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  • Humpback Rocks along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Charlottesville, Virginia
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    Starting Point: Charlottesville, Virginia

  • Charming and historic downtown Staunton, Virginia
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    Gorgeous Parks and Culture in Staunton, Virginia

  • Blackwater Falls State Park in Canaan Valley, West Virginia
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    Resort Life in Canaan Valley, West Virginia

  • Peaceful hike in Beartown State Park near Snowshoe, West Virginia
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    Seeing the Stars from Snowshoe, West Virginia

  • Lewisburg, West Virginia, a picture-perfect small town
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    Picture-Perfect Lewisburg, West Virginia

  • Stunning views of Grandfather Mountain from Boone, North Carolina
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    Reaching Great Heights in Boone, North Carolina

  • Scenic vistas along the way to Hickory, North Carolina
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    End the Journey in Hickory, North Carolina

A scenic drive through the mountains of West Virginia
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Mountain Views Via Motorcycle

  • Route distance:
    908.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    4 days

Stunning vistas await along scenic Southern highways

There is no better way to see the beautiful scenery of the Southeast than on the back of a motorcycle. The stunning vistas and clear blue skies of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina welcome riders on this mountain trek of curvy two-lane roads and scenic freeways. Great food, outdoor adventure and mountain lodges highlight your seven-stop journey.

01
Humpback Rocks along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Charlottesville, Virginia
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Starting Point: Charlottesville, Virginia

From Richmond International Airport in Virginia, travel 125 kilometers on the historic Three Notch’d Road, a major east-west route in the 1700s, to reach Charlottesville. Start your visit at Monticello, the hilltop plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, to get a panoramic view of the historic college town and its skyline, surrounded by rolling foothills with mountain views. Hiking, biking and walking tours abound in the mountains surrounding the home and museum,  a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area has over 30 vineyards, including King Family Vineyards, 15 minutes from Charlottesville, which hosts polo matches every Sunday from Memorial Day through mid-October. If you need a snack, pick strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins seasonally at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet. Continue driving into the winding climbs of the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop to hike in Humpback Rocks. Over 160 kilometers of Appalachian Trail snake through nearby Shenandoah National Park. On your way to Staunton, stop at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton for food, drinks and more majestic mountain views.

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64 km
1 hour by car
02
Charming and historic downtown Staunton, Virginia
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Gorgeous Parks and Culture in Staunton, Virginia

Take Highway 250 toward Staunton for a lovely drive with several scenic overlooks. Just before you reach the charming town, which has six historic districts dating to the mid-1700s, stop at Betsy Bell Wilderness Park for amazing views of the Shenandoah Valley. Mountain bikers may wish to test their endurance by tackling the access road for a difficult climb, fantastic views and thrilling downhill runs. West of town, drive the roads of the gorgeous George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, then head back to Staunton and visit Gypsy Hill Park. Stroll through historic downtown to find establishments specializing in locally sourced Southern cuisine and live music. If you’re in town in late August, take in the beautiful sounds of the Staunton Music Festival. For more culture, visit the American Shakespeare Center, the Frontier Culture Museum and Woodrow Wilson Library & Museum; Wilson, the 28th U.S. president was born in Staunton. Stay overnight downtown at a historic hotel before heading north to the next stop.

192 km
3 hours by car
03
Blackwater Falls State Park in Canaan Valley, West Virginia
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Resort Life in Canaan Valley, West Virginia

Take scenic Interstate 28 into the hills of Canaan Valley and enjoy scenic roadways and mountain views. If you’re traveling with a motorcycle club, inquire about special rates at the Canaan Valley Resort, which is a state park and offers a variety of lodging, including rooms, cabins and camping. While you’re in the area, visit Blackwater Falls State Park to see waterfalls and the moving waters of a 13-kilometer gorge. Hike through the park or check out the Nature Center. Return to the resort for a variety of activities, including hiking, biking and trap shooting. When you’re ready to eat, head to the town of Thomas and find quaint diners, a general store and live music. On the way south to Snowshoe, take a detour to Seneca Rocks for its gorgeous rock formations and world-famous rock climbing.

138 km
2 hours by car
04
Peaceful hike in Beartown State Park near Snowshoe, West Virginia
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Seeing the Stars from Snowshoe, West Virginia

Take Interstate 33 to Highway 219 into picturesque Snowshoe Mountain. Explore the 1,802-hectare property on four-seat all-terrain vehicles, race down the Hare Racer Zipline in the village and hop on a mountain bike for high-speed fun in Snowshoe Bike Park. Nearby, take a guided tour at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park or head to the Green Bank Observatory to check out the largest fully steerable telescope dish in the world. As you head toward North Carolina, take the Highland Scenic Highway. Enjoy spectacular views of the Alleghany Highlands from four scenic overlooks and head to Beartown State Park for a break.

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109 km
2 hours by car
05
Lewisburg, West Virginia, a picture-perfect small town
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Picture-Perfect Lewisburg, West Virginia

While the quicker route to this dreamy small town is heading south on Highway 219, the more scenic way to Lewisburg is via 66 East to 28 South to 92 South. Hidden in the hills, you’ll find a treasure chest of art galleries, cafes, boutiques and historic architecture. Take a historic walking tour, check out local artists’ works or catch a show at the Greenbrier Valley Theater. If you’re in town on a Saturday from May to October, visit the downtown Farmer’s Market. Nearby outdoor recreation opportunities include walking or riding the 129-kilometer Greenbrier River Trail and hiking, fishing, swimming and camping at Greenbrier State Forest. Travel 36.6 meters underground to explore the Lost World Caverns and then check out the adjoining Natural History Museum. Heading west out of Lewisburg on Interstate 64, you’ll want to take a bit of a northern detour at Beckley to visit the New River Gorge area. Go on a guided whitewater rafting tour or spend the morning partaking in other water and land adventures before heading south on Interstate 77.

333 km
4 hours by car
06
Stunning views of Grandfather Mountain from Boone, North Carolina
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Reaching Great Heights in Boone, North Carolina

After hours of traveling on beautiful mountain roads and through the countryside, you’ll enjoy your stop in the Blue Ridge Mountains town of Boone, named after legendary pioneer explorer Daniel Boone. If you’re in town on a Saturday, head to the Watauga County Farmer’s Market for a delicious breakfast to fuel your adventures, or stop in a local restaurant to enjoy Southern specialties. Stretch your legs and explore several parks and historic sites before taking in the stunning Grandfather Mountain at almost 1,829 meters of elevation. Choose from 11 trails in varying levels of difficulty, or walk across the 1.6-kilometer-high swinging bridge to take in the incredible views. Mine for precious stones at the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine or see what’s blooming at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. It’s time to head down the mountain to your last stop.

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72 km
1 hour by car
07
Scenic vistas along the way to Hickory, North Carolina
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End the Journey in Hickory, North Carolina

There will be plenty to do in Hickory, a city best known for its fine furniture makers and marts, but you’ll enjoy getting there, too. Heading south on Highway 321, admire incredible mountain views in Blowing Rock, then drive though the charming valley towns of Lenoir and Granite Falls. Once you get to Hickory, jump off your wheels and watch others spinning theirs during live races at the Hickory Motor Speedway. Baseball fans will enjoy an evening of fun at the ballpark of the Hickory Crawdads, the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Enjoy locally owned shops and restaurants in downtown Hickory. Nationally known Krispy Kreme doughnuts began in North Carolina; grab a dozen for the perfect fuel as you end your tour and drive 68 kilometers to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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