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Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

So Cal
7 posts
Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

Greetings! My 21 year old son and I will be taking a road trip from the LA area to the Wash DC area in July 2018. We will take approx. 10 days (one-way) for the trip. The first two days will be a lot of driving, with the intent to make it to Oklahoma City by the 2nd night. We are anticipating 10 hour driving days the 1st two days, as we want to get to OKC quickly to visit relatives. We will be in OKC for two nights before heading off towards TN. Our plan is to stay one night in Memphis and one night in Nashville. From Nashville we'd like to take 3 - 4 days to drive up to DC. We'd like to see the Great Smokey Mountains and part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We love to take pictures and go on short hikes. Any advice as where to stop over during the 3 - 4 nights from Nashville to DC? Thanks for any advice you can provide!!

6 replies to this topic
Vestal, New York
Destination Expert
for Auburn, Finger Lakes
Level Contributor
11,538 posts
208 reviews
1. Re: Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

For the Smokies, consider seeing Cades Cove and overnighting in Townsend, TN then explore the rest of the park then head to Asheville, NC and spend a night there. Do the BRP from Asheville up to Roanoke VA (overnight in Roanoke). From Roanoke you could head to Charlottesville VA and visit Monticello (Thomas Jefferson home) and overnight there or head to DC.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
35,212 posts
508 reviews
2. Re: Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

Great ideas. Agree with suggestions!

Stevenson Ranch...
1 post
3. Re: Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

Thank you for the suggestions!! Can't wait to get on the road.

Baltimore
Level Contributor
1,431 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

You are misled, apparently, if you hope to drive from LA to OKC in two 10 hour drive days.

It's 20 hours wheels rolling. In theory, if you drive like you are possessed, the two of you might make it two 12 hours-on-the-road days. I assume you can both drive. More likely, you'll be on the road 13 or so hours each day, and to add insult, you will lose an hour on the clock each of those days.

So, if you split at 8:00am, you are looking at the clock saying 10 or 10:30 when you arrive.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4,184 posts
338 reviews
5. Re: Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

If you are planning to see much of anything in Memphis and Nashville, you should plan to stay 2 nights minimum in each city. If they are just places to lay your heads for the night, then one night is fine.

Chapel Hill, North...
Level Contributor
9,899 posts
39 reviews
6. Re: Los Angeles to Washington DC - help with TN/NC/VA

I would not try to go all the way from Asheville to Roanoke in one day on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway is very slow going (45mph speed limit). I'd break it at Blowing Rock and you'll have a little time for stopping at some overlooks and doing a few hikes. If you pushed it on the Roanoke you'd be looking at 7 hours of driving w/o any stops at overlooks or any hikes or any lunch or any bathroom breaks. https://goo.gl/maps/RVzH9pBv6952 It's just no fun. Break it at Blowing Rock or West Jefferson or Doughton Park.

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