Quaint towns and majestic landscapes await you
13 Nights From €1589 (Per Person)
Fly Drive Holidays
District of Columbia||
Washington DC- Charlottsville (Virginia) - Roanoake (Virginia)- Boone (North Carolina) - Asheville (North Carolina)- Cherokee(North Carolina) - Great Smokey Mountains- Charlotte (North Carolina) - Atlanta (Georgia)
Imagine coming around a corner and suddenly catching your breath as the view opens up to a vast mountain landscape, a larger than life panorama of waves of blue hills. Stopping at a view point you see a deer and her fawns gently grazing, unaware that there are people around. Another vista reveals a burst of spring color and still another, a gushing waterfall. These scenes and more will unfold as you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 459-mile road that connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. The drive is an opportunity to slow down and experience incomparable scenery. Meandering on the road, your eyes are always looking out for the next stunning view and the farthest Appalachian Mountain ridge lost somewhere in the expansive ever-present blue mountain haze. In Virginia, the terrain rolls gently. As the Parkway moves to North Carolina, the mountains become increasingly rugged and the road surrounded by majestic stands of trees. By the time you reach Tennessee, the blue haze has turned to a silver gray, with the Smokies punctuating the sky.
In between all of this natural grandeur, you can visit a series of historic towns with authentic culture. Some have not changed much since the Parkway was built. You can almost imagine Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee strolling down the streets of Lexington, Virginia. In Charlottesville, you can stand on the same street corner where Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe stood as friends and lawyers, before each became President of the United States. Boone has an outdoor drama that portrays the heritage of the area. Asheville is home to the 250-room Biltmore Mansion, the largest house in America. Admiring the Neoclassical, Romanesque Revival, Art Deco, and other styles of Ashville’s soaring buildings, you’ll get a sense of the depth and diversity of the city’s past. You can walk down cobblestone streets, relax in an outdoor café and enjoy an art walk, all the while surrounded by spectacular mountains. Carl Sandburg, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe and the Vanderbilts drew their inspiration from these dramatic mountain landscapes, and we know you will too. The Blue Ridge Parkway can become a part of your own personal history. Enjoy it – it’s one of a kind.
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Day 1: Arrive Washington DC
To many, Washington, DC is the very seat of power in the world. To others, it’s home – in one of the district’s fascinating neighborhoods. Washington definitely is about dramatic monuments, grassy malls and emotive memorials, but it’s also about Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Woodley Park and Dupont Circle, all great neighborhoods with unique cuisine, shops and architecture. Washington, DC has always been rich in history and the American experience. It’s become even more interesting with cutting edge culture and fabulous food and wine. Although it was built more than two centuries ago, Washington is one of the youngest capital cities on the globe. Impressive landmarks and tree-lined avenues make it more like Paris than a modern American city. That design was intentional. The city was laid out by Pierre L’Enfant for Thomas Jefferson, both incredible architects in their own right.
Day 2: Explore Washington DC
If this is your first visit to Washington, we recommend you begin at the US Capitol Complex, which includes the Capitol Building, House and Senate Buildings and the US Botanical Gardens. Standing on the Capitol steps looking XXX, the expansive two-mile National Mall between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, stretches out before you, lined with monuments and museums. The Washington Monument stands in the center, while the cross axis of the Mall is anchored by the White House on one end and the Jefferson Memorial on the other. You’ll find a number of the wonderful Smithsonian Museums along the Mall, as well as throughout the city.
Day 3: Washington DC
To help you maximize your time in Washington, you have the option to select the locations you want to visit or are particularly interested in, in advance, and we’ll provide complete detailed walking and transportation directions from one to the other, so that you can spend your time exploring instead of wayfinding.
Day 4: Skyline Drive to Charlottesville
It’s a short drive from Washington DC to the start of the Skyline Drive, which meanders from the northern reaches of Shenandoah National Park to the official start of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Waynesboro. There are hundreds of places to get out and walk or hike and a great restaurant at Big Meadows where you can have lunch overlooking a one of a kind landscape. You’ll spend the night in Charlottesville, which you’ll have time to explore tomorrow. Enjoy dinner on Charlottesville’s downtown Mall.
Day 5: Charlottesville to Roanoke
A visit to Monticello, the renowned home of Thomas Jefferson and designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage Treasure, is a must. After that, you can take some time to explore the University of Virginia campus, also designed by Thomas Jefferson. The center of Charlottesville is a delightful Downtown Pedestrian Mall that replaced Main Street. From there, you can savor the first leg of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which starts from Waynesboro by hugging the side of the mountain with vast vistas looking off into the blue haze. Leave plenty of time to stop and soak it all in. Be sure to visit Lexington, Virginia, which looks like General Robert E. Lee just left..
Day 6: Roanoke to Boone
The drive between Roanoke and Boone, North Carolina will take up most of your day today when observing the 35-mile per hour speed limit on the Parkway. But what a drive it is. The gentle rolling mountaintops of Virginia where the road winds through the lush green hills give way to the majestic, rugged mountain landscapes of North Carolina. There are many sites and landscapes to explore along the way.
Day 7: Explore Boone
The Boone area is home to two of the most interesting natural attractions in the US. Grandfather Mountain, a biosphere reserve, was created 740 million years ago when two of the earth’s plates slammed together. It encompasses the highest mountain peak in the Blue Ridge. Blowing Rock gets its name from the natural currents of air that flow upward, causing snow to fall upwards. The area is rich in Native American history and legend and Appalachian culture.
Day 8: Boone to Asheville
On your way to Asheville, you’ll be mesmerized by the same landscape that enticed Mr. Biltmore to construct the largest house in America here in 1895. A visit to Biltmore transports you into a world of luxury and opulence where art collections and priceless antiques fill the mansion’s 250 rooms. Stroll the gardens and also visit the winery while you are there.
Day 9: Explore Asheville
If you visited Biltmore yesterday, spend today taking the Urban Art Walking Tour of Asheville, lunching at the Grove Park Inn and shopping at Historic Biltmore Village. There’s also the Southern Folk Art Guild, which features the work of 700 juried artisans from the southeast, and the North Carolina Arboretum, where something’s always blooming, Appalachian style.
Day 10: Asheville to Cherokee
Today, you can dash or meander through the rest of Blue Ridge Country to Cherokee, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and explore the Cherokee Heritage Museum, Oconaluftee Living History Village, and Qualla Arts Cooperative. Or you can dash straight to Great Smoky Mountain National Park and get a jump on that visit. If you choose Cherokee, this evening enjoy the “Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama,” the second longest running outdoor drama in the country at almost 60 years old.
Day 11: Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The most visited National Park in America will impress you as much as it does several million other visitors a year. In spite of its popularity, Cades Cove is one of the most serene places on earth. Visit the dramatic Clingman’s Dome and hike the trails. A scenic, day-long route takes you through the entire Park. If you want to let someone else do the driving today, board the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad into backcountry that can only be reached by train.
Day 12: Cherokee to Charlotte
Get an early start this morning, as we guarantee you’ll want to spend some time exploring Charlotte, one of the most happening cities of the New South. Next to Atlanta, Charlotte is the most energetic, well designed and pleasant tree lined city in the south. Historic buildings have been gracefully blended with steel and glass skyscrapers downtown and the mild climate delivers lush gardens at every turn. Be sure to take the Urban Art Trail and visit the Museum of the New South to get a good perspective on the region’s transition from the Old South to the New South.
Day 13: Charlotte to Atlanta
We are confident you’ll agree that Atlanta is the true capital of the New South. The impressive gold dome of the Georgia state capital presides over the fastest growing center for young professionals and multicultural residents in the country. You can find glimpses of the Old South, but they are greatly overshadowed by the city’s modern sophistication. Take the Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour to watch the anchors and producers who changed how news is broadcast around the world. Explore Centennial Olympic Park, the newly expanded Georgia Aquarium, and Buckhead, where you’ll find some of the best shopping in America at Lenox Square.
Day 14: Depart Atlanta
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