Road Trip: Blue Ridge Parkway

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For my birthday this summer, I wanted to check off something from my travel bucket list. I have wanted to take a road trip up The Blue Ridge Parkway for a long time. We started at the southernmost point in Cherokee, NC at milepost 469. This southern section of the parkway is The Pisgah Region. I will map out our trip for you day by day with points of interest. We were a little bummed that it rained for our entire trip but it was still better than being at work or doing chores around the house.

Day 1:

We drove from Charlotte to Cherokee which took about 4 hours, a little longer in the rain. Our first stop was the hotel. We booked a room at a hotel right in downtown and across the street from Harrah’s Casino. We stayed at The Fairfield Inn & Suites. It didn’t have many amenities, but it was within walking distance to the casino. After we checked in, we headed over to the casino to check things out. We lost some money at the slots, but had fun doing it, then had dinner at the casino’s main restaurant. It was very pricey and I would not recommend eating there although the buffet was one of the largest I have seen, but it just didn’t seem worth the cost.

Day 2:

We wanted to explore Cherokee a bit since we have never been there. We drove over to the reservation and they just happened to be having an outdoor festival at The Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Then we walked around downtown, stopping in at a bunch of the cute little shops. Before leaving town, we stopped in at a couple pawn shops around the casino. You would be surprised what people pawn when gambling. I bought a cute diamond ring as a birthday gift to myself. Next we headed out to find the Blue Ridge Parkway and start the real part of our road trip.

We got on the parkway at milepost 469 and drove far enough to pull off at our next destination, Lake Junaluska. The parkway has a ton of scenic pull-offs perfect for taking photos. We stopped in at one of the park offices to pick up a detailed map of the entire parkway. The map helped find hiking trails and points of interest. There is an interactive app that you can download of the parkway, but it is not very user friendly.

At the end of the day we arrived at our next hotel The Lambuth Inn, a historic inn on Lake Junaluska. It was so beautiful and we got some of the best pictures of the trip while walking around the lake’s 3 mile loop. It was also one of the few times the rain was cooperating for more than 5 minutes. We drove over to DiMaggio Pizza for a quick dinner, mostly because we had to drive to the neighboring town to pick up some supplies at the ABC store since the hotel was dry. We do have priorities.

Day 3:

The staff at The Lambuth were so nice and attentive. They recommended we try the local favorite The Buttered Biscuit for breakfast. There was a line outside, but it was so worth the wait. It was one of the best meals we had during the whole trip. We got back on the parkway and headed out for the day. We had another rainy day but pushed through and were determined to have a great time. So we got out and took tons of pictures at the scenic pull-offs and stopped for a short hike to view a couple waterfalls.

We kept driving until our next stop, a cabin that I rented south of Asheville in a town called Candler. The property actually has about 10 cabins, 2 tiny houses and 5 yurts. I originally rented a yurt cause why not, it’s my birthday, but the owner called and had to switch us to a more expensive big cabin right on the creek that runs through the property. I was upset at first, but since it was raining, I was really happy to have the awesome deck on the cabin to hang out on in the rain. The yurts have no porch, so it turned out for the best. The property has the cutest cat that followed us around the whole time that we named Tabs. We cooked dinner that night at the cabin and had a relaxing evening.

Day 4:

The last day of the trip was bittersweet. We had a long drive home but made a couple fun stops along the way. The best stop was at The Sleepy Poet in Gastonia. We found a bunch of treasures we couldn’t live without. The drive home was about 4 hours without stops.

I can’t wait to plan our next road trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We’ll pick up near Asheville where we left off. I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip. If you have never driven on the parkway, check it out. The fall is prime time with tons of tourists coming to town to see the leaves change. Until next time!

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