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Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Melton Mowbray...
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Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Hi

I'm trying to work out posible US roadtrips from the UK at the start of May. My husband and I have 16 nights.

Any suggestins of best place to fly direct into for a Carolinas roadtrip?

Does anyone have a suggested itinarary for this roadtrip, not wanting to be driving all day every day - but also having time to take in local food and culture?

I really have no idea - I just like the look of it and it's something completely different.

Other ideas we have are Chicago to Vegas via route 66 or Denver to Vegas via route 66, or vegas round trip.

Help!

Thanks to anyone who can provide any insight or inspiration!

Lewes, United...
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1. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Hi Elisabeth

For the moment I'll just respond to your original subject of the Carolinas.

When you say you want direct flights, I presume you mean non-stop! (To the airline industry, there's a significant difference!) Anyway, if you wish to fly to the Carolinas directly from the UK, your choices are limited to United who fly between LGW and CLT (Charlotte, NC). The next nearest airport is ATL (Atlanta, GA) which can be reached, on non stop flights using BA or Delta from LHR.

With 16 nights, you have plenty of time to do a circular trip, covering both inland areas with scenic mountain ranges and lakes, and a coastal route that covers rugged coastline and some historic cities such as Wilmington and Charleston. The inland route would take you along parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I'd recommend a stay in Asheville, an interesting town with lots of see in the vicinity.

However, even with not too much driving, you could easily cover parts of other states such as Georgia to the south or Virginia to the north, where the spectacular coast continue. Finding good and different local food and plenty of culture in any of your chosen areas won't be a problem!

Let us know more of your thinking - Chicago area or Vegas area are a whole different ball game. Realistically, as it's a big city, there are more non stop flights to Chicago than anywhere else you have mentioned, and also good options for LV and Denver from London's airports.

SWT

Melton Mowbray...
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2. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Hi SWT

Thanks for your valuable advice on this, it will all help in trying to make our minds up! Like you say, two completely different holidays.

Any mor einfo from anyone always appreciated for decision making time...

Cleveland
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3. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

There's much you could do between Chicago and the Carolinas, but what are your interests? How much time do you want in the Carolinas? Exactly when are you coming in May? Believe it or not that could make a big difference.

E.g., check out Magee Marsh in northwest Ohio, which draws birders from around the world in the first two weeks in May for the annual warbler migration. Personally, I wonder if the migration will be earlier this year because of the warm winter.

www.friendsofmageemarsh.org/birding.php

http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com/

www.friendsofmageemarsh.org/festivals.php

Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, in Sandusky, Ohio, has its opening day on May 12 in 2012.

You could head further east to Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and perhaps catch a major league baseball game in its wonderfully compact downtown. Visit the West Side Market there, one of the very best public indoor markets in the U.S., and Cleveland's excellent ethnic and locavore restaurants. Holden Arboretum, just east of Cleveland is one of the largest and best in the U.S. and should be in its full spring glory in early May.

www.holdenarb.org/photogallery/spring_pg1.asp

Surrounding Cleveland to the east and south is the largest Amish community in the world. Its epicenter is in Holmes County around Walnut Creek, two hours south of Cleveland and just southwest of Canton.

http://www.experience-ohio-amish-country.com/

Dayton, OH, the home of the Wright brothers and the birthplace of powered flight, is arguably the world's aviation history mecca. See Huffman Prairie Flying Field, where the Wrights conquered the skies in 1905, and the Wright Flyer III, the first machine capable or sustained and reliable controlled flight. Also in Dayton is the superb and mammoth U.S. Air Force National Museum, with excellent exhibits including presidential airplanes which visitors can walk through.

Check out the Bourbon Trail, bluegrass horse country, and Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

Tennessee offers Nashville and Memphis musical attractions.

Early May is a wonderful time to explore America from Chicago to the Carolinas.

Good planning!

Melton Mowbray...
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4. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Thanks for the info transcendental, i'm glad it's sounding like we've made the right choice.

We're hoping to travel 2nd May - 18th May. We want to see the historical towns, enjoy the local food and experience good scenary both coastal and inland. The Busch Gardens also looks like a fun way to spend a day too.

We've now looked at flights in and out of Washington - in order to make the most of the tour. This looks like we can get more in, going down the coast of the Caroliners and then up the Blue Ridge Mountain range from around the Asheville area.

Its all new to us so any pointers of advice is always very much appreciated!

Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply

Liz

Chapel Hill, North...
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5. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Sussex, I don't believe that info is correct. If I'm reading it right there are also non-stop flights from RDU (Raleigh Durham) to London via American Airlines.

Elizabeth G, what are your interests? NC is a pretty big state. It's about 600 miles across with a variety of topography and history. Are you interested in Southern Culture ala Gone With the Wind or Deliverance? Are you interested in music? Beautiful scenery? May is a nice time to visit, but be warned that it can be HOT in May and I don't think you'd be used to that. We can have 90+F(32C) days in May or it may just be in the 80s (26C+).

NC and SC are beautiful states, but I don't think they are _that_ different than the UK as compared to, say, Utah or the Grand Canyon. Most of the early European immigrants to this area were from England and Scotland so you'll find a LOT of familiar place names and surnames and I don't _think_ the scenery is that different either (not like John Wayne movies or anything), but I've never been to the UK! I would love to come visit you sometime!

Typical vacation/tourist spots in NC and SC include the coast from the Outer Banks of NC with its unspoiled beaches of Hatteras National Seashore and lighthouses and wild ponies thru historic Charleston, SC and, of course, there's Myrtle Beach which is a giant tourist trap if you ask me, but lots of people love it—lots and lots of amusements, shows, rides, etc.

The mountains of NC and SC (not nearly as many mts in SC) are also prime tourist areas. Asheville, NC is a beautiful mt town and home to Biltmore (early 20thC chateau built by the Vanderbilts). Throughout the mountains you can see many beautiful mountain vistas, go whitewater rafting, explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike to waterfalls and mountaintops, etc.

The middle interior portion of both NC and SC is called the piedmont and is rolling, forested hills, farmland, and cities. This is the most populous region of both states and where most people live and work. Lots of colleges and high tech industry and some manufacturing still too. Not as much of a tourist destination, but there are things to do if you find yourself spending a night in the piedmont.

Great food everywhere you go!

Melton Mowbray...
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6. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Hi Panchopup

Thanks so much for your info, great stuff. We're looking for scenary as well as historical towns, good food (you said we'll do well there!) and a good slice of the USA.

So far itinarary is 1 night Washington, 3 nights Wiliamsberg, 2 nights Willmington, 3 nights Charleston, 3 nights Asheville and 3-4 nights Blueridge Mountains back up to Washington.

Do you or anyone else have any ideas of places of interest or areas to stay in the Blueridge mountains? We'll have approx 3-4 nights to make our way back up there to Washington.

Any comemnts or advice gratefully received - I can't believe we've come so far with the itinarary in just one day! Though we have been looking at the trip for almost a week and fly out in 3 weeks!

Chapel Hill, North...
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7. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

gotta run, but post in the NC and SC forums and you'll get good specific on recommendations.

Chapel Hill, North...
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8. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

I might take one of those Williamsburg nights and add it to Washington. There's a lot to see in DC. You could easily spend two days on the mall seeing all the Smithsonian museums (free) and monuments/memorials then there are other museums not right on the mall like the Newseum (http://www.newseum.org/).

Williamsburg is interesting and Busch Gardens is right there if you're into amusement parks (roller coasters, etc), but I think you would have plenty of time with just two nights/days.

Probably better food in DC, too!

Wilmington is a nice city/town, but fairly similar to Charleston, but Charleston does the Old South history thing more. Points of interest in Wilmington include the beaches (Wrightsville, Carolina, Kure), the WWII battleship North Carolina, the river walk area, the film industry sites if you're a fan (http://www.wilmywood.com/) , the Ft Fisher site and aquarium including a nice little car-ferry ride to the quaint village of Southport. You might also like to stop at the new 1898 Memorial Park that commemorates the race riot/coup that occurred in Wilmington in that year where the white supremacist forces overthrew the city government and burned black owned businesses and killed many black citizens. It's been called the only coup d'etat in US History and was covered up for many years and not mentioned in history books, etc, but has finally been acknowledged and the loss of life has been commemorated (…wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmington_Insurrection_…).

Charleston has tons of history and there are many people who can give you better advice on that town in the SC forums: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28961-i24-South_C… .

Do check the NC forums for specifics, including restaurant recommendations, there, too: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28954-i250-North_…

For your 3-4 nights in the mountains on the way from Asheville to DC you might like to stay at least one night around the Boone/Blowing Rock area. There is a lot to do there and it's right on the Blue Ridge Parkway up from Asheville. You can visit Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, etc. Lots of great hiking in the area.

Between Boone/Blowing Rock you could go thru Charlottesville and see Thomas Jefferson's home of Monticello if Williamsburg didn't satiate you for early American history.

hth

Edited: 08 April 2012, 21:37
Melton Mowbray...
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9. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

Hi folks

I have a question about my itinarary. Thanks to some great input from you all we have almost cemented it, please let me know what you think to my options below..

CURRENT:

Washington 2 nights

Williamsburg 2 nights

Willmington 2 nights

Charleston 3 nights

Savannah 2 nights

Asheville 3 nights

Blue ridge - Woolwine 1 night

En route to Dulles 1 night

Now wondering if doing Wilmington is an overkill, as we're also doing Savannah and Charleston? So do we take it out? And if so what do we add?

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVES:

Washington 2 nights

Williamsburg 2 nights

Charleston 3 nights

Savannah 2 nights

Asheville 4 nights

Blue ridge - Woolwine 2 night

En route to Dulles 1 night

OR

Washington 2 nights

Williamsburg 2 nights

? 2 nights

Charleston 3 nights

Savannah 2 nights

Asheville 3 nights

Blue ridge - Woolwine 1 night

En route 1 night

Please review these for me and tell me what you think to these routes? Would you suggest stopping somewhere else en route instead of Wilmington or another place?

Any guidence would be greatly appreciated...!

Thanks so much for your time so far

Liz

10. Re: Roadtrip to the Carolinas in May - from the UK?

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