ROAD TRIP

Drive Down the Blue Ridge Parkway

A father-daughter duo takes on the mountains and mansions along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

In nearby Blowing Rock, gently lilting music lures me across the town's too-cute Main Street toThe Dulcimer Shop. I bypass the wooden instruments for the patented Dulci-can, a one-string gizmo with a tin can at the end. My lame rendition of "Where Is Thumbkin?" wins the owner's smile of approval.

No local musicians get more love than Sons of Ralph, a bluegrass-Cajun-rock band. At the start of the trip, Dad and I caught the band's gig atJack of the Woodpub, in Asheville, and got a CD autographed by Ralph Lewis, 81, vocalist, mandolin­player, and father of two band members. The songs have made a fitting soundtrack. As we head back to Asheville, our meandering adventure drawing to a close, we join the chorus: "I want to travel from town to town, I'll never settle and as long as I live, honey, you know I'm the ramblin' kind."

ACTIVITIES
Tweetsie Railroad
300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln., Blowing Rock, 800/526-5740, tweetsie.com, $27, open May 1 to Nov. 2, 2009

SHOPPING
The Dulcimer Shop
1098 Main St., Blowing Rock, 828/295-3616, thedulcimershop.com

FINDING THE WAY
The launching-off point for this trip is a two-hour drive from the closest major airport, in Winston-Salem, N.C. It's handier to fly into Asheville Regional Airport, serviced by Continental, Delta, Northwest, and U.S. Airways. Roads in the area are beyond curvy, so distances take much longer than you might anticipate when looking at the map.

CURVES AHEAD

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

Budget Travel Real Deals


See more deals »

Video


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices