Be sure you take your camera. There are several places where you can stop and get incredible pictures of the area. I like to get on the parkway at the visitors center at exit 249 off of I-35 south bound. This allows you to drive south to north. My husband and I have driven the parkway during the summer and fall so far. Each is different and unique. There are several sections that go through neighborhoods, cross major roads, and goes around UMD, so a map is needed. You can get a map at the visiting center, but it is pretty rudimentary. I haven't found the perfect map yet, even online, but if you have multiple maps you will do alright. Drove around Hawks Ridge in October and there was a section blocked off for taking pictures of the birds (still able to drive through though.) A lot of parks and various places to park and have a picnic too.