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Old 03-04-2019, 07:43 AM   #1
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2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Londonderry , New Hampshire
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Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Pkwy

Hoping for some suggestions.

We are planning a trip to Shenandoah NP and continuing down the Blue Ridge Parkway in April and are looking for some planning help.

Here are some of my questions:
1) what would be the best length of time to complete the trip? We won't do a lot of hiking since we will have our dog with us,
2) Any recommendations for campgrounds?
3) Are there any good bike trails along the route? We are not planning on bringing our two scooters. Don't want to bother with a trailer.
4) Any special towns along the route that we should plan to visit for historical or cultural info.

We will be driving our 2018 Airstream Interstate GT TB with a bike rack.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Safe travels,

Bob & Patti McDonald
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:30 AM   #2
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Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Pkwy

Campgrounds- We like Lewis Mountain and Loft Mountain in the SNP. Just into the BRP our favorite local campground is Sherando Lake. We like site 30, see photo, in the tent/small RV section without hookups. If you are going after April 15, the Airstream Park Highland Haven will be open.

Towns- Close to Floyd, where route 8 crosses the BRP is Tuggles Gap. Within a stones throw of the parkway is one of our favorite restaurants. Been there many times on motorcycle rides.

Don’t miss the Floyd Country Store for some live music, google it.
The Pine Tavern Restaurant is good and very interesting also.

Stop at the Poor Farmers Market (store) at Meadows of Dan for a sandwich or ice cream.

We aren’t much on private CG, but we like Mama Gerties in Ashville, NC. Get one of the nice private spots next to the creek (second photo). Probably the cleanest campground bathrooms I have ever seen.

Take at least 3 days.

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Old 03-04-2019, 10:10 AM   #3
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Mama Gerties excellent choice plus easy off and on parkway and is situated about mid way of park way. Have full tank of fuel when entering parkway no stations on parkway, allow time as much scenery and sites and slo drive not speed way. At Ashville N.C. Biltmore Estate well worth time to see but allow full day as much to see and do, no amusement park. There are several threads about parkway also Biltmore.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:50 AM   #4
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FYI the new search function in the blue box above [desktop version of this site] works great.

"Skyline Drive" results will bring up lots of earlier threads/posts with helpful info:
https://www.google.com/search?q=Skyl...=airforums.com

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ip-155726.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...tn-192314.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...way-11446.html

Some of the info is a bit dated, but worth a read IMO. We hope to get there this year, maybe in the fall.

Happy trails,

Peter
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by featherbedder View Post
Mama Gerties excellent choice plus easy off and on parkway and is situated about mid way of park way. Have full tank of fuel when entering parkway no stations on parkway, allow time as much scenery and sites and slo drive not speed way. At Ashville N.C. Biltmore Estate well worth time to see but allow full day as much to see and do, no amusement park. There are several threads about parkway also Biltmore.
Also Mama Gerties offers several discounts & welcomes AS & nice laundry in shower house [toilets] owners very friendly & helpful. Bill
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:09 AM   #6
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We made this trip our inaugural Airstream trip last spring. Weather was fine, we went in late April. We stayed at a state park Pipestem in WVA on the way down. Then stayed at a no connections state park outside of Ashville. We have a trailer, so we unhooked and visited various places on the Blue Ridge Parkway during the day and did some hiking. There are a number of apps that you can download for free that will highlight various spots wherever you may be. The highlight of the trip, however, was staying at the Airstream Campground Virginia Highland Haven. I can't recommend it enough;we stayed an extra night and would have done so even longer. Made day trips into Roanoke and then had a great dinner at a winery maybe 30 miles south. French sounding name I believe with great views. Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:35 AM   #7
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:48 AM   #8
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I like your planning, but just go. You will find it interesting from Front Royal to Cherokee.
Happy Travels
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:54 AM   #9
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Blue Ridge Parkway

Go to wbcci website and check out the taste of the Blue Ridge caravan Website. A lot of good ideas
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:40 AM   #10
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We like Julian Price too. Just outside of Boone. Also French Broad In Weaverville. Camp right on the river inexpensively.
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:15 AM   #11
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If you do choose a private RV campground, I have 2 to recommend. I agree wholeheartedly about Mama Gertie's which has 3 levels on the side of the mountain (the top is the most expensive). Quiet, spotless bathhouse, lots of shade and each campsite is divided by trees on each side providing privacy. Campfire Lodgings is on top of a mountain with a spectacular view but with limited space (it is not a sprawling commercial campground). French Broad is on the river and quite peaceful. Ones not as nice: Wilson's Riverfront (not well maintained), and Bear Creek RV Park (tight spots and very noisy from 2 highways)
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:28 AM   #12
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How steep is the grade on the Parkway? Concerned as I’m new to mountain driving.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:57 PM   #13
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As others have said, there are several other threads on the subject so those should be consulted even if the information is a bit out of date.

FWIW, we have traveled the length of both roads and found Skyline Drive to be much more enjoyable than the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is an admission charge for Skyline Drive (or use your annual/lifetime National Park Pass) and no charge for traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway. Skyline Drive seems to use some of their admission fees to maintain the scenic overlooks. Blue Ridge Parkway seems to do nothing to maintain their scenic overlooks.

Both roads are very enjoyable and for the most part you travel along a ridge so there are minimal steep grades on the roads. Getting to and from the roads is a different story depending on where you enter and exit the Drive/Parkway.

YMMV - the last time we were on either road was 2017
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:48 PM   #14
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Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway

Towed the AS on both last summer, late August - early September. Great trip, beautiful views and lots of historical/cultural and environmental diversions near both routes. Spent a week making that portion of our NY to NM drive. Could have easily spent two weeks on those two routes.

I was surprised at how easy it was to get NP campground sites. I made my reservations a couple of weeks before the trip. Most had plenty of vacancy even around Labor Day. We had reserved sites for that weekend just in case.

We started with a day at the Gettysburg Battlefield. Excellent museum and audio road-tour. Jefferson's Montecello outside Charlottesville, VA was eye-opening and sobering, especially the slavery tour and the Sally Hemmings exhibit. Detoured to the Booker T. Washington National Monument outside Hardy, Franklin County, VA; also very interesting. Lots of fun in Ashville, NC, (eating, drinking, music and shopping for DW) and enjoyed the Museum of the Cherokee Indian at the south end of the BRP.

Take your time and enjoy your trip!
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