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Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

New Jersey
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Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

Is the drive in one direction better than the other and why? We would be starting out in NJ and would like to do the Blue Ridge Pkway one way and the 95 the other way (so we can visit Charleston, SC). Any suggestions on where to head first? Thanks

North Carolina
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1. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

How many days do you have to do the drive on the Parkway? The drive is beautiful in either direction. With stops for sightseeing and photos, it can take several days (especially with the speed limit 45 mph at the most). One option is to pick some parts in Virginia and some in NC and focus on them, then taking other roads (US 29 or I81) the rest of the way. Are you thinking of heading towards the coast once you get as far south as Asheville?

Maryland
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2. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

We drove the entire Skyline Drive, from Front Royal to Waynesboro, VA where we connected with the Blue Ridge Parkway and drove it all the way from Waynesboro, VA to Cherokee, NC, last year. We started eaerly and spent 3 nights doing this. I would consider that a minimum, and it is well worth it. I personally wouldn't break up the trip as it changes the flow if you're into the parkway mentality. The ride in either direction is spectacular. You don't mention time of year, but do be aware of weather if it is after Nov. 1 or before April 1, and be prepared for more traffic during peak season, especially October. My preference would be to drive the I-95 to Charleston and get that out of the way, then take a leisurely drive back up the parkway.

New Jersey
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3. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

Thanks for the advice. We don't have a specific no of days figured out yet, but it sounds as if we should so a few. As for charleston and the coast,, also unsure, but would welcome any ideas. Thanks

North Carolina
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4. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

The suggestion from Traveller0211 makes sense - the drive along I95 is not as relaxing as the Parkway. It's over 700 miles from central NJ to Charleston - depending on the time of day it can take a while getting south of Richmond. I've done that drive in one long day and arrived at my destination totally exhausted. Maybe plan a stop en route unless you have a couple of drivers. Charleston is beautiful - there is a good reason it is one of the top tourist destinations in the US. You will need at least 2 days there to do it some justice. Lots to see and do, and great food. If you have a few more days, you might also enjoy heading a little further south to Savannah (you'd need a couple of days to see that city, too).

If at all possible, try to spend some time getting into 'the Parkway mentality'. Maybe take 2 days in North Carolina and 2 in Virginia. If you are doing the trip in the fall, you won't encounter bumper to bumper traffic, but you might have to book some of your lodging in advance in popular destinations since that is peak season for 'leaf peeping'.

Maryland
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5. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

Yes I agree with NCPat.

Hendersonville...
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6. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

How many days is your trip? Charleston is only a 3.5 hour drive down I-26 from Asheville. Both directions on the BRP are beautiful but I would suggest spending a few days in Asheville.

New Jersey
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7. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

We will definitely be spending a few days in Asheville. Thanks again for all your help.

8. Re: Drive North or South on Blue Ridge Pkwy?

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