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Travel down Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and you will soon discover why it is “America’s Favorite Drive.” This route serves the RV traveler a heaping portion of natural beauty and enthralling attractions. From “Blowing Rock” in Boone, to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, to the mountain music of Maggie Valley, the North Carolina route may become your favorite drive as well.
Our trip begins in the town of Boone, which is notable for its most famous tourist attraction; Blowing Rock. This “rock” is an immense, 4,000 foot cliff, in which northwest winds blow through the gorge in such a way to make an upward flume, making it the only place in the world where snow falls up! But Blowing Rock isn’t the only interesting attraction in Boone. Also check out “Grandfather Mountain,” with its mile-high swinging bridge. Or if you prefer your feet on the ground, visit Linville Caverns, where you can explore an underground stream, a bottomless pool, and countless stalactites and stalagmites. To see how the Appalachian pioneers lived, visit the Hickory Ridge Homestead & Living History Museum, where costumed actors demonstrate mountain skills—like candle-making, tin working, weaving, and fireplace baking—in a “living history” setting.
Travel down “The Blue Ridge Parkway” to get to our next destination, the town Asheville. But take your time getting there; The Blue Ridge Parkway isn’t called “America’s Favorite Drive” for no reason. Wildflowers dominate the road in the spring, while autumn foliage takes over in the later months, making for a truly remarkable sight.
Once you reach Asheville, be sure to visit Biltmore Estate, the famous home of the Vanderbilts. This 250-room castle houses some of the most incredible art, 16-century tapestries, and architecture that you will see anywhere in the country. Also on the grounds is a celebrated winery, with lakeside vineyards and wine-tasting tours. You can browse through a great collection of antique radios, dating from WWI to the 1960s, at Asheville’s Southern Appalachian Radio Museum, or perhaps jump in a hot air balloon at one of the local touring companies in town, and go for a breath-taking scenic ride over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Follow US Highway 19 south to Maggie Valley, where you can hear traditional Appalachian music, like bluegrass, country ballads, or country hymns, at the Valley’s Opry House. Motorcycle enthusiasts shouldn’t miss seeing the collection of two-wheeled wonders at the Wheels of Time Museum.
Keep on the 19 to reach the last town on our trip; Cherokee. See the story of the local tribe at the Cherokee Museum, where an interactive 3-D exhibit immerses you in their history. If you enjoy great theater, catch the production of “Unto these Hills”, an outdoor drama which depicts the challenging, often heartbreaking, history of the Cherokee tribe, from the 1500s, to their relocation in Oklahoma in the 1800s. And it is Christmas all year at the nearby theme park, Santaland, where kids can meet the denizens of the North Pole in person, while riding roller coasters and eating local goodies.