Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
5
About
This 469-mile scenic drive links Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while protecting the cultural and natural features of the Blue Ridge.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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  • Black and Silver Nomadic
    Box Elder, South Dakota199 contributions
    Incredible Drive
    This is an incredibly long and beautiful scenic drive that serves many purposes for us. We have taken chunks of this drive while exploring loops around the Smokies, Natahala and Pisgah Forests, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We also love this drive as it winds through Virginia, making a great route to travel into the Piedmont Triad. The road on this route is great in most all segments, and it's all around one of the most impressive driving paths on the east coast.
    Visited October 2022
    Written 7 December 2022
  • Roger B
    Columbus, Indiana3 contributions
    Traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway
    Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway (with my wife) from Cherokee to the Shenendoah National Park in our Porsche Boxster was our road trip this year. Entering the Pisgah Forest at the front end of trip was a highlight, especially staying at the Pisgah Inn. Great view and extraordinary food! We drove during the blossoming of rhododendron, laurel, and azalea...all at different altitudes was spectacular. Fortunate to see lots of deer, a few bear... and lots of tunnels. Stayed at mostly non chain hotels, restaurants, and visited charming little towns. Seeing Shenendoah N. P. was another National Park on our bucket list!
    Visited June 2022
    Written 14 December 2022
  • Ward D
    Satellite Beach, Florida2,736 contributions
    A beautiful drive winding through the mountains
    The Blueridge parkway is a 469-mile road that travels through the Great smoky mountains. It was designed to connect Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park during President Roosevelt’s era in 1935. It was finally completed in 1987. Most of the route is windy 2-lane road at various elevations with about ½ of the route in North Carolina and ½ in Virginia. Many parts of the road are at higher elevations so driving conditions may be challenging due to limited visibility or changing weather. There is no fee to use the parkway. There are numerous sights and pullouts for you throughout the park. The speed limit is mostly below 45 miles per hour and quite often lower than this. There is something for everybody along the trail from waterfalls to hikes to panoramic vistas. I would recommend that if you want to see the entire trail, you should take vacations and see parts of it on different trips. I highly recommend that you plan your trips on the parkway with the weather in mind so that you can get the best experience. I have taken some beautiful pictures above the clouds from several of the pull-offs. Overall, it is a great path to enjoy the mountain scenery and views. Enjoy!
    Visited October 2022
    Written 4 January 2023
  • Barry K.
    367 contributions
    A must-see!
    The best scenic highway on the eastern seaboard! We drove it from Little Switzerland to the Southern entrance at The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Cherokee, which is about 1/3 of its entire distance. Make sure you are making the drive with clear skies or you defeat the purpose. We were blessed to have perfect weather.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 3 June 2023
  • Herb The Explorer
    Charlotte, North Carolina20 contributions
    Breathtaking views!
    My 11 year-old daughter and I are taking a couple days to explore Western NC. Today, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway from Spruce Pine to Asheville, with a stop at Mt. Mitchell on the way. What a spectacular drive! This was my first time on the parkway and it was a delight to share it with her. There are so many overlooks with breathtaking views; it’s hard to decide which ones to stop at! We even saw a black bear!
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 June 2023
  • Garry P
    Ball Ground, Georgia56 contributions
    Maybe our best road trip ever!
    This is got to be one of the premier road trips on the east coast and maybe in all of America. Unbelievable views in both North Carolina and Virginia. NC being more mountains and valleys with Carolina a lot more country side dotted with farms and rolling hills. We went in a convertible Mustang which made the trip that more special and easier to see the beauty around us. The open road with no stop signs, no traffic lights, and very few other vehicles out there with you. Just God's majestic masterpiece everywhere you look. Do your homework before you go and make a list of the must sees along the route. Maybe our best road trip ever!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 August 2023
  • jlantern3
    Columbia, South Carolina12,515 contributions
    Always a great drive
    Traveled on the Parkway from Asheville to Mt Mitchell- once again a great drive. Stopped at numerous overlooks for great views. Well maintained road.. I did find the bike riders obnoxious- but , oh well.. I guess they have to travel too. I really enjoy the parkway... well worth a road trip!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 5 September 2023
  • Stefanie H
    Lincoln, Nebraska1,598 contributions
    Beautiful views
    It is such a pleasure to drive this scenic parkway! There are plenty of overlooks to pull over, as well as the visitor center, arboretum, craft center, Mt. Pisgah, etc. We were staying in Asheville and got on the parkway on the way to the airport, because it's not that far away. Take time to drive even just a portion - you won't regret it!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 September 2023
  • Vork Travel
    Saint Louis, Missouri88 contributions
    Gorgeous drive
    My husband and I drove part of this road as we were traveling between Shenandoah NP and the Great Smoky Mountains NP. We would have loved to drive the whole route, but we didn’t have enough time. We primarily drove it near Roanoke and near the North Carolina/Virginia border. The views from some of the overlooks were comparable to the overlooks in the parks. It was really gorgeous. Both days we drove it (Thursday and Friday), there weren’t too many other cars. Thursday, near dusk, we saw lots of deer. Every mile or so we would see more for probably five to ten miles. We also saw a huge (15+) group of turkeys one day, and a smaller (maybe 10) the second day. It was easy driving and a great alternative to the interstates.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 October 2023
  • Rochelle F
    Randolph, New Jersey973 contributions
    Lovely scenic road with lots of places to hike, visit overlooks and enjoy nature
    We started south on the Blue Ridge Pkway from N Carolina, not realizing that it is closed in 2 places after Cumberland Knob (mile market 217.5) where there is a 1 mile walk. They are doing construction there and then a bit further on a bridge so we had to detour about 40 miles+. We kept following the detour signs (vs getting on a main road and going straight to it later). We could not hike Fodder Stack Trail, or do Wildcats Overlook or Jeffress Park. We did end up in Blowing Rock (no good places to stay at last minute) and then Boone where we did stay. The next morning we continued to Cone Manor, in Moses Cone Memorial Park (lots of trails and nice to hike here) and did a nice tour of the historic house, and grounds and saw the Artisans area there. It is a scenic and twisty roadway that is very pretty. We had hoped the leaves would be changing but were about a week or 2 away from that. We continued to Linn Cove - there is an Observation deck with cool rocks (need to be able to clamor on rocks) to see a very nice view. We also hike to Linville Falls and did all of the viewings: upper, mid and lower observation areas. The falls were nice and it was a fun thing to do. The NC Arboretum is further south right off the Pkwy. There is a $20 parking fee and then it is free to tour the grounds. There is a lovely bonsai collection here. We picked up the Pkway again after visiting Asheville and went all the way to Tennessee via Newfound Gab Road which is a very scenic drive with lots of beautiful overlooks of mountains. This took us right into the Smokey Mountains where we did more hiking. Really a lovely area.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Arthur G
Endicott, NY779 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Take your time because there are scenic vistas around every bend in the road. The overlooks can be crowded but the sights are great.
Written 9 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tomterrific
Illinois74 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
What a beautiful to America. This road trip was relaxing, beautiful, exhilarating, inspiring. So much to see and do. You can do the trip at your own pace and include hikes, waterfalls and beautiful scenery. Two lanes with no billboards and no semis. Hundreds of overlooks, great picnic areas and a national park at each end. This should be on everyone's bucket list!
Written 26 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rochelle F
Randolph, NJ973 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
We started south on the Blue Ridge Pkway from N Carolina, not realizing that it is closed in 2 places after Cumberland Knob (mile market 217.5) where there is a 1 mile walk. They are doing construction there and then a bit further on a bridge so we had to detour about 40 miles+. We kept following the detour signs (vs getting on a main road and going straight to it later). We could not hike Fodder Stack Trail, or do Wildcats Overlook or Jeffress Park.
We did end up in Blowing Rock (no good places to stay at last minute) and then Boone where we did stay.
The next morning we continued to Cone Manor, in Moses Cone Memorial Park (lots of trails and nice to hike here) and did a nice tour of the historic house, and grounds and saw the Artisans area there.

It is a scenic and twisty roadway that is very pretty. We had hoped the leaves would be changing but were about a week or 2 away from that. We continued to Linn Cove - there is an Observation deck with cool rocks (need to be able to clamor on rocks) to see a very nice view. We also hike to Linville Falls and did all of the viewings: upper, mid and lower observation areas. The falls were nice and it was a fun thing to do.

The NC Arboretum is further south right off the Pkwy. There is a $20 parking fee and then it is free to tour the grounds. There is a lovely bonsai collection here.

We picked up the Pkway again after visiting Asheville and went all the way to Tennessee via Newfound Gab Road which is a very scenic drive with lots of beautiful overlooks of mountains. This took us right into the Smokey Mountains where we did more hiking.

Really a lovely area.
Written 22 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vork Travel
Saint Louis, MO88 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
My husband and I drove part of this road as we were traveling between Shenandoah NP and the Great Smoky Mountains NP. We would have loved to drive the whole route, but we didn’t have enough time. We primarily drove it near Roanoke and near the North Carolina/Virginia border. The views from some of the overlooks were comparable to the overlooks in the parks. It was really gorgeous. Both days we drove it (Thursday and Friday), there weren’t too many other cars. Thursday, near dusk, we saw lots of deer. Every mile or so we would see more for probably five to ten miles. We also saw a huge (15+) group of turkeys one day, and a smaller (maybe 10) the second day. It was easy driving and a great alternative to the interstates.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Passenger60491842495
2 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
I went to Fleetwood NC stayed in a beautiful cabin where the views were breathtaking. I saw hummingbird chipmunks deer. But the view of the mountains skyline. Nothing short of breathtaking
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stefanie H
Lincoln, NE1,598 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
It is such a pleasure to drive this scenic parkway! There are plenty of overlooks to pull over, as well as the visitor center, arboretum, craft center, Mt. Pisgah, etc. We were staying in Asheville and got on the parkway on the way to the airport, because it's not that far away. Take time to drive even just a portion - you won't regret it!
Written 18 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jlantern3
Columbia, SC12,515 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
Traveled on the Parkway from Asheville to Mt Mitchell- once again a great drive. Stopped at numerous overlooks for great views. Well maintained road.. I did find the bike riders obnoxious- but , oh well.. I guess they have to travel too. I really enjoy the parkway... well worth a road trip!
Written 5 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stevanee1
13 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
Beautiful views and waterfalls. I would recommend driving it at your own pace. Grab lunch before you head out. Great spots for picnics.
Written 20 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Garry P
Ball Ground, GA56 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
This is got to be one of the premier road trips on the east coast and maybe in all of America. Unbelievable views in both North Carolina and Virginia. NC being more mountains and valleys with Carolina a lot more country side dotted with farms and rolling hills. We went in a convertible Mustang which made the trip that more special and easier to see the beauty around us. The open road with no stop signs, no traffic lights, and very few other vehicles out there with you. Just God's majestic masterpiece everywhere you look. Do your homework before you go and make a list of the must sees along the route. Maybe our best road trip ever!
Written 6 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Road11992558364
1 contribution
Oct 2022 • Solo
A beautiful ride ruined by the uncourteous drivers who choose to back up traffic on the road instead of pulling into the overlooks. After an hour of the incessant stop and go, it's time to choose any other road.
Written 16 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Blue Ridge Parkway - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Blue Ridge Parkway