Plan Your Visit

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The key to having a “successful” trip is to plan your itinerary well in advance. If you are planning to be there for as long as a week, a month, or even a short period of a day, or just a few hours, its crucial that you put together a very detailed itinerary of what will be your priorities. Vacations (for most of us) are limited in time. and you therefore will want to use your time wisely.

Getting to the Park – First thing you need to do is to plan a way to get to the area. If your location is within driving distance (meaning for most people under 300 miles) then you can pack up your car, truck, or minivan (family travelers) and head towards the park. You can check out the Maps and direction section for additional information on driving. If you find yourself a bit further and require flying then you best options will be Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), which is located in the mountains of Western North Carolina. (offers non-stop flight from four major commercial airlines including Delta, Continental, US Airways, and Northwest.

Lodging/Hotels/Cabins (TOP 10)Now that you have figured out how to get the region the second priority is to find a place to stay. The choices for lodging along or near the Blue Ridge Parkway seem endless. You can choose to stay in a camping ground, RV Park, Bed & Breakfast Inn, Cottage rental, or more modern Hotels. There is also a list of the top 10 rated places to stay…READ MORE

Restaurants/Dining (Best 10) – For most people the next item of the list will be ‘making stomach happy’. Remember that a normal person may eat 3 meals a day, but a vacationing person requires at least double that amount. No one really knows why, but we do tend to get a bit hungrier more often when we travel. There are a number of on-Parkway restaurants for your convenience, and plenty more that are not far off the beaten path. Some offer good ol’ southern cooking while others focus more on contemporary and lighter fare. READ MORE

Adventures – Some have said that you can spend a lifetime exploring the many locations of the Blue Ridge Mountains area. You can simply just do some driving, biking, or hiking, and keep an eye peeled for wildlife that might cross the road at any moment. Exploring the many waterfalls, vistas, and tunnels is always fun. You can focus on the top 10 attractions, and certainly consider some of our favorite picks below:

  • 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
  • Biltmore Estate Tour – It’s said that the Blue Ridge Mountains have captured the hearts of simple men and captains of industry, and nothing proves that more than a tour of the Biltmore House, George Vanderbilt’s exquisite 250-acre estate and gardens…READ MORE
  • Blowing Rock – This location has is known by the famous quote “the only place in the world where snow falls upside down” by Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not, North Carolina’s Blowing Rock features an extraordinary air current that flows upward 4,000 feet over the rock’s overhang…READ MORE
  • Blue Ridge Music Center – As the epicenter of the bluegrass music scene, the Blue Ridge Music Center’s indoor and outdoor auditoriums are always filled with music fiddle, banjo, and guitar; and visitors can have an extraordinary experience listening to and learning about America’s living music tradition...READ MORE

Additional places to visit if you have extra time:

Vineyards – The Blue Ridge Parkway has a surprising number of vineyards that may be visited along the way. You do not, however, want to try navigating the Parkway while under the influence, so please use discretion. The first on the list (located in MP 0) is the 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

Last Minute Deals – Please check the Deal page for the most current discounts, coupons, and new deals available for all the Blue Ridge Parkway area adventures, Hotels, & Restaurants. The Page is updated daily for new offers...READ MORE

Packing Tips for a Good Trip –  Make sure to pack properly so you don’t ruin your experience. If hiking and doing some serious walking through the park makes your list, bring shoes that are built for such types of situations, sturdy & water resistant. (Your dress shoes will get destroyed!) Some trails can be quite messy and muddy. In addition remember to bring lots of water, a first-aid kit, and an insect repellants. (even if you don’t use it, its always good to have)

To summarize, the Blue Ridge Mountain area has quite a bit of  history and beauty making it one of the best places to visit on the Eastern Sea Board. Once you visit this area you know you will be back. Make sure to check back often for updates.