Up the Atlantic coast, but where to go after Charleston, SC?
There are the smokey mountains, and the outer banks.
After Charleston, I can either head inland and go straight to the mountains or continue up the coast. If I go up the coast, are there any towns worth stopping for? Colonial? beautiful? romantic? scenic? I don't need to see beaches or tourist traps. I'm in this for the landscape photography.
I lived in NC for several years, and I can tell you there are several great options going north. If you would continue north along the coast, wilmington is a great choice. A bit smaller than charleston, but it feels like a larger city with good restaurants, good clubs/bar, some interesting places (a good snake exhibit along the river, or the North Carolina from WWII). going along that route, you can go to the outer banks (my favorite spot: Ocrocoke). To get to Ocrocoke you have to take a ferry at some point. It is a bit of a long trip there. From there, you can take I-95N and go to Washington DC.
If you rather go to the mountains, take I-26 from Charleston straight to Asheville NC. Asheville is a beautiful liberal small city in the middle of the Appalachian mountain. You can visit Biltmore estate, several waterfalls, or take a scenic trip along the Blue ridge parkway. From Asheville you can continue to north to Virginia and eventually Washington DC or towards the midsection of the country through Tenn.
Hope you find this info helpful.
tell me more about the outer banks? i plan to stay with locals, so I need to know where the biggest communities are? And keeping in mind my interests (photography, nature, cuisine) what does the Virgina coast have to offer? My final destination is DC. thx
depends. jockeys ridge state park in kitty hawk is really quite awesome, there is a monument to the wright brothers just up the road a bit there too
if you are staying with locals, they will really give you the inside scoop
welcome to north carolina!
i lived and worked at a summer camp that bordered north and south carolina - greenville ymca... trust me, it has to be one of the most spectacular regions/places i've been. the surrounding towns are something out of a story book - brevard for example, and hendersonville are little mountain towns, full of character and charm. there's a national forest called pisgah thats stunning - you can camp and hike all around the area. you'll have plenty of opportunity to take some stunning shots. asheville is about a 90 minute drive - also welll worth the visit. the carolinas are stunning - go inland, you'll be happy you did :-) trust me! any other advice on the area please feel free to ask
When you get to Washington DC, be sure to hike the Billy Goat trail at Great Falls (MD side). Section A of the trail is the best, and you can park for free near Anglers Inn. The hike will take at least 2 hours, and you'll see some of the most stunning views of the Potomac River. You'll also walk some of the historic C&O Canal towpath and see some of the old locks and lock houses.
Skyline Drive in Virginia is also beautiful.
The Brandywine River Valley and the former DuPont estates are amazing landscapes. DuPont originally settled there to build his black powder works for the water power and the resemblance of the country to his native Loire Valley in France.
One that I know personally is the Winterthur Museum, a former estate and factory site. From there in Delaware, it is easy to visit the Amish area of Pennsylvania and see the lovely, neatly kept farms.
Enjoy your trip.