Blue Ridge Parkway

Originally known as the Appalachian Scenic Highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway was created in 1935 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  

Designed to created jobs and improve American infrastructure after the Great Depression, the scenic route was planned to connect Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. 

Blue Ridge Parkway construction began in 1935 near Cumberland Knob, and all but the last 7 miles were completed in 1966. The engineering marvel that is the Linn Cove Viaduct wasn’t finished until 1987. 

America’s longest linear park (stretching 469 miles from Cherokee NC to Waynesboro VA), the BRP is also the #1 most visited unit of the US National Park system, averaging nearly 16 million visitors a year. 

Because the speed limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 45 mph, and many visitors drive slower to take in all the spectacular scenery, driving the entire route in one stretch would take about 15 hours. 

But in our experience, having driven the BRP numerous times in recent years, that would entirely defeat the purpose.

There are 200+ scenic overlooks, historic sites, and other attractions along the Parkway, not to mention a fascinating array of Blue Ridge Mountains wildlife (Black Bears, White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkeys, etc). 

To that end, we’ve assembled this incredible assortment of handy guides to help you plan the perfect Blue Ridge Parkway road trip, covering everything from the best hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic vistas to Autumn leaf-peeping and great mountain towns to stop in along the way!

We’ve also got in-depth guides to all the best cabin rentals, hotels, resorts, and treehouses in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to ensure you have the most amazing Blue Ridge Parkway vacation possible…

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway