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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Athens, Tennessee, United States

    Default Tennessee to Williamsburg via BRP

    We live in east Tennessee and are planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA this summer, and would like to add a couple of extra days to the trip to drive the entire(assuming all of it is open) length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We would leave out from our house and take US129, which is about 30 minutes away, into North Carolina and get on the BRP at the southern terminus, and get off at the nothern terminus. The part that is in the middle has me scratching my head. 441 in to NC would be a bit shorter, but why pass up a chance to include the Dragon into a road trip.

    We plan on spending three days on the BRP. The first night I am thinking of staying in Asheville or Boone, NC. I am leaning towards Boone as that will get a bit more time sightseeing time in on the second day. But, staying in Ashville will give us more sightseeing time the first day, and from what I have gathered this is the most scenic area.

    On the second day, we are pretty well set at staying in Roanoke.

    Then again I think Asheville to Roanoke is a bit much in one day.

    Just wanted to get some insight from you guys to see that you think about my plan, or really lack of, and any suggestions that you might have.


  2. Default

    I think that's an excellent plan, the BRP is first class all the way.

    I guess you probably know this but the short diversion off the BRP at milepost 451 up to Waterrock Knob overlook is rewarded on a good day with a fabulous view over endless ridges of the Smokies.

    Unless you've got a particular desire to stay overnight in the bigger towns, I'd recommend considering some of the smaller communities on each side of the parkway, most of which have accommodation and eatery options. As you obviously know what you're doing there's no need to give you a list, you can look them up on a map yourself. I'm probably stating the obvious again but in the online map systems you can search for motels near Hillsville, etc.

    At the north end, if you've got time and don't mind the diversion then I'd highly recommend continuing along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park to Front Royal, or take US340 through the Shenandoah Valley which is totally different but IMHO just as beautiful in its way as the park.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few More Tidbits

    Your basic plan is certainly fine, and I especially applaud the amount of time you're devoting to the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). Many people, unfortunately, think of it as a highway where they'll be able to maintain a decent average speed and then are sorely disappointed when they can't and end up frustrated and leaving it too soon in order to reach their destination in the (too little) time they've allotted. I just have a few things to note.

    US-129 through Deals Gap is indeed one of the great driving roads in the country. You won't, however, have much time to enjoy the scenery as your attention must stay firmly affixed to the road and the traffic, the traffic in particular. The 'Tail of the Dragon' is a well-known magnet for motorcycle riders, many of whom make no effort whatsoever to obey the posted speed limits or give courtesy of the road to cars. You will need to be really sharp on this stretch. The only time I drove this route was in the very late fall, just before the first snowfall, which helped open up the sight-lines and kept down the number of riders due to the cold. You won't have either of those advantages.

    As John noted, there are some great small towns along the BRP, Asheville of course, but also Lexington north of Roanoke. Also Charlottesville, which is on I-64 on your way between the BRP and Williamsburg, is the home to two of Thomas Jefferson's great achievements, the University of Virginia and Monticello.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Athens, Tennessee, United States


    Thanks for the insight so far. I have found a neat little place, that I already booked, called the Skyline Village Inn, it is near Little Switzerland. Almost exactly between Boone and Asheville, so it worked out to be the perfect spot. Still looking for a place near Roanoke,

    My first thought was to try this in two days, but the more I looked into it, the more I felt that 3 day was the absolute minimum. The total trip will be about 750 miles, which happens to equal the longest road trip we have taken in a single stretch, Cocoa Beach to Key West and back to Cocoa Beach in one day. Doing this in two days would be 375 miles a day, and it would be much more intense than the 750 mile trip we took in Florida, and we would have to do that two days in a row. I just cannot imagine doing that and how utterly exhausted I would be from driving that much without being able to stop and enjoy the scenery.

    As for the Tail of the Dragon, we are only about an hour away from the start of it, we have driven it 3 or 4 dozen times, so I am very aware of the dangers. Once we were there and I was taking a right hand hairpin curve and was passed by a motorcycle on the inside shoulder, talk about a pucker factor. One of my favorite drives is a little, one-way, minimally maintained road from Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to the Dragon, it is called Parsons Branch Road if anyone is interested.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Click23 View Post
    Still looking for a place near Roanoke.
    Have you tried Christiansburg and Blacksburg? Both are quite some way from the Parkway, unfortunately.

    Otherwise, the electronic map systems show a few motels on US220 and Virginia 419 to the south and southwest of Roanoke.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by Click23 View Post
    One of my favorite drives is a little, one-way, minimally maintained road from Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to the Dragon, it is called Parsons Branch Road if anyone is interested.
    Great Tip! Thanks for sharing.

    I agree with your assessment, 3 days is pretty much the bare minimum I'd look at for the BRP. This is a very slow going road, with lots to see and do. My last trip there, I only was on the section from Asheville to Boone, and that took the better part of a day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default One day was enough for me.

    You're braver than I. Have driven the complete length, as well as Skyline Drive, but I could not do it in one trip. The slow pace - despite the fact that I don't like speed - and the numerous viewpoints drove me out of my mind. In the end the beauty and wildlife got lost to me. One day at a time was more than enough.

    Enjoy the trip. Make sure you let us know how you get on - here's a good place for a report.... and photos.

    BTW, Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.


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