Blue Ridge Mountains, United States
When to go
For long days filled with hikes and outdoor adventure, head for the mountains between May and late October. Early October to November is prime time for lovers of fall foliage. Seasonal shops and restaurants close at the end of October. National parks begin opening back up in mid-April.
PlanesMajor international airlines, including United, Air Canada and Lufthansa, touch down in Charlotte Douglas Airport in North Carolina, 2.5 hours from Meadows of Dan (charlottedouglasintlairport.com). Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, NC, and Roanoke Regional Airport in Virginia are the closest domestic hubs. Private planes can land at Blue Ridge Airport in Martinsville, about 50 miles away from Roanoke.
TrainsAmtrak’s Cardinal Line runs from New York to Chicago; hop aboard in Charleston, West Virginia. Be warned, this is a slow-moving, 14-hour journey (+1 304 342 6766; www.amtrak.com).
AutomobilesA car is a must to survey the mountainside; rent one at the airport from (Avis www.avis.com).
TaxisThis ain’t cab-flagging country; all trips will need to be pre-booked. Try Granite City Cabs in Mount Airy (+1 336 786 8800). They’re happy to drive as far as you need.