Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip
Road Trip Summary
Begin: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
End: Asheville, North Carolina
Distance: 469 miles
Time: 6 hours
Best Time: Summer and Fall
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular road trips in the United States controlled by the US Parks system. Driving Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smokey Mountains and then into Ashville, North Carolina offers a rich variety of experiences. Visit 19th century farms, mountain side hiking trails, views of picturesque valleys, and a number of natural wonders to explore.
Must see places include:
Skyline Drive- This three hour drive through the Shenandoah state park includes 75 lookout spots over the Shenandoah valley and the Piedmont. This drive is well worth the added time especially in the fall when colors change and the trees are decked out in reds, oranges and yellow among the greens of the evergreens.
Natural Bridge Zoo- This zoo has the largest collection and variety of animals in Virginia. A petting zoo and picnic area making it a great place to spend a few hours before heading on your way.
Humpback Rocks- Here you can hike to a high rock outcropping or explore a 1890’s farm. There are also some hiking trails and picnic areas.
Grandfather Mountain- On a visit to this mountain will you’ll stroll along the mile high swinging bridge, view interesting wildlife and even enjoy a kid friendly museum.
Linville Falls- In addition to the great views of waterfalls is the unforgettable Linville gorge and several relaxing hiking trails.
Craggy Gardens- Enjoy the mountain air and the amazing floral displays of wild flowers along the parkway.
Sliding Rock- A unique way to cool off when traveling during those hot summer months. This natural 60 foot rock water slide is sure to provide some thrills and spills as you head down into the cooling waters to the 8 foot deep pool at the bottom of the slide.
Museum of Cherokee Indian– Learn more about the early inhabitants of this region with a visit to this museum. The experience is educational and the displays are well worth seeing.
Luray Caverns- This guided tour of caverns filled with a variety of stalactites and stalagmites is sure to capture your imagination.
Explore Asheville This lovely city has museums, gardens, and some great Southern cooking. If you want sample some North Carolina’s great food all in one evening then sign up a food tour and eat your way around town.
Summer and fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway is normally clear and warm, but rain can fall unexpectedly so you will want to check the weather conditions before heading out for a drive or exploring.