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Planning our 2019 USA road trip - looking for east coast recommendations

StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,447
edited March 9 in Off Topic
It's that time of year again were we plan our road trip. This year we're heading to the east coast, in and out of Washington DC in September. The current plan is to head down through the Carolinas along the coast, then swing inland to Atlanta and visit the Mothership. From there, head down to New Orleans, then onto Nashville then back to Washington and home. We've got just over 3 weeks.

We're looking for recommendations of must see places, along the lines of state and national parks, forests, roads that are worth driving along. Also for things to do in and around the cities mentioned. Lastly, any obvious cities to visit that we've missed off our itinerary so far. Nashville and New Orleans are in the plan, but could be bumped for alternatives.

Thanks!
Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
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| My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
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Comments

  • builderdawgbuilderdawg Posts: 21
    Since you are driving along the coast I would hit Charleston and Savannah. Another option is to drive through the mountains instead of the coast. The Blueridge Parkway is a beautiful drive. 
    Also, when you hit the mothership, do not attempt to drive through Atlanta during rush hour. Go on the weekend if possible. 
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 14,895
    Outer Banks. NC
  • pineypiney Posts: 1,396
    If you come through the NC Mountains to Blue Ridge Parkway give us a call we will have dinner.
    Lenoir, N.C.
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,642
    Ha! Too much to see!
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 8,525

    Key Underwood Coondog Cemetery Cherokee, AL 


    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • JethroVAJethroVA Posts: 1,157
    If you like American history, and by definition part of British history, plan a couple days in Virginia. Richmond for lots of Civil War museums, beautiful but controversial equestrian statutes ( Gens. Lee, Jackson, Stuart) and lots of battlefields (also fantastic food and beer venues, including my house where you're welcome).  Then east to Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and finally Yorktown so you can see where we chased y'all back to England a few years back.  Then on to the Outer Banks of NC. Feel free to message me directly. 
    Richmond and Mathews County, VA. Large BGE, Weber gas, little Weber charcoal. Vintage ManGrates. Little reddish portable kamado that shall remain nameless here.  Very stable genius. 
  • JethroVAJethroVA Posts: 1,157
    Oh, and like someone said above, from Nashville drive back to DC through the NC and Virginia mountains.  
    Richmond and Mathews County, VA. Large BGE, Weber gas, little Weber charcoal. Vintage ManGrates. Little reddish portable kamado that shall remain nameless here.  Very stable genius. 
  • Eggdicted_DawgfanEggdicted_Dawgfan Posts: 1,392
    Skip Atlanta. Much better places to spend that time. 
    Snellville, GA


  • G-squaredG-squared Posts: 35
    Williamburg Virginia, definitely work the stop
    LGE
    CIA-81
    Garner, North Carolina
    Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all-Harriet van Horne
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 2,929
    If you you have a day to kill take the ferry over to Bald Head Island. Rent a golf cart and explore. 

    2/3 of the island is a nature preserve and there are no cars allowed. 

    Beautiful place-


    Greensboro, NC
  • AcnAcn Posts: 2,862
    Charleston is significantly better than Savannah, you should definitely stop there.  Fort Sumter is worth a visit.  I echo mountain recommendations, Great Smoky Mountain NP (TN/NC) and Shenandoah NP (VA) are great visits.  One note - the Smokies are the most visited National Park, so if you’re there on a weekend in the summer it will likely be mobbed.

    I echo the recommendation for Williamsburg/Yorktown in Virginia.  If you’re coming back to DC through the mountains, Charlottesville, VA and Monticello are great stops.  Asheville, NC is east of the Smokies and along the Blue Ridge Parkway and is an amazing food/beer destination for a city its size.

    I’d plan on spending a few days in DC, either at the beginning or end of the trip.  The memorials (Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam, Korea; FDR is my favorite) should all be visited.  Whichever Smithsonian institutions interest you are very well done, I’d recommend Natural and American History and Air & Space as a minimum, the Native American is also great.  Arlington National Cemetery and the changing of the guard is very solemn and right across the Potomac, and Mount Vernon is a short drip down the GW parkway.

    i am torn on New Orleans.  On one hand, it is an amazing city and one that is unlike anywhere else in the world, on the other hand, it probably adds 2 full travel days from anywhere else you mentioned.

    As was mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t bother with Atlanta.  If the mothership is a priority, hit it in the middle of the day on your way between 2 other places.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 12,766
    If traveling in N.C.....skip the BBQ.  :o
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 2,929
    Haters gonna hate 
    Greensboro, NC
  • BigreenGregBigreenGreg Posts: 85
    Since you are driving along the coast I would hit Charleston and Savannah. Another option is to drive through the mountains instead of the coast. The Blueridge Parkway is a beautiful drive. 
    +1 on Charleston.
    LBGE, 36" Blackstone, Anova Pro
    Charleston, SC
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,843
    I would avoid DC and Atlanta like the plague! Especially at rush hour. DC has some notable sites to visit, but you have to go to DC to visit them!

    If you're in eastern North Carolina and want some good Q, there are several places of note... none of which are on the way to anywhere! =) B's in Greenville (they close when sold out, no phone, no website), Skylight Inn in Ayden, Wilber's in Goldsboro.

    And if you are on I-64 headed for Williamsburg, you might try Pierce's BBQ. A little hard to find so I recommend GPS. =)

    Oh, and if you're on I-95, about 50 miles south of DC, stop in my hometown of Fredericksburg for ice cream at Carl's. A landmark since 1947! Still with the original Electro-Freeze ice cream machines. 

    I recommend a large chocolate cone. I never visited Mom without a stop at Carl's.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 30,628
    What's wrong with DC, you commie?
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,447
    Thanks for all the great advice so far, folks.

    From the sounds of it, and given the number of agrees that @Eggdicted_Dawgfan comment had, Atlanta is something to put in the "could" pile as a drive thru to the Mothership but only if it's en route. Charleston and Savannah are already on the "must" pile.

    @builderdawg I looked up the Blue Ridge Parkway, that's now in the "must" pile. And @piney thanks, would be great to meet if the route allows it.

    @DoubleEgger Outer Banks is now in the "must" pile.

    @JethroVA very generous, thank you. Colonial Williamsburg looks worth a visit for sure.

    @Wolfpack that place looks great.

    @Acn we had Shenandoah marked already. GSM looks good, however as you noted the crowds can be insane. When we were in Yellowstone last year talking to a ranger about the crowds there, he commented that it was nothing compared to the jams that GSM can have. New Orleans is an aspiration, but it is a diversion. We know we want to go there one day, maybe on a circuit in and out of Houston exploring the I-10 would be better. 

    @Carolina Q we are flying in and out of DC, so we'll be there anyway :). I went to the Smithsonian back in 1989 and was bowled over by it. Also want to go to the memorials mentioned. We are going to Williamsburg so Pierce's BBQ is noted, as is an ice cream at Carl's.
    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 30,628
    PM me if you want to hook up for a beer in NOLA.  All eggheads are welcome.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 14,895
    edited March 10
    The northern half of the Outer Banks is congested due to its proximity to the Washington DC area. I’d recommend the southern half. Ocracoke Island is a pretty special place. 
  • AcnAcn Posts: 2,862
    It be obvious, but it wasn’t for my in-laws last year, so I’ll put this out; but as you travel pay attention to the weather.  September is smack in the middle of hurricane season, so you may need to be flexible with your plans as you head along the coast.

    If you’re doing the Blue Ridge, is definitely suggest a day or two in Asheville, Curate in particular is a great restaurant.  The folk art center is right there too, if that’s something that interests you or the wife.

    The New River Gorge in West Virginia is cool too, and I’m pretty sure that @yukonron has talked up some spots in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Eastern Kentucky, so he may wander in too.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • JethroVAJethroVA Posts: 1,157
    @Stormbringer I'm afraid you will be disappointed in Pierce's BBQ (being an egghead).  It is famous for being a famous tourist attraction. 

    Richmond and Mathews County, VA. Large BGE, Weber gas, little Weber charcoal. Vintage ManGrates. Little reddish portable kamado that shall remain nameless here.  Very stable genius. 
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,135
    Let me know if you’d like to get a pint in ATL.  Atlanta aquarium is top notch if you’re interested in such.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 14,895
    bgebrent said:
    Let me know if you’d like to get a pint in ATL.  Atlanta aquarium is top notch if you’re interested in such.
    Word on the street is that we have a decent airport too. 
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 6,086
    JethroVA said:
    @Stormbringer I'm afraid you will be disappointed in Pierce's BBQ (being an egghead).  It is famous for being a famous tourist attraction. 

    I agree. It used to be a great place a few decades ago and was a must stop whenever coming back from C'ville or DC but the last few times we stopped was more than a decade ago and it was too crowded and the food wasn't as it used to be, I guess due to just trying to keep up with the tourist demand.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • StormbringerStormbringer Posts: 1,447
    edited March 10
    @Acn good advice. We'll do flexible plans that can change depending on the forecast.

    @bgebrent definitely!

    @DoubleEgger this is true, and it was the first destination we were considering to arrive. However, we have a gazillion Virgin Atlantic airmiles to use after having visited your side of the pond so often but could only get tickets for Washington airport. So we're flying out upper class on my 50th birthday for pretty much zero cost. :)
    Large BGE and MMX, both with platesetter and cast iron grid. Superpeel for pizza, iDevice for temperature.
    Cooking on the large in deepest, darkest England since Oct 2015. MMX added to the family Mar 2016.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff http://www.thecooksdigest.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,843
    LOL, I didn't know Pierce's was famous, or a tourist attraction. I've eaten there a couple of times and enjoyed it. It has been quite a while though and if it's not what it used to be...............

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 14,895
    @Acn good advice. We'll do flexible plans that can change depending on the forecast.

    @bgebrent definitely!

    @DoubleEgger this is true, and it was the first destination we were considering to arrive. However, we have a gazillion Virgin Atlantic airmiles to use after having visited your side of the pond so often but could only get tickets for Washington airport. So we're flying out upper class on my 50th birthday for pretty much zero cost. :)
    Washington to St Augustine FL would make a nice road trip. 
  • rekameohsrekameohs Posts: 78
    It's that time of year again were we plan our road trip. This year we're heading to the east coast, in and out of Washington DC in September. The current plan is to head down through the Carolinas along the coast,

    If you are on 95 and the weather is nice, stop in Wilson and see the Whirligigs.
    https://www.wilsonwhirligigpark.org/

    Unfortunately, one of the long time BBQ places in Wilson recently closed.
    https://www.newsobserver.com/living/article224674545.html



  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 6,086
    The northern half of the Outer Banks is congested due to its proximity to the Washington DC area. I’d recommend the southern half. Ocracoke Island is a pretty special place. 
    Certainly the northern half is pretty congested in summer time (not quite as bad in September as in July/August) but if doing a clockwise loop from D.C. and heading south from Williamsburg one might as well enter the Outer Banks at Kitty Hawk. A lot of things to see - Wright Brothers National Memorial if one has any interest in early aviation. Jockey's Ridge - the tallest sand dune on the east coast is worth a climb and is fun to run/jump back down. A visit to Roanoke Island and Manteo, perhaps catch the Lost Colony show (https://www.thelostcolony.org/). The new replacement bridge at Oregon Inlet just opened a week or so ago, nothing particularly exciting about that but they had been saying the old Bonner Bridge could fall into the inlet at any time for the last couple decades so no worries now. :)
    Continue heading south, Canadian Hole can be a fun place when the wind is kicking to watch all the wind/kite surfers, a visit to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse is worth a stop. Then head down and catch the ferry to Ocracoke (which would be a good place to spend a night) then catch a ferry back to the mainland.
    One thing to keep in mind about hitting the Outer Banks is the main/only highway (Route 12) can frequently be overwashed/closed after a big storm so a visit in September is in hurricane season so one will want to keep an eye on news reports just in case there has been a storm before your visit.
    Here's a couple links to some OBX community newspapers that might be of use:


    Camped out in the (757/804)
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