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Old 05-01-2011, 09:49 PM
 
101 posts, read 225,578 times
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I am considering a road trip throughout the state of North Carolina. I'd like to see the coast, the mountains, as much as possible. My plan is to fly into NC, rent a car and just drive for about 4 days, stopping along the way when something or some place catch my interest. So, North Carolinians, please help me map my route. Thanks --
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: zippidy doo dah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BR_Bound View Post
I am considering a road trip throughout the state of North Carolina. I'd like to see the coast, the mountains, as much as possible. My plan is to fly into NC, rent a car and just drive for about 4 days, stopping along the way when something or some place catch my interest. So, North Carolinians, please help me map my route. Thanks --
Four days isn't realistic in my opinion. Not sure where you're flying in but this isn't a small state. The mountains are beautiful but it's quite a drive from the coastal areas. I just think you would shortchange yourself by trying to do the coast and the mountains in a four day period, not even considering the more urban areas that might interest you.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Agreed...NC is a very wide state....I would guess from Asheville to Wilmington is an 9 hr drive, and that is on Interstate 40 all the way.

Take more time or just choose 1/2 the state....so you can really enjoy NC.







Quote:
Originally Posted by mzfroggez View Post
Four days isn't realistic in my opinion. Not sure where you're flying in but this isn't a small state. The mountains are beautiful but it's quite a drive from the coastal areas. I just think you would shortchange yourself by trying to do the coast and the mountains in a four day period, not even considering the more urban areas that might interest you.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:07 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
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If you fly into Raleigh, with 4 days you can see:

Day one: Raleigh and area

Day two: Drive to Winston-Salem area spend night

Day three: Drive to mountains / Asheville OR LONG drive to ocean

Day four: drive back to airport

Of course you can reverse the order and go to coast first. But it would be difficult to get to even half the great places in 4 days...It would be a day in Greensboro and the Civil Rights Museum alone. At least another WHOLE day IN Asheville and another full day on just 1/3 of the coast..
Unless you are are a whirlwind tour and just driving by and taking pictures, either spend the four days in one area, or do several trips. You can also fly into the Piedmont airport near Greensboro one time and be closer to the western 1/3 of the state...

THis isn't Rhode Island and there is a LOT of land between the Atlantic and the Appalachians.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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Agree with prior comments--NC has a lot to offer and it would be difficult to do it justice in only 4 days. But just for fun I started thinking about it a bit--what would one recommend if you only had 4 days? So here's what I came up with:

Day 1--Fly into Charlotte, rent a car, maybe drive into downtown (or is it uptown) Charlotte for lunch and to walk around a bit. Then drive to Asheville via the US 64/ old US-74 route through Lake Lure and Chimney Rock (maybe a quick stop here if there's time). Dinner in Asheville, with maybe an evening walk around town or late night cocktails.

Day 2--Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Blowing Rock. Reserve at least a half day for stops at the Folk Art Center, Mt. Mitchell, Craggy Gardens, etc. Spend the afternoon/evening walking around downtown Blowing Rock, then make the quick drive over to Boone for dinner at the Hob Nob Farm Cafe. You can spend the night in either Blowing Rock or Boone.

Day 3--Take US 421 south to I-40 in Winston-Salem. Stop at Old Salem and have lunch at the Salem Tavern. Be sure to visit Winkler's Bakery in Old Salem for Moravian sugar cookies, cheese straws, sugar cakes, etc. Continue on I-40 to Wilmington, with brief stops or drive-through's of Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Arrive in Wilmington for a late seafood dinner and maybe a stroll along the waterfront.

Day 4--Drive down to Wrightsville Beach, spend the morning on the beach if you want. Or if you're more into history, visit Ft. Fisher and the USS North Carolina battleship memorial. Or visit the NC Aquarium, the Wilmington waterfront shops, Airlie Gardens, etc. From Wilmington it's about 3 1/2 hours back to Charlotte via US 74.

Hardly does the state justice, but that's what I came up with. I'm leaving so many things out, though!

And by the way, it's only about 5 hours from Asheville to Wilmington via I-40.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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With only 4 days you need to pick a region and see all there is to see THERE.

Trying to see them all in 4 days means you'll have no time for anything but driving and sleeping for the most part!

Either see the mountains (fly into Asheville), see the beach (fly into Wilmington), or see the Piedmont (fly into Greesnsboro, which is right between Charlotte and Raleigh).
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Fly in to Asheville, fly out of Wilmington. The car will be more expensive that way, but you'll pay less for gas and have more time.

What sorts of things do you want to see? Natural things? Historical?
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Yes, you'd have to fly into one side and out the other, to do it any kind of justice in 4 days. You'll see a lot more by not taking the interstates, but that will delay your drive. Really you'd need two days from any airport to see the coast, then even if you drove straight to the mountains, that's basically one whole day, with only one day to see what's there--but you'd miss everything in between. Are you aware of how large this state is?

Your idea is a neat one, but allow a week at least. And definitely fly into Wilmington and out of Asheville or vice versa to keep from retracing your steps.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:49 PM
 
101 posts, read 225,578 times
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Thanks for all the great information. Clearly, I didn't realize how big NC is. However, I'm a passing-through kinda gal -- sometimes it's more about the drive than the stops. arbyunc seems to have nailed this trip perfectly for me. Once I get a feel for the place then I can go back for a longer stay in the place(s) that really captured my interest.

Thanks so much -- I'll see y'all soon.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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But sometimes the drive is mind-numbingly boring such as Raleigh to Charlotte or Raleigh to Wilmington. (All of the cities are interesting but not the drive!) You'd be more entertained staying home and watching white noise on TV.

Quote:
sometimes it's more about the drive than the stops
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