General Information

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The Blue Ridge Parkway spans 469 miles and winds through no fewer than 29 counties in Virginia and North Carolina, boasting stunning views of rugged mountains and peaceful pastoral landscapes along the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Highlands. As a vital greenway connecting two of the most popular national parks in the country, the Old Dominion’s Shenandoah National Park and the Tar Heel State’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway is often designated as America’s Favorite Drive.

Lodging – Before you begin your adventure the first think you need to decide is where you are going to stay. The choices for lodging along or near the Blue Ridge Parkway seem endless. You can simply choose a camping ground, RV Park, Bed & Breakfast Inn, Cottage rental, or more modern Hotels. The two most popular locations are in Virgina and North Carolina

  • North Carolina – If you stay on this side of the boarder you will be able to explore numerous trails, tours, canopy tours, zip lines, or paddle through some pristine rivers. You will enjoy the uniqueness of Asheveille. Major attractions include Biltmore, Pisgah National Forest, Chimney Rock State Park, and the Grandfather Mountain. To check for lodging availability click on the following link: North Carolina Lodging.
  • Virgina – Staying on the Virginia site you will enjoy a scenic highway connecting the Skyline Drive to Shenandoah National Park. Pass by the new recreated mountain farm at the beginning of the Parkway which will get you a glimpse of what the early settlements of mountain life looked like. Attractions to consider include Humpback Rock, James River, Peaks of Otter, Rocky Knob, and the Blue Ridge Music Center. To check for lodging availability click on the following link: Virgina Lodging.

You can also you the search box below to check you dates:

Dining – Next on your list should be places to eat. Its amazing how hungry you can get when you travel for pleasure. There are a number of on-Parkway restaurants for your convenience, and plenty more that are not far off the beaten path. We put together for you the top 10 rated restaurants available. Some offer good ol’ southern cooking while others focus more on contemporary and lighter fare. Whatever your taste, you’ll find… READ MORE.

Activities – Once your basic survival needs are set, that is food and shelter, you can set some time to explore the  top 10 attractions at the Blue Ridge Parkway area. Below are some of the most popular area activities:

  • Waterfalls, Vistas, Tunnels – Once you established your method of moving around you should begin to explore the Parkway’s more than 200 overlooks with their amazing vistas,  and 26 different tunnels. There are many gorgeous waterfalls to be seen along the Parkway, although most are only visible by parking your car and going on a hike. When you look at the listing of hikes on this website, pay particular attention to any trails that have…READ MORE
  • Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum – If you’re traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway, be sure to visit the Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum, a beautiful live museum featuring the Appalachian Frontier tradition. Staffed with historical actors in period clothing, the 18th century homestead gives visitors a feeling for the daily lives of early mountain settlers including how they survived on weaving, making candles, spinning, and blacksmithing…READ MORE
  • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad – Climb aboard, take a seat, and relax, for a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, one of the most the visually stunning tours through western North Carolina’s river gorges, valleys on the historic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. All train tours depart from the railroad’s Bryson City, NC depot, where guests can ride in vintage 1940’s railroad cars while passing through breath-taking natural scenery…READ MORE

Vineyards – After you have done several hikes and seen some amazing waterfalls you may be in the mood for some good old fashion wine. The Blue Ridge Parkway has a surprising number of vineyards that may be visited along the way. Here is a list of some of them by milepost: MP 0 – Barboursville Vineyards & Historic Ruins. This is Virginia’s most recognized vineyard with daily wine tastings. Besides the grapes, however, there is also award-winning...READ MORE

Other Things to do – One way to approach your time in the area is to focus on particular features or activities. There are three main ways of getting around on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and each one has its own merits. The most popular is driving (cars, motorcycles, RVs), followed by biking and hiking. The main thing to keep in mind regardless...READ MORE

Nature & Science – While you are enjoying a glass of wine from a vineyard, you may want to be on the lookout for many of the mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds living in the area. Watch out for the Shrew. And what is a shrew anyway? A shrew is like a mole, but smaller and not as built for digging as a mole is. They mostly hunt for insects above ground while the mole hunts for its insects in the tunnels it digs underground. But shrews will also go into those tunnels made by…READ MORE.

History – If you enjoy history, this area has quite a bit. There is a rich heritage of traditions to be explored along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This area includes 19th-century Appalachian farm buildings that come alive during summer months with living history demonstrations. The Humpback Rocks Visitors Center has exhibits on housing, entertainment, community and transportation of the region...READ MORE

Maps – You can download the maps of the area on the Map Page. You can also download detailed maps of the trail areas on the trail map page. As you explore this site, keep in mind that the easiest way to keep track of where things are at along the Blue Ridge Parkway is be referencing the milepost (MP) markers, which run from 0 at its northern beginning in Virginia to 469 at the end of the road in southwestern North Carolina.

Plan your Trip

Whether your main interests are hiking and biking, eating good food and drinking excellent wines, arts and crafts, history and museums, flora and fauna, camping and fishing, Cherokee culture and fall foliage, or exploring the Parkway’s many overlooks, tunnels and waterfalls, there is undoubtedly something for everyone. To make the best usage of your time we recommend you put together an itinerary…READ MORE