Here is what I suggest-
NY to Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC- lots of nice places to stay near Market Square including Planters Inn- historic district, Market Square, Ft. Sumter, Middleton or Magnolia Plantations are just some of the main sights to see- you will need at least 3 days there.
Unless visiting relatives or friends then I would not go to Chattanooga. Instead I would make a stop in Asheville NC- it has a lovely downtown and the Biltmore House is a must see.
From Asheville drive over to the Great Smoky Mts. NP- if you want touristy then stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge- if you want quiet then stay in Townsend- drive the Cades Cove Loop Rd and go up to Clingman's Dome, etc.- at least 2 days to visit.
From the GSMNP you can then drive up the Blue Ridge Pkwy- Shenandoah Pkwy into Virginia.
Hope this info helps and if you have more questions please let us know.
thank you wonderful ideas. We would love to see gardens, and a, wondering if the Middleton plantation, would have lovely gardens, or would we need to also visit Magniolia etc. Thinking on one plantation since we have so many things we would like to see. thank you both
Where in New York are you departing from?
Asheville, NC is a great location and I highly recommend at least doing dinner at Grove Park Inn if a room there is not in your budget. We visited Chattanooga this past summer and it was very nice but paled in comparison to Asheville.
Anywhere near the Market in Charleston is great.
Since you are interested in a road trip around the South, I would recommend considering a trial membership with Bluegreen Resorts (a timeshare). You get thousands of points for $1,000 for the one year trial and can use them at a bunch of great resorts (Charleston, Savannah, Outer Banks, Gatlinburg etc.). The trial is only for a year so there is no long term commitment and will get you more resort stays than paying full price at mediocre hotels. They will offer you 3 days $ 2 free nights at one of their locations, pressure you to buy for about 3 hours & then offer you a sampler package and give you a Visa card.
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