I would STRONGLY recommend you the Blue Ridge Parkway... Check it out here: http://www.virginia.org/site/features.asp?FeatureID=183
You have plenty to do in the area, and coming from NJ, you could be there in 6 hours or so... I do the trip every weekend!
I am actually planning on taking a drive out there in the next couple of weeks...
Anyhow... If you decide to do it, hope you have tons of fun, and shoot 100s of photos.