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  #1  
Old 08-15-2014, 01:52 PM
jimshep jimshep is offline
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PCD to Tail of the Dragon Advice

I would like advice on a route I put together from the Performance Center through the Tail of the Dragon based on posts in this forum and others on the net. An image and Google map link of the route are provided below.

I am scheduled for PCD on Sep. 2nd of a 435i GC and plan to take a scenic and enjoyable/spirited drive on my way back to Ohio, at least for the PCD day. The Tail of the Dragon and surrounding roads are highly recommended so I am trying to figure out the 'best' route to I-75 to continue my journey home.

Recently got back from a trip to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle to San Francisco) and drove some really fun roads;unfortunately, we were saddled with a Chevy Cruze rental car. I was really wishing I had the new car.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/1155...35.9606384!3e0
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2014, 02:13 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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I am pretty sure I took that route a couple years ago. You should be fine.

Remember speed limit on The Dragon is 30 mph. To say it is strictly enforced is an understatement. It's still "fun" though.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2014, 02:17 PM
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PS we drove south on 23 to/through Nantahala National forest this week. The falls at Tallula Gorge State Park are a bit off your route but worth a nice side trip.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2014, 02:23 PM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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For the most part your route looks great. I like 178 or 276 to 64 myself. Call it a 9 on a week day.
Depending on what time you get going, you may want to stop in Brevard for lunch. There isn't much (anything) between Brevard and Cashers NC. N4S
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2014, 05:50 PM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Personally, I would minimize my time on US 64. Too much slow traffic. I would take SC 11, then SC 130, zig over to SC 107 just prior to Whitewater falls and head to Cashiers NC and pick up US 64 there. Much more enjoyable drive IMO.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2014, 11:12 AM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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Originally Posted by The Other Tom View Post
Personally, I would minimize my time on US 64. Too much slow traffic. I would take SC 11, then SC 130, zig over to SC 107 just prior to Whitewater falls and head to Cashiers NC and pick up US 64 there. Much more enjoyable drive IMO.
This is a great drive also, I just took it a few weeks ago. Make sure to pack a lunch and fill up in Greenville if you take this route. N4S
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2014, 05:17 AM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Yeah, I love Hwy 11. It has a few long straight sections that you can, well, err....pass cars that are going below the speed limit.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2014, 01:34 PM
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Vanos4:12PM Vanos4:12PM is offline
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Pretty much what I took going back to Nashville in 2010. As much fun as the Dragon was (lots of fun) my favorite road was 28 a few miles leading up to the Dragon as soon as you cross one of the surrounding dam's, over the Cheoah river and run along 28 (Fontana rd) was just a blast as it wasn't as tight as the dragon and a lot of nice upper 2nd gear/3rd gear driving.

I didn't realize it at the time but if your EDIT "turn LEFT" and go south about 2 miles as soon as you hit the Dragon on your map you will see the Cheoah dam used in the move The Fugitive.

Enjoy your drive as it will be impossible not to!

pic below is one parked in front of the Fontana lake along 28 ~ 2 miles before the dragon. What a fun day that was. Thanks for the memories!
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2014, 07:36 PM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Don't forget about Fontana dam. More impressive than Cheoah dam IMO.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2014, 03:16 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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Back in 2009 after I got my 128i vert, my son and I drove up from Columbia, SC to drive the Dragon. I had less than 2000 miles on the car at that time, it was our first road trip. He plotted us a route in a Garmin based upon roads recommended on a file called "BestRoads09" I will try and attach. It was fun but you also need to remember that you won't make good time on these roads. Using that file, I would recommend:

Take I-26 North from the Greenville area towards Asheville. This is just to get into the general area, it is not a scenic road. You won't go far before you come to highway 11 which you take west. This is still in SC. It is called the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway. It is not as pretty as some others but is better than interstate.

Take that to 178 north towards Rosman. Then 64 to Cashiers then Highlands then Franklin. Take 28 north out of Franklin to 129 which will take you to the Dragon. You'll be warmed up by then.

We didn't drive all these roads but did several of them. You might want to look for a northerly route back and drive a bit on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It has tons of scenic stopping places for pictures but isn't a challenging drive.
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2014, 07:28 PM
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+1 on the 30 MPH limit on the Dragon. I'd just finished my last turn coming down the hill on the Tennessee side. At the bottom was the Blount County Sheriff with an instant on radar setup. I was nailed at 55 in a 30. Two states from home at the time and with a 2-day old BMW. I was just sure it would end ugly and expensive. Must have been a good day as I was let off with a verbal warning. Try to let some faster cars go ahead of you to flush out the law. One bonus is that there a few photographers along the route that can provide you with an excellent action shot in a curve.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2014, 05:46 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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I bought a few pictures after our first trip. There are police along the dragon but I've never heard of anybody being stopped before. There are sections that are so tight you can't really do the speed limit and stay in your lane. I am pretty sure using both lanes will get you a ticket. I think that is what the police are for. There is too much traffic to try and use both lanes. Stay in your lane and you'll probably not get a ticket, even if you get going a bit fast. I've been significantly over each time I've driven it and haven't been stopped yet. But it is also fun to just stay closer to the limit and enjoy your car when the road tightens up. If you are going to push it, you need to look well ahead. There are lots of really tight turns.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2014, 12:56 PM
J.J. J.J. is offline
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I haven't slayed the dragon in a bimmer, but I picked up my 2013 427 at the Corvette museum 2 years ago and took the Dragon the way back to FL. It was a blast to say the least. No way to push that car to it's limits.



You will have a blast
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2014, 05:38 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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Is the tunnel from the Blue Ridge Parkway?
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2014, 04:38 AM
J.J. J.J. is offline
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Yes, my wife and I left Bowling Green, KY and drove over to Pigeon Forge. We spent two days carving the mountains before moving on to the Biltmore Estates and then to FL... where the roads are straight... and flat.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2014, 08:03 AM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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I like the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway best. More tunnels and more turns. It gets more and more boring up through NC and then Virginia. But it is all preferable to an interstate, of course.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2014, 03:09 PM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.J. View Post
Yes, my wife and I left Bowling Green, KY and drove over to Pigeon Forge. We spent two days carving the mountains before moving on to the Biltmore Estates and then to FL... where the roads are straight... and flat.
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2014, 06:13 PM
jimshep jimshep is offline
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Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! The drive home from the Performance Center was a great way to finish off a spectacular day with the Performance Center Delivery. Highly recommended to drive in the region to really get to know your new car and have a great time with it.

I ended up taking the route linked and attached below. I left the performance center at around 2:45p. The drive from Greer to 11 was slow with significant traffic. Once on 11/276, the roads were mostly open and for the first time I was able to really enjoy the car. Some nice turns with occasional passing lanes to get around slow traffic if necessary. I agree with previous posters to minimize time on 64; too much slow traffic. Essentially it would be 5min of fun followed by 15-20min of creeping behind traffic. Once on 28, traffic lightened up and the drive became much more enjoyable. I highly recommend the 28 section near Fontana Lake. Beautiful scenery and fun drive. The Dragon was also a blast. Got there around 7pm. Only a couple of cars in front and both turned off into a pull-over as soon as available. Great drive, a bit exhausting, but also shorter than expected. If it wasn't so late I would have considered doing it again. Also, as already mentioned, make sure to always stay in your lane; it's more fun and some bikes, both blazingly fast and downright slow, were right on or just over the double yellow.

Surprisingly, the remainder of the drive to Cincinnati (~9 hours total from the PC) was comfortable and often fun in its own way. Drove an hour through very heavy rain on the interstate and the car performed very well. Only had to stop once for refueling (both the car and me); very comfortable seats.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/1155...aa0b19!1m0!3e0
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  #19  
Old 09-17-2014, 09:17 AM
MK-CO MK-CO is offline
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Just read this last night and wanted to first say thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread! I'm heading out next week to do a PCD and pick up a 435 GC with my wife and had been wondering about this very topic. A Google Maps link for my planned route is a below (first day only....we have a multi day trip home planned). Any comments are welcome. Based on one of the previous posts on being sure to have food, my wife was excited to stop at Whole Foods to stock up for the trek - hence its presence on the route. Also curious which day folks have done delivery and it's relative impact to traffic. We're picking up on a Thursday so I'm hopeful traffic will not be too bad.

https://*******/maps/BcJKk
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2014, 05:45 PM
docedkin docedkin is offline
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I've had four different Beemers on that run as well as 28 and the Charaholla Highway. Try to visit all those roads with your new Bimmer. And. . .consider the more sedate run from Cherokee up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville. Very pretty.
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