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Suggestions for (pretty) place to stay I-81 Virginia?

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Aug 7th, 2015, 07:42 AM
  #1
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Suggestions for (pretty) place to stay I-81 Virginia?

Hi everyone, need to drive to northeast of Atlanta, with a quick stop in Asheville. Leaving from NY/NJ and planning to take I-81, then I-26. We'd like to stop for the night at about the 7 - 10 hour point, and currently considering Wytheville or Bristol, VA(thanks to reading other I 81 posts here).

I have a 2 part question -
(1) I see there's so many parks and forests along the way, and I would love to spend the night somewhere with a view. Doesn't necessarily have to have a view from the hotel/motel, but that would be fantastic. I'd rather not drive too far(30 min max?) from the interstate, but willing to for something special.
(2) I need to drive either the 2nd or 3rd week of October. Not sure if that's too early for foliage in this general area, but does anyone recommend 1 week over the other?

Any other tips/advice welcome, thanks!
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Aug 7th, 2015, 08:13 AM
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For foliage between Atlanta and Asheville, that's early. Peak fall color that far south will be the last week of October or even the first weekend in November. Based on that, my guess is that the third week would be better for VA.

I would not take 26 after Asheville. If you want pretty mountains with color and good roads, take the route through past Sylva, through Franklin NC and then Dillard and Clayton GA. Just as fast and far prettier.

If you want a beautiful place to stay in Virginia, consider the Inn at Meander Plantation. It's about 30 miles off 81 so closer to 45 minutes, but is lovely.
http://www.meander.net/
Allow time to enjoy being there.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 10:01 AM
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Thank you Starrs! I was originally going to go to Greenville, then take I-85, but the route you suggested sounds great as I definitely prefer taking a scenic route over the interstate. However, due to the time of year (foliage), do you think the roads you suggested will be extremely heavy?

Meander Inn looks lovely, but I was hoping to get a few more hours in on the first day. Perhaps another trip!
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Aug 7th, 2015, 12:19 PM
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No, the traffic will not be bad. If you happen to travel south between 2 and 4 on a Sunday afternoon, there will be a slow down in the city limits of Mountain City as folks return from their weekend trips. But amazingly, that's the only traffic backup between Asheville and Atlanta - and that's only during at a particular time and a particular day of the week and for less than 2 miles. The 4 lane moves to 2 lane for less than 2 miles and then opens back up to 4.

Okay, I'll look for another place to stop.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Okay, for "fancy" - The Martha Washington Inn
http://www.themartha.com/abingdon-va-dining.php
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._Virginia.html

Less than 2 hours the next morning to Asheville.
Less than 9 hours from NYC.

The places I know in VA will take you too far off 81. Janet needs to see this to give suggestions in Blacksburg, etc.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 12:37 PM
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Mountain Lake is rustic and has beautiful views.

http://www.mtnlakelodge.com/?src=ppc...e_officialsite

In Blacksburg, The Inn at Virginia Tech is adjacent to campus and walking around the campus of Virginia Tech is something special.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 12:38 PM
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http://www.innatvirginiatech.com

vt.edu.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 02:52 PM
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Thanks so much ladies. They all look great!

One more consideration - I would be leaving NJ on a thursday morning, how bad is the rush hour traffic around Roanoke? Do you recommend us getting to Roanoke by a certain time?
I made a similar trip to Atlanta a few years ago around the same time of year, and the traffic was so bad, but wasn't sure if it was bad luck, or if it was typical congestion.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 04:51 PM
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Roanoke doesn't have significant rush hour traffic. That shouldn't be a factor.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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thanks again JanetKMR!
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Aug 7th, 2015, 06:50 PM
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"I made a similar trip to Atlanta a few years ago around the same time of year, and the traffic was so bad,..."

Atlanta has bad traffic every day of the year. It's lighter in summer, when schools are out. It's especially bad during morning and afternoon commute times, but on weekdays it's often bad all day long. Weekends are not, unless there is construction.

The good thing about the route from Asheville towards Atlanta on 441 is that there is rarely any traffic until you get south of the 85/985 merge. Georgia 20 between the two of them is bad, but nothing past that point (north). If you are heading NE of Atlanta, you'll probably experience no problems at all. If you want to share the specific destination, I can share alternate routes - if any are needed.
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Aug 8th, 2015, 03:26 AM
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Hi Starrs, I'm headed towards the John's Creek area in Atlanta, and I will take the route your suggested.

The traffic I was referring to was around the Roanoke area. I was wondering if I should get there before rush hour... depending on where we decide to stop, we may continue on 1 -2 more hours before stopping for the night. Ideally, I'd like to leave NJ around 8-9am, putting us around Roanoke around 4-5pm (with stops). Was wondering if we should we leave an hour or so earlier.

thanks again Starrs!
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Aug 8th, 2015, 03:54 AM
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Depending on which side of John Creek, it may work better to cut over as you come south on 441 and head west at Hollywood GA (before Gainesville). Ask if your destination is closer to 400 or 85. If it's close to 400, the country/foothills route will bypass traffic and is just pretty. I'll give directions heading north and then look at a map and reverse. 400N ends in Dahlonega, but the road continues north on Long Branch. It stops at 115 and you can head east toward Cleveland and then Clarkesville. After Clarksville head north a bit on old 441 and in a few miles you'll intersect 441 (also on maps as 23/15). In the community of Hollywood, you can look over and see a short block-long road that intersects new 441 earlier. There are two gas stations on that block and then the light to turn on 441.

It's a lovely drive and is a great alternative to the interstate. You could also cut over through Gainesville, but you'll encounter Gainesville surface traffic. I used to make that drive almost weekly and miss it.
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Aug 9th, 2015, 07:26 AM
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Hi Starrs, my destination is just north of Johns Creek, looks like it is closer to 400 than 85, but google maps has me taking 985, then going north on McGinnis Ferry Road.

Still researching places to stop.. appreciate all the help!
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