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7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

NE
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7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

Hoping for an assist! We have about 7-days and would like to see NC from Asheville area to beaches (or visa-versa). Candidly, we are not big hikers/climbers, etc., but do like outdoor activities, walks,beaches, drives, good food (of course) ..Kids are gone so it's just "we two". We know that this will be a sampling type trip and a bit rushed I would think but a few days in the west in NC then to the beaches may give us enough to plan a second trip where we are able to choose which area we would like to stay for a full week or so. Dates are totally open so seasonal suggestions also helpful and many thanks!

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1. Re: 7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

Spring or fall is best - weather-wise, crowd wise, and rate wise. I'd follow the "northern route" Mountains through Winston-Salem/Greensboro on to Raleigh and then to the Outer Banks.

The southern route ( through Charlotte/Lumberton, etc... is not a scenic drive at all and not much to see - lots of flat agricultural land past Charlotte.

Once you decide a route, post it and we can offer specific suggestions.

Clemmons, North...
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2. Re: 7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

Agree with Bud. As an alternative, you might consider heading to Wilmington from Raleigh (following I-40) rather than going to the Outer Banks. The OB are great, and well worth a visit, but it's a long drive and the beach itself is much better at the Wilmington-area beaches.

For your mountains visit, you might consider a couple of days in the Asheville area, then drive the Blue Ridge Parkway to Boone for a day or two. From Boone it's an easy drive to Winston-Salem where you can visit Old Salem, then take I-40 east for the rest of your trip.

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3. Re: 7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

Many thanks to you and arbyunc! We are coming in from the Northeast so we'll likely work from Asheville towards the east on a more northern route, to the coast then back up to the Northeast. A subquestion...since we only have a week (not including the 1 day each at the beginning and end to get back home) where would you recommend we "pick up" the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way down to Asheville? Without having been to the area before, we are thinking of driving all the way down to where we enter the Parkway on Day 1, staying overnight at that point (where?) then most of the next day on the Parkway arriving in Asheville late in the day. We are also thinking of 2 nights in Asheville because of arrival, 1st night, next day Biltmore and then stay the 2nd night to get a fresh start again heading east on the northern route. True it's a "whew!" but.....again, thank you so much. Yes, we are thinking the trip may be too agressive for a week!

Clemmons, North...
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4. Re: 7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

slashcat, I don't know where you're coming from, but I assume you'll be entering NC on I-77? You have so many options, but I'll try to help narrow them down for you. The BRP is slow driving--mostly 45 mph limits, and many places you must drive much slower than that because of the twists and turns. So I don't know how much of that you want. I love the BRP and can drive it all day, but some people get tired of it, especially if they tend to get motion sickness. With nothing else to go on, here's what I suggest:

Take I-77 into NC, then take US 421 north to Boone. Spend a night there, hit some of the shops in Blowing Rock in the morning, maybe have lunch, then take the Blue Ridge Parkway towards Asheville. If you drive non-stop, it's roughly 2 hours from Blowing Rock to Asheville via the BRP. But there are a number of interesting stops along the way, so plan to spend most of the afternoon to get the most enjoyment. Spend a day or two in Asheville and the surrounding area, then take I-40 towards the eastern part of the state.

You also have the option of getting on the BRP at Fancy Gap, VA (just before the NC state line). If you drive non-stop, it's about 2.5 hours to Boone from there via the BRP. So, depending on your timing, you can stay in Fancy Gap, or you can drive the BRP for a while and stay in Sparta or Glendale Springs.

If you have more questions, just ask!

5. Re: 7-Day Trip from Coast to Mountains? Help! First-timers to NC

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