When it comes to scenic destinations in the southeastern region of the U.S., the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most well known. Dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Parkway stretches from Virginia’s scenic Shenandoah Valley and ends here in North Carolina in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Anyone with an appreciation for stunning landscapes, mountains, and panoramic views can fill up countless memory cards on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Keep reading and we’ll show you why it’s one of the region’s best attractions!
Learn more about the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina when you download our free vacation guide! Our guide is full of information on fun and exciting things to do during your stay at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant.
The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina: What to Do and See
How To Get There
The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 252 miles, offering plenty of overlooks, hiking trails, swimming holes, and much more. This route starts in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is accessible from multiple mileposts. If you’re in the Asheville area, the Parkway can be accessed from U.S. 70 East at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 382, and at milepost 392 on NC Highway 19. The Blue Ridge Parkway Association is a great resource for Blue Ridge Parkway maps, roads conditions, travel tips, and more.
Top Sights and Attractions
The Blue Ridge Parkway is your entrance to endless outdoor exploration. The road winds through the mountains, and no matter what you do, you’ll quickly fall in love with the Parkway. Here are just a few of the most popular attractions and activities on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
- Linn Cove Viaduct – Milepost 304.4 | The Linn Cove Viaduct is a 7.5-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and is an engineering feat. Completed in 1983, the viaduct is 1,243 feet long and contains 153 segments weighing 50 tons each.
- Grandfather Mountain – Milepost 305 | A This iconic NC mountain offers hiking trails and stunning views.
- Crabtree Falls – Milepost 339.5 | Take a 3.5 mile hike to a beautiful 70-foot waterfall known as Crabtree Falls. This is a great spot for a photo op.
- Mount Mitchell – Milepost 355.4 | The tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell is a must for any serious hiker.
- Craggy Gardens Visitor Center – Milepost 364.4 | Craggy Gardens is the perfect place to stop for a picnic and offers an easy hike for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
- Folk Art Center – Milepost 382 | Part of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Folk Art Center represents the best art in the Blue Ridge Mountains, past and present.
- Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center – Milepost 384 | This fascinating visitor center will tell you everything you need to know about the Blue Ridge Parkway. A theater, gift shop, and plenty of resources are available here.
There are simply too many things to do and see on the parkway to list them all here. We’ve only included a handful of the best attractions. You’ll just have to come see them for yourself!
Come stay at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant!
After an awesome day spent cruising around the Blue Ridge Mountains, take a short 20-minute drive to our Chimney Rock bed and breakfast and unwind. Our inn is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and is an ideal home base for all of your adventures. It is a perfect representation of the abundant beauty that Western North Carolina offers! Enjoy our spacious accommodations, beautiful views, and access to our spa during your stay. We even have a fabulous restaurant on site! So what are you waiting for? Check our availability online and make your reservations today. We look forward to having you!