Your Dover to Asheville road trip has excitement written all over it with outdoor excursions to a couple of iconic national parks, fascinating cities, and educational points of interest. Visits to Washington, D.C., and Richmond take you to historical locations at the National Mall and the Hollywood Cemetery for a bit of reflection and a few ghost stories. At Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, you'll explore oodles of beautiful terrain and have a few unexpected adventures at Hillbilly Golf and Ole Smoky Moonshine. Time spent at the Black Mountain Chocolate Factory and the Museum of Life and Science perfectly round out your trip with chocolate tastings and explorations of some intriguing exhibits.
Your road trip from Dover to Asheville is the perfect time to explore a couple of the most breathtaking American national parks.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is a fantastic stop to add to your Dover to Asheville road trip itinerary. At this lush location, you'll have 500 miles of hiking trails to explore, leading you to some of the park's most beautiful attractions at Old Rag Mountain, Stony Man, Dark Hollow Falls, and Little Devil Stairs. You'll also find a few excellent wineries nearby as well as two cave systems, Skyline and Grand Caverns, with tours that are definitely worth a visit. You can also head out into the wilderness to check out President Hoover's early 20th-century cabin retreat for a little local history at Rapidan Camp. Make sure you cruise down famous Skyline Drive, a 105-mile highway that runs through the entire park and spend a night or two watching the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains and stargazing.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Just 50 minutes away from Asheville lies Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At this iconic destination, you can hike to the tallest peak in the park at Clingmans Dome, where you'll be rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views of the Appalachian wilderness. You can head to some noteworthy geological landmarks at Charlies Bunion off the Appalachian Trail, the Chimney Tops, Sugarland Mountain, and the "Eye of the Needle" near Little Duck Hawk Ridge to snap a few photos. In these mountains, you'll also discover a couple of not-so-hidden gems where you can work on your putt at Hillbilly Golf. You and your crew can swig some honest-to-goodness "bathtub gin" at Ole Smoky Moonshine. This is another great park to spend some time exploring, so be sure to tack a few extra days onto your itinerary.
Check out some state parks for a little R&R and local history lessons as you travel south from the East Coast.
Pocahontas State Park
Pocahontas State Park is the largest state park in Virginia and has more than 60 miles of trails, a nature center with wildlife exhibits, a museum about the national park system, and an aquatic recreation center. Rentals for canoes, rowboats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are available, so you can enjoy every acre of Swift Creek Lake. Depending on the time of year, you may also get to see a live event at the park's Heritage Amphitheater.
Occoneechee State Park
Occoneechee State Park is a great place to unwind and enjoy a relaxing day of fishing on John H. Kerr Reservoir, Virginia's largest lake. This massive area features 800 miles of shoreline, three boat ramps, a marina, and a fuel dock for your aquatic pleasure. On land, there are over 20 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails for you to explore, along with a visitor center and a museum where you can learn about the Native American history of the area and the original Occoneechee people.
Kings Mountain State Park
Kings Mountain State Park near Blacksburg, SC, has plenty of outdoor fun and history for you to get into with two fishing lakes and over 20 miles of nature and hiking trails to enjoy as well as nearby access to Kings Mountain National Military Park. On the premises, there's also a replica of a 19th-century farmstead, The Living History Farm, that offers insight into the post-Revolutionary War era. Canoes and paddleboats are rented seasonally here, and camping is available year-round.
Edgar Allen Poe's House and Grave
You can't pass through Washington, D.C., without veering north to check out Edgar Allen Poe's House and Grave in Baltimore. Take a tour of Poe's haunted house to see some of his personal artifacts and listen to stories about his life and writing; then, head to his grave downtown to marvel at his headstone that bears a line from his most famous poem: "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'" If you want to check out more Poe-related sights, you can also belly up to The Horse You Came In On Saloon, a 200-year old bar that is said to have served Edgar Allen Poe his last drink and visit the site of his actual death where the former Church Hospital stood.
Museum of Life and Science
The Museum of Life and Science in Durham is a museum unlike any other. This 84-acre ode to discovery is comprised of indoor and outdoor exhibits that are largely hands-on. Some of the areas that you'll want to see and explore are Carolina Wildlife, Explore the Wild: Red Wolves, Hideaway Woods, Magic Wings Butterfly House, and Into the Mist.
Black Mountain Chocolate Factory
Check out Black Mountain Chocolate Factory as you pass by Winston-Salem for a guided tour and chocolate tasting. On the tour, you'll learn how the process of making delicious chocolates works from the bean to the bar, in addition to experiencing the inner workings of the factory. After the tour, you can munch on more goodies from root beer floats to tarts and ice cream.
A stop in Washington, D.C., is a must on your Dover to Asheville RV road trip as history awaits when you head to the National Mall to view a few iconic locations at the Lincoln Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument. If you're looking for a good time that's fun and informational, check out Profs and Pints for a few stimulating talks that you can enjoy with a beer in your hand. Nighttime is definitely the right time to head to the country's oldest continuously operating jazz club for classy cocktails and Creole cuisine at Blues Alley.
Cherry Hill Park is in a great location with fast access to the city and excellent amenities that include a hot tub, splash park, two pools and a dog walking service. A dump station is also available for campers.
In Richmond, you'll have opportunities to delve into the history and lore of a few famous hot spots and experience a couple of the city's best craft breweries. You can start at the Ruins of Belle Isle for a few hundred years of history located on the east end of the island. Follow it up with a tour of the Hollywood Cemetery where two U.S. presidents are buried, along with an eerie urban legend of the "Richmond Vampire." Next, check out Scott's Addition Historic District to find the best craft brewery the city has to offer at Hardywood Craft Brewery and grab a pint of Hardywood's Capital Pale Ale, a charitable beer that supports a local walking trail.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is a city that overflows with creativity, unique art installations, and thought-provoking poems that just happened to be painted on quite a few buildings around town. See if you can spot some of the Wall Poems of Charlotte on your way to check out Czech artist David Cerny's ever-changing Metalmorphosis sculpture at the Whitehall Technology Park; then, pop into the Pauline Tea Bar-Apothecary for a sweet treat and a cup served in the teacup of your choice. If you feel like seeing a movie, head over to BB&T Ballpark for movie-style concessions and starry night skies at Flicks on the Field.
Carowinds Camp Wilderness Resort offers plenty of luxurious amenities and next-door access to the Carowinds theme park. On site, you'll find a dump station, trading post with a general store, hot showers, and a pool.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Dover to Asheville, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Dover or Asheville.