Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 - Asheville/Atlanta Roadtrip Summary

Duration: 9 days (Saturday June 13 - Sunday June 21)
Cost: roughly $1,000/person which covers all expenses (gas, accommodations, food, admissions)
Distance Driven: roughly 4,000 km

Top 3 Highlights (in no particular order):

- Georgia Aquarium, which this shouldn't be too much of a surprise for me since I did drive all the way to see it, it was still quite the sight to actually see it and compare it to what you had in mind.  While it wasn't as large as I imagined it would be, the star attraction that I went for, the whale shark, met my expectations.  What exceeded it was definitely the dolphin show.  I know that it has weird times and you need to make sure you get in while there are still seats, it was definitely worth it and I would say, makes the Georgia Aquarium, one of the must-see sights there.

Two whale sharks with two giant stingrays.
- Foam Henge, I know we didn't spend a lot of time at this free roadside attraction, but I think this is a surprising site that exceeded my expectation.  When you read that someone created a foam version of Stone Henge as an April's Fool joke, you expect something silly that is worth a short stopover, but, in my opinion, it is worth making the trip (although only if you are nearby).

Foam Henge!
- Humpback Rocks (Blue Ridge Parkway), we lucked out and this place wasn't a zoo when we arrived and it gives you a great view of the surrounding area.  Do note that there is quite a bit of a hike to get up to this point though.  Well worth it in my opinion.

Lowlights (only had one disappointment):

- Shenandoah National Park, while it isn't bad, it just did not compare at all, in my opinion, to what I got to see at the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP).  To add insult to injury, there is an admission fee to the park, mind you, it is only $20 and it is good for 7-days, you can get on the BRP for free and it is MASSIVE (over 490 miles).

Must try food places (in no particular order):

- Nine Mile, Allison really like the scallop and mussel pasta dish, and although my jerk chicken pasta was a bit confusing, given how much she liked her dish, I'd say it is worth stopping at.

- Sunny Point Cafe, both of our dishes here were really good and I really enjoyed the drinks and dessert that we had as well.

Huevos Rancheros.
Chicken and sweet potato waffles.
Ice Box Key Lime Pie.
What would I change?

- I greatly underestimated how large some of the areas that I was visiting and I should have done a bit more research.  Awhile I thought that we could do Clingmans Dome and Chimney Tops in the same day, it is a bit of a stretch when you include a lunch break inbetween and then having to drive all the way back to Asheville would have made for a really long day.  In hindsight, if I want to do more of Great Smoky Mountain next time, I would stay nearby in Cherokee which would save roughly 3 hours round-trip versus staying in Asheville.

Hope you enjoy reading about our trip.  If you have any questions about what we did, feel free to ask.