- By Kevin
- On Apr 24, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
New York, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Boston may all the main spots you must see in US East Coast, and so many tourists take the East Coast bus tours from New York to enjoy the attractions here, or just take a cycling vacation in North America also the best way for the holiday.
1st Destination of East Coast Tours -- Mount Mitchell Summit Return
Amazing riding awaits you today on the famed Blue Ridge Parkway. The route begins on the many switchbacks of Town Mountain as you climb out of town and drop onto the Parkway at Craven Gap. From here it's a 13-mile climb on mostly gentle grades, punctuated by panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as you make your way to the Craggy Gardens area. At the top of this long climb you can enjoy a boxed lunch and hike to Craggy Pinnacle with its 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks.
In late May and early June, the Catawba rhododendron that cover the pinnacle show off their stunning pink and purple blooms, and in the early fall the foliage begins its colorful display at this elevation of almost 6,000 feet. After lunch you can choose to ride back to town (as you guessed, it's mostly downhill!) or continue to the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet. The final 4.5 miles to the summit are some of the steepest of the day, but the views from the observation tower at the top are quite a reward! At nearly 70 miles, the avid option today is the most challenging of the trip.
Those who return to town after lunch can take some time to explore the various sections of Asheville on a historic trolley tour; arrange a visit to the Biltmore Estate; or browse the offerings of the many small vintage shops downtown. Whatever your day holds you are on your own for dinner this evening, with the impressive array of downtown options just a short walk away.
2nd Destination of East Coast Tours -- Asheville to Sierra Nevada Brewing
Pack your bags this morning for the only transfer day of the trip. Head out of Asheville through the beautiful and secluded Biltmore Forest neighborhood before riding a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway on your way to the new Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River. Here you can take a self-guided tour of the brewery and enjoy some samples of the 23 beers on tap with a lunch of chef-driven dishes that feature farm-to-table ingredients. If you want to call it a day here and shuttle to more samples at the Oskar Blues Brewery in nearby Brevard, we won't blame you!
However, for those who wish to ride between the two breweries, this afternoon offers some of the least hilly roads of the trip. Oskar Blues features a simple tasting room and outdoor patio where you can enjoy a pint before shuttling an hour to the small town of Highlands. Located on the Eastern Continental Divide at over 4,000 ft, Highlands is an oasis of high-end shops, restaurants, and lodging in the middle of a beautiful and rugged mountain landscape. This evening you are own your own to explore the culinary offerings of Main Street. Check out Wednesday bluegrass night at the Ugly Dog Pub for a taste of the local music scene and a hearty meal or try the upscale Madison's at the Old Edwards Inn.
3rd Destination of East Coast Tours -- Highlands to Cashiers
Take a short walk across Main Street for a hot made-to-order breakfast at a local cafe, then decide how you'd like to spend your day. We’ll offer an incredible morning ride that descends beautiful Buck Creek Road before turning onto Walnut Creek Road to begin today’s first long climb to the Macon-Jackson County Line. The terrain becomes more rolling as you ride past mountain homes and farms on your approach into Cashiers. Take a break for lunch at Cornucopia where you can enjoy a hot, delicious lunch on the porch. After lunch you may continue riding along the low-traffic Whiteside Cove Road, taking in views of the granite rock faces of Whiteside Mountain before hunkering down for the climb back into downtown Highlands on Horse Cove Road.
Alternatively, you may chose to get an espresso at Buck’s Coffee and check out the shops of Cashiers before shuttling back to Highlands for the rest of the afternoon. If you'd rather spend the entire day in Highlands and skip the ride you may schedule a day at the Spa at Old Edwards Inn, voted Hotel Spa in North America by Condé Nast Traveler in 2010. Or, peruse the shops in town, visit The Bascom: Center for the Visual Arts, or book a tee time at one of many nearby golf courses. Tonight you will gather for a final social hour and dinner at the Grill Room of the upscale Old Edwards Club as you raise a glass to your week exploring the unforgettable roads of western North Carolina.