How to Plan an Amazing Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip

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The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles in Virginia and North Carolina, connecting Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though seasoned travelers might attempt to clock such mileage in a single day, that simply isn’t realistic (or desirable) for the world-renowned scenic route. In all, the Blue Ridge Parkway requires about 15 … Read more

Hiking Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC

Hiking Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Grandfather Mountain

There are countless hiking trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and each offers a little something special. But the relatively short Rough Ridge hike ranks high among our personal favorites.   Starting at the Rough Ridge Overlook (Milepost 302.8), this 1.5-mile Blue Ridge Parkway hike will have you crossing a bridge over a creek, standing atop … Read more

Fall in North Carolina: 25 Great Places to See Fall Colors in NC

Fall in North Carolina: Fall Colors on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City NC

[Updated August 6, 2023] Fall in North Carolina is particularly special because the autumn leaves are around for an extended amount of time. The vibrant fall colors almost seem to develop in shifts, gradually working their way down the sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains as seasonal temperatures begin to drop. Leaves changing in North Carolina … Read more

The 20 Best Overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fall

Blue Ridge Parkway in the Fall, Chestnut Cove Overlook

The Blue Ridge Mountains are famed for their stirring scenic vistas, and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fall is arguably the crème de la crème.  My wife Emma and I both have October birthdays, and autumn is our favorite time of year for many reasons. As avid gardeners, it means the fruits of our labors … Read more

Exploring Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Stretching 469 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the #1 most visited unit of the US National Parks.    The world-famous scenic route attracts nearly 16 million visitors each year. And Mabry Mill in Virginia is one of the most popular (and most … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA

Appalachian Trail hiker on McAfee Knob at Sunrise

[Updated June 16, 2023] With a population of around 100,000 people, Roanoke is both the largest city along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the largest in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region. Roanoke has a lot of the small Blue Ridge mountain town charm that’s customary to the region, with a historic town center, wilderness just minutes … Read more

The 20 Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC & Haywood County

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[Updated June 7, 2023] When my wife and I explore the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s typically with two main goals in mind.  The first objective is to create in-depth guides on the best things to see and do there. The second is to use that information to decide whether or not we want to move … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley NC

Maggie Valley NC Seen From Ghost Town in the Sky

[Updated May 22, 2023] Located about halfway between Bryson City and Asheville, Maggie Valley NC is a small mountain town with something of a split personality.  The town has been home to colorful characters such as bluegrass legend Raymond Fairchild, bootlegger Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, and Deliverance actor Herbert “Cowboy” Coward (who got his start at the … Read more

15 Best Things to Do in Little Switzerland NC (BRP MP 334)

Shopping in Little Switzerland NC

[Updated January 8, 2024] One of the things people don’t tell you about taking a Blue Ridge Parkway road trip is how remarkably uncommercialized this 469-mile slice of Appalachian Americana is. You can drive for 50-100 miles and never see any Blue Ridge Parkway hotels, resorts, restaurants, or gas stations. Which is precisely what makes … Read more

Visiting the Peaks of Otter Lodge & Campground in Bedford VA

Peaks of Otter Lodge & Abbott Lake in Bedford VA

We’ve been fortunate enough to drive the entire 469-mile length of the Blue Ridge Parkway several times over the past two years. And though the world-famous scenic route boasts plenty of highlights, the Peaks of Otter (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 86) stands out among our favorite BRP attractions. Located 11 miles north of Bedford VA … Read more