Planning for a trip is often just as exciting as the trip itself; and often I find myself already planning the next trip before the current one is even complete!
For the last month we have been planning an epic road trip from Florida to Washington DC, and what started as a quick 6-7 day break from work has now turned into a 12 day trip of a lifetime which will include beaches, waterfalls, mountainous ranges, hiking, biking and sink holes! There was too much to do and see in-between Florida and Washington DC that we decided it wasn’t worth going if we weren’t going to do the trip properly and take in all of the sights!
Day 1 (Sunday September 8)
Florida – Savannah.
Florida into Georgia, day 1 we are pulling a big day of driving (7 hours) to end up in the historic town of Savannah. The Historic District of Savannah is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with cobblestone streets, manicured gardens, and oak-shaded parks drizzling with silvery Spanish Moss.
Looking forward to the culture and architecture in Savannah; a city which contains more than twenty city squares filled with museums, churches, mansions, monuments and famous forts of the Revolutionary & Civil War eras.
Where we’re staying: Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Savannah Historic District
Savannah – Myrtle Beach.
Taking in Hilton Head Island along the way, we’re spending our second night in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I’ve been promised 60 miles of sunny beaches, blue skies, and endless fun; Myrtle beach seems to be packed full of amusement parks and opportunities for thrilling water sports activities – absolutely cannot wait!
Where we’re staying: Hampton Inn & Suites
Myrtle Beach – Charlotte.
Cutting inland, we are driving from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte, North Carolina. We were originally planning to drive straight to Washington along the East Coast, but then saw pictures of how beautiful inland North Carolina was! Charlotte is your main hub for all kinds of getaways in the region, and we’re using it as a gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Looking forward to exploring the city itself though; from what I hear, even though it’s a bustling metropolis, it has managed to maintain a lot of its heritage and has an endless array of interesting attractions, popular restaurants, and ‘raging late-night hotspots’ to offer. Sunset behind the Charlotte skyline looks pretty spectacular as well!
Where we’re staying: Hilton Charlotte City Centre
Charlotte – Asheville
We are driving from Charlotte to Asheville to explore the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the biggest attractions in this area is the Biltmore Estate; a large private estate which boasts a 250 room mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late 1800’s.
It is the largest privately owned house in America and tourists can take tours of the grounds, the house and the onsite winery. We figured if there was anytime to splurge, it would definitely be here and so we’re staying at the Inn on Biltmore while in Asheville – cannot wait to explore this absolutely spectacular mansion and grounds!
Where we’re staying: Inn on Biltmore Estate
Day 5 – 6
Asheville – Blue Ridge Parkway
Beginning our drive of the Blue Ridge Parkway! The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than a road – it’s an epic journey (check out this Blue Ridge Mountains travel guide).
Winding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States, the Blue Ridge forms part of the Appalachian Mountains and includes spectacular mountain scenery, an abundance of dramatic waterfalls, and some of the best opportunities for hiking and biking in the country.
Before we start the actual parkway however, you can bet we’ll be exploring parts of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. America’s most visited National Park, and world renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, we’re not only planning on taking in the beauty of its ancient mountains, but will be trying to spot black bears!
Where we’re staying: Camping under the stars day 5 & day 6 at The Hotel Roanoke.
Roanoke – Washington DC!
Spending two days in Washington DC to explore America’s political capitol! With so many things to do and see we’re not sure where exactly we’ll start, however looking forward to taking in the National Archives and viewing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; Library of Congress; Supreme Court; International Spy Museum and everything else Washington has to offer! I think there’s also a big white house which tends to draw tourists and travelers!!
Where we’re staying: Night one: Mandarin Oriental; Night two: Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco.
Days 9 & 10
Washington DC – Nags Head!
We haven’t planned out our days this far yet, but will be driving to Nags Head through the historic town of Richmond (was the capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War) and Virginia Beach.
Spending two nights, we fully plan on spotting Black bears and hopefully a Red Wolf that evening in Alligator River; Black bear sightings are supposedly guaranteed, however there are only 20 odd remaining Red wolves in the world so catching a glimpse of the highly endangered animal would be a treat!
Where we’re staying: Night 1: Oasis Suites, Night 2:Surf Side Hotel
Naggs Head – Charleston
Driving back through South Carolina, this time stopping overnight in Charleston! We’re not sure quite what to expect of Charleston, however situated in South Carolina’s romantic low country apparently it’s one of the South’s most appealing destinations!
We’ve heard great things about the historic town, the culinary delights and the amazing atmosphere. Stay tuned!
Where we’re staying: Kings Courtyard Inn
Charleston – Gainesville
Originally planning on spending an epic day of driving from Charleston – home (which would have been 10 hours), we’re instead adding an extra day and spending time in Gainesville.
Really looking forward to exploring Ginnie Springs – an absolutely spectacular underwater world with huge grottos, colorful fish, and millions of gallons of fresh water – as well as Devil’s Millhopper – Florida’s largest sinkhole, 120 feet deep! Legends say it is the gateway to hell!
Where we’re staying: TBA – any suggestions??
Gainesville – Home!
Any recommendations for any of the above cities?