Here is an example of a trip prepared by one of our travel planner/advisors. This is a very basic plan. A more detailed plan would have reservations to any and all events you would be attending during your stay, including dinners. If you think we can be of help for any of your travel needs contact one of our travel planner/advisors to help you plan your next adventure. Example
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Fall is swiftly approaching, and I can think of no better way to experience its crisp air and vibrant foliage than on a leisurely road trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway stretches from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, with dozens of jaw-dropping vistas along the way. It’s a truly gorgeous stretch of the country, and fall is the perfect time to take it all in.
Fall foliage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Start your trip with a rejuvenating stay at The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia. With a staff-to-room ratio of 4-to-1, this Relais & Chateaux property is full of charm and elegance, and the dining is sumptuous. Spend a day or two here before starting your journey along the parkway, which admittedly will be full of leaf-peepers in autumn. Just acknowledge that you’ll be taking it slow, and soak up the views.
The Inn at Little Washington
Your trip will begin in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, a vast mountain wilderness of oak, hickory, birch, dogwood and chestnut trees. History buffs will want to explore the Civil War history of the area, especially in the town of Winchester, which changed hands 72 times during the Civil War.
Continue on to Roanoke, Virginia, which is home to some great museums on African-American culture and history. The O. Winston Link Museum is also great for its 1950s photography—exploring the museum is like stepping back in time.
About two-and-a-half hours after you’ve left Roanoke, you’ll arrive on the North Carolina segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The next major town along the route is Boone, North Carolina. This mountain town is home to Appalachian State University, and it has a laid-back vibe. Go mining for gemstones at Foggy Mountain Gem Mine, or hike at Howard Knob Park.
Howard Knob Park, Boone
Just past Boone, you’ve earned yourself another day of pampering at a stellar hotel. Westglow Resort & Spa in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is a destination in itself. With 10 spa treatment rooms, plus light-filled rooms for yoga, aerobic workouts and even individual sessions with personal trainers, you’ll be able to stretch out and relax after all that driving. Oh, and the views are spectacular.
The Relaxation Room at Westglow
It may be tempting to spend all your time in this magnificent hotel, but don’t miss the charming town of Blowing Rock. It’s dotted with quaint antique shops, galleries and restaurants. Fall is the perfect season to grab a cup of coffee and window-shop in the town center.
After you’ve had time to enjoy Blowing Rock and the facilities at Westglow, continue on to one of my favorite cities, Asheville. Asheville merits a several-day stay, as there’s plenty to do, including wonderful restaurants, music and shopping, plus the gorgeous Biltmore Estate, as well as plenty of great hiking within driving distance. Stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn (don’t miss drinks with a stunning view on the terrace) or at The Inn on Biltmore Estate.
Omni Grove Park Inn terrace
When you’re ready to savor the last bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway, continue on to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you’ll have even more opportunities for hiking and strolling in the mountains. The foliage will be a stunning end to your drive, and you might even spot some wildlife, including bears, deer, elk and wild turkeys.
Have you ever driven the Blue Ridge Parkway? Any tips for avoiding the crowds during prime foliage season? Let us know !!
U.S.: 101 Freeway to close nightly in Calabasas, California, through 5 May because of construction
The 101 Freeway will be closed in Calabasas overnight for four nights this week for a state bridge construction project at Lost Hills Road, according to Caltrans.
The first closure starts Monday at 10 pm local time, with up to two lanes in both directions. The closure expands to all lanes in both directions from midnight to 5 am. A similar time schedule will be followed on 2 May night through 5 May morning.
The lanes are all expected to be reopened by 6 am.
Thinking about taking the great American road trip this summer? Be prepared to pay more at the pump as gas prices slowly make a slow but steady upward climb.
According to a recent study by AAA, gasoline prices are expected to jump by more than 40 cents this summer, topping out at a national average of about $2.70 per gallon. This number reflects an increase of 70 cents per gallon over the same period last year.
Gas prices have already hit their highest levels this year since January. Across the nation, average gas prices reached $2.33 last week, a four cent increase over the week prior, a one cent increase over last month and an increase of 27 cents over last year. (But still considerably less than 2014, when prices topped out at more than $3.50 per gallon.)
If you’re living in the Western United States, home to six of the most expensive states for gasoline, you’re probably eyeing this year’s national average with envy.
In Hawaii, the nation’s most expensive market, gas averaged $3.05 per gallon last week. California, which clocks in at number two, sported average rates of $2.98 per gallon. Also helping drive up the national average were Washington ($2.86), Alaska ($2.78), Oregon ($2.72) and Nevada ($2.66.)
AAA warns that supply will “tighten” and prices will likely escalate even more in California and the Northwest due to maintenance at several refineries, including BP’s Cherry Point refinery in Ferndale, Washington, and PBF Energy’s refinery in Torrance, California.
If the rising price of gas has you considering putting off that scenic drive along the coast highway, better not wait too long. Starting on November 1, the state of California will give Hawaii a run for its money, when implements a new tax that increases prices by 12 cents a gallon.
The new tax is expected to generate $52 billion in new revenue for the state, which says it plans to use the funds for road repairs and improvements. The increased tax will likely also hit consumers with higher food prices if California’s booming agricultural industry decides to pass along the increases.
California isn’t the only state shoring up revenues with new gas taxes.
In January, Forbes reported that seven states have recently enacted higher gas taxes, including Pennsylvania (+7.9 cents per gallon), New Jersey (+23 cents per gallon), Michigan (+7.3 cents per gallon) and Nebraska (1.5 cents per gallon.) Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida also saw a minor increase of less than one cent per gallon.
If your heart is set on a summer road trip, think about visiting South Carolina ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.10), Missouri ($2.11), Louisiana ($2.12), Virginia ($2.13) or Texas ($2.15), which offer the best gas deals in the nation. Contact us today and let us put together the ultimate road trip for you next very important vacation.