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  1. Default OH to FL via Smokies, camping and route advice appreciated

    Hi friends- my husband and I are thinking about a 5-day road trip in mid-May. Starting in NE Ohio, through the GSNP, a night in Asheville NC, to the beach in the Jacksonville/Amelia Island area, and then back to OH by way of Chapel Hill to spend another night with friends.

    Questions are:
    -best campgrounds and attractions in the Asheville area?
    -beach camping: is Amelia Island our best bet, or do you know of a better beach campground in the NE FL area?
    -should we head directly to Chapel Hill after FL, or is the Tybee Island/Georgia Coast worth checking out?

    Any suggestions or ideas are quite welcome! Background info- late 20's, no pets or children on the trip, will probably make the most of the night scene in Asheville and Chapel Hill, do not mind primitive camping, have enjoyed state park campgrounds in the past, and would really like to spend some time swimming and canoeing in the ocean.

    Thanks in advance- great community you have here!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Tight Already

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, Youngstown (my guess at what NE Ohio means) to Ashville with a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National park requires around 650 miles of driving. Even with multiple drivers that is going to be a grind, and even with a relatively early morning departure will put you on the mountain roads at dusk or later and leave you trying to make camp in the dark, with no time to enjoy the night life of Asheville. Your next day to Jacksonville would only be around 400 miles so you should have more time to enjoy that area, especially if you spend the next day there as well. our return drive is a bit better spaced and you should be able to make the drive from Jacksonville to Chapel Hill in a very comfortable day with time to visit both your friends and the bars, leaving you a solid last day of driving to get home.

    So the first thing I'd recommend is that you just head into this trip with your eyes wide open and not try to add too much more to it than what you've outlined. I agree with you that state parks often offer the best sites and deals for camping, so have a look at both Fort Church and Little Talbot Island State Parks. I really don't think that camping will be your best bet in the Asheville area due to the time constraints mentioned, and I assume you'll be staying with your friends in Chapel Hill.


  3. Default Getting excited...

    Hi Buck, thanks for the quick response and info! I've had a chance to browse around the forums, and it sounds like Savannah GA is another spot we would enjoy. Revising the previous itinerary, now I'm tentatively considering:

    -drive through the Smokies, night in Asheville (cheap, fun or historic hotel recs would be great!)
    -drive from Asheville to Jacksonville, 2 nights camping at a state park (both listed above sound fantastic)
    -drive from Jacksonville, night in Savannah (again, hotel recs appreciated)
    -drive from Savannah to Chapel Hill

    Any thoughts on the new potential roady? This will be in mid-May, so please let me know of any festivals or points of interest that are not to be missed this time of year.

    BTW, home is actually Wayne Co, OH- lots of great short road trips in the area if anyone is interested!

    Thanks again! Happy travels, all!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It's Always Better... add more time, and it looks like you've added a day to your trip. which should give you a bit of time to explore Savannah. Perhaps the best way to get the flavor of that quintessential Southern city is to do a (leisurely) walking tour of its many squares and soak up the ambience. For the best, most up-to-date, and detailed information on festivals, I'd recommend stops at the Welcome Centers as you enter each state, as well as local Tourist Information Centers in each town. Often this will take you to smaller, more intimate festivals than you will find on the web or prior to your actual trip.


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