Fly Drives › Fly Drive - The Blue Ridge Parkway

Fly Drive Holidays to Capital Region and BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

Imagine coming around corner and suddenly catching your breathe as the view opens up to a vast mountain landscape, a larger than life pannorama of waves of blue hills.  Stopping at a view point you see a deer and her fawns gently grazing, unaware that there are people around.  Another vista reveals a burst of spring color and still another, a gushing waterfall.  These scenes and more will unfold as you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 459-mile road that connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.  The drive is an opportunity to slow down and experience incomparable scenery.  Meandering on the road, your eyes are always looking out for the next stunning view and the farthest Appalachian Mountain ridge lost somewhere in the expansive ever-present blue mountain haze. 

Example Itinerary

This itinerary is just an example and your holiday will be tailored to match your requirements.

Day 1: Arrive Washington DC
To many, Washington, DC is the very seat of power in the world.  To others, it’s home – in one of the district’s fascinating neighborhoods.  Washington definitely is about dramatic monuments, grassy malls and emotive memorials, but it’s also about Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Woodley Park and Dupont Circle, all great neighborhoods with unique cuisine, shops and architecture.  Washington, DC has always been rich in history and the American experience.  It’s become even more interesting with cutting edge culture and fabulous food and wine.  Although it was built more than two centuries ago, Washington is one of the youngest capital cities on the globe.  Impressive landmarks and tree-lined avenues make it more like Paris than a modern American city.  That design was intentional.  The city was laid out by Pierre L’Enfant for Thomas Jefferson, both incredible architects in their own right.  

Day 2: Explore Washington DC
If this is your first visit to Washington, we recommend you begin at the US Capitol Complex, which includes the Capitol Building, House and Senate Buildings and the US Botanical Gardens.  Standing on the Capitol steps looking out, the expansive two-mile National Mall between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, stretches out before you, lined with monuments and museums.  The Washington Monument stands in the center, while the cross axis of the Mall is anchored by the White House on one end and the Jefferson Memorial on the other.  You’ll find a number of the wonderful Smithsonian Museums along the Mall, as well as throughout the city. 
Accommodations: Omni Shoreham

Day 3: Washington DC
To help you maximize your time in Washington, you have the option to select the locations you want to visit or are particularly interested in, in advance, and we’ll provide complete detailed walking and transportation directions from one to the other, so that you can spend your time exploring instead of wayfinding.
Accommodations: Omni Shoreham

Day 4: Washington to Winchester to Shenandoah National Park
It’s a short drive from Washington, DC to the start of the Skyline Drive, which meanders from the northern reaches of Shenandoah National Park to the official start of the Blue Ridge Parkway further south.  There should be plenty of time to explore the Winchester region including a visit to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley to learn about the lives of the hardy pioneers who settled here.  Belle Grove Mansion, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is considered one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in the United States.  You can also see George Washington’s first office as a surveyor, incredibly small for a man of his stature and Abram’s Delight, a home that is typical of affluent residents of the region.  
Accommodations: Skyland Resort

Day 5: Shenandoah National Park
One of the best aspects of Shenandoah National Park is the ability to get out and walk or hike.  There are many places where the terrain is quite comfortable and many roadside viewpoints where the vistas are astounding.  Be sure to stop at Big Meadows for lunch where you can enjoy the spectacular view while eating southern fried chicken, trout, or a piece of homemade blackberry ice cream pie.  The scenic valley spreads out below the lodge like an early American landscape painting.  Also, this will be the day to explore Luray Caverns, the largest constantly changing underground environment on the East Coast.  It is kept at a comfortable and constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once underground, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled to a netherworld of growing and shrinking stones.  Walking through chambers of clusters of stalactites and stalagmites, you’ll see some that resemble Totem Poles, others that take on the appearance of a Frozen Fountain, tour their homes, meander gardens, vineyards and greenhouses, and learn first-hand what life in southern America was like in the early 19th century.  Near Monticello and Ash Lawn-Highland, you can also visit Michie Tavern to have lunch with living history servers who will make you feel as if you have stepped right into the past.  Depending on your schedule for the day, you may want to leave the drive to Montpelier, James Madison’s home until tomorrow, when you can also take one of the many wine trails that surround Charlottesville. 
Accommodations: Omni Charlottesville

Day 7: Charlottesville
Charlottesville has grown into a vibrant and modern city without compromising the integrity and richness of its unique history.  The historic downtown, which used to be Main Street, has been transformed into a pedestrian mall, alive with shops, galleries, boutiques and restaurants.  As you stroll the tree-lined plaza,  soak up the city’s southern gentility and zest for life.  All along the street you can browse for antiques, books, and art pieces, or have a bite to eat right out on mall.  A bit further down the road, the University of Virginia, founded by Jefferson, continues to be a hub of educational influence, as it has been since the Rotunda and Green were put on the grounds.  Senior students still occupy the original Jefferson buildings on the quadrangle, including the room of renowned author Edger Allen Poe, who had a short tenure at the University.   
Accommodations: Omni Charlottesville

Day 8: Charlottesville to Roanoke
Once you leave Charlottesville, you can savor the first leg of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which starts from Waynesboro.  Hugging the side of the mountain, you’ll be treated to vast vistas looking off into the blue haze.  Leave plenty of time to stop and soak it all in.  On your way South, be sure to visit Lexington, Virginia, which looks like General Robert E. Lee just left.  It’s one of the best preserved towns in the South.  You may also want to visit Natural Bridge, just south of Lexington and Peaks of Otter.  A short side trip can take you to Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, which served as his retreat from the constant guests at Monticello.  Once you reach Roanoke, the main attractions in the city are just across the covered walk connected to the Hotel Roanoke.  Be sure to visit the History Museum of Virginia in the Center in the Square complex and the new Taubman Museum of Art, astounding for a city of Roanoke’s size. 
Accommodation: Hotel Roanoke

Day 9: Roanoke to Boone
The drive between Roanoke and Boone, North Carolina will take up most of your day today when observing the 35-mile per hour speed limit on the Parkway.  But what a drive it is.  The gentle rolling mountaintops of Virginia where the road winds through the lush green hills give way to the majestic, rugged mountain landscapes of North Carolina. As the mountains get higher, the vistas reach further. In some places, towering trees line the North Carolina parkway. There are many sites and landscapes to explore along the way.
Accommodations: Lovill House Inn

Day 10: Explore Boone
Boone takes its name from the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, who camped at a site. The town was served by the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (the Tweetsie) until 1940, delivering bustling commerce to the mountain town early on.  Horn in the West, a dramatization of the life and times of Daniel Boone, has been performed in the outdoor theater every summer since 1952. The Boone area is home to two of the most interesting natural attractions in the US.  Grandfather Mountain, a biosphere reserve, was created 740 million years ago when two of the earth’s plates slammed together.  It encompasses the highest mountain peak in the Blue Ridge.  Blowing Rock gets its name from the natural currents of air that flow upward, causing snow to fall upwards.  The Rock also has rich Native American legends kept alive in Appalachian culture.
Accommodations: Lovill House Inn 

Day 11: Boone to Asheville
On your way to Asheville, you’ll be mesmerized by the same landscape that enticed Mr. Biltmore to construct the largest house in America here in 1895.  A visit to Biltmore transports you into a world of luxury and opulence where art collections and priceless antiques fill the mansion’s 250 rooms.  Stroll the gardens and also visit the winery while you are there. Save the entire day to savor the entire experience, including shopping and dining in Historic Biltmore Village. 
Accommodations:  Beaufort House

Day 12: Explore Asheville Put your serious side away for the day, both are great “fun” towns. A great view from the sky is available on the Scenic Helicopter Tour. The Smoky Mountain Winery and Mountain Valley Winery are open for tasting. The Gatlinburg Sky Lift on Crockett Mountain also delivers a great view.  The Arrowmount School of Arts and Crafts features the finest in traditional arts.   
Accommodations: Lodge at Buckberry Creek

Day 14: Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Plan to allow the entire day to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in America.  It will impress you as much as it does several million other visitors a year.  In spite of its popularity, Cades Cove is one of the most serene places on earth.  Visit the dramatic Clingman’s Dome and hike the trails.  We will provide information for a day-long scenic route that takes you through the entire Park.  If you want to let someone else do the driving today at Buckberry Creek

Day 15: Charlotte
Get an early start this morning, as we guarantee you’ll want to spend some time exploring Charlotte, one of the most happening cities of the New South.  Next to Atlanta, Charlotte is the most energetic, well designed and pleasant tree lined large city in the south.  Historic buildings have been gracefully blended with steel and glass skyscrapers downtown and the mild climate delivers lush gardens at every turn.  Be sure to take the Urban Art Trail and visit the Museum of the New South to get a good perspective on the region’s transition from the Old South to the New South.
Accommodations: Duke Mansion

Day 16: Charlotte to Atlanta
We are confident you’ll agree that Atlanta is the true capital of the New South.  The impressive gold dome of the Georgia state capital presides over the fastest growing center for young professionals and multicultural residents in the country.  You can find glimpses of the Old South, but they are greatly overshadowed by the city’s modern sophistication.  Take the Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour to watch the anchors and producers who changed how news is broadcast around the world.  Explore Centennial Olympic Park, the newly expanded Georgia Aquarium, and Buckhead, where you’ll find some of the best shopping in America at Lenox Square.
Accommodations: Omni Atlanta

Day 17: Depart Atlanta
We wish you a safe and pleasant journey home, knowing that you have experienced the trip of a lifetime on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

To Book
Call our Hamster styled travel experts on:
0800 125 1125 or contact us via email.