11 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

11 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina Mountains attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Blowing Rock
— 1 day
Drive
2
Asheville
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Cherokee
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Highlands
— 3 nights
Fly

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Blowing Rock

— 1 day
Blowing Rock is a town in Watauga and Caldwell counties in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): explore by horseback at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, take in the awesome beauty at Grandfather Mountain, and then steep yourself in history at Flat Top Manor.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Blowing Rock online journey planner.

San Francisco to Blowing Rock is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference when traveling from San Francisco to Blowing Rock is 3 hours. Traveling from San Francisco in October, things will get a bit cooler in Blowing Rock: highs are around 64°F and lows about 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Asheville.

Things to do in Blowing Rock

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

Asheville

— 4 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Change things up with these side-trips from Asheville: DuPont State Recreational Forest (in Cedar Mountain) and Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (in Chimney Rock). And it doesn't end there: take a memorable drive along Blue Ridge Pkwy, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, see the interesting displays at The Folk Art Center, and stop by Asheville Emporium.

Plan my day in Asheville using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Blowing Rock to Asheville takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Blowing Rock in October, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Asheville: temperatures range from 70°F by day to 47°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Cherokee.

Things to do in Asheville

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Cherokee

— 2 nights

Trails of Legends and Adventures

The center of Cherokee culture in the eastern part of the country, the town named after this Native American tribe serves as a base camp for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.
On the 23rd (Wed), take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, see the interesting displays at Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and then try to win big at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Thu): look for gifts at Mast General Store, then examine the collection at Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum, then explore the galleries of Oconaluftee Indian Village, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Mingo Falls.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Cherokee trip planner.

Getting from Asheville to Cherokee by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in October, and nighttime lows around 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Highlands.

Things to do in Cherokee

Museums · Outdoors · Adventure · Tours

Side Trips

Highlands

— 3 nights
Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. Get out of town with these interesting Highlands side-trips: Whitewater Falls (in Sapphire) and Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino (in Murphy). And it doesn't end there: take in the dramatic scenery at Dry Falls, cruise along Cherohala Skyway, stop by TJ Bailey's, and take in the awesome beauty at Whiteside Mountain.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Highlands route tool.

You can drive from Cherokee to Highlands in 1.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Highlands

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

North Carolina Mountains travel guide

4.5
Historic Sites · Zipline · River Rafting & Tubing
Called the "Land of the Blue Mist" by the Cherokee Indians, the North Carolina Smoky Mountains are one of the world's most biologically diverse wilderness areas. The vast national park sheltering the native wildlife of these ancient mountains offers a close look at the area's nature and its people. A perfect spot for a tranquil vacation, the blue-misted mountains are one of the country's few World Heritage Sites, protecting the largest old-growth forest east of the Mississippi River. Things to do for adventurous visitors include whitewater rafting and river tubing, while those interested in more urbane entertainment can explore the area's many small towns on the 750 km (470 mi) scenic road meandering over the mountains.