Day 1: Washington DC Arrival
0 mi / 0 km
Arrive at Washington Dulles airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 2: Washington - Gettysburg
100 mi / 161 km
This morning you will pick up your motorcycle at the EagleRider location in Chantilly, VA (just south of Dulles airport). Your exciting ride through Virginia, the oldest, largest and wealthiest of the American colonies and the single most powerful influence on the early United States, can begin…You embark on a non-stop history lesson! From Chantilly you pick up SR 28 and head north until you hit SR 267, make a right turn ahead towards Washington DC. Here, you take US 29, which will take you towards Baltimore, a very enjoyable stop en route. It’s closely knit neighborhoods and historic quarters provide an engaging backdrop to many diverse attractions here. Continue on Hwy 83 towards York – your interest here is the Harley Davidson plant, next to Milwaukee headquarters the York site is of most interest for bikers. The York plant is Harley Davidson’s final assembly plant and museum, the largest H-D facility, with more than 3,200 employees, who crank out 700 bikes a day! The popular guided tour takes about two hours. It begins with a brief history of the company, which is the only American producer of motorcycles still in business. The tour then takes you to a lineup of some 40 Harleys past and present, culled from the corporate collection of over 200 motorbikes. You then proceed to the shop floor for a close-up and (very noisy) look and listen as the bikes get put together: Sheets of steel are pressed to form fenders and fairings, and, once assembled, each bike is “road-tested” at full throttle on motorcycling’s equivalent of a treadmill. The plant is located off Route 30 at 1425 Eden Road, one mile east of Hwy 83. From here you head west and take Hwy 30 to Gettysburg. Overnight.
Day 3: Gettysburg - Leesburg
110 mi / 177 km
Gettysburg legend in American history is so large, it’s surprising to see that the actual places of note are confined within a relatively small area. Despite steady growth, Gettysburg at its core is still a village, reminiscent of the 1860’s. But it’s worth remembering - as you walk through the town - that the area in 1863 was heavily wooded. The forests here are long gone. This morning you might want to take some time to visit Gettysburg National Military Park. One of the coolest ways to see the Gettysburg Battlefield – besides on your motorcycle – is on a 1930’s Yellowstone Park bus. From Gettysburg you ride south – take Route 15 towards Leesburg. Just a few miles over the Maryland stateline you take Route 77 and enter Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain State Park. Of all the roads in America, this is one that needs to be ridden like an animal. This “thrill-a-minute” road rolls past valleys, twisties, lakes, sharp curves, deer and rivers.Turn left on SR 66 and drop south towards the town of Sharpsburg and the Antietam National Battlefield. From there you continue on Hwy 671, a fast two-laned road with pretty valleys and canopy roads that are in direct contrast to the sharp twists you’d been making before. After about eight miles you enter Route 9, which merges with Route 7 – your road to Leesburg. Leesburg is one of these places that’s just right for a bike ride. The downtown is of manageable size, there is plenty of parking for bikes, and the diners, nightclubs, and riders from assorted clubs are visible reminders that you are in the right place. Overnight.
Day 4: Leesburg - Waynesboro
140 mi / 225 km
From Leesburg you head to Shenandoah National Park. Ride south for a few miles until you get to SR 66. Turn right and this road will take you to the spectacular Skyline Drive, the best road to experience the park. Shenandoah National Park is one of the most popular National Parks in the east, especially during fall foliage season. It protects some 195,000 acres of hardwood forest along the northernmost crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive opened in 1939 and runs (at 35 mph!) over 100 miles between the I-66 and I-64 freeways. Make sure to take some time to walk around the dense green forests and innumerable waterfalls. West of the mountains from the south end of Shenandoah National Park on I-64 lies the quaint little town of Staunton, which was founded in 1732 as one of the first towns on the far side of the Blue Ridge. Unlike much of the Valley, Staunton was untouched during the Civil War, and now preserves its many 18th – and early 19th century buildings in a townscape so perfect, it was rated among the 12 most distinctive destinations in the US by the National Trust for historic preservation. We recommend a stop here before you continue to Waynesboro, where you overnight.
Day 5: Waynesboro - Roanoke
100 mi / 161 km
Waynesboro is your hub to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the most beautiful road ever built. This 469-mile-long toll-free dream starts in Front Royal, Virginia, winds through the Appalachians, and slithers to a close in Cherokee, North Carolina. You ride the northernmost 122 miles of the country’s great scenic drive. First proposed in the 1920’s, the Parkway was constructed 1935 – 1967, when it grew from a network of local roads to the current route, along with the billboards and commercial traffic are both banned.
While the Parkway avoids towns and commercial areas to concentrate on the scenery, many interesting towns and other places along the way are well worth a detour…at mile 6.1 Humpback Rocks has a short trail leading through a reconstructed historic farmstead, ending with a 270-degree view over the mountains…at mile 34:4 Yankee Horse parking area has an exhibit of an old logging railroad, part of which has been restored, and a short trail to Wigwam Falls…at mile 84 – 87: the most popular and most developed stretch of the parkway, the Peaks Otter section – three peaks rise above a small lake and give great sunrise and sunset views, many good trails, including a two-mile loop to Falling Water Cascades, let you escape the sometimes sizeable crowds. You head to Roanoke, where you overnight. Apart from Asheville at its southern end, Roanoke is the only real city that can claim it’s actually on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Roanoke has evolved into a sophisticated, high-tech city – the commercial, cultural and medical center of southwest Virginia.
Day 6: Roanoke - Richmond
170 mi / 274 km
From Roanoke you head east towards Lynchburg, where you pick up Hwy 29 to Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a richly historic college town that makes one of the most enjoyable stops in the state. It’s best known as the home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia. Charlottesville is holding some of the finest examples of early American architecture. From here you head 70 miles further east to Richmond. Located in the very heart of Virginia, Richmond and the Chesapeake Bay Tidewater are, in many ways, where the USA was born. Not only does this fairly compact area hold some of the most important surviving colonial-era sites, it is also where the strength of the nation was tested by the Civil War. Overnight.
Day 7: Richmond - Washington DC
110 mi / 177 km
From Richmond you take Hwy 1 towards Fredericksburg, which is about half way between Richmond and Washington DC. Fredericksburg is one of Virginia’s prettiest historic towns, with elegant downtown streets backed by residential avenues lined with white picket fences. Here, you want to park your bike, put on some walking shoes and do the town. We recommend stopping by the visitor center and purchase tickets for everything historical in town, such as the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, the Rising Sun Tavern, Mary Washington House, and Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park. These tours are a must while you are in town! From Fredericksburg you continue north to Washington DC/Chantilly. Upon arrival it will be time to return your motorcycle and transfer back to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 8: Washington DC Departure
0 mi / 0 km
Today your exciting trip will end with your departure flight back home.