Vacation to North Carolina and Tennessee

Vacation to North Carolina and Tennessee

This year, we decided on a road trip vacation, since our flight home last year had been so much fun. The first morning, we left home about 5:30 AM, driving through north east Texas, Arkansas, and part of Tennessee. We stopped for the night in Nashville. Day 2, we drove to Boone, NC. Boone was nice, but it rained on and off for the first day and a half we were there, which meant there were practically no views from the Blue Ridge Parkway. We did stop at the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on the first afternoon we were there, where we saw Flat Top Manor.
Flat Top Manor

We also walked on the carriage trail around Bass Lake and saw some geese.

On day 3, we hiked at Rough Ridge and the Linn Cove Viaduct. This is the paved part of the hiking trail at Linn Cove Viaduct; it got pretty muddy once we left the pavement.

In the afternoon, the rain finally cleared out.

Day 4 was my favorite day of the trip. We left Boone, and our first stop was at Grandfather Mountain. It was very windy at the top that day, with sustained winds of 30-40 mph and gusts over 50 mph. They warned us if we drove to the top to remove our hats, glasses, hold on to small children, and hold onto the car doors when we opened them because the wind could bend the doors backward. Instead of driving all of the way to the top, we decided to park at the hiker parking area and make the short hike to the top. This is the Mile High Swinging Bridge from the hiking trail.

We went across the bridge. Notice all of the tree limbs point one way; this is due to most of the wind coming from one direction.

Next, we went to Linville Falls.

Then, we drove to Asheville, NC to spend 2 nights.

Day 5 was a little bit of a disappointment. We had decided to drive to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park based on recommendations I had read in several places. I’m not sure if we missed something, but most of the sites appeared to only be accessible via hiking trails, which were muddy from the rain. We did get to see a few historic buildings, but no wildlife. This is Palmer Chapel.

Day 6, we got up early and drove again from Asheville, NC to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We stopped at Mingus Mill.

Then, we went to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park.

On the way down, we stopped at the Newfound Gap overlook on the NC-TN line where I found my favorite sign of the entire trip.

We drove out of the park through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Those were definitely a site to see. We spent the last night of our vacation in Chattanooga. We were so tired by the time we got to our hotel, and we were getting thunderstorms, so we didn’t see any sites there.

On the final day of our trip, we got up before sunrise, and drove through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, before finally seeing this.

We have decided we are flying next year…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *