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  1. Default 10-day Roadtrip from VA->FL

    I'm planning my first road trip ever from Charlottesville, VA to Ft. Myers, FL and back to Charlottesville in around 10 days with my boyfriend from 8/10-19. Since he'll be back from a 2 months long bike (yes, bicycle!) trip from Baltimore to San Francisco (charity event for cancer) staying at campgrounds and churches every night, we're planning on splurging a little to stay in a resort in Fort Myers, and hotels along the way in some major cities.

    I have never done a road trip before and I'm planning this alone, so I'd love some advice on route planning and whether my plan is feasible.

    This is what I have planned so far.

    Day 1: Charlottesville--> Charleston
    Day 2: Charleston--> Orlando
    Day 3: Orlando (Disney!)
    Day 4: Orlando--> Ft. Myers
    Day 5-7: Ft. Myers
    Day 7: Ft. Myers-->Miami
    Day 8: Miami-->Savannah
    Day 9: Savannah--> Asheville, NC
    Day 10: Asheville-->Charlottesville

    I don't know too much about other roads, all I know is we might drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive from Asheville to Charlottesville, but I'm not sure if that'll be a stretch to drive in one day, or whether it's worth it now that it's summer and passed the blossom season.

    Would love any advice, thanks!!!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-10-2009 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Donation request removed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    8,003

    Default Some Other Possibilities

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    I recently laid out a basic east coast RoadTrip that should give you some more ideas of what's available to you and your boyfriend. Unfortunately, ten days is not a lot of time to both do the driving and see the sights, especially with a few days out in Fort Meyers and Oralano as well as around 2,500 miles to drive with just the detours you've already planned. My basic advice, then, would be to just pick one or two things each day to see or do, maybe one on the road, and one in the city where you'll be spending the night, and just keep things relaxed and low stress. Trying to pack too much into this kind of trip, or over think what you should be doing is the antithesis of the rest you'll both need.

    AZBuck

  3. Default doable but

    Since you live not far from Asheville maybe you could skip this and give one more day in Miami, driving 35-45 mph on top of mtns can be scenic and calm but not for 8-9 hours, that is what would take Skyline (Va side) and Blue Ridge(NC side) Parkway from Asheville to Charlottesville, I did this once and promised never again, especially with a large group. However if you insist on visiting Smokey Mtn then do a short portion off I81. Definately lots of driving but doable (Every spring I go from DC to Orlando with 4 kids in 6 day trip with stop at Tampa or Daytona). since you want to treat yourself to nice places, check out Marriott (Residence Inn, townPlace Suite, Springhill Suite) or Hilton's Homewood Suites. they mostly offer free breakfast, some places offer free dinner during weekdays (not the best but decent meal for free). since they are suites they have kitchen for you to cook your meal. don't let the brand name fool you even with free breakfast they often can be had for $70-110 depending on area. And you get a really comfortable sleep at night.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice AZBuck and ashank1m!

    Unfortunately, I've booked accommodation for all the destinations so there's little I can do in terms of changing locations. However, if it's gonna be tough to drive all the way from Asheville to Charlottesville, perhaps I can split that into 2 days? Any recommendations on where I should stop in between?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,537

    Default

    Asheville to Charlottesville by fastest route is 350 miles, which would take you about 7 hours. If you want to take the Blue Ridge Parkway (which you CAN take just about all the way from Asheville to Charlottesville), you definitely need to break that up into 2 days, it will be just over 400 miles. The halfway point is roughly where it crosses I-77 at Fancy Gap. That's not too far from civilization and hotels, it's about 10 miles into Mount Airy. There are also several campgrounds and lodges along the parkway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,532

    Default I wish you luck

    Right now, I am doing the very drive you are planning, I have just come off Skyline.... drove the first 65 miles and then reverted back to I-81. Like the BRP, Skyline is slow, but very scenic, and if you like to stop at the turnouts for photos and admire the view, then that makes it slower still.

    For me today it was fog and rain... and then rain and fog... very little to see and enjoy. This is the third time I have attempted the Skyline / BRP, and each time I have been thwarthed by the weather. As I drove down I-81, I kept listening to the weather on the radio, and looking across to the mountains. The clouds were very low, shrouding the tops of the mountains. I doubt that I would have had much scenery to enjoy.

    On the other hand... a wild turkey crossed my path - got a good photo - and many deer were by the roadside, including some young ones.

    Lifey in Roanoke

  7. #7

    Default Asheville-Charlottesville

    Hello rijoyce,

    As much as I love the Blue Ridge Parkway, I would not attempt to drive it from Asheville to Rockfish Gap (I-64 west of C'Ville) in a day. I think you're already resigned to the realization that's around 400 miles at, say, a 30-35 mph average, at best. It would be a fairly arduous journey, in my opinion.

    Overnighting along the way is one option, as is jumping off of the BRP to the east or west (US 29 and I-81, respectively) once you've had all of the Parkway you can enjoy. Charlottesville is within 2-3 hours of higher speed travel from either of the jumping-off points noted below:

    As to reaching I-81 easily, you'd need to get up to about Fancy Gap and take I-77 North to I-81. From that point to most anywhere further north I-81 will be within 10-20 miles north-northwest.

    As to reaching US 29 easily, you'd need to get at least as far north as Roanoke before dropping down to the east-southeast.

    As far as I'm concerned, the most scenic and dramatic portions of the BRP are from around Asheville to Fancy Gap, anyway, so you've got a very nice segment to enjoy before overnighting or jumping off.

    I'll offer a technical correction to Ashank1m: The VA section of the BRP is not the same as Skyline Drive (SD). The SD in particular starts at Rockfish Gap (south end) and traverses the length of Shenandoah National Park. At 105 miles in length, it can be described as a northern extension of the BRP, but it's not the BRP, nor is the BRP the SD. From Rockfish Gap (Mile 0) to the VA/NC line, and from there all the way to Cherokee, NC (Mile 469), the roadway is the BRP, and all signage and local usage reflects that.

    Foy

  8. Default Thanks!

    Everyone, thank you so much for the advice! Seems like it will be a stretch to do Asheville-> Cville in one day, so I'm taking the advice to stop a night at Fancy Gap and continue the trip back to Cville on I-81.

    Lifemagician, enjoy the rest of your trip and I look forward to hearing more about your trip!

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