Appalachian Trail Express

Southern Holiday

  • 7 Days | 11 Meals
  • Dec 7 - Dec 13
  • $1,959

Experience Christmas magic at the 96th Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival…Southern style!

Appalachian Trail Express

Journey through small towns and big parks along the legendary Appalachian Trail on this Sunrise Tours exclusive itinerary

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Oct 1 - Oct 8, 2022
8 days | 7 nights

The Appalachian Trail winds 2,189 miles and often takes hikers six months to complete. See highlights, including the Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah, and “Trail Town USA” on this abbreviated version. Step on the legendary trail yourself at several stops along the way and stay 2 nights in historic lodging just steps from the trail.

  • Stop for incredible views at the Newfound Gap and take your first steps on the Appalachian Trail
  • Visit the brand-new Trail Center, dedicated to celebrating the unique history of the trail
  • Visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum
  • Spend the day exploring beautiful Shenandoah National Park
  • 2 night stay at Big Meadows Lodge just steps away from the Appalachian Trail
  • Experience America’s newest National Park, New River Gorge
map

DAY 1: KNOXVILLE
Depart on this one-of-a-kind tour that journeys along America’s great pilgrimage, the Appalachian Trail. Overnight in Knoxville, TN. D

DAY 2: GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
See America’s most popular National Park amidst fall foliage with a local expert. Stop for incredible views at the Newfound Gap and take your first steps on the Appalachian Trail. Continue to Cherokee, NC to learn about the culture and history of the Native Americans that have called this area home for thousands of years. Travel north in the valley of the A.T. for a one-night stay in central Virginia. B, D

DAY 3: TRAIL TOWN, USA
Stop in Damascus, VA as A.T. “thru-hikers” have been doing for generations. Visit the brand-new Trail Center, dedicated to celebrating the unique history of the trail and those who accept the challenge. Enjoy lunch at the Damascus Old Mill and hear firsthand stories from an experienced thru-hiker. Continue to Staunton and check into the historic Hotel 24 South for a luxurious 2-night stay in this charming mountain town. B, L

DAY 4: STAUNTON
Named one of the top 10 mountain towns by Southern Living, Staunton is known for its historic main street and classic Southern architecture. Visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum and experience the history of the 28th President’s tumultuous term from the Spanish Flu pandemic to the first World War. After a guided tour of the area, enjoy time to explore all this great little town has to offer. B, D

DAY 5: SKYLINE DRIVE
Depart Staunton and join up with the Blue Ridge Parkway on Skyline Drive. One of America’s most beautiful scenic routes, Skyline Drive runs parallel to the A.T. as you enter Shenandoah National Park. Check into Big Meadows Lodge for the first of two nights spent just steps away from the Appalachian Trail in historic park lodges! Enjoy dinner in the rustic lodge dining room. B, D

DAY 6: SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
Spend the day exploring beautiful Shenandoah National Park at your own leisure. Experience nature from along the trails nearby or from an armchair at the lodge. Watch for the park’s most famous wildlife, the American Black Bear. Feeling inspired to take a hike on the A.T.? It's right outside your door and you can even hike to our next step.* By foot or by bus, enjoy the beautiful scenery as we move up the trail to our next historic lodge, Skyland Resort. B, D

*Note: On Day 6, those not taking the optional hike will travel by bus to the resort separately. While not handicap accessible, the trail is well developed and can be accomplished by hikers capable of walking about two hours at a comfortable pace. Elevation and terrain will vary.

DAY 7: NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK
While the A.T. continues North, our journey turns West. Arrive in West Virginia for an afternoon at America’s newest National Park, New River Gorge. Enjoy lunch in the park at Adventures on the Gorge, a resort and lodge on the banks of the New River. Continue to Charleston for an overnight stay. B, L

DAY 7: RETURN HOME. B

Dates:

  • Departure: October 01, 2022
  • Return: October 08, 2022

Pricing:

  • Double: $2099
  • Triple/Quad: $1839
  • Single: $2779

*Price per person

Average Temperatures:

Knoxville, TN: 70° / 49°

Abingdon, VA: 67° / 41°

Staunton, VA: 67° / 42°

Big Meadows: 65° / 44°

Skyland: 59° / 33°

Luggage:

Orange luggage tags are provided and are to be placed on your “checked luggage” (large bag). You do not need a tag for your carry-on bag, for which you will be responsible for taking on and off the coach. There is limited space in the cabin of the coach, so unless you require your carryon bag while traveling, we will stow it in the luggage compartment.

On the first and last nights of this tour, you are welcome to pack your carryon bag with essentials that would enable us to leave your “checked bag” on the coach. This will facilitate faster check-in and luggage delivery. This is not a requirement, merely a suggestion; we will deliver your “checked bag” to your room on the first and last nights if you desire, just like every other night of the tour.

Important Information:

New reservations will require a $250 per person deposit unless otherwise noted. As always, your deposit is still fully refundable for any reason until final payment. We are happy to accept cash, check (preferred) or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) for your deposit.

Throughout 2021 we limited capacity on all our tours. This policy was so overwhelmingly popular by Sunrise travelers, we have made it permanent. In 2022 and beyond, we will limit the capacity on our motorcoaches to 80%. Most Sunrise Tours travel on 50-seat coaches with extra legroom, which means guests will enjoy extra legroom AND at least 6-8 empty seats. In the rare cases when we charter a 55-seat coach, there will be at least 10 open seats on the bus.

Our popular on-board refreshment service on travel days will feature a variety of soda, beer, wine spritzers, juices and sparkling water choices served in recyclable aluminum cans. This is a safe and eco-conscious way for us to deliver the ever-popular Sunrise Tours “happy hour” on tour. We do not typically serve bottled water and ask that while on tour you be responsible for your own hydration and consider the Sunrise Tours drink service a welcome refreshment.

Terms and Conditions:

Please refer to our policies HERE for more information on our terms and conditions.

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