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“Gorgeous, Scenic Drive” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville, NC
828-298-0398
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$75*
and up
Ranked #1 of 187 things to do in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Driving
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 469-mile scenic drive links Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while protecting the cultural and natural features of the Blue Ridge.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Chesapeake, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Gorgeous, Scenic Drive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We recently did this drive on November 4th, when all of the leaves were changing colors and the air was cool and crisp. Between a female black bear and her cub running across the road, the hike to Humpback Rocks, and the breathtaking Shenandoah Mountain views, this is one of the best, soul-stirring environments I could ever imagine being in.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Union City, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
606 reviews
156 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Best drive in the country”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

One of the best drives in the country. Plan on either only getting a small glimpse or spending some time here as the road is immense. The speed limit is only 45 along the whole parkway which is plenty fast enough to enjoy the scenery and fun road. You'll also get stuck behind people more worried about looking at the foliage than driving, so you'll average slower. Most of the highlights are between mile 400 and 300 including some of the waterfalls, Mount Mitchell, and the viaduct. Try to see as much as possible though, especially in the fall as the mountains are beautiful and seem to go forever. Make sure to bring snacks and water and fill up on gas first as there are no restaurants or gas stations long the parkway, just trees and mountains. The parkway is one of the most beautiful drives imaginable, so take it slow and enjoy it.

Visited November 2013
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
163 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Best Drive east of Mississippi River”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We usually vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but a hurricane there closed the island and we had to make a quick vacation trip change. When our kids were young, we drove through the northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is known as Skyline Drive. We decided to take a slow ride over the full length of the Parkway, from northern Virginia, to the NC/Tenn border at Great Smokey Mountain National Park. We took 3 days to make the drive, but could have easily made it a much slower trip to see more detail along the way. The roadway is free, except for the 100 mile northern stretch on Skyline Drive.

First, the ride and scenery changes constantly along the ride - and that was purposefully designed. You'll ride along cliff-side roadways, then along pristine rolling farmland, and then along mountains and through a series of tunnels.

Second, there are many places to stop along the way, from historic sites ranging from an 19th century mill to the grand Biltmore Estate. Some places are right along the Parkway, others require you to get off and go local. You can find something for anyone's taste - antiquing, history, nature and ecology, etc.

Third, there is a lot of information available to you to plan your trip. Three key items to get is the "official" Parkway map, a book on the trip (there are several to choose from), and the National Park Service interactive CD (there are also third party podcast/apps) to listen the history and sites along the way. We've used this last resource to great advantage at several National Parks around the country.

If you can travel just off season, you will be well rewarded with less traffic. We traveled in September - after the summer vacation season ended and before the peak fall leaf viewing season, and at times had the parkway to ourselves.

At the end of the trip you'll end up at the eastern entrance of Great Smokey Mountain National Park, which is a great place to spend the rest of your week.

Visited December 2012
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FORT WAYNE
Level Contributor
85 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Outstanding views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

Less traveled route traverses ridges and mountaintops for spectacular views with ample vista pull outs. Take ur time, travel slow, and plan to do some hiking from some of the many trails that start at the pull outs.

Visited November 2013
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Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful Drive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

I drove 20+ miles on the parkway headed south from Asheville. This was a very beautiful and scenic drive. There are many pull offs to stop at and take in the beauty of the mountains. Unlike the Parkway in Virginia, this was FREE, which was an added bonus! I would like to drive the whole parkway someday.

Visited July 2013
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