My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip in January for about 9 days. We would start in Northern VA (Vienna/McLean), and then start driving south through NC and SC to Charleston and then Savannah, GA. Next we plan to go back northwest to Tennessee (probably going through Helen, GA, a place we found on one of the posts in this forum), and then driving through the Appalachian mountains to Wintergreen, VA (near Charlottesville), where my family has a house we can stay in. This is an approximation of the route .
We have a very limited budget, so the actual road trip part will probably only be for a few days. We haven't worked out where we'll be stopping along that route then, or which roads to take. We would like to take a route that is scenic and interesting (especially through the Appalachians) instead of just a boring highway. Does anyone have any suggestions of alternate roads to take (instead of just 95, 85, etc), or additional places to stop along the way? We're particularly interested in non-touristy towns with character, and routes that either go through those towns or have pretty scenery along the way.
We may also be interested in camping for one night. Any suggestions on a good place to do that along this route would be great.