Blue Ridge Parkway

#5 in Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC
Blue Ridge Parkway
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

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