Blue Ridge Parkway

#5 in Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC
Blue Ridge Parkway picture
Pierre Leclerc Photography/Getty Images

Key Info

Blue Ridge Pkwy

Details

Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway begins in Virginia and meanders through about 250 miles of western North Carolina. With a maximum speed of 45 mph, the highway offers drivers numerous opportunities to stop at overlooks, quaint mountain towns and hiking and biking trails. The parkway is divided by milepost markers that increase as you drive farther south.

The headquarters and main visitor center is located in Asheville at milepost 384. There, travelers can learn about the natural and cultural history of the region, as well as the outdoor activities available along the parkway.

Even if you're not up for road trip along the entire parkway, there are several attractions within 20 miles of Asheville worth exploring. Milepost 355.4 is home to Mount Mitchell, the tallest point east of the Mississippi River. Milepost 364.4 is where you'll find Craggy Gardens with an elevation of 5,640 feet. Meanwhile, milepost 382 is home to the Folk Art Center. Driving along the parkway is free, as is entrance to most of its attractions. Keep in mind: Most attractions along the parkway close during the winter and reopen in April or May.

Recent visitors who traveled along the parkway said the views alone make it a must-do when visiting Asheville. For more information on the parkway, as well as the visitor center, visit the National Park Service website

See all Hotels in Asheville, NC »

More Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC

Biltmore Estate
Appalachian Trail
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 8
#1 Biltmore Estate

This enormous French Renaissance-style estate of George Vanderbilt has a storied past dating back to 1889. Considered America's largest private home, the 250-room estate – with 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and a whopping 65 fireplaces – took six years to construct. The 8,000 acres of gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (the same landscape architect responsible for Central Park) and feature 2 ½ miles of walking paths.

Amassing 125,000 acres at its peak, 87,000 acres were sold after Vanderbilt's death in 1914 to form what is now Pisgah National Forest. But its history doesn't stop there: During World War II the estate stored pieces from the National Gallery of Art, and in the 1970s a winery was added. In the 2000s, inns and hotels were opened on the property.

Read more
The Biltmore Company
See full list of Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC »

Explore More of Asheville, NC

Recommended

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019

The 16 Best Seattle Tours

Explore the Emerald City's natural beauty and urban offerings with these guided excursions.

Lyn MettlerJune 12, 2019

The 24 Best London Tours

Whether it's your first time in London or you're a repeat visitor, you'll experience a side of the city you've never seen with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJune 6, 2019

The 21 Best Paris Tours

Enhance your visit to the City of Love with one of these top tours.

Claire LawtonJune 5, 2019

The 20 Best New York City Tours

These guided tours help make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

John RodwanJune 4, 2019

The 24 Best Rome Tours

Enjoy the efficiency of an organized tour led by experts who bring Rome's history to life.

Kyle McCarthyMay 31, 2019

The 8 Best Savannah Ghost Tours

Prove you're not afraid of the dark by taking one of these terrifying tours.

Gwen PratesiMay 31, 2019