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  #1  
Old 10-01-2011, 07:08 PM
bigsmoke08 bigsmoke08 is offline
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Location: new jersey
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 x3 3.5i
Best Route back from PCD to NYC

Got a date on 10/28. So excited!

Can anyone give me a good route home to NYC that gives me some road thrills and gets me home fast??

thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2011, 06:09 AM
Wine-O Wine-O is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsmoke08 View Post
Got a date on 10/28. So excited!

Can anyone give me a good route home to NYC that gives me some road thrills and gets me home fast??

thanks!
We drove down to PCD from Toms River and took the NJ Turnpike to 76 to 81 to 77 to 85.

There are some stretches on 81 where you can give it a good workout, lots of up & down hills, but watch out for the State troopers. Also, 81 is pretty scenic for a major highway.

Since you are taking delivery on a Friday, you probably won't get out of there until about 3-4pm. I would recommend spending Friday night in Greenville. There are some nice restaurants & brew pubs in the downtown area. Leave Sat morning and spend the night 1/2 way in Harrisonburg, VA. You'll get in about 3pm, check in the hotel and drive out to the CrossKeys Vineyards. It's only a few miles outside of town. It's very scenic and a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and some cheese. http://www.crosskeysvineyards.com/

Have dinner at Chops. Great atmosphere and very good food. http://www.localchops.com/

BTW, welcome to the Fest. Some excellent information on this site.
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2011, 05:32 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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Google says I-81 is the quickest way and heading to Charlotte first is the way to get there - about 12 hours. If you head north to Ashville first, it adds an hour. Ashville gets you up in the mountains which would be more interesting. If you really want the scenic route, you could pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway in Ashville and take it north to Virginia. But that will drop your speed way down - but your scenic value way up. Speed limit on the BRP is typically 45 mph. 12 hours is a hard day driving. It would not leave time for much scenary. Two days would let you look at the scene and you could take the BRP.

Jim
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2011, 07:38 PM
bigsmoke08 bigsmoke08 is offline
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Hey Jimd1

I think you nailed it!

I will def head to Asheville to pick up the blue ridge parkway! Want the scenic route and will really try to take all weekend to get back. (picking up on Friday)

do you know what cities to type into Google to properly map my way on the BRP? And I def can't get to the Dragon Tail w/o a huge diversion, yes?

So far I have

Spartanburg, SC
Lancaster, SC (personal stop to see relatives original home)
Asheville, NC
BRP
(do you connect back with 81 in virginia?)

picking up '12 x3.. now starting to wish I was picking up a z4!
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2011, 10:01 PM
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alewifebp alewifebp is offline
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To head to Asheville, use Brevard as the routing. They actually suggest this in the materials that the PCD will send to you.

I was going to DC for two nights, so I drove to Charlotte the first night and stayed at the Ballantyne (a great hotel, BTW), and then went to DC then home to northern NJ. That involved a long stretch on 85, then connecting to 95. Nothing all too scenic along the route, but 85 is a smooth running highway. With my 550, I averaged 27 MPG for the trip.
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2011, 05:27 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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If you want to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from the south end to the north end (south end is closest to the PC) you want to look around the town of Cherokee, NC for the southern end. You have to expand the map a bit at that end and a couple other points along the way to see the BRP. I am going to make this trip next week. I use Garmin GPSs, a 885t in my bimmer and a 765t in my SUV. The 765 is all the way down to a little over $100 - they both are discontinued models with bluetooth and MP3 playback. Anyway, if you use a Garmin that can accept a route (I'm not sure if all can or not) I recommend you create routes using BaseCamp. I tried using Google Maps and GPX - a free converter - but that did not work well at all. I tried MapSource but that didn't work much better. BaseCamp works well and is free from Garmin. It is a little funky to use, you will have to put in a few waypoints. I have a route for getting to the Southern End, a route to go from there to my first hotel. A route for the second day - all on the parkway - and a route to finish the parkway. I may create a route coming home. I don't need the routes to go up and back but I am driving a bit of the parkway both ways near the southern end and may do that at the northern end.

I found no preferences that would keep me even close to on the Parkway. I exchanged some notes with administrators and others at "GPSPassion" and they couldn't do it either. Finally somebody mentioned BaseCamp and we agreed it works the best for this.

In basecamp you basically put in some waypoints and then have it to calculate a route. If it isn't what you want, put in more waypoints and try it again. After it works in BaseCamp, you send it to the Garmin. Then you have to import the route to the Garmin and check it. I had a little trouble near the southern end and had to redo the route once at that point. It is not super quick but isn't overly difficult. I would rather spend some time at this point than get all messed up next week. Once the route is in your nuvi, you just call up the route when you are ready to drive it.

I also loaded POIs from POI factory. I added additional POIs to the file.

You can stay in hotels right on the parkway, Pisgah near the southern end is one spot, or a short distance off. I will stay the first night at Big Lynn in Little Switzerland. There are several places close to the parkway in Little Switzerland. I also found some decent places to stay (I think) around Lexington, Virginia. I picked the Oscella Mill which looks like a B&B. The local BMW CCA club uses the Big Lynn sometimes - I know it is OK but nothing real special. I am trusting on-line reviews for the other place. We'll see. My places to stay were based upon time. I have about 7 hours driving for three days to get there, drive the entire route, and drive home. There are lots of places to stop and enjoy the views and/or take pictures. I am allowing about 3 hours for these sort of stops. One other club member said he took 5 days for the same drive a few years ago. So from his point of view I am rushing it. That fits me, I would have a problem taking 5 days to do this.

Google Blue Ridge Parkway for free information. There is a good map and also a guide to the parkway you can download - it's a large pdf. It has a map and recommendations on hotels and things to see.

Jim
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2011, 06:54 AM
NCe61 NCe61 is offline
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The BRP is very scenic, and usually a fun drive. However, the weekend you will be driving it is the prime time for "leaf peepers" so the traffic will be the heaviest of the year and the travel may be frustratingly slow. The BRP does not intersect I-81, but the easiest access is in Roanoke, which is worth considering for a night's stay. Roanoke has a nice downtown, and the Hotel Roanoke is a classic. I-81 from Roanoke north through the Shenandoah Valley is an unusually scenic stretch of interstate highway, but relatively flat and straight, so there are few driving thrills on it (other than avoiding the truck traffic). If you are planning to stay at a place close to the BRP you may want to make a reservation, again because this is one of the busiest tourist weekends of the year.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2011, 12:37 PM
toni8284 toni8284 is offline
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OP, what car you picking up?

My PCD is 10/27 and I am heading back to Philly
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2011, 08:53 PM
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dencoop dencoop is offline
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Hey Guys!

I'll be picking up 2 X5s on 10/28 and driving back to Staten Island NY.

We can set up a nice caravan.... Let me know if interested...

Can't wait for my 10th PCD experience since 2007

The team at the PCD is Awesome !!!
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2011, 10:41 PM
toni8284 toni8284 is offline
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I will head to Tail of Dragon on 10/27 and on 10/28 will be go back to Philly through BRP starting from Asheville to Grandfather Mtn then back on I77 then I81
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2011, 01:37 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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Tail of the Dragon is fun. Be sure to get the free scenic drives map you will find if you google "tail of the dragon" for scenic roads to get you there. Some are pretty nice. Ashville is about mile 390 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Grandfather Mountain is about mile 300. That will give you about 90 miles on the BRP - a good chance to experience it for a couple hours. The total route is about 470 miles - that is my plans for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week. I will pick it up near Cherokee Tuesday and finish Thursday morning to allow time to get home. I just created my fourth route in my nuvi 885t for Thursday on the way home. I may simply select "go home" but I made a route to back-track a while on the BRP and then go to I-64. Still pretty quick way home and if I feel like it, I will do that route first. The nuvi will want to go down through Lynchburg and I'm not sure that is really better.

Jim
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:26 AM
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The BoatMan The BoatMan is offline
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Friendly advice for those unfamiliar with VA speeding violations. Anything more than 20 over the posted speed limit and/or speed greater than 80mph is a reckless driving charge with a mandatory court appearance.

Living in NJ, driving over 80 is an almost everyday occurence. My inlaws used to live in CLT and I made the drive over a dozen times using 77-81-78. Troopers are everywhere and love unmarked vehicles.
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2011, 07:29 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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I drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway all day today and part of Tuesday. I had routes in my nuvis but I don't think you really need them. If you had POIs or favorites for the places you want to get on and off you should be fine. The Blue Ridge Parkway has limited entrances and exits. So once you are on it is easy to stay on. But it does not intersect a lot of roads - you need to look close at a mapping program to be sure it is a connection and not just an overpass or something. Lots of fun. I think the part South of Ashville is best but it depends some on what you want. I haven't finished yet, I have about 27 miles to go until the northern end in Virginia. But in general the north is flatter with bigger sweeping turns. Hard to go anywhere close to 45 mph (the highest speed limit) although the occasional turn requires less. The Southern end is the highest elevation, has the tightest turns, and therefore somewhat less speed is required. There are also many more tunnels south of Asheville. I saw no police in North Carolina but saw two in Virginia. One almost got me. I also had to brake for turkeys this morning and deer. Loads of fun. Lots of little side things to do too. A couple at the place I stayed last night recommended stopping at Linvlle (sp?) falls which is about mile marker 320. I spent 45 minutes there this morning walking about 2 miles on pretty good trails through the woods (lots of up and down) to get some good shots of pretty falls. With all the rain they were moving.

Jim
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2011, 06:52 AM
bigsmoke08 bigsmoke08 is offline
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Hey all!

So i'm getting ready for my wife's and I big trip on Friday...flying in Thursday night. Haven't made too many plans yet, so gotta hustle. Goal is to get back to northern new jersey over two nights, three days with a combo of scenic and speed (hopefully the former more!)

here's what I have so far.... think I'm pretty agreed to go to asheville and catch the blue ridge... then maybe go to roanoke to get back on 81?

Any thoughts? better suggestions?

Here's what I have so far

Spartanburg
Lancaster, SC (to see family)
Asheville via 276 ? (stay at biltmore?)
Blue Ridge Parkway to
Roanoake, VA
transfer to I81...

then what?

After I plot the routes, then need to figure out where to stay!

thanks board!
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2011, 04:27 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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There is an inn at the Biltmore and it is probably pretty good. Possibly the nicest place in Asheville is the Grove Park Inn. I've stayed there and it is nice but also pricey. I stayed at the Big Lynn in Little Switzerland which is OK. They had a bus load (really) of old people when I was there which is apparently typical for them. The hotel is also old and not that nice. But it is not that expensive either. I really liked the other place I stayed at the other end. The Osceola Mill. Very nice B&B and cheaper than the Big Lynn. They have a website. If it works out for you to spend the night about 28 miles south of the northern end of the BRP, the Osceola Mill is worth a visit. You get off at 56 which is a trip in itself. VERY twisty with 55 mph speed limit. Corners that are tight to take at 35mph. I like going up it a lot more than coming down. There are two hotels on the BRP which are reportedly decent. One is fairly close to Asheville and the other is much further north. If you have time, the Linville falls is a nice stop for an hour or so. Nice walk in the woods - a bit of exercise - and several good photo opportunities.

Jim
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2011, 12:59 PM
bigsmoke08 bigsmoke08 is offline
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Ok here we go! Leaving tonight!!!

So, here's a new plan: going to spend the first night in Chapel Hill after Spartanburg.

Then want to still try to hit the BRP on way back to NJ.

If I go up to Roanoke can I still get the BRP? And if so, anyone knew a very cool place to stay in the Harrisonburh area off of 81?

thanks!
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2011, 02:01 PM
dmatre dmatre is offline
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If you're going Spartanburg to Chapel Hill on day 1, then you're going 4 hours away from the BRP just to come back to it the next day.

What you could do (since you are time-limited) is go Chapel Hill back toward Greensboro (30-40 minutes) then take 29North up to I-64 in Charlottesville.

At I-64 go west about 30 minutes and pick up Skyline Drive (same as Blue Ridge Parkway, but farther north), take this north about 3 hours to Front Royal.
If you pick up BRP near Roanoke, BRP becomes Skyline Drive at I-64. Lots of nice B&B's up in that area, but I don't have a specific recommendation.

Keep in mind that BRP is 45mph, Skyline drive is 35mph so if you plan on taking that from NC up to MD/PA, it'll be quite a long ride (although beautiful).
Note: Speeding on either BRP or Skyline is a Federal no-no. Beware.

Last edited by dmatre; 10-27-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:02 PM
bigsmoke08 bigsmoke08 is offline
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Thanks for the advice.

is going up to Roanoke from Chapel Hill, putting us way out of the way?

google says

29 to 86 to 220?

what is the town off of i64 to get Skyline? And will that then put me on i81?
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  #19  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:11 PM
bigsmoke08 bigsmoke08 is offline
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How far north do you recommend taking the skyline drive? Best stops along the way?
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  #20  
Old 10-28-2011, 06:31 AM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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Skyline drive is only 105 miles long - a lot less than the Blue Ridge Parkway. I drove the entire BRP but only a few feet on Skyline Drive. They run directly into each other at the southern end of Skyline Drive and Northern end of BRP near Waynesboro, VA. The connection is a little south of I-64 where it intersects 250. The northern end of Skyline Drive is near Front Royal, VA west of Washington DC. It end near I-66 a few miles east of the I-66 to I-81 connection.

Since I have not driven Skyline Drive I can't comment on stops but I will recommend you Google "Blue Ridge Parkway Directory". It is a 86 page pdf you can obtain for free with lots of useful information on both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. The information includes hotels and stops and hiking opportunities.

Neither the BRP or Skyline Drive directly connects to a major interstate. That is by design. Both have limited connections to other roads and always to a smaller highway or road. They go over or under the interstate.

Jim
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2011, 12:51 PM
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andrew b andrew b is offline
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FWIW anyone reading this thread considering the BRP, a few things:

1) It's gorgeous. Lots of fun if there isn't too much traffic. Pack lunches, as there are numerous spots to pull off and eat, and multiple trail heads for short (or longer) walks to stretch your legs. It's like driving throguh a giant park.
2) South end near Asheville, you can stay at the Biltmore (a bit pricey, and worth an extra day to tour if you DO stay there). Also, right next to the Biltmore is a Doubletree, which is pretty good.
3) Some of my local friends in Asheville went out of their way to remind me that the BRP is entirely contained on Federal Park land (either National Forest, or National Parks). I didn't immediately grasp the importance of this....but it has to do with jurisdiction Evidently, the only LEO with jurisdiction on the BRP are the Forest Rangers (I'm not certain of this, but it makes sense, and you can tell the BRP is all on National Park Land).

Last edited by andrew b; 11-21-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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