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.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Herb The Explorer
    Charlotte, North Carolina33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled with family
    Written June 27, 2023
  • Garry P
    Ball Ground, Georgia57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled with family
    Written August 6, 2023
  • jlantern3
    Columbia, South Carolina12,895 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 5, 2023
  • Stefanie H
    Lincoln, Nebraska1,656 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled with family
    Written September 18, 2023
  • Vork Travel
    Saint Louis, Missouri240 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 9, 2023
  • Rochelle F
    Randolph, New Jersey1,126 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 22, 2023
  • tomterrific
    Illinois91 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awe inspiring
    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!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 26, 2023
  • Tiffanyjim
    Marion, Iowa1,637 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Always a great experience!
    We had never been on the parkway at this entry point (by the arboretum in Asheville). We just spent a late afternoon driving up a way enjoying the scenic view. The parkway is pretty in early spring and worth the time!
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 9, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles6,995 reviews
Excellent
5,901
Very good
903
Average
155
Poor
24
Terrible
12

CraftBeers
Plano, TX25,039 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
What an absolutely gorgeous drive. I can't imagine anyone giving this a rating less than five. I get the RV owners that are angry with improper tree trimming that damaged their vehicle, but there is too much beauty to take in. There is well over 400 miles to explore, so you get to control how long you want to be on the road. You can choose to drive all day or even make it two or three days with stay overs to see the whole thing. If you only have a few hours, you can decide how long you want to explore. If you are a picture taker, plan to stop frequently. If you want to just drive and enjoy the scenery, then sit back and relax.

I entered the Blue Ridge Parkway at Ashville, NC and drove north for about 10 miles. I then turn back south and drove all the way to the end of the parkway. I loved the twisty roads with valleys and waterfalls. Depending on the elevation you may be below the clouds, in the clouds or above them looking down. The whole thing is incredible.

I too got tired of pulling out and taking pictures. I eventually realized, it's all gorgeous. I stopped taking pictures and enjoyed the ride. We eventually learned to pull out only when our mouths dropped open from a new view.

There are some tight turns, and tree trimming is not the best. RV and wide vehicles may have to hug the center of the road, which is unsafe. Go slow, drive smart.
Written March 31, 2020
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.

caralily1
North Carolina17 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Solo
The scenery here is beautiful anytime of year. But there are drawbacks to driving the parkway too. The biggest drawback is the bumper riders--those folks who ride as close behind you as possible. In the four days I was in the Boone area, this describes almost all the drivers. There is no way to just enjoy the scenery when you have people trying to ride in your back pocket. If it weren't for the drivers being so aggressive I would give this four or five stars.
The second biggest drawback is that many of the parkway turnoffs have little parking. It is common to get to a turnoff only to find you have to keep going because there's no place to park.
I'm going to try a different part of the parkway another time and see if it's any better.
Written October 15, 2021
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.

krislindell
North Carolina117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
I have traveled extensively and can honestly say this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It’s so gorgeous it almost brings you to tears. We stayed in Boone and used the parkway to get around to Blowing Rock, Boone, and Linville. The colors will literally take your breath away.
Written October 10, 2020
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, NJ1,126 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 October 22, 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.

11SJ987
Columbus, OH234 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Unbelievable views from many spots. We climbed to the top of Craggy Bald, 360* views at 6000 feet. Don't be in a hurry, driving can be slow but it's worth taking the time. Wish we had come in mid October to see more color, it was just starting to turn in early October
Written October 6, 2020
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.

Natalie C
West Chester, PA223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
The Blue Ridge Parkway, especially during the fall when the leaves are starting to change, is really a masterpiece. The road stretches 200+ miles, is beautifully paved, and has some incredible views. If you can, don't go on a weekend since it'll be like a parking lot. Personally, I think Asheville and south (towards the Tail of the Dragon) on the BRP is much prettier/better views than Asheville and north.
Written October 23, 2020
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.

fanofos
Gulfport, MS24 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
We drove the BRP from Cherokee to Asheville on October 7. The first third of the drive was beautiful with the tree colors just starting to turn. Few reds, yellows and golden's. As the elevation increased to 5,000 so did the rain and lower visibility. The few colors observed above 4,000 feet are likely.two weeks from peak. Locals are concerned that the past week of rain could cause the trees to lose their leaves. I'd suggest keeping an eye on these reviews and other internet leaf peeping reports🍁🍂
Written October 7, 2021
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.

Biff Simpson
Wilbraham, MA943 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
We stayed near Asheville for a few days and explored a number of places in and around the city. I swear... every time we drove somewhere outside the city, we wound up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first time, it was cool: you go from the woods to the city in about three feet. The Parkway is a two lane road with limited access and no place to pull over. It’s bendy with tons of trees and (until you get east) no views... just trees. Get behind someone who doesn’t do well with Le Mans driving and you are doomed. Look at a road map east of Ash illegal and it looks like a map of your small intestine... but it IS cool
Written May 6, 2021
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.

Ward D
Satellite Beach, FL3,305 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
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!
Written January 4, 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.

TN Traveler
Knoxville, TN1,235 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Couples
My wife and I went on the Blue Ridge Parkway and have a wonderful time.
We picked it up in Asheville and headed west. What a beautiful trip! There are so many great overlooks and the road quality is excellent.
I recommend you bring some camp chairs and find a great view and set up and watch the clouds roll through.
Make sure you have enough gas as it may be awhile before you can get off on a connecting road with gas.
Also, make sure to run with your headlights on as there are many tunnels.
Written September 6, 2021
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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