Civil War driving tour in North Carolina: A trip on the Blue-Gray Scenic Byway

A month ago, I wrote about a Civil War driving tour in Tennessee. Here’s another one I found out about in an engaging article by Jodi Helmer in the November/December issue of AAA’s Home and Away magazine.

Helmer followed North Carolina’s Blue-Gray Scenic Byway on a quest to find historic sites connected to the Civil War. The journey was a hunt and ask venture that wound through small towns and tobacco fields. As she found out, even a nondescript field where a battle took place has significance. Such was the case when she went into the Harper House, the now museum, but once farmhouse that was turned into a hospital during the war in order to treat soldiers who were wounded.

Other points of interest along the way were the Cliffs of Neuse State Park, the remnants of CSS Neuse–a ship used by the Confederate Navy, and small towns like Dudley, Seven Springs and Deep Run.

People in these towns pointed Helmer in the direction of terrific barbecue. She suggests Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro.

Reading Helmer’s article reminded me of the importance of pulling off the road once in awhile to read those brown historic markers and asking the locals, “Where would you eat and what’s worth seeing here?”

For more information about the Blue-Gray Scenic Byway, click here. One thing to keep in mind, many places are closed on Sundays. Here is a down-loadable brochure of the Civil War Trail another tour option.

Civil War driving tours in Southeast Tennessee

Here is a part of the U.S. that makes travel to it easy–and inexpensive with planning.

Southeast Tennessee tourism has handily divided aspects of travel to this region of the U.S. into various themes. There’s the Music Trail, the Farm Trail, the Artists and Fine Crafters Trail, the Religious Trail, and the Civil War Trail.

Each theme highlights a unique aspect of Southeast Tennessee culture, traditions and history. Click on the Music Trail link and there you are in a history lesson from Blues to Bluegrass. A calendar provides info about where you can hear the area’s music and purchase music-related items.

The Civil War Trail is a do-it-yourself driving tour that takes travelers past the places where soldiers traveled. There is a mix of museums, battlefields, railroad beds and historic houses that span 10 counties. (Click here to order a brochure.)

Even if you don’t have the chance to head here any time soon, the Web site offers a fascinating trip into the past.

For example, did you know there was a group of female rebels who made up an all female unit? Click here to find out more.

Sunday Drive: Tuscany Suggestions

Okay, it’s Sunday and still in the days before the calendar says that summer is officially over. Being that it’s still summer, and it’s a drippy grey day in Columbus, I’m thinking if I were to go on a drive today, where would be a terrific place to go. Someplace that looks golden. Italy came to mind. Here’s are suggestions I found at Foder’s Travel Guide under the link, “Tuscany scenic drives and wine tasting.’ From what I read, this is a perfect time of year to head to the hills.

(This photo by timory2 was taken last September and is called Tuscany: driving along the highway at sunset.)

The road between San Quirico d’Orcia and Montepulciano was one of the recommendations made by Stu Dudely. (the second post) It seems he has been to Tuscany several times, so he is a person whose advice is worth checking out. Other people who have followed his tips have recently left comments thanking him for his suggestions. His suggestions center around the more quaint and low-keyed towns and villages of the region and he waxes poetic in his decriptions of the freshly plowed fields, the castles, vineyands, olive growvs and farm houses that this journey meanders through. Wine tasting, of course is part of the pleasure.

Along with giving suggestions of what to see, Stu lists where to stay. One mention as stay worthy is Relais La Sarincina in Pienza. This is a small scale hotel. For upscale, I came across this one. Villa San Giovanni one place to consider wanting to feel like royalty is what you are after. It was once a palace, now turned into a hotel.

If you go on a drive in Tuscany, know what the driving rules are. Here are some tips to help you take in the countryside safely.