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Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

Travelling from NYC to Asheville, NC?

Asked by Jonathan_hodgkins (673points) November 20th, 2013

This Thanksgiving break, I am travelling from NYC to Asheville, NC.
Any recommendations for places to stop along the way or things to see in the Asheville area?

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13 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If you like beer, look up any of the microbreweries in the Asheville area. Biltmore is a a huge tourist attraction.

jca's avatar

I am sure there’s a board on Trip Advisor about Asheville. You can see other travelers’ stories, advice, etc. You can also ask questions on there (after registering of course).

OneBadApple's avatar

If you’re interested in musical sound production, the original Moog Synthesizer factory is in Asheville. We took the tour last year.

Time well-spent, if you like that sort of thing…

syz's avatar

When I go to Asheville, I like to take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I usually stop by the Folk Art Center. Just a short drive up the Parkway is some lovely hiking at Mt Mitchell State Park. It’s the highest point east of the Mississippi, so the fir trees thrive and it smells like Christmas trees year round.

There’s a pretty funky music/night life in Ashville, so going downtown is fun. It also has one of my favorite book stores, Malaprop’s. And nearby Black Mountain has cool art stores (my favorite is Seven SistersGallery) and great hiking.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I was just in Asheville last week. Cool city.

The best thing I can suggest is STAY OFF THE INTERSTATE. Take the various US highways – and they are numerous – and see the real America.

pleiades's avatar

Make sure to bring a camera. I hear it’s the most hippie/hipsterist place of the South. (but you knew that already, you’re from New York City ;) )

mambo's avatar

Definitely to to downtown Asheville. See if there are any good bands playing at the Grey Eagle or the Orange Peel. Take a walk downtown and visit the art galleries. Go get a milkshake at a Cookout restaurant.

Asheville is one of my favorite places on earth. I used to live pretty close to it.

JLeslie's avatar

If I understand correctly you are asking what you can see along the route?

Well, if you were travelling down I95 and then crossing over I would have recommendations, but I say avoid I95. We used to travel between DC and NYC for Thanksgiving when I was a little girl and it was awful. Eventually, my parents gave up on it after a horrible ice storm on the way home one time. You can take I78 to I81 I think? I’m sure you have checked the maps. You could possibly detour out to Monticello even on that route. It’s lovely and very interesting, but I went in the springtime so everything was green and blooming. But, the house and the history is interesting no matter what.

If you are leaving on Tuesday either going or coming back, then you could go through DC and see some of the sites. Colonial Williamsburg is slightly off that I95 path, but worth seeing. But, it is an all day thing, and if the weather is brutal I don’t recommend it.

OneBadApple's avatar

Just be careful crossing over that rickety, narrow-ass Goethals Bridge into New Jersey and everything else is cake.

Haleth's avatar

The Baltimore Aquarium is pretty awesome, and on your way. It’s $25, but it has lots of sharks.

Annapolis is a little out of your way, but it’s incredibly cute and quaint, with more of a laid-back, old-timey feel. If the weather is nice, walking around there is a great way to spend a few hours.

If you decide not to take I-95, you could go see Luray Caverns. It’s about 50 or 60 miles due west from DC on route 66, and then you head south a bit on 81. It looks like 81 goes directly southwest from there all the way to Asheville, but it seems to be all in the mountains. I’ve never driven that way but Luray Caverns is pretty cool.

There are also a lot of local wineries in the Rt 66/ Loudon County area, which would be on your way if you took 81 after DC. I’ve been to Naked Mountain, Delaplane, Oak Barrel Winery and a few others in that area. Virginia wineries have an odd collection of signature grapes, like viognier, cab franc, and petit verdot.

Or, if you continue down I-95, stop in Richmond! If you take the Broad Street exit, the first thing you will see is some shitty, run-down industrial spaces and a baseball diamond with a giant Native American caricature man literally bursting out of the side. If you don’t see anything else, this will tell you all you need to know about Richmond. You can drive down Monument Avenue, where all the monuments are to fallen confederate generals. The one exception is a statue of Arthur Ashe, where he’s surrounded by kids and it looks like he’s about to hit them with his tennis racket. The guidebook says it’s a must see.

Richmond has a couple lunch places that I’d highly recommend. Edo Squid is a fresh Italian seafood place where they douse everything in a shitload of olive oil. Ipanema has vegetarian food that’s actually pretty substantial and satisfying, and every server has an ironic mustache tattoo. Buzz and Ned’s is a great ribs/ soul food place near the previously mentioned industrial wasteland/ baseball diamond. There are also a lot of cool galleries on Broad Street, and cute/ quirky shopping in Carytown. Or you can go to Belle Isle (access from Belvedere Street) and walk across the river on the bridge under the bridge.

Richmond also has its own winery, James River Cellars. There used to be a very aloof cat that hung out in the tasting room, but he has mysteriously disappeared.

JLeslie's avatar

@Haleth I’ve been through or near Richmond so many times and never done anything except go to Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion (which if the OP has kids he might want to consider, but the parks will be very crowded over the holiday and I still recommend avoiding I95 if he is driving up Wednesday or Thursday, or back n Sunday). I’m glad you wrote all that out, if I ever find my way through there again I now might take the time to stop in Richmond for at least some lunch and one tourist attraction.

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