I enjoyed talking to Good Day Charlotte (Fox 46) about The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic drive connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Cherokee, NC area) to Shenandoah National Park (Front Royal, VA). I've traveled it end-to-end with lots of repeat segments.
The Parkway is 469 miles WITHOUT stop signs and is closed to commercial traffic. It's administered by the National Park Service, and a strictly-enforced 45 mph speed limit makes it fun for all. Don't be caught unaware by rubber necking tourists. Slow down and watch out.
Plenty to do for all ages and interests: trails to hike, waterfalls to explore and overlooks for picnics. Several historic sites and arts and crafts. There is a minerals museum near Asheville on the Parkway. You can only get to Mount Mitchell (highest point on the East Coast) by way of the Parkway.
Take sections of it over several long weekends, or explore the region for a week.
Camping on the Parkway by permit. Lots of lodging in the towns that adjoin the Parkway.
The southern terminus of the Parkway is at the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, which is America's MOST VISITED. That's right, more than the Grand Canyon.
Linville Gorge is known for having most rugged wilderness area east of the Mississippi. It was the shooting location for the movie “Last of the Mohicans.”
Blue Ridge Music Center at the NC-VA border, also administered by the National Park Service, is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge.
Floyd General Store in Floyd, VA, is just off the Parkway and is home to "Floydfest," a roots and progressive world music festival in July.
Weather changes quickly at altitude so pack a jacket, even midsummer.