Vacations in the Eastern U.S.A.
Blue Ridge Bicycle Tour
A Five Day Bicycling Vacation of the High Country of Southwestern Virginia
(**Note: Itinerary Details are subject to change)
Come ride the Blue Ridge Mountains. Southwestern Virginia is home to beautiful sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the charming arts community of Floyd, bustling Blacksburg and mile after mile of beautiful road cycling.
(**Note: Itinerary Details are subject to change)
Meet us at historic Hotel Roanoke downtown. Arrive early to explore this evolving railroad hub. (See below for things to do in the area) We'll take a warm-up ride this afternoon to explore the nearby hills, including Mill Mountain, home to Roanoke's iconic star. From the top, take in a sweeping view of downtown Roanoke, the vast railroad yards, and the surrounding mountains. Dinner will be included at an excellent restaurant downtown.
Bicycling Distance: 25 miles, hilly mountainous terrain
Blacksburg's downtown shops and the nearby Smithfield Plantation are highlights. Smithfield is the meticulously restored 1774 home and gardens of Colonel William Preston and his descendents. Nearby is the Drillfield, the enormous central green space of the VT campus. On the Drillfield you will find the War Memorial Chapel and the April 16 memorial, honoring the memory of those lost in the tragic shooting of 2007. Surrounding the Drillfield on all sides are buildings of neo-gothic architecture clad in local limestone, known here as "Hokie Stone."
Bicycling Distance: 54 miles, hilly mountainous terrain
Today we say goodbye to Blacksburg and head south to Floyd County. We'll end up in the funky, artsy community of Floyd. Famous for live Bluegrass and roots music concerts, Floyd has attracted a cluster of artists and others looking for a small town with culture. Floyd residents are happy that there is only one stoplight in the entire county! Our hotel, in the heart of the community sponsors a concert series every Thursday evening at the nearby Floyd Country Store. Read more about Floyd here: Click
Bicycling Distance: 20 - 50 miles, hilly mountainous terrain
We'll enjoy breakfast with the locals at the Blue Ridge Diner on Main Street. A diner has been here since the 1920's, but the walk-in cooler is the bank vault installed by the building's original inhabitant in 1897. More Floyd County back roads and a wonderful stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway beckon us out today. Along the way, we will pause to see Mabry Mill, the most photographed single spot on the Parkway. At lunch, we will hit Chateau Morrisette Winery for a nice meal and wine tasting in their beautiful facility. We'll wind our way back to town, where you are free to explore local dining options and live music on your own.
Bicycling Distance: 50 miles, hilly mountainous terrain
Its time to make our way back to Roanoke. The Blue Ridge Parkway will provide the longest segment of the journey, including a spectacular sustained descent from Bent Mountain. Begun as a works project in 1935, the BRP is a 470 mile scenic drive stretching from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The section that we will enjoy on this day has the characteristic small farms and meadows, split rail fences and occasional overlooks. Just outside of Roanoke, we'll descend from the Parkway into Roanoke Valley. We'll wrap things up with a final lunch back at the hotel. As with all of our tours, showers are available prior to departure.
Bicycling Distance: 47 miles, hilly mountainous terrain
|We will be in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the terrain is very hilly. Daily route distances describe above are approximate, and options for more and less are always available. Cyclists can take advantage of short cuts and "leap frog" van shuttles along the route to tailor the route to their needs.|
|Extend Your Vacation:|
Before or after our activity packed tour, you may want to tack on a few days. There is a lot to do in and around Roanoke if you have time.
Downtown Roanoke is home to these excellent attractions:
Taubman Museum of Art: Modern and contemporary art from around the world is featured, as well as regional art and touring exhibits.
O. Winston Link Museum: Housed in a restored, Loewy-designed railway passenger station, the museum exhibits the largest collection of Link's photographs of 1950's life along the N&W railroad.
History Museum of Western Virginia: Exhibits show history of the region -- Native American, photography, military, folk-life. Location in downtown's historic marketplace.
Virginia Museum of Transportation: Explore historic locomotives, cabooses and other rail equipment; antique automobiles, trucks and buses; and the new Wings over Virginia Aviation Gallery.
Hiking and Mountain Biking:
Carvin's Cove Natural Reserve, just north of town, is the nation's second largest municipal park, and is home to 40 miles of mountain bike trails.
The Appalachian Trail hiking trail passes by Roanoke. McAfee Knob offers panoramic views of the region.
Bedford, VA, 29 miles east is home to:
National D-Day Memorial: Bedford VA suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation. The National D-Day Memorial honors the Allied forces with stylized English Garden, haunting invasion tableau, and striking Victory Plaza.
|Getting to the Tour Start (Roanoke, VA):|
Driving: Approximate travel distance to downtown Roanoke:
The airport is just minutes from Hotel Roanoke.
We plan to wrap up around 3:00 p.m. on the final day. Your return flight should be no earlier than 5:00 p.m. that evening.
Call 888.251.3206 (local number is 336.794.1054) or click here to make your reservation today!
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Carolina Tailwinds P.O. Box 24716 Winston-Salem, NC 27114-4716 888.251.3206 or 336.794.1054