown Charleston. Many, MANY reaaalllly good looking young women will be frequenting the shops and restaurants on Upper King Street.
suewoo is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Update on Ocracoke -- the ferries are still shut down except for year-round residents and rescue workers, but they're expected to resume in a week.

Pls. check back and let us know what you end up doing.
JJ495 is offline  
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