I have been lurking around this site for a few days and I noticed that there is a LOT of expertise here, so I joined to ask for some help and ideas.
In mid-May I am taking a road trip to visit relatives in NC the Grantsboro and Oriental area near Pamlico Sound. I live in Massachusetts in the greater Boston area and have taken 2 trips to visit NC years ago. I always took the most direct route, which was 95 South and made a bee-line to where I needed to go. Now, that I am more "mature" and have the time, I'd really like to take a more scenic route.
I recently found a site that described the Shenandoah Valley and in particular the "Blue Ridge Parkway" with the "Natural Bridge" and I decided that I was going to see that on the way down to NC. That will be the first leg of the trip. I then plan to visit with my relatives for a few days and then, on my way back to Boston, I would love to come home via the Outer Banks.
This I also did in my college days but, I did it at break neck speed. I have the time to relax now and so that's my plan. I'd like to see (again) Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke Island with the lighthouse and actually, if the bridges are all intact I'd LOVE to follow the outer islands as far as I can, seeing all of the lighthouses. Then I suppose it is back on to 95 North and home again for me. (unless anyone has better ideas for my northern ride)
For time planning and road-way suggestions, I have used the Travelocity road trip planner (got the link here, thanks guys) and have my southern route kind-of worked out. It has me taking 3 days from Boston, MA to Grantsboro, NC via PA and down through to the Blue Ridge Parkway, afterwhich I head east to Pamlico Sound.
Next, I spend 3 to 4 days visiting with the family and then I'll be taking 3 days to get back home.
I have not even started planning the return trip (the coastal route). It is now only a vague idea I have. I have approx 10 days for this adventure and I am looking forward to it.
What I would like and would greatly appreciate, is for any folks that have driven the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped to see the Natural Bridge to give me some pointers. Then, any suggestions for the return trip via the outer banks of NC and then up though VA and northward would be a "bonus".
Oh, I would also love suggestions for BBQ places on my inland leg and on the coastal trip, suggestions for good seafood would be welcome too! Nice places for overnight accommodations will be gratefully accepted. I will also visit the Boston AAA office in a few days for some tips from them too but your forum had so many good ideas for other drivers that I had to ask the "experts"!
On another note: On this trip, and for the first time, I will be a single female traveling alone, my husband can't take the time off from work and is a tad nervous about me being by myself, but I don't think that will be too much of an issue. Heck, I have taken 3 years of kick-boxing, (and I am rather good at it too). I do not believe that I will be a 'pushover' if necessary but, I really do not expect any trouble anyway however, I am not oblivious to the fact that a female alone on the road has to take precautions. So, I would probably tend to want to stick to the more well traveled roads and not going too far 'afield'. I also have had my car given the 'once over' by the experts (cost a small fortune) so, I am certain that the car (an Infiniti G35) is roadworthy.
If any fellow 'adventurers' would like to offer suggestions and ideas I am open to all!
Thanks in advance for any help offered!