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Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Kent
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Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Hi ,

we are planning to drive from Charlotte to Chicago in the middle of March and have allowed about 7-8 days for the trip .

We have been advised that the Blue Ridge Parkway heading towards Washington is a great drive . From there it looks like we can cut across West Virgina and Indiana to our destination .

We hope that this amount of time will allow us to take in the sights and stop to enjoy a few things .

Any suggestions and local knowledge would be gratefully accepted regarding time/distances , places to stop , places to stay .

Thank you in advance for any advice

TravelMing

North Carolina
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1. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Keep in mind that the speed limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 45 mph.

Clemmons, North...
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2. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Yes, the BRP/Skyline Drive is spectacular. As noted above, it can be slow going, but if you have time to savor it you'll be glad you did. Here are a few general comments, and a few specific recommendations:

If you check the map, you'll see that the BRP/Skyline Drive roughly parallels I-81 in VA, then I-77 and I-40 in NC. You're never more than an hour or so from one of these major highways, so if the going gets slow you can skip over to the interstate to make better time, then get back on the parkway further up the road.

Check the BRP web site. There are actually two--one is www.blueridgeparkway.org, the other is the National Park Service site at http://www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm. Both have great information, and they can help you figure out specific places you want to see.

In NC, the best sections of the BRP are just south of Asheville, and between Asheville and Boone. So at a minimum I'd start in Asheville and head north, but if you can find the time it's well worth driving south of Asheville as well. Plan to spend at least a day in Asheville, then drive to Boone/Blowing Rock and spend some time there. There are lots of lodging options in both places, including hotels, cabins, and B&B's. You can make the drive in a little over 2 hours with no stops, but there are several recommended attractions along the way such as the Appalachian Folk Art Center, Craggy Gardens, Mt. Mitchell, and the Linn Cove Viaduct. You should allow at least half a day to get to Blowing Rock, and more if you like a slower pace.

It's roughly another 2 hours (assuming no stops) from Boone to the VA state line. Not a whole lot of attractions in this stretch; mostly just beautiful scenery. Doughton Park is worth a stop, as is Stone Mountain if you have the time. In VA, Mabry Mill and the Rocky Knob Recreation Area are worthwhile. You might consider staying in the quaint mountain village of Floyd, VA, which is just off the Parkway.

Hope this helps!

Mississippi
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3. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

I agree with Arby Unc.........here's a few places to visit in NC on the BRP.

BOONE..........

Cafe Portofino @ 970 Rivers Street, Boone, NC 828 - 264 - 7772.

http://www.cafeportofino.net/

Coyote Kitchen @ 200 Southgate Dr., Boone, NC 828 - 265 - 4041.

http://thecoyotekitchen.co

Hob Knob Farm Cafe @ 506 West King Street, Boone, NC 828 - 262 - 5000.

http://www.hobnobfarmcafe.com/

Our Daily Bread @ 627 W King Street, Boone, NC 828 - 264 - 0173.

Mast General Store @ 630 W King Street, Boone, NC 866 - 367 - 6278.

http://www.mastgeneralstore.com/

Melanie's Food Fantasy @ 664 West King Street, Boone, NC 828 - 263 - 0300.

http://www.melaniesfoodfantasy.com/

Pepper's Restaurant and Bar @ 240 Shadowline Dr., Boone, NC 828 - 262 - 1250.

http://www.peppers-restaurant.com/

Proper @ 142 S. Water St., Boone, NC 828 - 865 - 5000.

http://propermeal.com/Propermeal/WELCOME.html

Troy's 105 Diner @ 1286 Highway 105, Boone, NC 828 - 265 - 1344.

Vidalia @ 831 West King St., Boone, NC 828 - 263 - 9176.

http://www.vidaliaofboonenc.com

BLOWING ROCK............

Westglow Resort and Spa @ 224 Westglow Circle, Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 4463.

http://www.westglowresortandspa.com/

Bistro Rocca @ 143 Wonderland Trail, Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 4008.

http://www.bistroroca.com/

Blowing Rock Grill and Lounge @ 349 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 9474.

www.theblowingrockgrille.com/welcome.html

Crippens Country Inn and Restaurant @ 239 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 3487.

http://www.crippens.com/dnn/

Knight's on Main @ 870 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 3869. BLD.

http://www.knightsonmainrestaurant.com/

Manor House Restaurant @ Chetola Resort @ 500 Main St., Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 5505.

http://www.chetola.com/

Storie St. Grill @ 1167 Main St., Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 7075. LD. ***

http://www.storiestreetgrille.com/

Woodland's BBQ Restaurant @ 8304 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 295 - 3651.

http://www.woodlandsbbq.com/

BANNER ELK..............

Artisinal Restaurant @ 1200 Dobbins Road, Banner Elk, North Carolina 828 - 898 - 5395.

http://www.artisanalnc.com/

Bayou Smokehouse and Grill @ Village Shops, 130 Main St E, Banner Elk, NC 828 - 898 - 8952.

http://bayousmokehouse.com/

Jackalope's View @ 2489 Beech Mountain Parkway, Banner Elk, NC 828 - 898 - 9004.

http://www.archersinn.com/

Pappy's BBQ and Country Breakfast @ 4235 NC Highway 105 S, Banner Elk, NC 828 - 898 - 6777.

http://www.pappysbbq.com/

Sorrento's Bistro @ 163 Shawneehaw Ave Banner Elk, NC 828 - 898 - 5214.

http://sorrentosbistrohome.com/

LINVILLE FALLS...........

Spear's BBQ @ 8730 NC 183, Linville Falls, NC 828 - 765 - 0026.

Linville Falls Lodge @ 8730 NC 183, Linville Falls, NC 828 - 765 - 2658.

http://www.linvillefallslodge.com/HOME.html

Louise's Rock House @ 10780 Linville Falls Highway, Newland, NC 828 - 765 - 2702.

SPRUCE PINE................

Shepard's Table @ 14701 Hwy. 226 S, Spruce Pine, NC 828 - 765 - 0870.

Switzerland Inn and Chalet Restaurant @ 86 High Ridge Road, Spruce Pine, NC 828 - 765 - 2153.

http://www.switzerlandinn.com/

LITTLE SWITZERLAND........

Big Lynn Lodge @ PO Box 459, Little Switzerland, NC 828 - 765 - 4257.

http://biglynnlodge.com/

Switzerland Cafe and General Store @ 9440 Hwy 226A, Little Switzerland, NC 828 - 765 - 5289.

http://www.switzerlandcafe.com/

ASHEVILLE.............

Frankie Bone's Restaurant and Lounge @ 2 Gerber Rd # 101, Asheville, NC 828 - 274 - 7111.

http://www.fbdining.com/

WAYNESVILLE.........

Big Mountain BBQ @ 79 Elysinia Avenue, Waynesville, NC 828 - 454 - 0720.

http://www.bigmountainbbq.com/

Bogart's Restaurant @ 303 South Main Street, Waynesville, NC 828 - 452 - 1313.

http://www.bogartswaynesville.com/

Chef's Table @ 30 Church Street, Waynesville, NC 828 - 452 - 6210.

www.classicwineseller.com/chefstable.htm

Clyde's Restaurant @ 2107 South Main Street, Waynesville, NC 828 - 456 - 9135.

Cork and Cleaver Steakhouse at The Waynesville Inn @ 176 Country Club Drive, Waynesville, NC 828 - 456 - 5988.

http://www.thewaynesvilleinn.com/

Fat Buddie's Ribs and BBQ @ 193 Waynesville Plaza, Waynesville, NC 828 - 456 - 6368. LD.

http://www.fatbuddiesribsandbbq.com/

Lomo Grill @ 44 Church Street, Waynesville, NC 828 - 452 - 5222. FD/D.

www.lomogrill.com/Lomo_Grill/Welcome.html

Maggie's Galley Oyster Bar @ 49 Howell Mill Road, Waynesville, NC 828 - 456 - 8945.

dininginthesmokies.com/_waynesv/wdmgobar.htm

Old Stone Inn Lodge and Restaurant @ 109 Dolan Road, Waynesville, NC 828 - 456 - 3333.

http://www.oldstoneinn.com/

Pisgah Inn @ 408 Blue Ridge Parkway, Waynesville, NC 828 - 235 - 8228.

http://www.pisgahinn.com/

Sagebrush Steakhouse @ 895 Russ Avenue, Waynesville, NC 828 - 452 - 5822.

http://www.sagebrushsteakhouse.com/

Sweet Onion @ 39 Miller Street, Waynesville, NC 828 - 456 - 5559.

BALSAM.......

Balsam Mountain Inn and Restaurant @ 687 Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 828 - 456 - 9498.

http://www.balsammountaininn.com/

NC
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4. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

If you are near Galax. VA ( just off the Parkway) on a Friday night - go to The Rex Theater for a live radio show and some bluegrass music. A good lodging choice there is:

http://www.aplacebytheparkway.com/

There's a good little Bar BQ joint in downtown Galax right across from the Rex Theater. A fun stop.

Adirondack, New York
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5. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

It is going to take a miracle for the Blue Ridge Parkway to be opened in mid-March all the way through. Be prepared for many closures and lengthy detours.

Clemmons, North...
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6. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

^ Excellent point. The NPS site I posted above has a link for current road closures, so be sure to check it before you leave. The weather usually cooperates by mid-March, but there is a chance of late winter weather even into April at the higher elevations.

Kent
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7. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Thank you for the advice . We have taken that into account

Kent
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8. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Thank you for the advice . I have checked the site for the current closures and have planned for a detour or two . All part of the fun .

Kent
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9. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

Thank you everyone for your help ... we are flying in on Saturday .... the weather looks a bit dodgy but at least we are on the move and seeing what we want to see .

Clemmons, North...
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10. Re: Drive from Charlotte to Chicago via Blue Ridge Parkway

^ Hope you have a safe and wonderful trip! There are showers forecast for the weekend, but it clears out nicely for next week and temps should be moderate. Enjoy!