The ride from Asheville to Cherokee is IMO the prettiest stretch of the BRP.Not very far but could eat lunch in Cherokee (try Snappys) and maybe skirt over to Waynesboro and hit their shops.Then you could ride north to Boone and return.Also a pretty ride.Can't go wrong on the BRP.
The Asheville area probably has the greatest scenery. Near mile marker 380 is a visitor/craft center that has loads of BRP info. Going north, Mt Mitchel is about 30 miles away and a good place for lunch. About 70 miles north is the Linville falls and lynn Cove viaduct. Both good places to visit and there are many good places to stop and enjoy the sights.
Going south towards Cherokee you will pass Graveyards fields, water rock knob, and several other popular areas. These are pretty crowded on weekends but fun to see anyway. If you are into short hikes you can find that info at the visitor centers.
Be sure and take cool weather gear. The temp can change quickly even in summer. Traveling on the Parkway is S L O W. Speed limit is 45 but just too many good places to stop and enjoy the sights. Watch the tunnels, they are usually wet and can be slick even in summer.
Also look up 209 out of Asheville toward Hot Springs, NC. I think you gotta take 63 first. That's a REALLY nice road. Good lunch spots in Hot Springs too. And of course some "hot springs" if you wanna soak awhile.
The Applalachian Trail goes thru that town. 209 is a "Dragon" like ride in some places.
When you head from Ashville to Knoxville, bypass I-40 and take the "old" route on US 70. Runs along the French Broad valley and is real pretty. Not real twisty, but a lot more fun than the slab. Hot Springs is a nice little area.
Also, going West from Knoxville take Kingston Pike, which is US 70 still, at least until you get to Crossville. Nice riding past Ozone Falls (just a hundred yards or so from the road). Gets a bit flatter after that, but still pretty good all the way to Nashville.
The folk art center near Ashville is well worth the time.It is run by the Southern Highlands Craft Guild and the hand made furniture and crafts are high quality.
Any stretch of the BRP is worth the ride.Unless you have a lot of time get off at Cherokee so you don't have to go through the park and Pigeon Forge.That can take a long time.
Enjoy the ride
Going through the GSMNP can be very crowded, if you visit during the middle of the day. Definetley avoid the park between 9am and about 6pm. Bumper to Bumper. Depending on your route and timing you may have to hit some traffic.
From Cherokee, head straight over 441 to Gatlinburg. Unless you are just dead set about enjoying the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge experience, about 2 miles before you get to Gatlinburg, take a left at the Sugarlands visitor center. Head towards Townsand. From there you can follow 321 all the way to Maryville/Alcoa area. About 2 hours riding time from Cherokee. Maryville/Alcoa is just about 20 miles S of Knoxville so getting to the hoot will be easy from there. There are a a couple new motels right next to the airport. I live about 10 miles from this area and can make other recomendations if you need. Drop me a PM.
we did the BRP from Asheville to Cherokee during Wing Ding, nice ride, need about 2 1/2hrs to make it.
we stayed @ the Baymount Inn in Cherokee for 3 days, nice hotel, nice folks, $53 a night.
plenty of shopping & dinning, Harrahs for gambling, if you want.
did the Dragon, Cherahola Pky, no bad roads in this area, we even met Rick/ Yellow Wolf @ the store :wink: