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Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

Perth, Australia
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Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

Hello

We are Australians about to visit your part of the US for the first time. We have booked a flight from NYC to Charlotte and plan to hire a car and take our time travelling to Nashville via the Smokies. Your forum makes for very interesting reading and I thank you in advance for your assistance. Can you provide please advice on the following?

A neighbourhood in Charlotte to spend the first night. We intend to book Airbnb and then head out the following morning. Where might we stay that allows us to hit the road in the right direction the following morning?

Are there any hot springs on our way to Nashville that we may visit?

Do you recommend any towns along the way to stay the night?

Do you have any other general advice for us?

Thank you

Margi Shipley

5 replies to this topic
Chapel Hill, North...
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1. Re: Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

First bit of advice, don't stay in Charlotte. Just rent a car and drive to Asheville or Blowing Rock instead. A flight from NYC to CLT is not long. You should have plenty of time to drive to the mts. It's only a 2 hr drive.

Then, we need more info. How long do you have? How many days do you want to take to get to Nashville?

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

Thank you very much for this.

We'd like to spend 2 or 3 nights driving to Nashville;

3 nights in Nashville;

Nashville to Memphis - 1 day's drive

3 nights in Memphis

3 nights via Clarksdale to New Orleans - how many nights would you recommend in Clarksdale?

3 nights in New Orleans

Any advice at all on any of these spots would be appreciated. We've nothing booked as yet so any suggestions regarding the itinerary are most welcome.

Regards

Chapel Hill, North...
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3. Re: Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

I forgot to ask, when are you traveling? October is peak tourism season in the mountains as people flock to see the autumn leaves change.

Post in the Road Trips forum for the non-North Carolina portions of your trip (https:/…ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Trips.html) but for the NC portion, unless your flight arrives at CLT after dark I would probably recommend pushing on to Blowing Rock, NC or Asheville NC. Both are just 2 hrs from CLT, so if you get in as late as 3 you should be able to get there by 6 or 7 (allowing extra time to get your car rental, baggage from baggage claim, a little time to refresh yourself, etc).

Who is in your traveling group? You mention AirBnB — are you traveling with a bigger group/family? There are LOTS of rental cabins in the mountains, but they may want you to stay more than one night. You can start by looking here on TA under Vacation Rentals (https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentals-…). AirBnB could be good, too, but I think I heard something about some restrictions on AirBnB in Asheville? Not sure. I know some municipalities across the country are cracking down on it because it is reducing housing opportunities for people who live there. Plenty of house/cabin rentals in the mountains of all stripes at any rate. I'm sure you can find something that will suit your group, but some of them may require a minimum stay.

I am of the mind that at least 2 nights in a place allows you to relax and explore more. If you just have 1 night you're constantly on the move every day, but some people like to travel that way. Asheville is a fun small city (especially if you like beer, it's one of the top microbrewery spots in the US) so if you have limited time you might want to just base yourself there and make day trips out. Wherever you land be sure to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I am partial to the section between Blowing Rock and Asheville, but the section between Asheville and the Smokies is excellent also.

We have a family home in Boone so we go up there quite a bit. Boone and Blowing Rock are just 15 minutes apart. Boone is a college town (and when Americans say "college" they mean "university"), home to Appalachian State University (App State) which has an enrollment of about 18,000 so a pretty big university. If you're there on a fall weekend beware the potential for college football traffic. App State has a very popular and very good (American) football program. Game days draw folks from all over. Combine a game day weekend and a mid October date and traffic can get a little hairy if you don't know the back roads.

Blowing Rock is a quaint, small, touristy town nestled into the mountains. Lots of boutiques line the little main street and there's a small playground opposite.

I am not an expert on the Smokies. We usually stick to Boone/Blowing Rock and venture to Asheville occasionally. The popular spots in the Smokies are _super_ popular in peak season and there can be big traffic jams in Cades Cove on October weekends. There are plenty of places just as beautiful IMO, so no need for me to get myself into that.

For your hot springs question, check out Hot Springs, NC. I have been through there once, but did not indulge in the springs. There's a great hike not far from there called Max Patch which offers 360º views.

Check out

www.exploreasheville.com

www.romanticasheville.com

www.blowingrock.com

www.exploreboone.com

www.nps.gov/grsm

www.nps.gov/blri

Edited: 11 August 2018, 22:32
Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

Thank you very much for your advice - which we have taken. We've booked two nights in Boone at an Airbnb in Deck Hill Road in mid-September during the week and are really looking forward to exploring the area. We've even seen a webcam of the main street in Boone last Saturday night! We're an older couple and quite experienced travellers.

After that we move on to Cherokee for one night and then to Nashville.

Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

Chapel Hill, North...
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5. Re: Charlotte to Nashville via the GS mountains

Hope you have a great trip. Asheville is well worth a stop, too, on your way to Cherokee.

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