I have about 12 days to drive from my home in NJ to ...somewhere and back again. Right now, the schedule would be to leave on Friday, November 13, and return on the Wednesday the 25th (day before Thanksgiving). I have a limited budget, as the bulk of the money is spent on a rental car, since I don't own a car. I've been stressed as heck at work, and need to get out, relax, explore, and feel the freedom of the road.
Requirements: diners with good coffee, good waitresses, and good local talk; -- staying away from masses of tourists.
One idea is to go North through New York State, up to Maine. There's a B&B in Maine where I could spend a night or two -- and a friend's house in Herkimer County, which is not far from Utica where I could also stay. I've also been considering a night or two in a "wilderness" cabin in the far northeast of NY State.
On the other hand, I had thought about heading into Appalachia, as I'm especially fascinated by that culture and food -- and seeing some scenery in West Virginia and even North Carolina. I have one free place to stop in Richmond VA, at a friend's house.
I realize this is very subjective -- but if you had twelve days to spend and complete freedom to go where you wanted to -- starting in NJ -- where would you go?