The Blue Ridge Parkway swings south from Asheville through Transylvania County on the approach to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, though you’ll save an hour or more by following the I-40 freeway to the junction with US-19, which links up with the south end of the parkway. This stretch of US-19, winding through the Maggie Valley over the foothills of the Great Smokies, is a very pretty drive, and absolutely packed with roadside Americana—miniature golf courses, trout farms, souvenir shops, lookout towers alongside pancake houses, barbecue shacks; you name it, it’s here.

Ghost Town in the Sky is more than an old Appalachian ghost town: it’s an amusement park with roller coasters, bumper cars, and all the usual suspects, high on the side of the Great Smoky Mountains. Built in the 1960s, the park today is a very odd combo of religious-themed Wild West amusement park with zip lines and quotes from scripture.