Drives 6 Full Itinerary

May 16th - 19th, 2022

Pre-Drives

Kentucky Dragway

Located southeast of Lexington, Kentucky Dragway was built and is owned by the Kennon Family. Originally known as Mountain Park Dragway, the eighth mile track opened in 1963 under NHRA Sanctioning. In 2001 Kentucky Dragway underwent a complete overhaul which included new grandstands, bathrooms and concrete barriers. Most recently, improvements to track lighting and concessions have taken place.

Hemlock Lodge

Hemlock Lodge is part of the State Park Lodges network in Kentucky (one of 17 other state lodges). Hemlock Lodge is also sometimes confusingly referred to as Natural Bridge State Resort Park, when in fact that name actually refers to the entire Park complex. Hemlock Lodge is a popular place to stay in the Red River Gorge area since it hosts the trailhead to Natural Bridge.

Hemlock Lodge is known for its classic state lodge room style. The rooms feature a great collection of mid-mod furniture and decor. The Hemlock also has the on-site Sandstone Arches Restaurant that is popular for its breakfast buffet (not included in room rental) and lunch buffet.

Day 1

Stop 1 - Kentucky Mist Moonshine

The founding of Kentucky Mist dates back to the days of American Prohibition or as Kentucky Misters call it, the dark ages! Distilling corn liquor and bootlegging in the Appalachian Mountains in Whitesburg, Kentucky was the family business for Henry Holbrook. The history of Mr. Holbrook's Kentucky Mist has a few twists and turns and even includes the notorious, Al Capone.

It's not all about the moonshine, but also their award-winning vodka! In fact, their 1902 Whitesburg Vodka is the only barrel vodka in the United States, winning a gold medal at the 2017 Sip Awards! Talk about a prestigious pour!

Now when it comes to the variety of moonshine, the sweet fruity sky is the limit as flavors include Apple Pie, Caramel Apple, and infusions featuring blackberry, cherry, cranberry, grape, peach and lemonade.

Stop 2 - Kingdom Come State Park

We will be entering the Park along Little Shepherd Trail (all paved) which will provide a drive along the top of the mountain and lead to several overlooks along the way.

Stop 3 - TBD - Portal 31 (currently under renovation) or Kentucky Coal Mining Museum

Stop 4 - Dragon Slayer Gift Shop & Hwy 160

Between Kentucky and Virginia snakes the Dragon Slayer Hwy 160, a 20 mile destination ride with more than 226 significant curves, breathtaking views and the highest point in Kentucky atop Black Mountain.

Stop 5 - Lunch - TBD

Stop 6 - Southwest Virginia Museum

A National Historic Landmark, the Southwest Virginia Museum is in an 1890s Victorian stone mansion with original oak interior. The museum's collection includes more than 25,000 pieces and state of the art exhibits telling the story of the exploration and development of Southwest Virginia from the pioneer era of the 1700s to the mining "boom and bust" era of the late 1800s. The museum also offers many interpretive and special events. The gift shop features unique items representative of the area's history and crafts made by regional artisans.

Stop 7 - Back of The Dragon Gift Shop

They have come a long way in a short period of time. The shop started with 400 square foot double-trailer gift shop, but the new 5,000 square foot Back of the Dragon store opened in May 2020 with a brewery, specialty coffee, yogurt, food trucks, merchandise, open seating, and a patio.

Back of the Dragon is a 32-mile road that features over three hundred curves making it one of the premier driving roads in the nation! The speed limit is 55 MPH but sports cars or motorcycles are hard-pressed to exceed that limit. Crossing three mountains on its path from Marion, to Tazewell, Virginia the Back of the Dragon offers curves, switchbacks, limited access, low traffic, and elevation changes that few other routes can offer.

Finish - The General Francis Marion Hotel

The General Francis Marion Hotel, once said to be the most elegant lodging establishment in Southwestern Virginia, reopened in February 2006. After almost two years of renovation and restoration, the grand old hotel was reborn with the comfort, convenience and amenities of a modern hotel while retaining the ambiance of the 1920's. National Geographic's Top 150 Hotels in North America.

Dinner will be at Hungry Brothers BBQ across the street from the hotel.

Day 2

Stop 1 - Backbone Rock

Backbone Rock gets its name from a spur ridge on Holston Mountain that abruptly ends at a bend in Beaverdam Creek. A tunnel was drilled through the rock in 1901 to allow railroad access between Shady Valley and Damascus, VA. Motorists pass through what is known as "The Shortest Tunnel in the World" as they travel along TN 133.

Stop 2 - Shady Valley Country Store

Our entrance onto “The Snake” begins here. Souvenirs, drinks, and a bathroom stop.

Motorcyclist from all over have been traveling to Johnson County Tennessee to ride “The Snake”. Packed with incredible mountain scenery, “The Snake” motorcycle trip is said to have 489 curves, 3 mountains, 1 valley packed into 33 miles! Our group is traveling the western half this morning.

Stop 3 - Johnson County Welcome Center

Bathroom break and a small Museum with exhibits that present the history of Johnston County.

Stop 4 - Elk Banner Winery & Villa

Banner Elk Winery & Villa is the jewel of the High Country, in an idyllic setting with luxurious accommodations for discerning travelers. Nestled in the awe inspiring majestic Blue Ridge Mountains stands North Carolina High Country’s original winery. Come for a tasting.

In 2005, the age-old tradition of winemaking made its debut in the region with the establishment of Banner Elk Winery. The first commercial winery built in Avery and Watauga counties. Banner Elk wines pay tribute to the rugged mountain landscape and capture the delicate nuance and subtle flavors of the fruit. Our vintners produce excellent wines that reflect the unique characteristics of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Stop 5 - Lunch - Switzerland Café

For over 30 years specializing in fresh, homemade sandwiches, soups and quiches. We have one of the largest wood fired smokehouses in the state, and our Applewood smoked trout and Hickory smoked Pork BBQ have earned us a place on the North Carolina Barbeque Trail. Our General Store offers picnic items, wine, beer and cheese as well as T-Shirts and souvenirs.

Stop 6 - The Diamond Back 226A

This 38-mile diamond shaped loop on NC 226A. This is one thrilling loop for motorcycles and sportscars. Today we will be doing the western section of 226A. Participants may continue and complete the loop should they choose to do so. The main group will be heading to 1927 Inn Lake Lure our hotel for the evening.

Final - 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa

Our hotel and dinner location for Day 2. The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & SPA became famous for its notable list of guests, ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to presidents Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt and if anyone is a fan of the 1987 Film “Dirty Dancing” take notice that not only did the actors, producers, and other staff stay at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn while filming in 1986, but some of the restaurant scenes were filmed in the Inn’s Veranda Restaurant and the mirrored practice room is now Roosevelt Hall.

Day 3

Stop 1 - Chimney Rock State Park

Drives teams will experience both 404-foot waterfall, Hickory Nut Falls and a 315-foot granite monolith named Chimney Rock, which is accessible by elevator and provides views of the park and surrounding countryside.

One of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut was a filming location for the movie The Last of the Mohicans. The falls are accessible via a gentle three-quarter mile walk on the Hickory Nut Falls Trail.

Stop 2 - Henderson County Heritage Museum

This museum, found within the Henderson County Historic Courthouse, seeks to preserve history and a sense of place. Consisting of six rooms, approximately 2000 square feet, the Museum spaces a designed for flexibility, capability, and versatility.

Stop 3 - Connestee Falls

Connestee Falls is an 85-foot waterfall near Brevard. It's easy viewed from the top with a ADA-accessible 50-yard boardwalk to the overlook with the crest of the waterfall just to your left. You'll also see Batson Creek Falls cascading across the ravine, meeting Connestee to form "The Silver Slip".

Stop 4 - Stumphouse Tunnel & Issaqueena Falls

Construction on Stumphouse tunnel began in 1856. By 1859, the State of South Carolina had spent over a million dollars on the tunnel and refused to spend any more on the project, therefore the tunnel work was abandoned. The tunnel had been excavated to a length of 1,617 feet of the planned 5,863 total feet. Today, where the tunnel was meant to end on the other side of the mountain, there remains a mound of earth (intended for the railway tracks) submerged during the summer months under Crystal Lake, located just west of Highway 28.

15-minute hike to Issaqueena Falls is an easy excursion for even the beginning hiker, and it’s rich in lore and history. That’s why it is no stretch to lump this 100-foot cascade among the most popular in Oconee County, and among the most beautiful.

Stop 5 - Mickey Piggs BBQ

Home of the finest genuine hickory smoked barbecue since 1994. The very best in Georgia BBQ.

Stop 6 - Road Atlanta

Opened in 1970 this track was instantly recognized as one the world’s best road courses. Car & Driver Magazine states that Road Atlanta “This undulating ribbon is still one of the most exciting places to drive a car, any car. And it's insanely quick. The only truly slow corners are the chicane and Turn Seven, which leads onto the back straight. We love the blind approach to Turn 12 and how you have to carry the precise amount of speed up the front straightaway into Turn One. The stretch out of that corner into Turn Five is like running through a huge soup ladle with curves in it.”

Final - Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

This recently built property is approximately 15 minutes from Road Atlanta which will allow us the ability to check in and clear our vehicles of luggage and any loose items prior to making our way to the track.
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