21 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

21 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Banner Elk
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Asheville
— 8 nights
Drive
3
Cherokee
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Highlands
— 5 nights
Fly

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Banner Elk — 3 nights

Banner Elk is a town in Avery County, North Carolina, United States. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Banner Elk: The Greenway Trail (in Boone), Hawksbill Mountain Trail (in Linville) and Blowing Rock (Zipline, Handtiques, &more). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Grandfather Mountain State Park, sample the tasty concoctions at Appalachian Mountain Brewery, take in the awesome beauty at Grandfather Mountain, and explore the stunning scenery at Linville Gorge.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Banner Elk day trip planner.

Portland to Banner Elk is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. October in Banner Elk sees daily highs of 64°F and lows of 43°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Asheville.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 12:

Asheville — 8 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Explore Asheville's surroundings by going to Hendersonville (Justus Orchard, Lyda Farms, &more), Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (in Chimney Rock) and Lake Lure (The Gem Mine & Zipline). There's much more to do: cruise along Blue Ridge Parkway, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, go on a hair-raising tour with a ghost and vampire tour, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at The North Carolina Arboretum.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Asheville holiday maker tool.

You can drive from Banner Elk to Asheville in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. While traveling from Banner Elk, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Asheville, ranging from highs of 70°F to lows of 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Cherokee.
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Outdoors · Museums · Tours · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 20:

Cherokee — 4 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.
Explore Cherokee's surroundings by going to Max Patch (in Hot Springs), Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum (in Maggie Valley) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Bryson City). Next up on the itinerary: try your luck at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee, trot along with a tour on horseback, go for a walk through GSMNP - Deep Creek Trail, and take in the dramatic scenery at Soco Falls.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Cherokee online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Asheville to Cherokee in 1.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Highlands.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 24:

Highlands — 5 nights

Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Venture out of the city with trips to Franklin (Ruby City Gems & Minerals, Pickens Nose, &more) and Sapphire (Whitewater Falls & Gorges State Park). Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic scenery at Dry Falls, take in the dramatic natural features at Sunset Rock and Ravenel Park, walk around The Village Green, and get great views at Rhodes Big View Overlook.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Highlands fast, fun, and easy.

Getting from Cherokee to Highlands by car takes about 1.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Highlands can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 44°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 29:

North Carolina Mountains travel guide

4.6
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.
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