The Magical Mystery Tour

Sunrise over the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina
Sunrise over the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina
Several months ago I suggested to my assistant Amy that she set up a mystery trip for me. I instructed her to contact a public relations company or tourism board for somewhere in the world and set up a trip where I would have no idea where I was going.

So, set up the trip she did and all I knew is that on March 29th I was going to start in Charleston, South Carolina and go somewhere by car. Instructions were to be given to me by Amy via Twitter.

Given what is in driving distance of Charleston I figured I would be going to South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee or Georgia.

I ended up driving up Interstate 26 to Western North Carolina and the Smoky Mountains National Park. There I stayed in the small town of Bryson City and spent Friday visiting the park.

I’ve been to Great Smoky Mountains National Park before, but it was a brief trip I took back 2009 and I was only on the Tennessee side of the park. The Tennessee side is much more touristy due to its proximity to larger cities. The North Carolina side is much quieter and more peaceful.

I’m also guessing that western North Carolina is going to gain some popularity as it was the location where The Hunger Games was filmed.

This morning I was instructed to go to Asheville which is an hour away from Bryson City. Today I’ll be visiting Biltmore, the largest residential home in the United States and at one time, the largest in the world. It was built by George Washington Vanderbuilt II in the last 19th Century and measured over 135,000 square feet (12,500 m2

Tomorrow I’ll have one final drive to Charlotte before getting on a flight to San Francisco.

This was a fun exercise and something I’d like to do again. This was a pretty short trip and next time I’d like to do something maybe a bit longer or maybe something where I have to go to an airport without knowing what destination I’ll be visiting.