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Blue Ridge States
Old 06-23-2015, 03:35 PM   #1
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Blue Ridge States

Planning a leisurely drive from Houston to West Virginia and back. We are wanting to take in as many of the scenic wonders that we can fit in. We plan to drive the Blue Ridge back to Asheville and probably go through Nashville. Hike to a waterfall or two. Haven't decided about Biltmore Mansion yet. Probably will go drive up through Kentucky and take in a few sights there.

What places should we not pass up, favorite routes or place to see? Need some of your suggestions.

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Old 06-23-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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I don't think you should pass up The Biltmore. I found it very interesting even though I am usually more interested in the 'scenic' attractions. If you do visit it, make sure to use the headsets provided when touring it. The grounds are also very nice.

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Old 06-23-2015, 05:03 PM   #3
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Good winery at the Biltmore. They produce some very nice wines.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:58 PM   #4
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The distillerys in Kentucky and Tennessee can be interesting.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:22 PM   #5
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Getting to WV from SE TX is not easy. There's so much to see between those two great places, including beautiful mountains and great cities.
Your best bet would to drive I-10 over to Mississippi and take I-59 through Hattiesburg and Birmingham to Chattanooga.
You'll switch to I-75 North in Chattanooga. I prefer getting off at Cleveland (20 miles north) and going east on U.S. 64/74 alongside the Ocoee River (whitewater) through Murphy, NC and east to Asheville, NC.
By all means, take in the Biltmore, the largest home in the U.S. It's an absolutely great foodie town, and the Blue Ridge Parkway runs right through town.
You could go north on the Blue Ridge Parkway until you get tired of the curves and slow speed limits. Then drop off on one of the side roads that'll take you toward West Virginia.
On your return trip, you could drop by Kentucky and Nashville. I suggest you just come through Bristol, VA/TN if it's handy coming back from where you'll be in West Virginia. Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is a great place to stop and do some hiking and see water falls. Gatlinburg has very inexpensive accommodations and Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It's all I-40 into the fabulous Nashville, my hometown. I'll stop there.
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:51 AM   #6
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here's a list for ya:
Whitewater rafting trip on the Natahala river, Brison city NC
Mt Pisgah on the parkway, both hotel and restaurant, very good food with a very good view.
NC28 south of Franklin NC--the water fall road--3 of the best !
Floyd VA on a Friday night (6 miles off the parkway) BLUEGRASS music
Seneca Rocks west va

google these for info
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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Mammoth Cave National Park Mammoth Cave National Park (U.S. National Park Service) its in Kentucky.

You might have to register for a tour for the next day, so you can stay overnight in a B&B just outside the park, that is what I did, but cannot recall its name as it was ~15 years ago. I think the park has some hotel as well.
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:50 PM   #8
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Chimney Rock Park not too far from Asheville was very enjoyable for the hiking and the waterfalls. You can spend a whole day on their trails from a very easy walk to fairly strenuous - you choose the trails.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:37 PM   #9
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If you cycle, there used to be, (maybe still is, it's been a while), a nice trail along the river, going both ways out of Marlinton, WV.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:01 PM   #10
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I would suggest getting of 75 at Clevland and doing the Cherohala skyway over to Robbinsbille Nc then up to Ashville. This is among the highest thru roads in the east at 5400 feet.
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:54 PM   #11
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You're right about the Cherohala Skyway. It took 40 years to build the road, and it goes up to about 5000' in elevation. There's 200,000 acres of bear habitat up there without anything around. And it's where the Russian wild boar were introduced to the Eastern U.S. as a sporting animal to be hunted.

I once toured Yosemite National Park, flew home and went straight to the Cherohala (going to work.) Except for incredible waterfalls, Yosemite wasn't much prettier than Tellico Plains, Tennessee and this fabulous drive.

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