I got some good tips below for the west/central NC area (near Boone, around the intersection of 421 and the Blue Ridge Highwa). But I need to think bigger picture for the ride down and back. I'll be going through DC on the way back.
At least one leg will involve taking 95 to 85 so I can stop for bbq in lexington. And one leg will involve the Blue Ridge Hwy (if it's open). But I don't have anything else figured out. Does anyone have suggestions that take me past both scenic grandeur AND at least some happening chow?