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Thread: Looking for some travel tips, SC/TN/KY/WV

  1. #1
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    Looking for some travel tips, SC/TN/KY/WV

    I know quite a few Creekers live in this part of the county. Hoping to solicit your sage advise.

    We will be spending a couple weeks this March travelling around this part of the country. Neither of us has spent time here. My GF has a work thing in Charlestown SC, so I'll meet her there. We'll spend a couple days in that city, then head to Myrtle Beach for a couple days. I have not ever been to either of these cities, but have always wanted to visit and check them out. After that, we plan to head west, and spend about ten days cruising around in a rental car, no solid plans of yet. I want to see this country, and I've also been contemplating relocating somewhere else for my retirement years. TN/KY/WV are my list of places to check out before I commit. TN is an obvious choice, and is often referenced as a great state to relocate to, while KY and WV not so much. But, I see pictures and video of KY and WV and both states look beautiful to me.

    We plan to spend a couple days in Nashville, because, we might as well...... Seems dumb to not. I also want to see the town of Franklin. Heard to much about it to not spend some time there. It's way to spendy to actually move to, but a visit is definitely on the list. We also like a good whiskey, so we plan to spend two or three days visiting distilleries around Louisville KY.

    I would be quite interested to spend some time getting to appreciate these states, the culture, people, scenery, food etc. And if there are any "must see/experience" places to visit, please share. I'm OK with being a tourist.

  2. #2
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    While Nashville is certainly interesting and enjoyable, I'd encourage you to also spend some time in or around Chattanooga. It is historically significant both in the Civil War era and the Train era. Additionally, we really enjoyed the river walk and aquarium. I'd also encourage you to visit the mountain portion of North Carolina if you have time, as it is very beautiful and much different than the eastern part.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drew View Post
    I also want to see the town of Franklin.
    My wife & I have lived in Franklin for 30-some years, so I may be able to answer a few questions. Our downtown is very walkable, with lots of small shops (that I never visit, since I am not their target market ). There is plenty of Civil War history here, if that is your bag. Some of our best scenery is just west of town, on the Natchez Trace, or in Leiper's Fork (which also has a pretty cool distillery.)

    Good luck on your travels!

  4. #4
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    +1 for the Natchez Trace parkway. The arboretum at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville is memorable. When we drive to see the kids Our 1/2 way stop is Carter Caves State park & resort in KY. It is more to our liking than a hotel by the highway, it's not far from Whiskey country. I think you will enjoy yourselves!
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    While Nashville is certainly interesting and enjoyable, I'd encourage you to also spend some time in or around Chattanooga. It is historically significant both in the Civil War era and the Train era. Additionally, we really enjoyed the river walk and aquarium. I'd also encourage you to visit the mountain portion of North Carolina if you have time, as it is very beautiful and much different than the eastern part.
    Thanks Lisa. Chattanooga is also on the route. I forgot to mention it. I am literally dropping pins on Google Maps now, picking a route for the trip. To travel though the mountains of SC, from Myrtle Beach, which highway would you suggest? I am assuming they are west? Do you have a favorite town to stay overnight at?

    I should also mention I am not a 'city guy'. Although, I do like to visit them, so long as I can escape them after I've had enough......

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John M Wilson View Post
    My wife & I have lived in Franklin for 30-some years, so I may be able to answer a few questions. Our downtown is very walkable, with lots of small shops (that I never visit, since I am not their target market ). There is plenty of Civil War history here, if that is your bag. Some of our best scenery is just west of town, on the Natchez Trace, or in Leiper's Fork (which also has a pretty cool distillery.)

    Good luck on your travels!
    Thanks. Natchez Trace pinned..... I wouldn't say I'm all that into the civil war. I have studied it, a lot. I would say I'm more generally interested in history, than a particular time or event. I find it all fascinating. I friend of mine just wont stop talking about Franklin, and how much she likes that area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    +1 for the Natchez Trace parkway. The arboretum at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville is memorable. When we drive to see the kids Our 1/2 way stop is Carter Caves State park & resort in KY. It is more to our liking than a hotel by the highway, it's not far from Whiskey country. I think you will enjoy yourselves!
    Kentucky has caves? I did not realize this.

  7. #7
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    Don't know if you get into bungee jumping, and even if you don't, the New River Gorge Bridge is pretty neat. They have a really nice interpretive center telling the story of how and why it was built.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  8. #8
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    After Charleston and Myrtled Beach, See the better part of South Carolina.
    Head north on I-26 and stop in Greenville, SC. We do have 4 seasons, winter is mostly rain.
    Great downtown, close to the mountains and hiking
    Then up to the Ashville NC area, then head west on I-40 for the rest of your trip

    Howard Garner

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drew View Post
    Ö

    Kentucky has caves? I did not realize this.
    Actually KY has the worlds longest cave with over 400 miles explored so far. Although itís not the prettiest cave Iíve seen.

    https://www.discovery.com/exploratio...st-cave-system

    TN has no state income tax, but it makes up for that with a higher sales tax. Live near state border could allow you to cross state lines to save on sales tax for big items though.

  10. #10
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    If you're a car guy, the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is really . Was there just before the cave-in and I heard from a buddy that it's even better since they fixed it.
    BillL

  11. #11
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    Yes they have a section over the cave in, with a glass floor, so you can walk over it and look down at a couple of cars they did not pull out of the sink hole.

  12. #12
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    In Charleston, be sure to go to the City Market, Fort Sumpter, Rainbow Row, and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Look for the earthquake bolts on the older homes in down town Charleston. Be sure to purchase some of the Grass Baskets in Charleston area. Folly Beach and Sullivans Island are also nice places to tour. Sample some Low country food, best eaten in the warm familiarity of someone's home, but some restaurants are pretty good. It's centered around large, one-pot meals like gumbos, catfish stew, shrimp and grits, benne-oyster soup, and seafood boils.

    If you are interested in Trains take a look at the Cass Scenic RR in Elkins, WV. They have several Shay locomotives that are still operating.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  13. #13
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    With a limited time trip, of the beaches I've been to and want to go to, I can't think of a single one ranked below Myrtle Beach. My Wife's Sister owns a place there, and they love it, but it's not for us. They like Commercial crowded places, and feel scared driving around the dark country here at night. I'm more scared of driving around in a city in New Jersey where they live at night. Different strokes.

  14. #14
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    Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

    If you decide to visit West Virginia you can experience the mountains best by renting a UTV and ride the Hatfield McCoy Trails. It's an all-day roller coaster ride with over 1000 miles of trails in the mountains. Beautiful country and friendly people. You can join a group of riders by connecting with any one of several guides who provide an all-day guided tour. You will travel though the creeks and rivers, climb steep trails to areas you will never see in a car. There must be hundreds of trail exits into small towns that you can ride a UTV on the public roads to get fuel and the best food you ever enjoyed.

    Warning, if you visit the Hatfield McCoy trails once you will get the fever and soon own a UTV so you can travel back to WV several times each year like I have over the last seven years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drew View Post
    ...TN is an obvious choice, and is often referenced as a great state to relocate to, while KY and WV not so much. But, I see pictures and video of KY and WV and both states look beautiful to me. ...
    I've spent a lot of time in KY and TN (lived here for over 50 years) and some in WV. You can find wonderfully beautiful places in all of those states. I absolutely love TN. I could write a blog on the advantages but just a few points about TN.

    There are also many significant places worth visiting, too many to list here, and some depending on the things you enjoy. For example Nashville has a full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon, well worth the visit IMO. Chattanooga is worth spending a few days for some of the historical sites, aquarium, museums, views from the mountain.

    In past years I've written much more about this area to some looking for a place to move to. Two of those that I know of packed up and moved here and told me years later it was a great decision.

    A FEW POSITIVES
    Cost of living is low.

    No state income tax or wheel tax.

    Land and housing still available at reasonable prices, especially if you get out in the country a bit. (20 years ago I bought a 27acre property with timberframe house, barn, etc for less than a house in the suburbs or at the fringes of the cities at the time. It's a relatively secluded area but still 10 minutes from grocery, drug store, hardware, farmer's coop, 6 miles from a Walmart and the I-75 interstate.

    East TN is a hotbed of technology, manufacturing, education, and culture with museums, craft schools, orchestra, playhouses, the Oak Ridge National Lab, and far more. Some of the schools are among the best in the country. Plenty of live music every week, jazz, classical, rock, country, folk, more. I have a friend that can give you details of more places to see/visit/here than you could do in a year of visits.

    Outdoor activities: the Great Smoky Mtn nation park, many lakes for fishing/water sports, etc, lots of sports (football, etc) if you like that sort of thing. Incredibly opportunities for driving in the undeveloped wooded wilderness, regular car or 4WD. Hiking trails everywhere (including the Appalachian Trail) You are almost guaranteed to see wildlife. Many photo opportunities.

    Lots of woodworking/woodturning opportunities: clubs, guilds, etc.

    This part of the country (and nearby states) is saturated with hardwoods and almost all of it can be had for free for a bit of work. Many sawmills including one behind my barn.

    We live in East TN near Knoxville. This location is central to much of the eastern US. From here in one reasonable day I can drive to the Atlantic coast, to places in Ohio, PA, Maryland, DC, Florida, Alabama, etc. Very close to Asheville, a center for culture, major galleries. Just 4 hrs from Atlanta for more stuff. Practically down the road from Lexington KY and Cincinnati.

    There are excellent major medical facilities.

    Low crime rates (outside of an exception in a couple of major metro area)

    Protected by the mountain ridges, this area is mostly bypassed by the storms that are increasingly terrorizing much of the country. Effects of hurricanes are minimal, a tornado is rare.

    The climate is moderate, not Southern California but not often very hot or very cold for more than a few days. Snow is usually light and gone in a day or two. Humidity can be high in the summer but not as intense as some areas further south. Some climate averages for this location: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/@z-us-37716/climate

    There are bad eggs everywhere, but the large majority of the people are friendly and help each other with problems (regardless of their political affiliation!)

    SOME NOT-SO-POSITIVES
    The major cities are growing rapidly and getting pretty crowded. Knoxville itself has traffic jams at certain times of the days. The areas in and around Nashville and Chattanooga are what I consider impassible at times. I won't even talk about Memphis.

    People from all over the country are discovering TN and buying property and moving here, many from the west where to escape the fires and storms, some from further south and a bunch from the freezing north. If interested in moving, don't wait too long! Prices have come down recently but interest rates are up, of course, great if you have cash to spend.

    If you have time look me up and I'll show you my little paradise and point to some local places to see. I'm about 30 minutes north of Knoxville, depending on how fast you drive.

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 01-20-2023 at 12:38 PM. Reason: fixed information error

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