I'm thinking of an OBX trip in May and will come back with more specific questions about the OBX itself, but right now I'm wondering what route(s) to take across NC. I'll be coming from TN and most likely going I-40 through Asheville. I'm interested in any recommendations about what to see between western NC and the Outer Banks, especially any outdoor attractions, scenic routes, etc. (not interested for this trip in cities, museums in cities, or night life along the way).
I'm very familiar with western NC, especially the Smokies, Bryson City, and Maggie Valley areas but haven't traveled much east of Asheville. Any recommendations would be appreciated for a day or two each direction across the state (also route suggestions--it doesn't have to be the quickest, which I can find on MapQuest--and the return route wouldn't have to be the same as the route to the OBX). Thanks for any tips.