Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway
DAY 1: Atlanta, Georgia
Arrive Atlanta and check-in to your hotel. This afternoon one may want to visit Underground Atlanta. Located in the heart of downtown, this six block area was once the city center. During the 1920\'s, construction of the concrete \"viaducts\" elevated the street system one level, thus giving birth to what is now Underground Atlanta. Today it is bustling with activity. Take a guided history tour or enjoy a variety of clubs and restaurants.

DAY 2: Atlanta-Asheville, North Carolina (208 mi/ 335 km)
This morning’s drive ends in Asheville, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville boasts a thriving arts community, diverse outdoor adventures, and numerous historic and architectural attractions. Tour the Biltmore Estate’s home and gardens. Take a self-guided tour of this 250-room French château, America’s largest home. Explore the acres of beautiful gardens and grounds, designed by the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Asheville’s funky downtown has a vibrant restaurant scene that goes well beyond its Southern roots and many restaurants also feature live music from jazz to bluegrass.

DAY 3: Asheville
Take a hop-on/hop-off tour this morning to visit areas such as the Montford Historic District to see Asheville\'s impressive collection of Queen Ann style home, the author Thomas Wolfe’s Home and Museum, Pack Square cultural area, and the River Arts District. This afternoon walk the 1.7 mile Asheville Urban Trail, often called Asheville\'s \"museum without walls.\" Thirty stations of whimsical bronze sculptures and other works of art illuminate some of the history of downtown\'s development and the notable people who once lived there.

DAY 4: Asheville-Cherokee-Asheville (228 mi/ 367 km)
Today, travel to Cherokee at the southern entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here one will discover the history, culture and traditions of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, a civilization older than the Inca, Maya, Egyptians and the Romans. Visit its cultural sites and attractions such as the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to experience the 11,000 year old Cherokee story.

DAY 5: Asheville-Blue Ridge Parkway-Boone (85 mi/ 137 km)
Depart Asheville this morning and head north along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most scenic drives. En route visit Grandfather Mountain, one of the most biologically diverse mountains in the world and designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve. Cross the Swinging Bridge for breath-taking views. This 228 -foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. Hike back-country trails and photograph bears, otters, cougars, eagles and deer in natural habitats. This afternoon visit nearby Linville Caverns and see the amazing work of nature on the \"inside\" of a mountain. The caverns feature stalactite and stalagmite formations, a Bottomless Pool, and total darkness. There’s a guided tour that educates on caverns ecosystems, geological history, and local area history. Continue to Boone for the overnight.

DAY 6: Boone-Blue RidgePkwy-Roanoke, VA (170 mi/ 274 km)
Before leaving Boone, visit The Hickory Ridge Homestead, a living history museum that gives the visitor insight into the lifestyle of the early mountain settlers. Then visit The Blowing Rock, an immense cliff overhanging Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below. The phenomenon is so called because the rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the northwest wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the void. Once in Virginia, visit Rocky Knob and MabryMill. Follow a short trail to view the original gristmill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop. One can also take a hike into Rockcastle Gorge before continuing north on the parkway. End the day in Roanoke. After checking in to the hotel visit The Historic Farmer’s Market. Today the Market includes unique shopping, locally- grown produce, art galleries, art studios, country stores, restaurants, museums, coffee shops and a Visitor Center.

DAY 7: Roanoke-Charlottesville (121 mi/ 195 km)
Tour some of Roanoke’s highlights this morning. Roanoke is one of a very few cities to have a mountain peak within its city limits. Here one will find The Roanoke Star, a historic landmark built in 1949. The Roanoke Star shines out over the valley and offers a breathtaking view of the city. Learn about the Valley’s rich railroad history at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The Museum is home to the largest collection of diesel and steam locomotives in the United States, including the Class J No. 611 steam engine, with over 40 pieces of rolling stock in the Museum yard. Then continue to Charlottesville. This afternoon, tour Ash Lawn Highland, the 550-acre estate, home and gardens of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States.

DAY 8: Charlottesville
Visit Monticello, the Rotunda and grounds of the University of Virginia. Monticello is Thomas Jefferson\'s architectural masterpiece and beloved mountaintop home. Guided tours of the house are offered daily throughout the year; along with the outdoor gardens and plantation. The original Grounds of the University, including the Rotunda and the Lawn, were designed by Jefferson to be what he called an \"Academical Village.\" The Rotunda, a half-scale interpretation of the Pantheon in Rome, is the signature landmark of the University. Both sites were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987. Be sure to have a meal at historic MICHIE TAVERN. It accommodated travelers more than 200 years ago. Today, visitors experience the Tavern’s past through an historical journey which recreates 18th-century tavern life. Servers in period attire offer bountiful colonial midday fare.

DAY 9: Charlottesville-Washington, D.C. (116 mi/ 187 km)
This morning drive to Washington, D.C. and take an orientation tour to see sites such as Capitol Hill, Library of Congress, Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House, and Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. The evening, explore Dupont Circle. Bistros, bars and boutiques line the streets in this cosmopolitan neighborhood surrounded by D.C.’s international embassies.

DAY 10: Washington, D.C.
This morning visit some of the 19 museums that are part of the Smithsonian Institute. At the Natural History Museum one will see exhibitions on earliest human origins; development of world cultures, and the Hope Diamond. At the Air and Space Museum there are twenty-three galleries exhibiting hundreds of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and other flight-related artifacts including the 1903 Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, SpaceShipOne, Apollo 11 command module, and the Hubble Space Telescope test vehicle. This afternoon tour Arlington National Cemetery and visit the graves of historical figures, prominent explorers, noted casualties of war and Presidents of the United states including the gravesite of John F. Kennedy. This evening, dine in the funky Adams Morgan neighborhood or take in a show at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

DAY 11: Washington, D.C.
Before departing take some time this morning to stroll around one of D.C.’s historic neighborhoods such as Georgetown or Capitol Hill. Georgetown is an affluent section of the city filled with luxury retail shops and restaurants. Capitol Hill is not only a large residential community but the location of many of the city’s landmarks such as the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court building.


The Blis


Crowne Plaza

Blowing Rock

Village Inns of Blowing Rock


Sheraton Roanoke


Omni Charlottesville

Washington, DC

Loews Madison

Package Includes:
  • Accommodation
  • Taxes
  • Fly - Drive directions and information packet at hotel upon arrival