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  1. #1

    Default Live vicariously through me...plan a RT out of Charlottesville, VA

    Heading down from Norwalk, CT to Charlottesville, VA to see an old friend. I will arrive on Aug. 27th and be back home by Sept. 6th. We're both active 30 yr. olds with a sense of adventure. I want to see things I wouldn't be able to see in my area (so the zoo, baseball game etc. are generally off limits). Random things that popped into my mind are:

    Demolition Derby:

    Weird roadside attractions:

    Whitewater Rafting

    Horseback riding

    Car Camping

    County Fairs

    Scenic Areas/Day Hikes

    Major Cities and their attractions/nightlife.

    We're willing to travel a ton, so don't hesitate to recommend something a little out of the way.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by Bster13; 08-13-2009 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Given your stated preferences and goals, you might want to take a look at using different routes down and back, one concentrating on the cities along I-95 and the other following the Appalachians using I-78 and I-81 for the more outdoorsy venues. There are several caves in northwestern Virginia that you might enjoy, and you might want to take this opportunity to visit the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. You might also enjoy a hike along the Potomac River following the old Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the warm welcome. :)

    I spoke with my friend, we may be on to something:

    If anyone has any recommendations in these towns, lemme know!

  4. #4

    Default Here are a few along your route-----

    Hello Bstr13,

    Following along your google maps route, I see the following:

    Lunch in Mount Airy, NC, at the world famous Snappy Lunch. They've got anything you want as long as it's a fried pork chop sammich. Arrive early--once they've cooked up their batch of fresh chops for the day, they close, often before 1:00pm.

    Farther south and just east of the I-77 corridor is Welcome, NC, home of Richard Childress Racing and his museum, largely a shrine to the late, great Dale Earnhardt. The shops are normally open to the public at no charge. I think there's a fee for the museum, but it's worth it if you're one of the True Believers.

    A bit south of there in the Mooresville/Huntersville area are essentially every single one of the shop complexes for the remainder of the NASCAR teams. Most, if not all, offer tours, and I suspect they're all free.

    The shops are clustered around the Charlotte Motor Speedway, er, excuse me, Lowes Motor Speedway. At the speedway, the Richard Petty Driving Experience will take you along on a +160mph 3 lap "ride along" or let you drive an actual race car at up to 150 mph on an 8 lap session with an instructor (in his own car) leading you around. That's about the most fun you can have while wearing pants.

    On the western fringe of nearby Charlotte is the National Whitewater Training Center (believe that's the correct moniker). It's a large man-made and pump-controlled whitewater course.

    As you head north out of Atlanta, two top notch natural whitewater venues await you: The Ocoee River near where TN, GA, and NC meet. It's the site of the 1996 Summer Olympic whitewater course, man-made when the river's flow was being diverted to generate electric power. The diversion is still there, but there are scheduled releases allowing for mostly 1/2 day trips over a particular segment. The other venue is the Chattooga River, forming the GA-SC border and the locale where "Deliverance" was filmed. The lowermost section of the Chattooga features the "Five Falls", a sequence of 5 Class IV and V rapids. For either the Ocoee or the Chattoga, the only outfitter I'd recommend would be the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC).

    And speaking of the NOC, it looks like your route back towards Asheville might take you through the Nantahala Gorge and therefore the NOC's home base at Wesser, NC. There you can book a half-day float of the Nantahala River. The Nantahala is followed by the highway all the way, is colder than ice since it comes off the bottom of a 300' deep lake, but is great fun in an inflatable kayak (duckie or funyak). Probably the best part of the 'Hala is the takeout is where your trip ends at the NOC complex right on the river. That means no freezing half to death on a long bus ride following the take-out. There are hot showers ready for paddlers at the take-out, too.

    North of Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. You can drive to the summit at just under 7,000'. Farther up the BRP, near Blowing Rock, is Grandfather Mountain. At the Boone Fork Trailhead (around Mile 297 if memory serves) a series of trails starts and leads to Calloway Peak, Grandfather's summit, at just under 6'000. The trails pick up about 2,000' of elevation over the 3.5 mile one-way distance, so it's tough walking and some ladders. By all means, take the "Crag Way" options, as there are some great views to be had between the trailhead and the junction with the Daniel Boone Scout Trail the rest of the way to the summit. Visit the GF Mtn website for permit (free) info before you set out.

    Not far northwest of Grandfather Mountain, near the triple-point of NC, TN, and VA, lies Damascus, VA. Damascus is where the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the Virginia Creeper Trail (VCT) intersect. The former is of course for backpacking and hiking, while the latter is a Rails to Trails conversion mostly used by cyclists, most of whom book a shuttle to the crest of the Blue Ridge some 17 miles east, then take "The Glide", the all downhill return to Damascus. A nice Trek rental bike + the shuttle will run you about $25 at Blue Blaze. Best to book a reservation, though. When my group does it, we take the first shuttle of the day, normally an 0800 or 0830 departure, and that puts us back in Damascus by around 1130-1200, so it's a half-day trip. There is tons of info on the 'Net about the VCT, and Blue Blaze has a website, too.

    There are canoe trips available on the New River in Ashe County, NC, near West Jefferson, and where it enters VA, above Sparta, NC. Haven't taken any of those trips, but it sure is nice country and a nice river.

    Lastly, you mentioned a demolition derby. Being a fan of the spectacle of stock car racing, I've employed a website called Chasin' Racin' to find local tracks. I love to find an out-of-the-way dirt track and take in a local race, always on a Friday or Saturday night. Many of the tracks sell beer and many allow you to bring your own cooler, and Chasin Racin provides that intel and contact info for the tracks so you can confirm schedules.

    You're on your own down in Columbia, Charleston, and Savannah. I don't get down that way very often. Excepting the New River canoeing, I've personally done each and every one of the trips above, and I have the scars on my 54 year-old body to prove it.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


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